News Post

Rewind yourself to ten years ago, with sports games becoming fully mature as simulations with several having advanced features which sports gamers were delighted about. With ten years now fully gone from what might've been one of the best sports game years ever in 2004, how do you feel about the progress sports games have made?

Are sports games ahead of your expectations or behind them over the last decade? About the same?

Sound off by voting in the poll and comment on how you feel sports games stack up versus your expectations!

Member Comments
# 1 lakers24 @ 05/31/14 03:15 PM
Definitely behind for me, for the most part. Back in 04 we were in the 05 cycle and those games had me really hyped about the prospects considering the new systems were gonna be rolling out in the next year or so. Most actually regressed(pretty much all of EA) and others just stayed the same and gradually got better then started stagnating and now declining(2k).
You would think with us being an a whole other generation now that sports games would be as in depth and close to what we see on gameday, but we're still really far from it & the closest we have is The Show.
# 2 @legendm0de @ 05/31/14 03:21 PM
Playing close to a decade worth of sports game, I'd say they are well behind where they should be and where I expected things to be since playing as a kid. This possibly has to do with next gen systems only being out for a few months now which seems a little bit behind schedule as well.

But largely everytime they are taking one step forward, they also take one or two steps backward at the same time. FIFA should be far more advanced from where it is now, as far as replicating gameplay. In quite a few areas PES does these things better than them, but PES has poor licensing for one as their largest issue. Madden is incredibly buggy and behind technologically, I don't personally even own a copy of current or next gen football but consensus is they are all underwhelming.

NBA 2K is the only sports game 2K even does well or is even in business for that matter and it's not perfect but not far off either. They need to iron out just sheer bugginess about their gameplay on-court and various animations. Players are hardly able to cleanly move around and physically play off one another as you get in reality, they need to smooth things out on that front, and perhaps cutaway from trying to wooh everyone with certain gimmicky modes or features. 2Ks biggest accomplishment will be ironing this engine out and un-ruining their gameplay modes (the classic 1 step forward 1-2 steps backward formula). As amazing as it looks, NBA 2k14 largely "plays the same way" as NBA 2K13 does in previous gen just with an improved framerate and more animations captured. Meaning the same buggines in the PS3 game occurs in PS4. With all that said, NBA 2K does represent the place where sports games should have been expected to be by this point, and many of the other ones are just not nearly there yet. Not saying other games are bad, they are just not in the place where they should be envisioned to be at right now.

The NHL has taken forever but has finally in the last 2 (especially '14) years emerged seriously as one of the best sports games you could purchase. To me, their ingredients to success were strictly improvements to elements you would expect to be pristine about a sports game of hockey. Skating, collisions and fighting have been MASSIVELY overhauled and therefore are your biggest contributions to the successful games they are making now. You have to get these basic elements we expect in our respective sports perfect. Other things after that can be forgiven, but we at least need this correct and everyone will be satisfied. I know that these games have an extremely diverse and large group of people to answer to and make these games for, but the one thing we do all have in common is our love for our respective sports. We can all appreciate a well represented sport being recreated in our video game, even in spite of a mode not being perfect or not having all of the licensing we want.

I think the standard of quality we hold these games to should be laid at the feet of whether the programmers have done a satisfactory job stringing together the correct way to play our sport. That is the #1 objective to me, aesthetic elements (graphics, sounds) are also extremely important and all should round out the #2 most important but there need to be clarity from these game developers on what is important to them, and what they think should be most important to us. For me, in my opinion, we need to stop playing games that are as buggy as some simcade in Celebration Station or a game from the PS2 era in now nearly 2015.

To streamline my point, many games seem to be unclear or unable determine what we as gamers care about. Gamers can be partially to blame as well, for being so fickle not uncovering each game's experience. Many (far too many) times we get updates skipping ahead of taking the real next technological step forward in order to get a new freestyle control system to help gamers have more fun. Or something simply not at the core of the game so only finicky reasons are there to even warrant the purchase of a next game. These games should be presented like a full technological update, like when we upgrade from phone to phone because we have entirely new abilities with the next one. I believe in order to do so, the whole format of selling these games would Have to change to some bi-annual form, but this will never happen because at the heart of this it's a business not an art and we will keep getting the same cycle of **** (because I can't say crap) from these companies largely with a few gems in between but that's it. I'd say continue to be a careful shopper in next generation games, because they only are going to look more enticing but the meat behind the bones might be very thin to say the least.

Racing games A.I will still be buggy, WWE games will still have no fighting engine, Madden will still come out lackluster every year, FIFA may or may not become the gem it's supposed to be, and other games will continue to progress slowly if they haven't gotten there yet. These are just my predictions.
# 3 FBeaule04 @ 05/31/14 03:51 PM
It's behind for me. Won't go in a depth analysis but my main grief is always the same, they have unfinished products because we accept it that way.

If they would be in no hurry to come up with a roster update and some new goodies, the devs could offer us an experience that would send us to the ground. I'm still convince of that.

