Mock Draft Monday: Video Games

After last week’s dynamic debut of Mock Draft Monday, which sparked plenty of discussion and controversy, the goal is to take it to another level this week. And that’s because, while people are very passionate about what they eat to start their day, nothing might top the passion millennials feel for their favorite way to spend their free time, video games. Games from all consoles and systems from all eras were considered. Let the debate begin…

1.   Fallout 4 (Xbox One/PS4, 2015)

Let me start by saying this. I did not grow up with video games. I played outside. I didn’t get my first Xbox until high school, so forgive me if I never played Zelda or Super Smash Bros. As far as complete games from start to finish, Fallout 4 is one of the best. I played for hours and hours; being an open-world game, I could take all the time I needed to complete the quest lines. (Tyler, I know you have my back)

Keith Manze

2. Super Mario Bros. 3 (Game Boy, 1993)

Like most kids born in the 1980s, my sister and I were big fans of NES’s Super Mario Brothers and its’ bizarrely entertaining sequel. We were understandably thrilled when Nintendo released Super Mario Brothers 3. The game’s introduction in the 1989 film The Wizard’s climactic video game competition helped its’ hype soar, yet it still somehow exceeded everyone’s expectations (even Fred Savage’s). Super Mario Brothers 3 was a revolutionary platform game for its time, enabling gamers to navigate a map and toggle through all of the Mushroom Kingdom’s levels. The game’s also a blast to play; Mario’s newfound ability to swing from vines, slide down slopes, and transform into a flying raccoon or stone man were some of my favorite additions to the iconic series.

James Bussell


3. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy, 1993)

I had to take a Legend of Zelda game. Between Ocarina of Time or Link’s Awakening, I chose Awakening because it was the first game I ever had on my Game Boy.

MC Wale

4. NFL Blitz (Consoles/Arcade, 1997)

Over the last decade or two, sports video games have gotten more and more “realistic,” and that’s great… most of the time. But let’s be real, nothing is ever going to top the after-the-whistle absurdity that is NFL Blitz. Keep your franchise modes and ultimate teams, I’ll be over here pulling off some WWE finishing moves and running “Da Bomb” on first down.

– Zander Kean

5. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Variety of consoles, 2002)

80’s nostalgia + graphic violence and language + a ton of insane stunt jumps + every young boys dream.

Jordan de Lugo

6. Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64, 1995)

Oh, the hundreds of hours that Super Smash Bros has consumed my life. I wouldn’t trade one second of that.

Richard Miller

7. Backyard Baseball (PC/Mac, 1997)

My first game I got for our family computer, and arguably the game I have spent the most time playing in my entire life. Hitting homeruns with Pablo Sanchez, bunting for singles with Pete Wheeler while pitching with the Webber twins on my Humongous Melonheads. Everyone has a favorite Backyard sports memory, and this is the first and best one.

Scott Manze

8. Tetris (Everything from consoles to cell phones, 1984)

I selected Tetris just for the sheer aspect of nostalgia of when I played this as a kid, and in high school on my calculator.

Mike Yazigi

9. NBA Live (Consoles/PCs, 1995-2010)

Oh yeah. If you didn’t hate me for my first pick, hate me now. 2K tried to get ‘too real’ on us with the lame player storyline stuff and the graphics that were very detailed but did not actually look like the players (cc: Evan Fournier). NBA Live 2010 was the best version in my book. Live will surpass 2K in a couple years. Just you watch. (Keith has left the chat room.)

Keith Manze

10. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (NES, 1987)

I love the Super Nintendo and Nintendo Wii follow-up versions but nothing beats the NES original in all its 8-bit, “try blowing into the cartridge” glory. Little Mac is a fun hero and I enjoyed pummeling weaker fighters like Don Flamenco and Glass Joe with the diminutive fighter’s lethal uppercut. I remember later levels being difficult and I’m not sure I ever defeated “Iron Mike.” Some of my friend’s used cheat codes to KO him, but not me. I had integrity. Either that or nobody in my class would let me borrow their copy of Nintendo Power, I can’t remember. Let’s go with integrity.

James Bussell

11. GoldenEye 007 (N64/1997)

Yo, how the hell was Goldeneye still on the list? Arguably the best multiplayer game ever created, this pick was a steal.

MC Wale

12. Diablo II (PC/Mac, 200)

Often imitated and never duplicated, Diablo II is the long-standing best example of its genre – the genre of slaughtering screenfuls of demons over and over. Would the graphics still hold up today? No way. But I had so, so many good times with the crew in middle and high school laying waste to the denizens of Sanctuary.

Zander Kean

13. NBA Jam (Consoles/Arcade, 1993)

Two on two basketball featuring your favorite NBA stars, big heads, back flips, half court shots, and alley oops! Count me in.

Jordan de Lugo


14. Super Mario World (Nintendo, 1990)

My early memories of video games include playing Super Mario World.

Richard Miller

15. Madden 2004 (Consoles/PC, 2003)

The best gameplay (who didn’t love completing 50 yard passes on the run across the field), first owner mode (yes, I will relocate to Mexico City, wait, was I actually a trendsetter?), best soundtrack (featuring local Jax band Yellowcard!) all combine to make a great game (plus Mike Vick was unstoppable).

