The Best Sports Video Game of All Time

The latest sports games are not always the best.

The sports game scene has an obsession with incremental changes and bullet-like features that challenge fans’ ability to step back and treat each game as its own standalone title. This is something I try to cover in my own fitness reviews on this site.and that’s something I’ve come to the logical conclusion in this Quixote-like attempt to pick one of the hundreds and name it the “best”.

Due to the nature of sports games, we do not come across as completely fresh products in every new season. The economics of the industry have determined that they reuse the same engine and models over the years, meaning that the difference between them can often be limited to existing uniforms, a few new features, and some adjustments to ball physics. And these changes are often influenced by fan feedback as well as the development teams working on them.

So it’s hard to say matter 17 like something Entirely separate, because its creation has been heavily influenced by sales and acceptance. matter 16and it will play a big role in how that happens. material 18 was designed. How do you choose one of these games, and while most of what makes it great may have been inspired by or come directly from a completely different video game, okay, THIS is the best.

Then you have to take into account how sports games have changed their whole appearance in the last 20 years. Like a 90’s show Fifa And NBA Live fast, accessible, almost Bazaar. Fast forward to the present day and advances in technology have turned blockbuster sports games into simulations, each trying their best to replicate the on-court experience as best they can (or, if they can’t, the broadcast experience instead). This makes direct comparisons between games in the long-running series extremely difficult!

What’s worse is that every sport is different with its own fan base, style of play and culture. What makes the #1 baseball game better than the #1 hockey game? Is football better than basketball?


picture: FIFA 98

I think I’ve found a way to compare all sports games, and as strange as it may sound at first, that’s what they all have in common. It’s the one thing they focus more on than anything else and in many ways define sports video games as a separate field in video games all their own. And this is content.

Every sports game is stingy. It’s probably the most defining thing about the job, and it’s often the first thing non-fans will tease. The genre’s business model is all about balancing the need to keep players happy with their newly purchased game, but unhappy enough to return 12 months later and purchase an incredibly similar product.

After lingering on a short list of really great sports games—Madden 2002, NBA 2K11, Professional Evolution 6, NBA Jam, NFL 2K5— I untied it by going with a game that wasn’t just a great sports game on its own, but decided to just say “fuck it” and give fans everything they could ever want or need for years. come, all in one box.

that game FIFA: The Road to World Cup 98, aIt’s a weird but well-loved big sports game, I think we’ll see.

When it was released in 1997, it was a very good football game. It had very bright polygonal visuals, audio commentary, everything we’ve long associated with as hallmarks of the brand. Fifa sherry. But where the game goes beyond what we’d expect from a sports game back then or today is what really qualifies it as great.

HALL FOOTBALL – In addition to regular 11v11 football, FIFA 98 It also included a completely separate 5v5 indoor mode with its own rules and conditions, such as the ball never going out of bounds. It was as fun as the real thing Fifa. Maybe More entertainment. And although it was actually introduced FIFA 97the fact that he’s stuck around 98 While there is a lot in the box, this is one of the things that helps solidify the legacy of the game.

A REAL WORLD CUP – The reason the game’s name was longer was because the development team decided to include the 1998 World Cup alongside the local leagues. So is the entire ranking system, not just the finals in France. This meant that over 170 countries and their teams entered the game, absolutely nonsense The number literally representing every country that played football in the world at the time (modern Fifa games usually only contain a few dozen). If you want, you can play as one of the smallest nations on the planet, lead them to the qualifiers and then win the tournament; this is such a tremendous achievement that after FIFA 98 will only appear again in indie video games made specifically for World Cups.

Image for the article The Greatest Sports Video Game of All Time

picture: FIFA 98

CUSTOMIZE: In addition to more than 170 national teams, there were also close to 200 club sides involved in the game. And you can customize the party. Home kits, away kits, even a player’s appearance. I remember spending weeks fiddling with this, making sure that each major team’s jersey fits the actual design and player haircuts are accurately recreated. It wasn’t just useful in 1997 either; people were playing FIFA 98 because when 1998 and then 1999 come, you can update the kit designs again.

Here’s the most incredible thing about all of this: FIFA 98 it was so big it made one of EA’s own video games completely pointless. In addition FIFA 98 (released in 1997), EA Sports had a game designed to monetize the World Cup due to its release in early 1998. World Cup 1998had official branding (a first for the series), from the tournament mascot to branded jerseys. But with only 40 teams, what was the point of buying it when you could shoot? FIFA 98edit some kits and enjoy pretty much the same experience.

not to getFifa fans understand how crazy this is, like NBA 2K18 being sent on four blu-rays or the next MLB The game decides to include all Japanese and Korean professional leagues for just one year, just for hell.

This kind of thing shouldn’t happen in sports games because it gives fans everything they need. Negative buy your game next year. Yet here, in a beautiful year, EA sports is giving away the keys to the kingdom. Between the blur of releases from year to year, FIFA 98s The generosity seems greater than any other sports game contains.

But it’s not just more content that helps FIFA 98 to resist. Quantity means nothing without quality, and gameplay includes many other favorites in the series, from the humble free-kick arrow (somehow superior to anything EA has come up with these days) to the ability to slither into a goalkeeper and be instantly ejected. Despite its punishment, it ranks as one of the most soothing moves in all video games.

Then there’s the matter of their soundtrack, perhaps the most iconic in the history of sports games, starting with the game’s introduction:

Don’t let Blur’s cameo overshadow the game’s true musical hook, which is the fact that most of the menu music is provided by The Crystal Method:

Sports games using popular music are nothing new today, but in 1997 it was a hit. Fifa (for reference, check out FIFA 97s tragic attempts at hip-hop and rock). Indeed, you can trace the show’s current place in the pop culture scene back to the 1900s. FIFA 98 and hey, maybe this is the music that dares to suggest that sports video games could be Cool.

In a world where sports games are disposable and always seen as such, FIFA 98 Standing apart By including so many teams in such a wide range of competition and allowing for this degree of customization, people were able to dig and play not just throughout 1997 but for the next few years as well.

Even today, when Fifa The series is known for its licenses as well as for its football and has over 20 years of experience. FIFA 98 in respectful tones. It’s incredible what some decent music, small teams, and the ability to try and kill a goalie can do to a fanbase…

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This story was originally published in 2017.



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