I would argue that the Surreals are a nice extension of the ordinals. It's true that the ordinal operations don't coincide perfectly, but where they don't coincide, they're not interesting because the ordinal operation reduces to "max". Ordinal operations are only nice on one side, and Surreal arithmetic on ordinals just gives the "nice" answer no matter the order.
Furthermore, as user18921 and Jim Belk pointed out, there are analogies to be made: $\mathbb N$ is extended to $\mathbb N'$, the ordinals. And then $\mathbb Z$ is analogous to $\mathbb Z'$, "the abelian subgroup generated by the ordinals", that is, "the ordinals and their surreal negatives". Then $\mathbb Q$ is analogous to $\mathbb Q'$, "the subfield generated by the ordinals", that is, "values of surreal fractions formed with elements of $\mathbb Z'$".
Finally, there is the question of what corresponds to $\mathbb R$. $\mathbb R$ sits inside the surreals as the set of numbers $r$ bounded (on both sides) by elements of $\mathbb Z$ that are "the simplest* number between $r-q$ and $r+q$ for all nonzero $q\in\mathbb Q$". We can then make an analogous definition: $\mathbb R'$ is the set of all surreals $r$ bounded by elements of $\mathbb Z'$ that are simplest between all shifts by a nonzero element of $\mathbb Q'$.
However, every surreal number is bounded by its birthday ordinal (and the negative of its birthday ordinal), so the first condition is satisfied for all surreals. Also, given any surreal $s$, let $r$ be the simplest number between $s-q$ and $s+q$ for all $q\in\mathbb Q'$. If $r\ne s$ then $r-s\ne0$ and picking $q$ equal to the reciprocal of the birthday of $r-s$ contradicts the definition of $r$. Thus, $\mathbb R'$ really is all of the surreals.
*simplest has a technical meaning in the context of the Surreals.