Sports video game intros are not as important as they once were. It's a shame, because they serve an important purpose: they get gamers into the mood by presenting impressive plays, inspiring them to repeat those actions in the game. Nowadays some games basically skip the intro and instead put the gamer to work almost immediately.
Games today look more and more like the real thing, but in the past, this was not the case. That's why older intros preferred to use actual footage, showing the player the beauty of the game they're about to play. In the past, as highlights were not readily available and not all games were televised, let alone streamed, they allowed the gamer to actually see some impressive plays for the first time.
Some managed to capture the player's imagination much better than others, whetting their appetite to get on the field/court/sporting arena of your choosing. These 19 did it better than any.
We kick the list off with a classic.
The intro to NBA Live '98 was quick, dynamic, and energetic - it had everything that a good highlight reel should contain. The singling-out of particular players during plays is a great idea, especially when they start appearing one after another as the video is coming to a close.The culminating dunk by Latrell Sprewell ends the real-life highlight as if telling the player that now it's his turn to present some impressive plays.
The clip is perfectly organized, as it starts and ends with an unnamed player, albeit at the end he is at EA's signature Virtual Stadium, which at the time was an innovative way of arena design and presentation. In 1998 EA Sports game intros were really something else.