Creating a 7-foot-tall, muscular man-monster with a perfect in-game rating to compensate for our own athletic shortcomings is fun, but it's no replacement for living the life of a sports legend.

Which is why we're so psyched that "NBA 2K11" finally lets players lace up the Nikes of basketball phenom Michael Jordan in its "MJ: Creating a Legend" mode. Guiding number 23 from his rookie days to mainstream greatness got us pining for more sports games that let armchair athletes star as a beloved pro.

Here are a few other sports stars we want to see entire game modes based on.

Babe Ruth
You can't say "baseball legends" without mentioning the Bambino. Back before HGH and steroids infiltrated America's favorite pastime, Ruth was killing the ball fueled largely by America's other favorite pastimes: promiscuous sex and eating. His appetite for both is well-documented, so developers would have a deep well (filled with hot dogs and prostitutes) to tap in the creation of "Be the Babe: Home Runs and Hookers."

Part "Grand Theft Auto"–style sandbox game (and maybe a little baseball, too), the next MLB game could let players lead the Sultan of Swat through spring training to early morning donut shop visits. Woo ladies with bravado and watch Babe's RBI totals grow -- among other things. But beware: Balance your baseball and banging, or it's back to the minors.
Pete Rose
The ups and downs of all-time hits leader Pete Rose could be relived in a game mode called "A Rose by Any Other Name: The Rise and Fall of a Baseball Icon." Gamers could play Rose during his stint with the Big Red Machine of the mid-1970s, move on to calling the shots as a manager and eventually let it ride in a full-fledged gambling simulation.

Clips from Rose's appearances at WWE Wrestlemania events would grace the lengthy load screens. (Hey, it's a sports game after all).
Brett Favre
Fake retirement is almost expected from sports superstars, and if "Madden 2012" lets gamers be Brett in "A Bridge to Favre: Road to the Super Bowl," they'll have the chance to retire and launch comebacks as often as they want. It's a great way to avoid the pressures of being a free agent, plus you get to try out different teams without being stuck playing 10 years with a stinker.

We just hope E.A. includes the ability to craft our very own teary-eyed retirement speeches on-the-fly via a series of preselected corny phrases culled from other famous goodbyes. (Once you tire of giving retirement speeches, you could move on to sexting game hostesses who represent whatever team just let you skip training camp.)
Dennis Rodman
Perhaps in next year's NBA title, 2K Games could celebrate Dennis Rodman. The Worm was a divisive figure during his heyday, sure, but being a flamboyant, tattooed guy who enjoys dressing as a woman off the court will do that. When it came to his on-court moves, however, he was unrivaled.

Grabbing rebounds as Rodman and promoting autobiographies in drag, gamers would find equal parts board-play and dress-up in "The Early Worm: Dennis Rodman's Rise to Fame." Guiding Rodman from college triple-doubles to stunning spectators at Madison Square Garden would lead to book-signing mini-games complete with full customization. Pick from a variety of wigs and dresses to shock as many people as possible. But, beware -- overdoing it increases Rodman's "Ego Meter," which, in turn, affects his basketball performance, possibly for the worse.
David Beckham

In "Kicking Balls: David Beckham," the popular FIFA series could potentially appeal to female gamers via a little sex appeal. Giving the ladies a chance to snap photos of a shirtless Beckham hanging at the beach in "Paparazzi Mode" would perfectly emulate the act of spying on celebrities via customizable photog personalities. Want your shutterbug to be smug and unshaven? Or maybe overweight and smelly?

Playing the field as Beckham would entail scoring goals yet still not turning soccer detractors into fans.