As the field of sports games has contracted over the years coming up with legitimate entries for a top 10 list has become increasingly difficult. #10 no longer represents a very good game but one in which might present some value or level of enjoyment but with greatly limited appeal. That is the case with NFL Blitz which is the only true arcade style major sport representation to make the list for 2012.
The ranking of games in the best of 2012 list is based on number of factors including the personal amount of enjoyment had with a particular title, whether advertised features were fully delivered, post-release support, community interaction and communication, overall gameplay experience, feature set, and online play performance. Again this is largely a personal take and one with the advantage of tracking the games beyond just the release frame and does not act as some sort of recap of those with the highest scores on Metacritic. The analysis is weighted heavily towards those high in fun factor while considering them as a whole and compared relatively to the field.
It’s a shame that arcade-style sports has become all but extinct. There have been some great and exceedingly fun games in the genre (The BIGS most recently) but the cost of development has become too great for the limited potential sales. That led to EA Sports going the digital-download route with the reboot of NFL Blitz.
Considering the $15 price tag NFL Blitz offered solid value based on the amount of content provided. The game of course was primarily designed for online but other modes for offline play and a bevy of unlockables made for a solid all-around package. Fun factor was fairly high with gameplay also providing a solid balance between offense and defense while allowing for a decent level of personal strategy to be utilized throughout.
Ultimately though the NFL is the entity primarily to blame for the game not being as good as it could have been. The blandness was extensive with the league preventing EA Sports from implementing late hits or any post-play action. The company should have found a way around that though to bring in something more to the experience and having every player essentially be rated the same across the board limited longevity and marginalized modes like the Elite League which was based on building a team up in a manner similar to Ultimate Team mode (minus the microtransactions). No roster updates ever being released only cemented the perception that NFL Blitz would be a one-off title with no future ahead of it.
A fun game for $15 is certainly not a bad option to have – though outdated rosters meant it was only relevant for about a month. NFL Blitz though failed to deliver on its potential and whether the fault lies with the NFL or with EA it means the highly-anticipated reboot of a classic failed to reach its prospective audience and likely won’t get a follow-up anytime in the near future.