With the Cricket World Cup on the horizon, it’s a pretty good time to look at the best Cricket themed video games that kept us entertained when we were kids and continue to do so today. Here are the 12 best Cricket video games of all time.
Graham Gooch's Test Cricket (1985)
Released for the Commodore 64 in 1985, Graham Gooch’s Cricket is the granddaddy of all Cricket games. Unlike later games, this one lets you choose from playing it as a simulation or an arcade title. Apart from letting you play Test matches, it also lets you choose the 60 over One Day International, that has since gone extinct. Although the game’s graphics look rudimentary today, they were actually praised in ‘85.
Graham Gooch’s World Class Cricket (1993)
You probably remember this game as Allan Border Cricket or Brian Lara Cricket and it was further launched as Jonty Rhodes II, Battle for the Ashes and, later, Shane Warne ‘97 for the Commodore Amiga, DOS and Atari ST. The game has memorable, colourful graphics and fun gameplay. The game is now considered as abandonware and can be downloaded for free (you’ll need DOSBox to play it).
Super International Cricket (1994)
One of the rare Cricket games published by Nintendo, Super International Cricket was released for the SNES in 1994. The game took an almost top-down view of the pitch unlike most Cricket games that mirror the standard broadcast camera angle. Even today, the game’s retro graphics look very good and the gameplay is one of the fastest seen in a videogame based on Cricket.
Cricket 97 (1997)
Even though Cricket 96 was EA’s first Cricket game, Cricket 97 was responsible for properly kickstarting EA’s attempt at making its Cricket games an annual franchise just like its FIFA, Madden and NBA games. This was the first Cricket game to feature fully rendered 3D graphics and also included commentary and FMVs of the wonderful Richie Benaud saying things like “When in doubt, go for spin,” and “Oh, he gave that one some Larry Dooley.” It was launched for DOS and Windows.
Brian Lara Cricket ‘99 (1998)
By far the most popular game on this list, BLC ‘99 is still remembered fondly by many gamers who played it first on their Windows 95 PCs (it was also launched for the original Playstation). BLC ‘99 featured great gameplay, solid A.I. and a packed roster of real players from around the world. No wonder, BLC ‘99 remains the best reviewed Cricket videogame of all time.
Cricket 2005 (2005)
EA Sports’ Cricket games were never considered to have the best gameplay and by 2005, it was evident that the game publisher didn’t have its heart in publishing Cricket games. However, Cricket 2005, launched for PC, Xbox and the PS2, did do some things well including really good graphics, and gameplay that was suited to both a controller and a keyboard.
Cricket 07 (2006)
The final Cricket video game from EA Sports, Cricket 07 represented both the worst and the best aspects of EA’s franchise. On one hand, the game was riddled with bugs and inconsistent A.I. On the other hand, the game had a huge variety of gameplay modes, an Ashes campaign that included objectives, videos, statistics and players from previous Ashes tournaments and impressive commentary.
Brian Lara International Cricket 2007 (2007)
By the time this game was released for PC, Xbox 360 and the PS2, Codemasters had kicked out EA and taken the mantle of the publisher of the best Cricket video games. The game, launched in India as Yuvraj Singh International Cricket 2007 and in Australia as Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007, was praised for being the most realistic version of the sport to be seen in a game and for a wide variety of game modes.
Ashes Cricket 2009 (2009)
Codemasters’ Ashes Cricket 2009 is the one of the better reviewed Cricket video games. Although it was not the best looking game, it introduced intuitive controls and two player co-op gameplay. It also had multiple stadiums and game modes. Unfortunately, it was also heavily pirated on the PC which lead to Codemasters not launching its sequel, International Cricket 2010, for computers.
International Cricket Captain 2013 (2013)
While the EA Sports and Codemasters Cricket games targeted gamers looking for graphics and arcade-y gameplay, the International Cricket Captain series has consistently only been for simulation fans. Like the Football Manager series, ICC has been going on for a while and ICC 2013 was the 16th game in the series. If you’re a fan of planning out matches, lineups and strategy, rather than controlling the actual match, then ICC 2013, launched for Windows and Mac OS, should whet your appetite.
Don Bradman Cricket 14 (2014)
The latest Cricket game to hit stores comes from Big Ant studios and Tru Blue entertainment, and is a worthwhile addition to your library. DBC 14, launched for the Xbox 360, PS3 and the PC, attempts to rework the controls to make playing virtual cricket more intuitive but also challenging. DBC 14 has received good reviews, making it the second best reviewed Cricket game after Brain Lara Cricket ‘99, and it’s very clear that the game was made by folks who actually understand and love the sport.
Real Cricket ‘14 (2014)
For Cricket lovers who want a game that they can quickly pick up and play, Real Cricket ‘14 is a great option. It was surprising to find a mobile Cricket game (available for free on Android and iOS), that was actually fun to play. The game, with its hand-painted 2D graphics, looks very good and thanks to its developers, it also receives plenty of updates. Unfortunately, as with most free to play mobile games, this one also has plenty of in-app purchases and advertisements.
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