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It’s in the GAME!

How many of you enjoy video games? I myself am an avid gamer, and as of this year, a “mediocre” streamer on Twitch. I’ve been playing a good amount of games from Farcry 5 to Grand Theft Auto 5. Yet every year I go back to sports games. Every year it’s a updated game with new rosters and updates and gameplay that entices the sports fan to play more. Within this article, I’ll be talking about the sports games, an what makes them great enjoyments to sports fans.

MLB The Show

MLB The Show 17 featured Ken Griffey Jr on the cover

This franchise began in 1997, and was a PlayStation exclusive for over 20 years! Aside from also being the only baseball simulator on the market since 2014, MLB the show has not disappointed! With intense graphics and easy going fundamentals to control, The Show made you feel like you were right in the action. What sucked me into the game was the Road to the Show mode. This allowed you to create a player, select a position for him to play, and advance your player’s overall stats to get him to the major leagues. Of course with a long process, and playing 162 game seasons, it can be a grind to get your player through all those years. But if you are a fan of the game, it was all the wile worth it!

Rating: B-

 

NBA 2K Series

Cover art for NBA 2k21:Mamba Edition honoring the late, great Kobe Bryant

Yes, you cant showcase a basketball game nowadays without “KOBE!” And yes, the 2K series is just as good as Kobe himself. Originally released in 2000 under Sega Sports for the Dreamcast, NBA 2K itself has grown into a powerhouse of a sports franchise. From detailed realistic graphics, to the announce team calling the games, right down to the shoe detail. Aside from it’s graphics, gameplay and story modes for 2K have gone up. Even where all star director Spike Lee helmed the My Career mode in 2k16! It was decent for story, and the game play was still top notch! Even to the current game it holds ground and is the premier basketball game on the market!

Rating: B

UFC

First UFC game by EA Sports

EA Sports has their hands in a boatload of sports games, and for the gaming giant to take a swing at UFC was not a bad idea. Since it’s introduction to EA in 2012, UFC has shelled out 4 games within the franchise. From building your character to getting right into the octagon, this game brought you right into the action. Although the graphics over time got better, gameplay and control were lacking. Even the create a fighter had very limited options along with simple story mode to play on. It’s not the worst thing out there, but it’s close enough

Rating: D+

FIFA Soccer

Cover to FIFA Soccer ’96 for Super Nintendo!

Don’t let the cover art fool ya! FIFA Soccer has been on video game systems since 1993.  Originally introduced as FIFA International, the first game was produced for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, PC, 3DO, Sega Game Gear, and Nintendo Game Boy. It’s 27 years has gone from 8-16 bit graphic sprites, to looking like the real thing! Whether you are choosing your favorite country, or even playing local matches, FIFA brings everything to the table and more. No wonder it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The best selling sports video game franchise in the world.” It’s sold more than 282.4 million copies of the game, and that’s world wide! And it’s no surprise as to why. Get a few friends, pick a team and let go! The game’s a blast!

Rating: A

Madden Football

Cover to John Madden Football for the Sega Genesis from 1992

“I’m John Madden, and this is John Madden Football.” Yes, The Madden franchise, with John Madden’s name on it is probably one of the oldest running video game franchises to date. Beginning in 1988 for MS-DOS, and Apple II Computers, Madden made the transition to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis in 1990. With the original being just your basic football game of choose your team and play it out, Madden over the years has definitely evolved. From online play, to a storied Franchise mode, to Create a Player, Madden seemingly has it all.

However the Madden game itself seems to add so much to the game, it’s at times seems too much to take on. Of course the graphics of the players and stadiums has been updated every year getting better and better, again overall game play seems lacking. From hit stick controls to double pressing a button to pump fake,  Madden has got that 3rd and 2 vibe. Short, simple, and lacking long term interest.

Rating: C

 

NHL Hockey

NHL 94 for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo

Being known for the most memorable video sports game out there, it’s still the best there is today. No I’m not talking about Brett “Hitman” Hart, I’m talking NHL Hockey! Both well known within Canada, NHL is done by EA Vancouver and has been checking people since the original in 1991. Known for it’s up and down landscape in the beginning with 16-bit graphics, all the way to the realistic look and feel of the game today, right down to the wear of the ice during periods. The game includes your head to head games, online play, World of CHEL, which is an online version of career mode, and more.

The game itself has evolved more and more. Even online in NHL brings you closer with friends and more with game modes that put you right on your own hockey team! Not wanting to play online? Play a franchise where you can trade, be the GM and play each game right down to the minors. Each year gets better and better with more gear and better gameplay. EA NHL hockey has not disappointed for many years!

Rating: A

Closing out…

Yeah it’s been amazing for what games are out there. And the amazing part is how much they have changed and advanced over the years.  Each game on this list carries an enjoyment to it’s fans, even the bad ones have loyal fans that enjoy the gameplay. For myself, I do enjoy Hockey and Basketball in winter times, with Baseball play around the start of spring. Madden itself used to be my go to years back, yet it’s lost a little of it’s glamour to me and usually play it till hockey or basketball is released. Hockey has always been my main go to since the known and popular NHL 94 (see photo above) since it’s introduction. Any game that’s enjoyable with friends on or off line makes the games fun and worth wile. Although some on the list aren’t as popular than others, some didn’t make the list.

In closing, if you enjoy sports and wanna get lost in sports, these games are definitely worth trying out. From create a players to being your own GM and taking the reigns of your own team. This puts you right in the action with all the highlights and gameplay you want! Happy gaming!

 

Toph (Angry_Turnip)

 

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