Sports-based video games have been a cornerstone of the gaming industry, dating all the way back to the Atari console. Some of these games have come and gone, some turned into franchises that ultimately disappeared, and some have turned into long lasting franchises that continue to leave their mark on gamers today. The following sports franchises are the ones that stand out above the rest, by turning gamers into active participants of their favorite sporting worlds.
Madden is the ultimate sport-based video game. It is the only sports game where you pick plays, edit plays, and then execute them on the field. Prior to each play, you can adjust every facet of the offense and defense. Even after initial plays are chosen, both teams can fix what they’ve called based on what they’re seeing from their opponent. The ability to be in total control of an NFL team delivers an unparalleled immersion in a sports video game.
2. MLB: The Show
MLB: The Show also offers an extreme amount of control to the players. When up at bat, you focus on the strike zone, type of swing, hit direction, and the base running options. As the pitcher, you can adjust the fielders, pitch type, pitch location and make pick-off attempts. All of this happens within a few seconds. The pitcher/hitter dynamic is very similar to the one real players go through on the field with all of the variables and quick decision making.
Fifa is in a league of its own when it comes to sports video game franchises. While other games become more and more focused on strategy, Fifa is a game based strictly on playing ability, rather than play selection. While it may be fun to have a strategic chess match based on play selections, sometimes it’s nice to have a change of pace with continuous action. The control system for each player is very in depth, there are a plethora of options for whatever you want to do. For instance, if you look to pass, there are various kinds of passes that correspond with different button combinations. Player choice, along with non-stop play makes Fifa a unique sports gaming experience.
4. Tiger Woods PGA Tour
While Tiger Woods PGA Tour may be a multiplayer experience, winning and losing is ultimately based on an individual’s performance. Unlike other sports video games, both players are not on the same surface at the same time. Each individual takes their turn and hopes their opponent doesn’t perform as well. Decision making (which club to use, where to aim the ball) and player skill (how accurate the shot is) go hand in hand to make the perfect shot. Although Tiger Woods will no longer be the cover athlete after the 2014 installment, EA Sports has said it will continue releasing the PGA Tour franchise.
5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
The Tony Hawk video game series remains the premiere series for extreme sports. The release of the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater preceded the release of other popular extreme sports series such as SSX Tricky and Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX. The Tony Hawk games themselves were fun, innovative, and at times tricky. Maintaining balance on circular grind rails was no easy task. The Tony Hawk series was also one of the first to include a feature where the players face could be placed onto a customized character.