In December 1991, Tecmo Super Bowl made its video game debut on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
Developed by Tecmo, it is the first sports video game that was licensed by both the National Football League and the National Football League Players Association, thus allowing the game to use both the names and attributes of real NFL teams and real NFL players. Prior games use either the real teams, the real players, or fictional substitutes, but not real teams and real players together.
The game was a major success, resulting in several follow-ups for subsequent game consoles. The NES original has had an extensive cult following across the decades, with widely covered tournaments as the game modification community provides annual roster updates. It has been variously named as one of the best NES games, one of the best sports games, and one of the most influential video games of all time. In the United States, the game topped Babbage’s NES sales charts for three months in 1992, from October to December. In 1997, Electronic Gaming Monthly and IGN each named Tecmo Super Bowl as one of the top 100 video games of all time. IGN ranked Tecmo Super Bowl number 53 in its top 100 NES games. GamesRadar ranked it number 22 in its list of the best NES games, noting that it may be the only football game from the NES still widely played. PC Magazine ranked the game number 10 in its list of the ten most-influential video games of all time.
ESPN named Tecmo Super Bowl the greatest sports video game of all time.
Happy 30th anniversary to Tecmo Super Bowl, one of the most popular and best selling NES games of all time!