The best sports games of 2007

Posted November 29th, 2007 at 2:07 am

07’s Best

With the year coming to a close and only one major sports title remaining (March Madness 08) I wanted to take a look back and pick out the best of the best from 2007.

This isn’t a recap of what games got the highest review scores. I couldn’t care less about that. These are the games that I got the most enjoyment out of.

The bottom line is how much fun and entertainment are you getting out of your purchase? For me the following games were the ones that provided the most.

NBA Street Homecourt (2/20): This game was a leap forward with the technology utilized making it possibly the most impressive looking and functioning sports title of the year. Other EA games have since borrowed from it aspects such as the blending animations. This was a fun game that was filled with “wow” type moments while playing. However as with previous releases (and not just limited to the Street games but others like it) it fell a little short on replayability over the long haul. Online play options were relatively thin which was disappointing for a game that is so centered on multi-player.

The BIGS (6/26): While MLB 2K7 made strides from the previous year it still had a number of issues that made it difficult to fully enjoy. Then came along a release that went a bit under the radar and was probably seen as “just another arcade style game” by a lot of people. However surprisingly The BIGS had strong elements of strategy and in many ways felt more like a simulation than 2K7. It had its over-the-top moments but it wasn’t just a simple game such as Slugfest had been. The BIGS also introduced online co-op which turned out to be incredibly fun. You could team up with one other person online and take on the CPU. It was very well done with alternating innings pitching/fielding and batters/runners. If only it had allowed the two to take on two other live players as advertised. Overall the game was just flat out fun, although it could’ve used a better career mode.

NCAA Football 08 (7/17): This was the best playing football game this year. The actual gameplay, EA Sports World features, Dynasty and Campus Legend modes offered a rich and enjoyable experience. The Campus Legend mode is much more fun than its counterpart in Madden (Superstar mode). NCAA introduced the first EA Sports World features with the uploading of highlight clips and screenshots. That was one of the most well received features in a sports game I can ever remember and took off immediately. There were early problems with the EA Sports World website that hampered it a bit but the excitement over the features in the end overshadowed that. The main downside to NCAA was the excruciatingly bad online play options and performance. However the poor online play was not limited to NCAA it was all titles out of EA Tiburon this year.

NHL 08 (9/11): This is widely regarded as the best hockey game if not the best sports game overall by many. From a technical standpoint it would be difficult to argue otherwise. The first to have online team play (up to 3 vs 3) and show an overall huge improvement in online features and performance by EA Canada. Having the complete AHL only makes the experience deeper. That NHL 08 appealed to not only hockey fans but general sports gaming fans is very telling.

NBA Live 08 (10/2): While not held in as high regard as NBA 2K8 by some, Live improved greatly and adds features not currently seen in 2K8. That and the game is simply fun to play. The upcoming addition of online team play (up to 5 vs 5) will revolutionize the way basketball games are played online. The EA Locker was brought in for sharing rosters and scenarios. Live also added the exclusive contract for FIBA late in the development process for 08 which will be expanded upon next year. The online play overall has been the best of any EA Sports game to date.

FIFA 08 (10/9): It seems that this is the year that FIFA took over as the consensus best soccer game. Be A Pro represents the Superstar/Campus Legend mode and uniquely rewards or penalizes you for playing your assignments. The patch that came that added online team play has been well received. FIFA also utilized EA Sports World with the ability to upload and display highlight clips.

College Hoops 2K8 (11/20): The gameplay will be familiar to those who played 2K7 but with noticeable improvements. The biggest additions to the game are 2K Share and the 6th Man Advantage. 2K Share not only makes it easy to transfer named roster files and appearance changes but you can also share slider sets, chants, and Legacy files. The 6th Man accents the importance that home court advantage has in college basketball. As a road team it can be intimidating as it feels as if you are not only trying to beat the opposing team but also the crowd. The atmosphere and advantage created by that is something lacking in most other sports games.