One of the key categories in the video game market has always been sports. Growing up and playing sports games over the years, I have seen and played them all. My personal favorite was always EA’s Madden NFL and after every high school football game, all of us players would head home to play the game late into the night. A few of the games have turned into behemoth franchises and have become yearly staples that we anticipate for months on end. Follow along as we take a look at the top five sports video game franchises of all time.
EA Sport’s FIFA Soccer
FIFA Soccer began in 1993 and was a smashing success for EA Europe, the game developers responsible for the hit. According to IGN, the FIFA Soccer franchise surpassed 100 million units sold with the release of FIFA Soccer 11 way back in 2010. 18 years of extraordinary success had led FIFA to become the number one selling sports game franchise ever. The most recent version, FIFA Soccer 14, was released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in November of 2013.
Electronic Arts struck gold with their Madden NFL gaming franchises beginning all the way back in 1988. John Madden, the most recognized announcer in the sport was used to promote the game to astounding success. His catch phrases are a staple of the game and his voice is the most recognizable part of the game. The game has transformed since the late 80’s and early 90’s into what is it today, amazing realistic graphics and player motion with unmatched realism. That realism extends to the players body language and continues to the stadiums where the game takes place. EA Sports celebrated 25 years of Madden NFL in 2013.
Many gamer’s including myself can attribute a large portion of our younger years devoted to this gaming franchise. NBA Live has been a tremendous success for nearly two decades and is still one of the top gaming franchises in the World. Began in 1995 by EA’s Canada division, NBA Live has had some interesting developments along the way. According to ESPN, Michael Jordan opted out of the NBA’s franchise agreements and to play as him in NBA Live 96 you had to use the not-so-secret code “JORDAN” to have him appear. EA was smart in finding a way to include the most popular player in NBA history.
NCAA Football is still one of the top gaming franchises and is one many college football fanatics anticipate every single year. After playing this game for over a decade I have seen some amazing transformations. The realism has continued to improve year after year including in game team mascots, realistic game day atmospheres, and players that look and act just like the real player. This game has always been a favorite of mine and I still look forward to purchasing it every year.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour
Although virtual golf is not my forte, it’s hard to ignore the success of EA Sport’s Tiger Woods PGA Golf. My buddies have always commended the game on its player controls, excellent graphics, and overall play-ability. Began in 1998, the franchise started with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 99 and continues on through today with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2014. Sadly, CBC reported in October of 2013 that this year’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2014 will be the last one bearing the golf icon’s name.