Most people would find it surprising that I would choose a real person as my favorite video game character, but no video game star was so dominating in sports games than Bo Jackson. The former Heisman Trophy winner became a legend in late 1980s and early 1990s, not only for his on-field feats, but for the excitement his video game characters brought to the sports games.
Tecmo Bowl “Tecmo Bo”
Bo Jackson’s video game legend began with this football simulation released in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Tecmo Bowl was the first football game licensed by the National Football League Player’s Association. This meant that NFL player likenesses were used for the first time in a video game. Though Tecmo Bowl started in the arcades, this NES version featured Jackson as a member of the Los Angeles team. There was only one running play for Jackson in this game, but you knew when you called it, most times it was going to help Los Angeles make a big play.
Tecmo Super Bowl
In the first NFL video game to feature all team and players, this is the video game where Jackson’s lore as a great video character stands to this day. Released in late 1991, Jackson’s NFL career was over due to a debilitating hip injury, yet the game was published before this was known. Jackson’s lore in this game has been praised by nearly everyone in video games and sports, including Bill Simmons. We may never see a player who is so dominant in a sports video game ever again. Jackson could run for an entire quarter (5 minutes in this game) and only complete one play. Here’s proof.
Bo Jackson: Two Games In One
Bo’s two sport legend even reached a point where he had his own Nintendo Game Boy game known as Bo Jackson: Two Games In One. This played off of the fact that Jackson had been a Major League Baseball All Star and NFL Pro Bowler at the same time. This game in its own right is not memorable for its gameplay. It will be remembered as one of the highlights of a two sport star in the midst of his greatness.
Bo Jackson In Video Games Today
Nowadays, there are still games featuring Bo Jackson, including NCAA Football 14. It is great to see that another generation of video game players will get to witness the greatness of Bo Jackson. In the game, he rejoins his Auburn Tigers as a freshman and you can build him up to his Heisman Trophy winning success.