Friday, 24 May 2024

2015 Sports Games of the Year Awards

Now that we have gotten past the initial challenges of the new home consoles, sports games are really hitting their stride. 2015 was a fantastic year for sports titles, regardless of which platform you prefer. There were plenty of new experiences, improvements to beloved franchises, and a wide variety of gameplay modes to satisfy everyone’s tastes.

Best New Feature: Air Supremacy – Madden NFL 16

Madden NFL 16 introduced a game-changing new passing feature called Air Supremacy. This feature allows you to command receivers to catch the ball on the run, make spectacular grabs, or go for secure catches. Making the right decision can result in big gains, while making the wrong one can limit the effectiveness of a play. The passing icons are well-balanced, optional, and showcase the cool-looking animations and tackles of this year’s game.

Madden NFL 16

Best Graphics: NBA 2K16

NBA 2K16 sets a new standard for sports game graphics. The player models, from the heads to the bodies, are incredibly detailed and realistic. But it’s not just the player models that shine. The crowds, arenas, light reflections on the court, and even the bench players all contribute to the overall visual polish of the game.

NBA 2K16

Best Presentation: NBA 2K16

In addition to its impressive graphics, NBA 2K16 also excels in presentation. From pre- and post-game shows, stat callouts, replays, player interviews, to cutscenes, NBA 2K16’s presentation wraps the gameplay in a cinematic experience that brings the action to life. Madden NFL 16 also deserves recognition for its dynamic stat presentation and on-field cameras, which truly enhance the overall experience.

NBA 2K16

Best Gameplay: Rocket League

Rocket League surprised everyone with its simple yet addictive gameplay. It’s easy to pick up and play, but also offers surprising depth. The car handling and ball physics work together to create a sense of endless possibilities. It truly feels like a sport you’ve been playing your entire life, without sacrificing balance or realism. Who knew indoor soccer with cars could be so much fun?

Rocket League

Best Online/Multiplayer: Rocket League

Rocket League’s fun gameplay translates seamlessly into online competitive play. Whether playing with friends or against them, the game offers support for eight-player action, online/offline split-screen play, and even cross-platform play between PC and PS4 gamers. The multiplayer experience is fast-paced, exciting, and incredibly addictive.

Rocket League

Best Fantasy Team Mode: Madden NFL 16

Madden NFL 16’s Ultimate Team mode continues to impress with its card-collecting gameplay. This year, the game introduced the Draft Champions feature, allowing players to quickly draft a team and compete with friends. The regular Madden Ultimate Team mode also offers a wide range of collections and challenges, keeping players engaged and constantly striving for improvement.

Madden NFL 16

Best Franchise Mode: NBA 2K16

NBA 2K16’s MyGM mode takes franchise management to new heights. The game introduces a multi-layered relocation system, allowing players to design their own arena, logo, and jersey. The mode also includes features like changing ticket prices and participating in offseason events, making the experience more immersive than ever before. It’s a step above Madden’s Connected Franchise mode, which has seen limited changes in recent years.

NBA 2K16

Best Career Mode: NBA 2K16

If being a GM isn’t your thing, NBA 2K16 also offers a robust career mode. Controlling the destiny of a single player in the game is incredibly fulfilling. From creating your player and managing endorsements to interacting with NBA players, the career mode provides a deep and engaging experience. Rival EA’s attempts to create similar modes in its sports franchises have fallen short compared to NBA 2K’s version.

NBA 2K16

Biggest Disappointment: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5

Unfortunately, the revival of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise didn’t live up to expectations. The gameplay fell short, and the level goals and overall structure of the game were lackluster. While fans were excited for the comeback, the game ultimately failed to recapture the magic of its predecessors.

Most Improved: NBA 2K16

NBA 2K16 made significant strides in its online features. The game now offers a fully functional online experience, allowing players to participate in online franchises and the MyTeam mode without any major issues. Although there were some initial hiccups that required patching, the online play has progressed tremendously, helping NBA 2K16 reach its full potential.

NBA 2K16

Best Post-Launch Support: Rocket League

Rocket League may not have launched with a ton of content, but its developer, Psyonix, continuously provided free updates to keep players engaged. The updates included new maps, visual components for cars, and even new game modes and arenas. Psyonix even introduced Mutators, which allow players to customize the rules of a custom match. The dedication to post-launch support made Rocket League a standout title in 2015.

Rocket League

About Damn Time Award: FIFA 16

FIFA 16 made a significant stride forward by including a dozen women’s national teams in the game. This addition allowed gamers to play as household names like Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan and tapped into the excitement generated by the Women’s World Cup. The developers didn’t simply slap new heads and jerseys on existing male body models; they created unique body models that capture the essence of women’s soccer. EA’s decision to include women’s teams was a commendable move that resonated with players.

Sports Game of the Year: Rocket League

Rocket League took the gaming world by storm with its simple yet versatile gameplay. It perfectly captured the essence of sports, offering a blend of individual skill, raw fun, competition, teamwork, and strategy. It’s no surprise that Rocket League is our pick for Sports Game of the Year in 2015.

FAQs

Q: Can I play Rocket League with my friends?
A: Absolutely! Rocket League supports online and offline split-screen play, allowing you to team up or compete against your friends.

Q: Are there any updates and additional content planned for NBA 2K16?
A: Yes! The developers of NBA 2K16 continue to support the game with updates and additional content, ensuring that players have a fresh and exciting experience.

Q: Is there cross-platform play in Madden NFL 16?
A: Unfortunately, Madden NFL 16 does not offer cross-platform play. However, it provides a robust online experience where you can compete against players on the same platform.

Conclusion

The year 2015 brought us an exceptional lineup of sports games. From the innovative gameplay of Rocket League to the immersive experiences offered by NBA 2K16 and Madden NFL 16, there was something for every sports fan. These games pushed the boundaries of what we expect from sports titles, delivering excitement, realism, and endless hours of fun. As we look forward to the future of sports gaming, we can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.