The lights are on
As is to be expected at this juncture in the console cycle, most of the development teams working on sports games are in their comfort zone, making subtle tweaks to pre-existing foundations rather than making wholesale changes or introducing big idea innovations. This was reflected in our reviews, as MLB 2K11 and Madden NFL 12 were the only major sports games that scored under an 8.0 from Game Informer this year. MLB 11: The Show introduced analog pitching. Tiger Woods solidified its career mode and included The Masters for the first time ever. The criminally underrated NHL series took a slight step back, but still offers a good experience for hockey fans. FIFA had a banner year, and NBA 2K12 would have if it weren't for the league lockout and the embarrassingly broken online experience. Read on to see which games earned our year-end sports awards.
Best Franchise Mode: NCAA Football 12
No franchise mode made a drastic leap in quality this year, but NCAA Football 12 tweaked Dynasty mode’s solid foundation with a long-requested feature that injected coaching drama into the mix. The coaching carousel allowed users to start as an offensive or defensive coordinator and work their way into a head coaching offer by producing results on the field. Combine this with a deep recruiting system that accurately distributed talent across the teams and the ability to customize conferences, and you have a mode worthy of praise.
Best Career Mode: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters
Centering the career mode on The Masters tournament finally gave Tiger Woods PGA Tour a cohesive structure that chronicles your rise from amateur to PGA Tour champion. Players start in the amateur ranks and must perform well to work their way onto golf’s biggest stage. The revamped sponsorship system demands you perform at a certain level to preserve your contract, and EA finally introduced the mid-round save so you don’t have to finish a leg of a tourney in one sitting.
Best Multiplayer: FIFA 12
No sports game made bigger advances in online competition this year than FIFA. Though the popular Virtual Pro Clubs and Ultimate Team mode went virtually untouched, EA Canada drastically overhauled the interface for head-to-head matchups. Now users can choose their teams, kits, and lineup changes before jumping in an online match, and the matchmaking is smart enough to pair you with a team of similar quality, which encourages fans of less-talented teams like, say, Leeds United, to take their favorite squad online. Top it off with a clever Support Your Club feature that tracks which team supporters most fervently play FIFA, and you have the makings for a destination online experience.
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fifa 12 for sure
These are all great games. to be honest ive only played last years versions of all these title. The sports game that has me most addicted is TOPSPIN 4. ive only played it for like 20 hours or so and ive only been online a couple of times but ive enjoyed every second so much maybe more than any other sports game. There were times i could play 3 or maybe four 10minute games of madden 08 or NFL ALL PRO 08 back to back, but never before have i spent all day playing a sports game like i have with TOPSPIN4. I think tennis might be the easiest sport to be translated to video game. Theres no AI teammates to worry about, theres no camera angle problems like in football [trouble seeing wide receivers / corners from the line of scrimmage]. You dont have to play from the baseline view like in basketball taking away from the tv presentation. Can you control the goalie in fifa 12? seriously can you? ive never played it. If you havnt considered TOPSPIN 4 check out some youtube clips. Ive never been a tennis fan but TS4 is making me one.
I agree with your choice for sports game of the year, but I personally despised Tiger Woods 12. I traded it in the day after putting it in for the first time.
fifa is the best
I suppose I agree with all of these.
I've never played any of these, but I was thinking about picking up FIFA sometime. These all seem like good games, but I myself have not played any of them so I suppose I cannot pass judgement.
Where's MLB 11: The Show? That was an amazing game.
Haven't had the chance to play FIFA 12 yet but NCAA Football 12 is a blast. Love the new coaching dynamic and the improved Road to Glory by starting a a high school player
I think sports games are like COD. Money milkers. Each year.....each year.
So happy Madden didn't win anything. Gives me hope that maybe the open their eyes and finally make an awesome pro football game.
I'm still playing Madden 11 because I hated the demo for Madden 12. I might pick it up when it's cheap for the roster update and mess around in franchise mode (I almost never play online in sports games). I also don't normally play any other sports games except baseball, but I haven't really play much of The Show the last 2 years.