It’s that time of year again! People are making lists and checking them twice. The candles will be lit and gift giving will ensue. The real question is what do you get the sports gamer in your life? To help with that, take a look at part two of the Sports Gamers Online 2018 Holiday Holiday Sports Games Gift Guide.

While part one focused on indie games, part two is going to focus on “sleepers”, sports games that launched and for the most part flew under the radar. These aren’t necessarily small games. They could be games published by larger companies like Take Two or Sega as well.

Part II: Sleeper Sports Games

6. The Golf Club 2019


Developer: HB Studios

The last major golf title to hit shelves was in 2015 with the release of Rory Mcllroy PGA Tour, published by EA. Since then, small golf games have launched, but nothing like HB Studios’ The Golf Club 2019 Featuring the PGA Tour.

The Golf Club 2019 sports impressive visuals, and thanks to the PGA Tour license, nails the accuracy of PGA’s most storied courses.

There’s a full custom player mode where you create your golfer and start play in Q-School before moving to the Web.com tournament and eventually up the ranks to battle the PGA’s top ranked players.

If you’re looking for names, however, you won’t find them here. Tiger Woods is not in this game, but you’ll be playing against those that may act like their real-life counter part.

Senior Editor, Mike Straw, reviewed the game giving it a 4.5 rating overall stating that its a wonderful experience for those new and returning players.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam

5. RIDE 3

Developer: Milestone S.r.l

If you’re into motorcycle racing, this is a game you’ll want to check out. Milestone went above and beyond with RIDE 3‘s biggest asset: the bikes. RIDE 3 features over 270 officially licensed motorcycles from seven different classifications. Furthermore, RIDE 3 allows players to make cosmetic and performance customization to their motorcycles.

Milestone didn’t stop at the motorcycles either as RIDE 3 boasts over 30 courses with 12 being new to the series.

Senior Editor, Mike Straw, notes that there is a steep learning curve with RIDE 3, but overcoming that is an accomplishment in itself. He gave the game a score of 3.0 in his latest review.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam

4. NASCAR Heat 3

Developer: Monster Games

NASCAR games haven’t had a good showing in recent years. For a NASCAR game to be successful, you need to convey the driving experience. While that sounds easy on the surface, there’s a lot that is part of said experience. Interactions between drivers and spotters, interactions between drivers and drivers and how the AI acts is all part of it.

It seems that Monster Games has gotten a lot right with NASCAR Heat 3, released in September of 2018. Senior Editor, Mike Straw, notes in his review that the AI logic seems improved over its previous iterations meaning that drivers won’t all hit the pit stop at the same time which was a problem for racing games as a whole.

While most think of NASCAR as the actual cars, NASCAR Heat 3 also includes the NASCAR Truck Series. Monster Games has done a good job ensuring there is a difference between the handling of cars and trucks.

NASCAR Heat 3 features a pretty deep career mode that follows you from the dirt tracks to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup. After some time on the dirt track circuit, you’ll get an invite from a NASCAR team, but if you have enough coin from racing before going out on your own.

Straw gave the game a 3.5 score and saying NASCAR Heat 3 is one of the best stock car racing games that’s been released in a long time.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam

3. WindJammers


Developer: DotEmu, Data East

WindJammers is a port of a game that released in the 90’s. Unfortunately. it’s not an HD remake; it’s a strict port of the original WindJammers.

WindJammers released on the Nintendo Switch in late October. After you soak in the neon colors and 90’s aesthetic, you realize that WindJammers is a game of Pong with fighting aspects.

You take control of one of six characters with the goal of throwing the disc behind your opponent. You do this in a variety of ways, including curving your throws or pulling off over the top flashy “finishing” throws. WindJammers even has online multiplayer, complete with leaderboards.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4

2. Creed: Rise To Glory

Developer: Survios

It is rare that a VR game will ever hit this list, but Creed: Rise To Glory is a pretty good VR adaptation of a boxing game. If you’re in the mood to move around and get sweaty, Creed: Rise To Glory is a boxing game for you.

There is a story mode to Creed: Rise To Glory, but its used as a tutorial, which immerses the player in Creed’s worldas he trains with Rocky Balboa for upcoming fights. During those training sessions, you’ll participate in mini-games that will have you moving and shaking around your living room.

In the game, you’ll use your hands as you would in a boxing match. Holding them to your face will block and the VR system recognizes ducking and weaving as well as just leaning your body to the left or the right.

Available on: PC (Vive), PlayStation 4 (PSVR)

1. Wreckfest


Developer: THQ Nordic

There’s something incredibly appealing about a demolition derby. It’s very rare to see a demolition derby game made and even rarer to have one made well. While a game like Forza is all about the sleek, shininess of a car and NASCAR is all about the racing, Wreckfest is all about the dents, dings and destruction of a car’s body.

The game offers a simple gameplay loop. Make money and upgrade your car(s); it places emphasis on doing things like wrecking your opponents to create rivals that make the game a ton of fun.

THQ Nordic made sure that the crash physics and destruction were the focal points. The animations used in collisions really bring the game to life.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam


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