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2013 Sports Game of the Year

/ Jan 21st, 2014 No Comments

NCAA Football 14

Sports gaming took a step forward in 2013 thanks to new console technology. The release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One brought a whole new range of possibilities, both visually and in gameplay. But despite more realistic graphics and living crowds, the biggest advancement in the sports genre came with deeper, RPG-style career modes. The nominees for Gaming Illustrated’s 2013 Sports Game of the Year all have a high replay value as well as intuitive gameplay and slick presentation.

The Nominees

FIFA 14 – FIFA 14, specifically the next-gen version of the game, was as realistic as ever. Crowds react appropriately and player animations are fluid. Although the new Ignite Engine does not provide the huge leap forward in gameplay marketed by EA, it makes a noticeable difference – especially with headers. It’s a new game and with that comes new A.I. and a new controller to controller to learn. The sensitivity and accuracy of the controls can be appreciated best by hardcore FIFA players. FIFA 14 earned an 88% score in a review in December.


EA Sports FIFA 14

NCAA Football 14 – It was a disappointing year for the NCAA Football franchise, but not because of a failed game. Not long after NCAA Football 14 was released, EA announced the cancellation of the series. The long-running franchise went out with a bang thanks to NCAA Football 14. A new physics system and enhanced crowd sounds make players feel immersed in the action. A reinvented recruiting system makes building a dynasty more accessible and the addition of Ultimate Team gives the title its replay value. Earning a 90% review score, NCAA Football 14 was a brilliant swan song for a franchise entering retirement.

Expect plenty of Read Option in NCAA Football 14.

NCAA Football 14 by EA Sports

MLB 13: The Show – With no real competition, it would be easy for Sony to mail it in with MLB: The Show. Instead, MLB 13: The Show is a crowning achievement of baseball goodness. Road to the Show, the game’s career mode, is easy to pick up and play and will have gamers hooked on making it to the big leagues. The game is not just for veterans anymore. Rookies can choose to play in Beginner Mode, which allows players to get used to the controls without the plethora of advanced options. With solid controls and engrossing gameplay, MLB 13: The Show earned an 88% review score.

The Winner – NCAA Football 14

Past issues such as player physics and a complicated recruiting system were fixed while gameplay and the Read Option took the forefront in NCAA Football 14. The college football atmosphere and experience comes to life in a game of NCAA Football 14. NCAA Football 14 was so good, it may have been the best football game of the generation. The series has come to an unfortunate end, but NCAA Football 14 was its pinnacle.

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
Ryan Bloom

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