End of Year Community Awards: Best Career/Story Mode of 2016

Posted December 19th, 2016 at 1:45 pm

The third category to open in the annual Pastapadre Community Awards is for Best Career/Story Mode. This is an area of the games that has seen an evolution in recent years from the traditional career mode of playing through seasons as a single player and improving attributes to one that incorporates an expansive narrative. The award for Career Mode has only ever been won by NBA 2K and MLB The Show and the former is going for a three-peat now.

The same three franchises nominated last year in the category return to compete for the award. NBA 2K17 brought in a new writer/director and big star in Michael B. Jordan, while introducing the “dynamic duo” concept when teamed with the user’s created player. The story was undoubtedly an improvement over that from Spike Lee in 2K16 but the frequent practices, required for securing minutes and building the relationship with Jordan’s character, quickly turned the mode into what many felt was a dull grind.

FIFA 17 offers up its first true Story Mode with “The Journey” which was well-received for its grounded story and dialogue along with respectable acting performances. It’s a good representation of the ups and downs and various emotions that could be experienced early in the career of a budding star, however the pressure to meet a certain “score” in a sport where opportunities are limited can negatively affect the way the matches are played. At the very least the mode acted as an excellent introduction to the series for novices.

MLB The Show 16 still provides one of the best pure single-player careers. While it lacks the interactive story elements, baseball is perfectly suited to the format as the sport provides a natural path of progression that can be engaging even at the lower levels and when player ratings are poor. The mode didn’t offer much new besides “ShowTime” which proved fairly useless, but faster loading times and the ability to play a full series of appearances without having to load in and out of the menus between each game was very welcome.

Other categories now open for vote
Best Gameplay
Best Mobile Game

  • Keith.
  • nOv

    Im going with FIFA this year. Thought it was way better than the one in NBA 2K17.

    • MoneyMayweather

      yeah right kid.

    • Darrin

      Same I hope EA can really improve upon this

      • MoneyMayweather

        yeah an NBA Live story mode am I right?

        funny how you kids can hate NBA live but love FIFA story mode gimmie a fucking break man

        • Wavvy_Crockett

          I’m one of those kids. Fifas a good series…Live has been ass for a while

        • Glen Willett

          NBA Live is terrible… it is known.

  • Darrin

    I really liked the journey a lot I wonder if EA was testing the waters with a story mode and honestly it paid off it was just a little too short for my liking but oh well. I usually don’t praise EA games as of late but man I really enjoyed the story. I hated NBA 2k story mode it’s such a gimmick I really think they need to scrap it. As for MLB I love RTTS the way it is and hope a story mode never gets implemented because it would take too much away for me baseball is my favorite sport but I couldn’t see myself playing a story but I did notice in MLB 17 they are going to have dialog.. This year FIFA won hands down I hope they can make it over the course of multiple seasons with your own player possibly even a face scan feature? On a side note I wish there were more MLS stadiums as well..

    • MoneyMayweather

      Whole lotta wrong logically with your post man.

      NBA 2k17 is the second coming of gaming nirvana.

    • connor

      If you watch the announcement trailer for MLB 17 the show, there is definitely some kind of story or interactive aspect coming to RTTS next year. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it in the coming months.

  • Packers96

    Too bad Rex Dickinson, it was not this time.

  • SockfulOfNickels

    Easily FIFA this year, I couldn’t play more than 5 games into MyCareer this year, I thought this year’s was the worst one yet. Gotta stop with over the top cheesiness, mandatory practice, and weird grading (why does my pg get so much credit for setting picks, and why has this been a problem since the start of this mode?).

    • Glen Willett

      I really started to fall out of love with the mode when they started putting ratings caps on your player. At least in previous years you could earn boosts through practice and whatnot. This year MyPlayer couldn’t ever be rated higher than 84 in any single attribute, no matter how much time I put in at practice. On top of that, your player goes in the top 10 of the draft and is in the mid 50s overall… wtf? They should add some weight to the college mode they’ve touted the past two versions and make the way you play in those games worth something substantial.

      There’s also things like this:


      Where your player with the exact same ratings in any game mode but MyCareer is 13 points lower overall. Why even have the ratings cap if you’re going to skew the numbers anyway?

      They’ve also made VC increasingly harder to earn, inflated prices on everything in the mode and attached costs to just about every aspect of modifying your player. The pervasiveness of VC in every game mode has really drained my enjoyment of this game gradually since it was instituted. At the very least, they could carry over your earned VC year to year the way FIFA does with their currency system.

      I used to play Live every year until it went away.. Had a ton of fun with NBA 2k12 and have pre-ordered every version since. But it’s been diminishing returns from a fun factor perspective for me for the past few years.