Sports games have a tough niche to fill in modern gaming. They have to balance both hardcore statistics number-crunchers who boot the game and immediately head for the franchise mode and the players who want to get on the field or the court and win. And overall, the major franchises representing the major sports pull off that balancing act with impressive skill. Sports games have never had more depth, never played better, never been more polished. But even by that standard, some stood above the rest in 2016. So, from great to greatest, here’s how 2016 stacked up in sports gaming.
6. FIFA 17
To be fair to the FIFA team, they switched engines this year, so they didn’t really have any time for any bold new changes on a gameplay level. They did spend a lot of time spit-polishing every aspect of the game, though, and their dedication to capturing every angle of what’s happening on the field, as it unfolds in real time, from injuries to rainbow laces, was and is fairly amazing. Now that the paperwork of switching engines is out of the way, we need to see the FIFA team put the pedal to the floor and show us what the idea of a constantly adapting, constantly updating game can really do.