Sometimes, I feel like my two passions in life, gaming and sports, seem to conflict with each other. But, with these sports game franchises, I’m able to enjoy both, as these games aren’t just good simulations of their sports, but are well-made games in their own right that could stand up to any of the traditional blockbuster games in terms of quality.
The quintessential sports game, in America at least, Madden brings consistent quality every year and manages to always scratch my football itch. While the commentators aren’t always the best (looking at you Cris Collinsworth), the game is always intuitive, deep, and infinitely replayable (at least until football season ends).
2. MLB: The Show
In my opinion, the superior baseball game on the market is MLB: The Show. While obviously being a great sports game, with lots of detail in all aspects of the game, The Show has some little things that really make the game for me. For example, with baseball being a game steeped in a tradition of radio broadcasting, a was delighted to hear classic moments in baseball history, as heard on the original radio broadcasts, pop up along with the background music. Speaking of the soundtrack, it is so much better than most sports games. The music isn’t cliche stadium music (Madden) or endless rap (any basketball game), but an eclectic mix of good, interesting music.
The biggest reason FIFA tops this list is that this game, unlike any other sports game, was the reason I got into that particular sport. FIFA got me interested in soccer, and now I could tell you infinitely more about Man U reloading or the plight of Liverpool than I ever could just a couple of months ago. In addition, the game is great. More than any other sports game, FIFA 12 allows you to control your player with extreme precision. It makes running in any other sports game seem dated and clunky. And, the soundtrack isn’t too bad either.