If you owned a Nintendo in the late ’80s / early ’90s, you probably played a game or twelve hundred of Tecmo Bowl. Nearly 23 years since its release, it still has a cult following and annual tournaments that put Madden’s to shame.

In this trip down Tecmo Bowl lane, we’ll count down the top five best and worst players in the game. To note, earning a spot in this list means you had to be a starter in the game, so that means John Talley, Leroy Hoard, and Ron Solt are safe from this list.


Randall Cunningham or Eagles QB

There are many great quarterbacks in Tecmo Bowl from John Elway to Warren Moon to Joe Montana but there might not have been a more versatile quarterback than Randall Cunningham or better known as Eagles QB. Randall could throw the deep ball and pull off some scrambles for easy scores. Before Michael Vick was tearing up Madden, Randall was dual-threat quarterback that made gamers throw controllers at the screen.

Bo Jackson, OAK

There is one name that will forever be linked to Tecmo Bowl and that name is Bo Jackson. In real life, Bo Jackson is best known for blowing past Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth but the Tecmo world, he’s known as the back that could break a million tackles. Jackson’s virtual exploits have been posted to YouTube and those videos have thousands of hits. Even though he recently revealed to have never played the game, Bo Jackson is Tecmo Bowl.

Jerry Rice, SF

The greatest wide receiver in NFL history is arguably the best wide receiver in the 8-bit game. Rice can break away from most secondaries and his combination with quarterback Joe Montana can make even the most novice Tecmo Bowl player into a great one. Overall, Montana to Rice in Tecmo World might have been better than in real life.

Lawrence Taylor, NYG

The man that helped change the linebacker position is a defensive stud in Tecmo Bowl. Taylor could get to the quarterback or stuff a run carrier at the line of scrimmage. He was also deadly on field goal blocks as he could pretty much just run through the line and block the kick every time.

David Fulcher, CIN

Most NFL fans will probably not remember Cincinnati safety David Fulcher but he is a Tecmo Bowl legend to say the least. Fulcher could intercept passes and was a run-stuffing magnet. In the tournament circuit, Fulcher and the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the first picks to be used and David has even attempted a couple of them.


Steve Grogan, NE

Poor Steve Grogan, most of us remember his NFL career as getting destroyed by the 1985 Bears in the Super Bowl and in Tecmo world, he is known as the worst QB. The Patriots are one of the worst teams in the game and Grogan is an interception machine as most passes hit defenders right in the hands. At least for Grogan, his scrambling ability can get you some yards.

Lorenzo White, HOU

Houston’s Run and Shoot offense was a force to be reckoned with but sadly the running part in Tecmo Bowl wasn’t that great. White was a bruising running back that can get yards but his fumble problems make him pretty much unusable as defenders can walk into him and he’ll lose it.

Derek Hill, Pitt

The Steelers wide receiver makes this list since in Tecmo world, he couldn’t catch a cold in the hospital. Many players even choose to put his back-up Dwight Stone to start over him. In real life, Hill caught over forty passes in his two-year career but I’m pretty sure in the history of Tecmo Bowl’s existence he still hasn’t reached 40 receptions.

Eugene Marve, TB

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense in Super Tecmo Bowl isn’t exactly the worst but the linebacking corps leaves something to be desired. The weak sister on this squad is Eugene Marve as he makes this list on two accounts of being one of the worst linebackers in the game and one of the lowest ranked players in the game.

Indianapolis Colts Secondary (Eugene Daniel, Chris Goode, Mike Prior, Keith Taylor)

There have been long-standing arguments about which team is the worst in the game. For me, I have to go with the Indianapolis Colts as their offense is terrible and defense is offensive. The worst part of the team has to be the secondary as corners Daniel and Goode let even marginal receivers by them with ease. Prior and Taylor aren’t terrible but they aren’t exactly good either. At the end of the day, if you have to play the Devil in a game of Super Tecmo Bowl for your soul, don’t pick the Colts.