45. Blades of Steel

Released: 1988
Watch Gameplay
Fun Fact: Blades of Steel enforced icing penalties, but not offside penalties.

Double Dribble was to NES basketball what Blades of Steel was to NES ice hockey. It got the number of players on the ice correct. When penalty shots were called, it cut to a 3rd-person camera view behind the shooter as he faced the goalie. And when players fought in Blades of Steel, they actually fought – the game on the ice paused, and the view cut to a boxing-like, side-by-side view so the player could pummel either the computer or his friend if they were in head-to-head mode.

The other comparison to Double Dribble besides an early attempt at simulation was Blades of Steel's liberal application of digitized speech. Between that and the fast-paced, smooth gameplay, Blades of Steel felt like a really technologically-advanced game when it came out.