Ice Hockey is also easy, but the larger nets and lack of an arrow telling you where to position your goalie makes this one the way to go for solo play. Whatever you do, DO NOT play Wayne Gretzky hockey (unless you want to review an F- title). This is probably the worst NES game ever made and was a huge disillusionment to me as a kid. I expected a great game since it was named after the greatest player who every lived. Sadly, I found out the ugly truth soon after renting it. It's ugly, poorly programmed and practically unplayable.
If I had to pick one, I'd go with Blades of Steel but Ice Hockey is also a quality title still more enjoyable than most modern hockey games.
Blades of Steel absolutely rules. I picked it up a few years ago from a yard sale and didn't think much of it but man was I pleasantly surprised. I've played Stanley Cup (SNES) and Mario Lemieux Hockey (genesis) and they just sucked. With 16 bit graphics and more buttons that could do more functions, you'd think that they would work out well, but they just got it wrong.
You have good taste. I love the Kunio games. I love how you can get new abilities from the different sports team you defeat.
Yes, Blades of Steel is very flashy. Graphics and sound are outstanding. Gameplay is not bad, either. But.... what's with the arrow? The arrow just RUINS every 2-player game because it's almost impossible to score!
With Ice Hockey, while is inferior in almost every aspect, it comes out on top on the most important one... gameplay. Not only do you have 3 different players to choose from, each one with a different way of playing with them, but as good as you could be, there's always a way to score a goal.
Not only that, but "Speed 5+No friction code= Pure genius"