The Best Sports Video Game Series

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10. Nascar SimRacing

NASCAR SimRacing, or NSR for short, is a computer racing simulator developed by EA Tiburon and released February 15, 2005, by EA Sports for the PC. The game included all of the 2004 NEXTEL Cup Series tracks except Pocono Raceway, which was absent from this game and NASCAR 2005 (the console version) for unknown reasons. The game cover features the cars of Ryan Newman, Ron Hornaday, and the Craftsman Truck Series truck of Chad Chaffin on the cover.

The game features NASCAR’s top 3 series NEXTEL Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck. The game also included Single-player and multiplayer online modes and a career mode for single-player. The game also features many paint schemes used during the 2004 and 2005 NEXTEL Cup Series, however the original release featured the 2005 cars replaced with their 2004 counterparts. This game is the last NASCAR game to be released for the PC; no games were released between then and 2009, the year production of NASCAR games by EA faced possible cancellation.

9. NCAA Football All-Play

NCAA Football is a football video game series in which you play as (and against) any current Division I FBS college team. This game is developed by EA Sports. Because of NCAA rules, current college players are not permitted to be used as the cover athletes. Instead, the cover features a player whose college eligibility ended the season before the game’s release, wearing his former college uniform. The only exception to date has been the Wii version of NCAA Football 09, which featured Sparty, the mascot of Michigan State University, on the cover.

8. NHL 2K

The NHL 2K series first appeared on the Dreamcast on February 9, 2000 as part of an exclusive lineup of Sega Sports titles. Its success led to it becoming one of the few Sega All Stars titles. A year later the developers did not release NHL 2K1, and instead took a break, following up with NHL 2K2; the last game ever released for the Dreamcast in North America.

NHL 2K3 was released on the Xbox, PlayStation2, and Nintendo GameCube. It was the first in the series to feature a franchise mode, and the Xbox version was the first online console hockey game. It had many improvements over its predecessor, although players complained that goalies were too hard to score on. Even so, with this title the NHL 2K series was starting to form its own identity as a more ‘simulation-like’ style of game, as opposed to EA’s more ‘arcade-like’ style. It addressed some issues like scoring, and presentation, and was acknowledged as an exceptional sports title. Even with the lockout looming, video game fans didn’t have to worry about the series being put on hiatus, as ESPN NHL 2K5 was released on August 30, 2004.

Because Sega had signed a deal with Take-Two Interactive in which Global Star Software (Take-Two’s low-price unit) distributed and co-published all titles in Sega’s ESPN franchise, ESPN NHL 2K5 was priced at US$19.99 the day it shipped—versus the typical new-release price of US$49.99. This earned it a wide audience among more casual hockey fans on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. However, EA soon signed an agreement with ESPN to become the sole licensee of ESPN’s brand in sports games on all platforms.

7. NCAA Basketball

The NCAA Basketball (formerly NCAA March Madness) series was a College basketball game published by EA Sports from 1995 until 2009. After EA Sports’ rival publisher 2K Sports cancelled its own college basketball game, College Hoops, in 2008, EA changed the name of the series from NCAA March Madness to NCAA College Basketball. The series was discontinued on February 10, 2010.

Like other games based on NCAA sports, it could not feature the players’ names (as that is against NCAA policy/rules), so only the players’ numbers were used in the rosters. Users were able to edit the rosters, putting in the correct names for each team. Many player last names were featured within the in game commentary, like in the NBA Live series. Commentators for the game were Brad Nessler with play-by-play, and Dick Vitale as color commentator.

6. 2K Sports Major League Baseball

2K Sports Major League Baseball series is a series of Major League Baseball video games, developed by Visual Concepts and Kush Games, and published by 2K Games. There have been nine games in the series: 2K4, 2K5, World Series 2K5, 2K6, 2K7, 2K8, 2K9, 2K10 and 2K11. All games were created for each MLB season. The series was created in 2004 after Visual Concepts teamed up with ESPN. Visual Concepts called the series World Series Baseball in years prior to 2004 for the Dreamcast, with Pedro Martínez as the cover athlete.

