Greater Goods

The 1958 NFL Championship Game: Baltimore Colts v. New York Giants NFL

[Ed's Note: We want to hear your nominees for the greatest games ever played. Read on.]

On Dec. 13, ESPN will air The Greatest Game Ever Played, a doc commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1958 Colts-Giants NFL championship tilt. That's fine—for football fans. Hey, Bristol, these singular showdowns deserve their day in HD, too.

In his sport's "game of the century," Bobby Fischer upset 1953 U.S. chess champ Donald Byrne by sacrificing his queen to take a rook, two bishops and a pawn (all without pads). Did we mention that Fischer was just 13?

In the game that launched a dynasty, the Johns Hopkins lax team cruised to a 13-7 lead over Syracuse in the 1983 national championship game—then Cuse scored eight goals in eight minutes to win the first of its 10 titles. They'd have scored more, too, if it weren't for the clock!

Two years after the fact, cricket fans are still reeling from the greatest One Day International Match ever played. Australia scored a record 434 runs in 50 overs, but South Africa answered with 438 tallies, despite just one ball left and one wicket standing, proving once and for all that offense actually is the best defense.

One month before the 1956 Olympic Summer Games, Soviet troops marched into Hungary to quell an anti-Communist uprising. But at the Games, in Melbourne, Hungary's water polo team exacted sweet revenge against its USSR counterpart, jumping to a 4-0 lead before letting their fists do the talking in what came to be known as the "blood in the water" game. Roughly 35 years later, the USSR collapsed. Game changer, indeed.

There are upsets, and then there's Dane Peter Rasmussen's upending of China's Sun Jun 16-17, 15-13, 15-10 at the 1997 World Badminton Championships. Did it shock the world? How could it not?


We want to hear from you on the Conversation page. Whether it's an upset, a back and forth epic, or a perfectly played game, what should be considered the best? What game deserves its own movie? We'll be highlighting your suggestions.