The lights are on
As we close out this console generation, most sequels are
humming comfortably along by making minor adjustments to their base gameplay.
Not sports games. While some of the best performing games got by with minor
improvements, both Madden and NHL made wholesale changes to their franchise
modes to varying results. Who rose to the top of our list this year? Read on to
Best Career Mode: NBA 2K13
Bottom line: This is the best single-player experience
available to sports fans. By allowing users to gain Virtual Currency in any
game mode, Visual Concepts made it much easier to create an impactful player
out of the gate. Whether you set up in the post to dominate down low or hang
around the three point line looking for an opportunity to strike from afar, the
AI is finally smart enough to use you properly when you’re off the ball. Off
the court, however, is where this mode rises head and shoulders above the
competition. Whether you are boosting your ego in a post-game press conference,
sitting down with the GM to air your gripes about teammates, managing
endorsement deals, or tracking your followers on Twitter, MyCareer gives you a
taste of what it feels like to be a franchise player.
Best Franchise Mode: FIFA 13
To be the best, you have to beat the best. FIFA 13 achieved
this by going the extra mile, creating immersive storylines that make you feel
like your franchise is a living breathing entity. Unhappy players gripe
publicly when they don’t get the playing time they think they deserve and even
demand transfers. The press notices when you make inquiries on the waiver wire,
which can upset your current player in that particular position. Broadcasters
are finally aware of the magnitude of big games and comment when you add new
players to your roster. Best of all, FIFA 13 allows you to couple your
professional managerial duties with an international assignment, which gives
you two rosters to tinker with.
Best Multiplayer: FIFA 13
Many sports games took strides forward in multiplayer in
2012, but FIFA maintained its position at the top with subtle improvements.
This year’s installment brings the popular Seasons format to Ultimate Team and
Pro Clubs. Per fan requests, the Pro Clubs are split into Online Pro and Career
Pro to prevent boosting, and the new accomplishments give you more ways to
improve your player stats. Best of all, the network is stable.
Best Presentation: NBA 2K13
Though FIFA is catching up to Visual Concepts by adopting
the contextual commentary that takes into account when in the season the game
is taking place, player performance trends, and roster shake-ups, NBA 2K13 is
still the best in the business. The broadcast team of Kevin Harlan, Clark
Kellogg, and Steve Kerr has a fantastic rapport, and Visual Concepts designs
the running commentary so the trio can begin a discussion about a player,
interrupt it when something notable happens on the court, and return to the
subject. The broadcast-quality stat infographics and replay camera angles are
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
For some reason, that bald guy in the picture for best career mode made me think of the Illusive Man.
Yeah, NHL 13 was really disappointing this year. They've now brought out three or four games since they introduced the awesome analog control scheme and each one has been a little bit weaker, recycled a bit too much from previous years and just overall hasn't been as good.
What's worse is knowing that if Microsoft and Sony bring out their systems at the end of 2013, that EA will likely try and rush their sports lineup on to next gen, which could mean less options, more glitches and a product that has to work it's way back to prominence for a few years (which seems to happen in every generation).
This has just be a best team sports game of 2012. SSX was a phenomenal sports game, but not really comparable to these team games.
These are surprising picks. I was almost certain this was going to happen. Fifa 13 was going to win. Madden 13 didn't get all of the cred I thought it would, but I still plan on getting it.
Not surprising. Soccer beats football every time. Football games are getting pretty average.
Had a feeling that FIFA was going to win.
I don't think FIFA 13 should be sports game of the year. When the game came out it had more bugs than a 1 star hotel.
I really dont like sports games but i have played alot and seen alot of gameplay. Good job to all the games.
Soccer is my sport, and I buy Pro Evo and FIFA every year, but after playing NBA 2K13, I've found very little time for either. And when I do, I feel immediately underwhelmed and go back to putting NBA back in my console - That's how much I like NBA 2K13.
ive been a MADDEN hater for close to 10 years but i think it deserves the SGOTY. Reason being football is the hardest sports game to translate to a video game. Other games like basketball, soccer, tennis, hockey, and golf have been well represented by video games for the last 5 years or so. These sports can get away with animation based gameplay. Not football. For years ive been yelling at the tv screen when a predetermined animation makes me fail on a tackle. Madden 13 finally took steps in the right direction to fix this problem. For the first time in 20 years football is represented in a respectable way. You cant have a football game without a physics engine. The sport is about players weight, speed, and angle and how they are used to stop your opponent. No MADDEN is not perfect and the physics engine is flawed when it comes to the battle in the trenches (o line and d line) thus the running game suffers a little but none of these issues are game breaking. GI i love ya but i feel you look at sports games more from a rpg perspective than a pure gameplay perspective. MADDEN 13 was the biggest evolution in football gameplay and you missed it.
What the article says: "Best Career Mode"
What I initially read: "Breast Cancer Mode"
Figured FIFA would take the cake on this one. That's cool.
Congrats FIFA! You're Best Sports Game and glitch game of the year!
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How many people commenting on this article are Bro's?