End of the Year Community Awards: Best Gameplay of 2013

Posted December 17th, 2013 at 4:15 pm


The year-in-review process opened up yesterday with the start of the Community Awards. Kicking it off was the Best New Feature and today the category is Best Gameplay.

Since starting the Community Awards the three franchises nominated for the honor of Best Gameplay have remained the same. NBA 2K, MLB: The Show, and FIFA have established themselves as the finest in the sports gaming genre. NBA 2K11, FIFA 12, and NBA 2K13 have taken home the honors. This year it’s NBA 2K14, MLB 13: The Show, and FIFA 14 in what will likely shake out to be one of the most competitive categories of the season.

Winners will be revealed all at once in early January. Continue on to read over the three eligible standout titles in gameplay from the array of sports games this year, vote in the poll, and leave any additional thoughts in the comments! 

NBA 2K14
The controls were changed up for the third straight year and the number of animations and signature styles expanded. Notable improvements were made to passing, blocking, and AI. On next-gen Eco-Motion made the foot-planting more prevalent and the ball being loose felt naturally dynamic without going overboard on deflections and turnovers.

MLB 13: The Show
The punishing nature of The Show was finally eased off with the expansion of the hitting timing window. No longer unforgiving at the plate the overall balance and variety in games increased. Scores were more realistic and producing runs through means other than home runs a more viable strategy. Changes making “Guess Pitch” less of a crutch were worthwhile, and the new throwing meter provided more involvement and control over events in the field. The Show has also been well known for providing as many options as possible in regards to aspects such as controls, difficulty levels, and camera angles.

Far from being subtle the changes made positively altered the gameplay experience. Improved ball physics, changes to how shots are approached, the better ability to hold onto possession, and greatly improved AI were immediately evident. On next-gen the AI was improved even more dramatically and accompanied by new shot types and more precise movement.