Scott Manze

16. Pokemon Stadium (N64, 1998)

This game was a favorite of mine because I got to battle anyone that came over to my house and it was always entertaining to see people’s choices of Pokémon to battle with.

Mike Yazigi

17. Oregon Trail (Everything/even a card game now, 1974)

A classic from my grade school days at San Jose Catholic. Who doesn’t love watching your friends die of dysentery or cholera? Or how about naming a character ‘your mom’ so you can see “Your mom broke her arm”. Charming, really.

-Keith Manze

18. Where in the U.S.A. is Carmen Sandiego? (PC/Mac, 1992)

When I was in fifth grade, my friend Pat and I would meet after school and play the DOS version of this game. As we quickly became master sleuths, our class’ computer teacher decided to incorporate the updated CD-ROM version into his syllabus, holding a tournament that rewarded the duo who solved the most cases in four class periods with a bag of Jolly Rangers. We eviscerated our opponents and headed to the dentist. Pat and I continued to play the DOS version after school, but we couldn’t beat it; I lost the game’s companion book that included necessary secret clues. We sent a sincere letter (before the days of email) to Broderbund requesting a new copy of the book, intelligently describing how much we enjoyed learning and how we believed beating educational computer games would help us achieve our dreams. Broderbund never responded to our letter! Pat and I decided to abandon our dreams and become lawyers.

James Bussell

19. Final Fantasy VII (Consoles/PC, 1997)

A classic game with an incredible story, great graphics (at the time), and held in regard as one of the best RPGs ever.

MC Wale

20. Mario Kart 64 (N64, 1996)

I’m predisposed to dislike first-person shooters (mostly because I’m horrible at them), which makes Mario Kart 64 the single greatest in-person multiplayer game of all time. In the late 90s, there wasn’t much that could ruin friendships faster than a well-timed spiky shell or ganging up on the dude who fell into the lava on Bowser’s Castle. Team Yoshi forever.

Zander Kean

21. Pokemon Yellow (Game Boy Color, 1998)

The beginning of the Pokemon craze for myself and many young Americans, this game came to define the best selling hand-held franchise ever. Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

Jordan de Lugo

22. Halo (Xbox, 2001)

Halo and Street Fighter II, in my opinion, are in the top-10 of all-time games.

Richard Miller


23. The Sims (PC, 2000)

A played this game sparingly as a child (rated T for team had my mom hesitant to allow this) but it really took off for me the summer after I graduated college. As an unemployed college grad living at home, I would work out and apply for jobs in the morning, and play The Sims until god knows when that night. Never managed to get anyone to marry me, did die in cooking fires several times.

Scott Manze

24. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360/PS3, 2009)

I’m surprised this game got to me in the 3rd round. Very popular game and is still played by millions around the world, even after it was released in 2009.

Mike Yazigi

25. Spy Fox in Dry Cereal (PC/Mac, 1997)

I’m sure you have no idea about this gem of a game. You are a fox (naturally) trying to take down Billy the Kid (he’s a goat!) because he has kidnapped all the cows in the world to corner the market on milk. I dunno about you, but dry cereal sounds better than cereal with goat milk.

Keith Manze

26. The Last of Us (PS3, 2013)

I never had a PS3, so my first experience with The Last of Us was the re-mastered edition for the PS4. I was blown away. The apocalyptic storyline is more enthralling than most movies, the characters are outstanding, the graphics are gorgeous and the gameplay is thrillingly inventive. I also want you guys to know that I’ve played a video game made in the 21st Century.

James Bussell


27. Half-Life 2 (Consoles/PC/Mac, 2004)

The fact that Half Life 3 is still something that a good majority of the gaming world is waiting should tell you the quality that Half Life 2 was.

MC Wale

28. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC/Consoles, 2011)

I chose each of my first three picks largely because of how much fun those games were to play with friends. So let’s round out the draft with a game that’s a completely solitary adventure. Open-world RPGs have been around as long as games have existed, but before Skyrim came around, none were quite so open. Plus, everything is way more badass when set in the frozen north. Just look at Thrones.

Zander Kean

29. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC/Mac/Xbox, 2003)

The most in-depth story and game play of any Star Wars game ever. A top ten RPG of all time that also features a storyline from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Jordan de Lugo

30. Street Fighter II (arcade, 1992)

See writeup on pick 22. My productivity this week will drop due to my four stellar picks.  Catch me inside.

Richard Miller

31. Cruis’n USA (Arcade, 1994)

My first win on the Washington DC course came on my eleventh birthday and this staple of my childhood in arcades (mostly at friends birthday parties at Skate Station and Bowl America) is the best of the Cruis’n series.

Scott Manze

32. Grand Theft Auto V (Consoles/PC, 2013)

This was my favorite GTA game of the series. And I love the fact that the game is continuously getting updates to it, which makes it a steal as the 32nd and final pick.

Mike Yazigi


So where did we hit, where did we miss. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @rivercityrogue. Happy Monday!