Gaming’s Greatest Fictional Sports

Rocket League
Rocket League

FIFA, Madden, and NBA 2K are all fantastic, but let’s be honest, you can play those sports for real any time you like. Today, we’re only interested in sports that you can’t play for real anywhere except in video games – and we’ll be assessing how well they’d translate to real life, too.

Because if it wasn’t for our eternal nemesis – the pesky old laws of physics – we’re pretty sure we’d be a Blitzball pro by now.

Splatoon 2 logo

FIFA, Madden, and NBA 2K are all fantastic, but let’s be honest, you can play those sports for real any time you like. Today, we’re only interested in sports that you can’t play for real anywhere except in video games – and we’ll be assessing how well they’d translate to real life, too.

Because if it wasn’t for our eternal nemesis – the pesky old laws of physics – we’re pretty sure we’d be a Blitzball pro by now.

1. Blitzball

Play it in: Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy X Blitzaball

Think football played in a vast floating sphere of water. Throw in some synchronised swimming, assume that none of the players are ever in imminent need of oxygen, and you’ve got the basic idea. It’s flashy, it’s dramatic, and we still don’t really understand the rules, but do we want to play it for real anyway? Yes. Yes, of course we do.

Our verdict: Probably doable with an oxygen tank.

2. Lúcioball

Play it in: Overwatch

Overwatch Lucioball

It’s Lúcio, Lúcio, and Lúcio against Lúcio, Lúcio, and Lúcio in this thrilling match of Lúcioball! Two teams of three use a tweaked set of Lúcio’s abilities, from wall riding to epic blasts of sound, to zip around the arena and smash an oversized ball into the opposing team’s goal. It’s a limited time mode that we last saw in the Summer Games event, but we’d be more than happy to see it make a permanent return. An appearance in real life would be nice too.

Our verdict: We’d probably need some ear defenders.

3. Quidditch

Play it in: the Harry Potter games

Quidditch might well have been our very favourite part of playing Harry Potter games. We went from humble beginnings learning the ropes at Hogwarts in Lego Harry Potter, and soon became international Quidditch stars by overcoming the opposition in the Quidditch World Cup. Now we just need someone to figure out how to make broomsticks fly…

Our verdict: The technology’s not quite there yet.

4. Roller Champions

Play it in: Roller Champions

Roller Champions

Out sometime this year, Roller Champions is what you get if you lock a group of roller derby pros in a velodrome with a basketball, and actually, we reckon this one is probably the best contender to get a real-life edition (sorry, real-life Quidditch, but this doesn’t really compare). Maybe we should get those dusty old roller skates out of the garden shed again.

Our verdict: Actually feasible.

5. Splatoon

Play it in: Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

Two teams of squid people duke it out to cover the world in brightly-coloured ink, and while that might sound horrifying in practice, it’s so satisfying to play. Since humans don’t have built-in squid abilities, maybe we could settle for modified paintball guns instead?

Our verdict: Someone make this happen.

6. Myshuno

Play it in: The Sims 2

What are the rules? How do you win? A bit like with Mornington Crescent, we’ll probably never know the truth. All we know for sure is that this mysterious game disappeared from the mainline games after the Sims 2, possibly because once you put a Myshuno machine in your house, not one of your Sims had the willpower to stop playing. Just like us with The Sims, actually…

Our verdict: Might be too addictive.

7. Car football

Play it in: Rocket League

Cars, rocket boosters, springboards, and giant footballs… what’s not to love? This one’s probably the most dangerous sport on the list when you think about it (the whiplash would be unreal), but maybe a version with remote-controlled cars would be doable? Or robot cars?

Our verdict: Let’s try it with robots first.

Bonus: A very special kind of mountain climbing

Play it in: Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Mountain climbing is a workout already, but let’s take it up a notch. You can’t use your legs, because they’re wedged inside a giant cauldron. You also can’t use your arms, but to make up for it, you get a rock-climbing hammer which you can use to yoink yourself over small obstacles and up the side of the mountain. Where’s the fun in extreme sports without a little bit of a challenge?

Our verdict: You go first. We’ll watch.

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