5. NBA Live All-Play

The NBA Live series of basketball video games, published by EA Sports, is currently one of the leading National Basketball Association simulations on the market.

The first predecessor of the NBA Live series was the NBA PLAYOFFS series, which featured Lakers vs. Celtics, released first in 1989 for MS-DOS-compatible PCs and later adapted for consoles in early 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis. This game was played from a horizontal view (while later versions moved to an isometric view before ultimately moving to 3D on newer consoles). The game was one of the first to feature an NBA license, containing both real NBA teams and player likenesses and signature moves. Details such as Horace Grant’s goggles are clearly visible, and Michael Jordan’s “Air Reverse Layup” is animated with very high accuracy. Detailed player numbers were also visible. The game featured only eight of the sixteen teams that qualified for the NBA playoffs that year, as well as both NBA All-Star teams.

The next game in the series was Bulls vs. Lakers, released in 1992, followed by Bulls vs. Blazers in 1993. Unlike the first game, these two releases were titled after the two teams who were in the NBA Finals the previous season, while the original release apparently chose the Lakers and Celtics due to both teams’ historical success. Each revision added more teams and players, as well as more signature moves. The series also included an Olympic basketball game, Team USA Basketball (1992) which uses the same engine. The final game in the series was NBA Showdown 94 for SNES before the transition to the NBA Live series.

4. Wii Sports

Wii Sports is a sports video game developed and produced by Nintendo as a launch title for the Wii video game console, and part of the Touch! Generations. It was first released in North America along with the Wii on November 19, 2006, and was released in Japan, Australia, and Europe the following month. The game is included as a pack-in game with the Wii console in all territories except Japan, making it the first game included with the launch of a Nintendo system since Mario’s Tennis for the Virtual Boy in 1995.

The game is a collection of five sports simulations, designed to demonstrate the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote to new players. The five sports included are tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. Players use the Wii Remote to mimic actions performed in real life sports, such as swinging a tennis racket. The rules for each game are simplified to make them more accessible to new players. The game also features training and fitness modes that monitor players’ progress in the

3. Backyard Sports

Backyard Sports is a series of video games that play on both consoles and computers. The series is best known for starring kid-sized versions of popular professional sports stars, such as Albert Pujols, Paul Pierce, Barry Bonds, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Thornton and Andy Macdonald. The Backyard Sports series is the only game brand licensed by all the leading professional US sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS).

The series includes Backyard Baseball, Backyard Basketball, Backyard Football (American football), Backyard Soccer, Backyard Hockey (Ice hockey), and Backyard Skateboarding. In the games, players form a team consisting of Backyard Kids and pro players, which they take through a “Backyard League” season, attempting to become the champions. The games evoke or supplant childhood memories for its players by recreating the types of sports fields seen in suburban parks and recreational areas.

2. Madden NFL

Madden NFL (known as John Madden Football before 1993) is an American football video game series developed by Electronic Arts Tiburon for EA Sports. The game is named after Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden, a well-known former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Oakland Raiders and color commentator. The games have consistently been a best seller, and has even spawned TV shows where players compete. EA Sports has announced that the video game series will continue despite Madden’s retirement as a broadcaster in 2009.

1. MLB Power Pros

MLB Power Pros 2008 is the sequel to MLB Power Pros. It is a baseball video game developed by Konami for Nintendo’s Wii and the Sony PlayStation 2 video game consoles, as well as the Nintendo DS handheld, and is part of the traditionally Japan-only Jikkyō Powerful Pro Yakyū series of video games. The game was released on July 29th, 2008, and published by 2K Sports. The game retains the same look, feel, and gameplay as its predecessor, but features updated rosters, new modes (such as MLB Life), new features (in-game bullpen control), among others. Power Pros 2008/Bulk Viewers/Wii/2008-08-06/Exhibition_2--article_image.jpg

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