End of Year Community Awards Voting: Best Sports Game of 2015

Posted January 4th, 2016 at 10:15 am

Star award against gradient background

This was one of the strongest years in terms of quality for sports gaming top to bottom. There may be fewer games than ever before but even the weakest of the bunch could be considered decent. When it comes to Sports Game of the Year however only those which demonstrated real achievement can be considered. The five nominees from 2015 all delivered compelling and complete experiences.

MLB 15: The Show
With MLB 15, SCEA improved not only on the series’ strengths, but also finally on its biggest weaknesses. Online play not just functioned but performed fairly well. Gameplay improvements, the rebuild of Diamond Dynasty, carry-over saves from MLB 14, and faster loading times all made a huge difference in terms of value and enjoyment.

Rocket League
No sports game has been played by more people than Rocket League, which burst onto the scene with appeal to a wide audience and addictive qualities that have kept them playing ever since. With few unique sports titles released these days, Rocket League and its cars playing soccer (or now hockey) really stands out from the crowd. Superb post-release support has meant creative new ways to play for free while the paid DLC has been limited to cosmetic elements ensuring the fantastic gameplay balance remains in place.

NBA 2K16
With an unrivaled feature set no game offers more to consumers than NBA 2K16. From its best-in-class gameplay and presentation, to a story mode with high production values, great Career mode (after the movie ends), two different Franchise modes including an online connected one, and several different ways to play online, there’s something for everyone in the product.

PES 2016
As the highest rated sports game on Metacritic since 2013, Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 managed to surpass the much higher-selling FIFA franchise in the eyes of many. Generally touted most for its gameplay, PES 2016 offered a strong suite of modes and will be adding in exclusive UEFA Euro 2016 content for free this spring.

Madden NFL 16
The dynamic moments of football showed up more in Madden NFL 16 thanks to the work done to receiver-defender interactions, while penalties and quarterback accuracy made the gameplay more realistic and strategic. The new Draft Champions mode proved to have widespread appeal, made online matches more interesting, received a ranked mode and ability to play friends with post-release patches, and will be utilized as the method of play in eSports going forward.

Other Categories Open for VotingBest GameplayBest PresentationBest Post-Release Support – Best Career ModeBest Team-Building ModeBest Online PlayBest Franchise ModeBest New FeatureBest New or Non-Yearly Sports Game