I'm still having fun but I'm also expecting more from sports games. So for me, it's behind my expectations.
# 4 eaglepoint @ 05/31/14 04:10 PM
Nba2k14 is on par...but they do need to work on buggy gameplay..when NFL2k they were headed beyond any sports game at that time. Think bout it..they had ESPN highlights of the other games plus yours back then, imagine what it coulda been like now on next gen systems. EA..nothin to be said..WE ALL KNOW They're waaaaay behind on everything. Just in it for the money no major steps in gameplay, graphics, or anything. Just tweak 1-3 things here, add what we took away 3yrs ago..call it new..and BLAM! Madden15
# 5 bukktown @ 05/31/14 04:22 PM
The only sport that is behind expectations is football. All the other sports games are phenomenal.
# 6 oldman @ 05/31/14 05:08 PM
Graphics wise ahead. Features behind.
# 7 thesportsguru11 @ 05/31/14 06:16 PM
Behind (at least on the football games). Not even close. My first video games were close to a decade ago, NCAA 06-07, Madden and the first editions of MLB the Show were all amazing back on the PS2.

Since then, I have been extremely disappointed with the last gen stuff and (from what I've seen in videos) next gen. Again, I like 2k and MLB, but football are the main games I play. Graphics are better, but still not very good in the football games IMHO. Gameplay has regressed by a country mile. I'm seeing more bugs and glitches on ps3 games than on the ps2 games.

No wonder why I still play my PS2 so often..
# 8 Anners @ 05/31/14 07:21 PM
Behind. With the exception of MLB: The Show. It's only that which really hits all the spots for me compared to FIFA for example.

I'd heavily agree with @legendm0de as well concerning companies not knowing what gamers want. I'd make more points but I firmly agree that companies are just finding ways to generate more income rather than put out a good game.
# 9 Wil2DaSon @ 05/31/14 07:45 PM
The only sports game I don't think is behind is The Show. Even though I like NBA 2k I personally think it is behind. I haven't played Madden in years because of how good awful I think it is. 2k is constantly sacrificing one aspect of the game and adding other features. The association mode has been ignored and even stripped down for years. They have had custom music in NBA 2k on Ps3 and it has been unusable for three years because in the middle of a game you will lose all your audio and it never has been fixed. Xbox doesn't seem to have that problem.
# 10 ffaacc03 @ 05/31/14 08:32 PM
The leap from 04 to 14 is very noticeable in some aspects and that is going by last gen alone, insert next gen, and it is even more. Then again, noticeable doesnt means good.

Back then, there was an apparently genuine intention to please every sports fan by releasing both, arcadey games and sim like ones ... or speaking in money terms ... there was the intention to grab a piece of all a vailable market niches.

Sadly, today, the number of games is less than half of what we had back then and it hasnt derived on the remaining games getting close to realize my expectations, to me, most have taken steps back.

I remember how dynasties, franchises and that sort of truely simlike modes were the focus, yet today, mostly, they arent.

I used to think on what a breath of fresh air was the apparent focus on giving more options and features to the users; I used to fantasize with the idea of finally being able to make the game fit my unique view of the sport, of the season, of the team and of the players; idealized on being able to recreate my country national team and/or create a team and put my friends and myself and all play together on the same team. Thus that is no more.

I also fantasized about the potential of multiplayer, comming from a nintendo 64 I imagined being able to localy play 5vs5 (NBA), 9vs9 (baseball) or even 11vs11(soccer); having played online vs others with my pc, had huge dreams of online play based of the local experience, yet all that while it started very promising, it has turned onto a huge deception.

Back then, games (the sim ones I liked) were made with an obvious goal of trying to fix what was wrong, adding content to get the game closer to real life and selective fan feedback that aligned with the developers goal. Now, is all about monetizing, about not doing what is right but what may be easier.

At last that is how I see it. Games have improved, just not enough due to the drastic change on the focus of how they are made ... and what it is worse is that they attempt to catter to all niches with their limited vision and 10 years later, they still haven realized that building and expanding on editability, alternatives, options and features is the true key to attract so many distinct and different niches at once.
# 11 ratedmoney @ 05/31/14 08:52 PM
Behind. We've lost too many franchises and sports games have scrapped too many modes and features.
# 12 Zer0 C00lness @ 05/31/14 10:31 PM
Behind. To me, the only game that has shown any innovation is the NHL series. When they came out with the skill stick it was enough to make me switch from the 2K series. I enjoyed it, but like every other EA Sports game, it has gotten stale. I really hate the exclusivity deals EA signed. It choked out the competition and allowed EA to surf along and release games with new features that nobody asked for.
# 13 statum71 @ 06/01/14 12:03 AM
Behind. Except for MLB The Show. NBA 2K is pretty good. But they just now stepped up the graphics with next gen.

