Between NBA Jam and the original NFL Blitz/Blitz ‘99, my junior high/high school years were filled with glorious arcade sports action. The simplified team size, the straight out of an 8th grader’s locker attitude and general lack of respect for the way the sport was meant to be played kept my friends and I busy after school for years.
Then Madden happened. Consoles got more powerful, sports could be simulated to greater accuracy. Blitz and NBA Jam both lost their way with misguided sequels trying to live up to modern standards, and eventually, Midway folded. It was dark times for those of us who enjoy arcade sports action. Despite promising titles like the NBA Street series; the glut of Maddens, 2K Sports, etc. left little room for the subgenre to survive.