Plenty of quality for sports fans this year, with the usual franchises stepping things up a gear to try and keep things fresh. Control scheme overhauls for FIFA and PES, the addition of Move to Virtua Tennis 4, the list of tweaks, updates and new features for the likes of NBA 2K12 and Football Manager 2012 were almost endless.
NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.
EA Sports took a gamble this year, shaking up the FIFA series with a simple but game changing tweak to the way gamers approached defending. Of course it ran deeper than that - the Impact Engine and Precision Dribbling complimenting the realigned focus. It wasn't perfect, but it was a giant step forward.
Fight Night Champion was gorgeous to behold, the animations were smooth and Champion Mode was a glorious marriage between story and gameplay. Andre Bishop's tale was a cheesy one, a rags to riches frame with laughably clichéd elements, but it was utterly glorious all the same.
Once again Konami's footie title came with a biblical controller manual, but once you'd gotten the hang of the new features, it was sublime. Improved offensive AI, silky smooth dribbling and the outstanding Off The Ball controls meant that picking the perfect pass was always an option...and more satisfying than ever before.
Best Sports Game 2011: NBA 2K12
2K Sports, for some time now, have been the best in the world at creating basketball games. No NBA 2K12 didn't have the mass appeal of the football titles, but it simply smashed them out of the park in terms of what a sports game should be. Crammed full of content, it still offers the best career mode you'll find in any sports game - and, yes, that includes Master League. EA in particular should look at NBA 2K12's superlative My Player mode...they haven't come close in years. So much so that they haven't even tried to shift a serious game of B-ball in the last couple of years.