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Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game

Matt Gardner
Best Sports Game 2012, FIFA 13, Football Manager 2013, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, NBA 2K13, PES 2013, Sport Champions 2, SSX

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game

EA came out of the blocks very strongly this year, with cracking iterations of Madden, NHL, and FIFA, with the latter impressing us greatly with its brave gameplay tweaks and comprehensive content offering. They were still hammered off of the park completely when it came to basketball, though, cancelling a game this year in the face of sheer dominance once again from 2K. Elsewhere, Sports Interactive and Konami's PES Team had good years too, though for different reasons...

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.



Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game


If Konami got everything right on the pitch this year, EA Canada got everything bang on elsewhere. The presentation was, once again, spot on (though still not quite NBA 2K standard), the sheer wealth of offline and online game modes meant we were never short of playing options, and further social integration and regular EASFC challenges meant there was always weekly content to keep us engaged. The on-pitch tweaks made it a better prospect than last year's effort too. Fearsome in its breadth and depth, the lack of control might have proved offputting for some, but for others FIFA 13 delivered the ultimate footballing content package this year.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game

Football Manager 2013

Sports Interactive got fed up with folks saying that the FM series was a little too impenetrable for some...so they released two games for the price of one. On one hand you had the full fat FM2013 experience, which gave us a simulation experience with (somehow) even greater depth than ever before. But then there was Classic Mode, stripped back and harking back to the glory days of Championship Manager. With new multiplayer components and challenges infueced by the mobile game's success, SI delivered the most comprehensive FM package we'd ever seen.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game

NBA 2K13

Let's get this out of the way right now: the NBA 2K franchise has consistently delivered the best sports games for years. But it's easy to get a bit complacent when you get things right so early on. NBA 2K13 once again delivered the finest career mode you'll find in the genre, but it was somewhat undersupported elsewhere. On the one hand it was utterly triumphant, but those laurels were beginning to look well worn this year.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game

PES 2013

Slick menus, effortless matchmaking, and all of the official licenses in the world don't make a difference without exceptional gameplay, and thankfully PES 2013 had the last feature in spades. Even if it wasn't quite the full package yet, with a number of quirks still to iron out, PES 2013 was the finest PES title Konami had produced in years, with arguably the most satisfying footballing mechanics in terms of player control and unparalleled freedom that this generation had to offer.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game

Sports Champions 2

Sports Champions 2 gave us another reason to dust off our PS Moves this year, serving up another barrage of sporting minigames, much in the same manner as its predecessor. This sequel brought more polish, more modes, and more fun than its older sibling, though.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game


Even if it had lost some of the goofy charm that had endeared us to the series in the first place, SSX's return was still a cause for celebration. It needed more Run-DMC, but hitting the powder and bagging some ridiculously sick air was still as fun as ever, helped out by slaloming down some of the world's greatest peaks.

Best Sports Game 2012 | Football Manager 2013

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best Sports Game


Football Manager 2013 succeeded in managing not to compromise its fundamentally detailed core while still offering up an accessible experience. That it did this by essentially offering two games in one package was both great news for consumers this year, but perhaps pointed some slightly towards nervous times in the next. That's a problem for Future Us to deal with, though! Rest assured, this wa the most comprehensive, painfully addictive FM to date, and now there was no excuse to not get involved.

The exam/degree/career/marriage killer just became more accessible, and yet still just as devilishly, compellingly, addictively hardcore.

Add a comment 1 comment
Doors  Dec. 24, 2012 at 19:23

You may wanna change the winner of Best Sports Game of 2012 from Football Manager 2012 to Football Manager 2013 ;)

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