I enjoy Madden, FIFA, and NHL. But I can't believe Madden is just now adding a halftime and pre game, NHL STILL has now intermission report, and FIFA needs player model improvements...even on next gen.

I would've thought these presentation elements would already be well in place by 2014.
# 14 Cowboy008 @ 06/01/14 12:22 AM
The show is great and NBA2K is pretty good. The only sports game that I play that I consider to be behind is Madden.
# 15 2_headedmonster @ 06/01/14 12:57 AM
With what I have seem is possible from the a.i with roster makers on nba2k, I can say the game could be on par with expectations, but a few things hold it back. Still can't believe I can't throw a lob pass on command or run baseline ala Steve Nash.

Madden is all but hopeless to me. Leaving football in purgatory.

Ear mma looks to set the graphics and fluidity bar for sport combat games. I'm hopeful it lives up to expectations.

So overall, yea sports are behind, there's hope, but I think games overall are behind as well.
# 16 jfinger2013 @ 06/01/14 02:24 AM
Im really surprised so many people said behind, idk maybe I just had more realistic expectations for the games than most but for me its as expected. With this first batch of games on the Next Gen systems I didn't really expect any new or innovative gameplay just BETTER GRAPHICS.

I feel like expectations for the 2015 games should be high because those are the games where each developing team knows about the power of the new systems and can now properly use them after having imo what is a trial run with these games.

I mean look at what 2K put out it was just them testing the waters with the new system u couldn't even Create Your Player in MyCareer like u could in past versions of the game. because they didn't care they wanted to test new things out as far as storylines and so on. I feel like 2015 batch of games will be really impressive.

To me NHL15 is the first game I will have Serious Next Gen expectations for I feel like there Be A Pro mode should be up to par with 2K's MyCareer. There trade logic should be vastly improved. And AI defense should be more realistic. NHL 15 will more than likely be the BEST SPORTS GAME to come out on Next-Gen just due to the fact that they took the time to develop their game and test it out on the new systems instead of like most other games which basically were BETAS.

Not saying the other games were bad just they were dry runs for development teams in 2015 I feel like sports gaming will vastly improve
# 17 LakerFan56 @ 06/01/14 03:05 AM

I've been playing baseball games since the SNES Ken Griffey and Hardball 5 PC days. I was impressed with All Star Baseball, MVP and The Show from 2001-2009. The Show is still a great game, but I've been expecting more dynamic game play the last few years. Defense should be more intuitive and I think hitting could use a spark. Online play has been my biggest gripe. It's still way too laggy.

MLB 2K has been pretty bad and I hope the elimination of exclusive licensing brings out some solid MLB games.
# 18 NowAndLaterCARZ @ 06/01/14 07:32 AM
Originally Posted by SpectralThundr
I'd say way ahead. I grew up right on the cusp of actual video game consoles even existing. Back then we had literally X's and O's for players. Compared to today when you turn on a game like The Show, or NHL and if you didn't know it was a video game, it'd be hard to tell the difference between an actual sporting event. This generation is very spoiled in that regard.

I remember playing NHL 97 on PC for the first time, and hearing commentary, actual play by play commentating and being amazed. I play these sports games today with high end production values, online franchise modes, Be a Pro/Career modes like Road to the Show.

Yeah I'm sorry but respectfully disagree majorly with those who say behind their expectations. We're finally getting the technology to the level where you can't tell the difference between real life and game. That to me is still amazing when I think back to the Atari 2600 and that era of gaming.
I totally agree with you because i grew up on super nintendo and sega genesis, but as far as the past 10 years since 2004 i havent been that impressed with football gaming so i voted behind. nfl 2k5 is still the best football game in the past 10 years graphics aside imo. its sad how money hungry these companies got over the years and it shows in the product ie madden. i think gameplay wise if someone had a time machine and brought someone from 2005 into our time, that person could pick up madden and effortlessly play the game without asking any questions. but if you did the same for nba 2k it would not be the same because of drastic gameplay changes. thats just my opinion
# 19 baseballmad @ 06/01/14 08:58 AM
I'm sure a lot of people expected more of the the new generation consoles. Understandable considering the cost of such items initially. Up to now,though, we seem to have been 'sold short' of our expectations. The 'hype' of each individual game release, has so far, well outweighed the resulting finished product, cost of console and game prices. Which is not to say things will not improve, but certainly most companies have made a rod for their own back and I would say if the industry as a whole does not pull its finger out and give the games as much attention as the 'hype' they advertise , then people will predictably vote with their wallets..... It is starting to look ,more and more like developers are holding back on producing the 'perfect game', for fear of not being able to accomplish anything better the following year and thus losing out in the future market. They give the consumer just enough to keep coming back for more,each year, whilst 'promising' more than they actually deliver. Just my opinion, for what its worth....
# 20 davel @ 06/01/14 09:44 AM
I think the game play is where I expected but the off field stuff is way behind where I thought it would be. I thought there would be better contract negotiation, storyline, sport centre type stuff.

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