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
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I'm not surprised that FIFA 13 won the 2012 sports game of the year award. FIFA 13 was a great game! Hopefully, FIFA 14 will be even better (I want to get it on my Wii U i'm getting this summer.).
I adjusted to Madden, its game play shortcomings, and mega-buggy front-end and it became an enjoyable experience for the most part. I still don't think I've ever Googled so many different issues and negative experiences with a game (EVER), but I got my money out of it. That being said, if this series doesn't get its sh*t together -- Madden is on the outs. I popped in NCAA 12 because the bowl season got me excited about recruiting and all that jazz, and the awfulness of the Infinity Engine is very much exacerbated when experiencing a functional football game. Fix the basics, then worry about all that other crap, and maybe then Madden can be the Football game of the year again.
NBA 2K13. It may have been my Game of the Year. Astounding presentation and graphics. I thought it was superb.
I agree with most of the results but the part where PES13 gets the best gameplay of the year over Fifa13. I've played both games and i gotta say that PES has a smoother play over Fifa13, and that's a bad thing. My reason being that, as a soccer player myself, I make mistakes(ball control, miss-kicks, incomplete passes etc). I occasionally fake fouls, Oh! not to forget the bad calls made by referees. I get all these when i play Fifa, it gives me that realistic feel. Which i don't get with PES. Long story short, with PES13? m just playing another soccer game but with Fifa13, I AM PLAYING SOCCER(football).
NBA 2K13 would have been my game of the year. It was fantastic compared to games from the past and I liked it much better than FIFA 13. Just my two cents. The biggest reason was there was so many new things that were what I was waiting for in a basketball game that came with this years addition.
Nice list and awards GI.
Madden gets my vote!
I still like the (much forgotten about until March) MLB 12: The Show the most out of all of them. All they really have to do is get online better, but the game itself is solid and is a great representation of Major League Baseball.
what about MLB 12 the Show?
Madden should have been on the list more often.It's a shame the new features didn't make it to the wii u version.
NBA 2K13 got what it deserved. I played the demo and I want it so bad !!
Madden 12 was far & away the best sports game of the year. The gameplay was reasonable and the scores & action seemed true to reality.
NBA 2K is waaaay overrated IMHO. They switched shooting from the button to the right stick which made it very awkward and inconsistent. 2K12 had the worst ball-shooting design since the 1980's.
Shooting from the stick also wears out your controller quicker. Try to trade in a used XBox Slim these days and they'll hit you with a "refurbishing fee" when some of the rubber is worn off one of your sticks.
I'm from Ireland, I didn't know a thing about basketball.. Let alone 2K sports adaption. So by pure chance a friend recommended 2K11 at the time.. At first I was like wow! This game is like tv! Graphics were flawless and the commentary was unreal.. But when it came to the gameplay holy crap I was turrible (charles Barkley) but I played I practiced two years on and I'm a huge NBA fan.. It has become an addiction.. I still watch replays p.. Look through my box scores wanting to be the best.. This game puts you in the driving street and I look forward to the franchise getting bigger!! Also I love the fact it's update it everyday to give you that sense of realism!! Bit of a rant but thank you 2K for being the best sports game I've ever played!! I was born in the wrong country folks!