Shortly after Forza was crowned with yet another Best Sports/ Racing Game trophy at this year’s Game Awards, Ryan Kamins, creator of Sunday Rivals, voiced his dissatisfaction via X, stating, “There are enough sports and racing games released every year that they don’t need to share a category.”
While Kamins is probably aware of what a technical marvel Forza Motorsport is, he makes a good point. Ever Since Geoff Keighley formed the show in 2014, sports games have shared a category with racing games. In theory, competitions like the F1 and WRC are considered sports; however, to Kamins’s point, many racing and sports games come out each year, and The Game Awards should be able to produce five suitable nominees for both categories.
In addition, not only should the two genres have their own categories, but The Game Awards should also improve on bringing more diversity to the nominations.
Sports and Racing Categories
Just this year alone, Sports Gamers Online reviewed six TGA-worth racing games. Conversely, we’ve reviewed numerous ‘sports’ titles that would make an excellent nomination list.
However, the constant nominations presented yearly in the Best Sports/ Racing category always seem to favor racing games. The Forza series has won the award five times in the last ten years and won it each time it was nominated.
The only time an actual sports game won this award is when the Tony Hawk Pro Skater Remake won it back in 2020. Other years have seen winners from racing games such as Froza, Grand Turismo, Mario Kart, Crash Bandicoot Nitro, and Rocket League. Unfortunately, Madden, FIFA, and MLB The Show don’t stand a chance. Mainline sports titles are notorious for yearly releases and remain primarily untouched regarding features.
However, The Game Awards should diversify its sports nominations to make the sports category more interesting.
Diversifying the nominations
If TGAs separated the sports and racing awards into two categories, then the sports category would be filled with Triple-A games like Madden, EAFC, and MLB The Show. The nominations would basically be a bunch of EA Sports titles with the odd Santa Monica Studios effort.
To combat this, we suggest looking outside the triple-A space and finding unique sports games that come out every year. For example, Rollerdrome is an exciting rollerblading third-person shooter, which was good enough to be nominated for a game award in 2022.
Another is WrestleQuest, a retro wrestling RPG we love here at Sports Gamers Online. The Game Awards could make the sports category into something special; it just needs to look further than the triple-A market.
Overall, TGAs should separate the two genres and get more creative with nominations. So many fun, unique, and interesting sports games come out every year, and a well-deserved nomination would bring more publicity to any game.
Do you hear that Geoff Keighley? It’s time for The Game Awards to separate the sports and racing categories!
Best Racing Game & Best Sports Game 2023 (SGO-Style)
Below, I’ve compiled two sets of nominations that would be perfect for the 2023 Game Awards. Let us know in the comments what your nominations would be.
Best Sports Game
- EA Sports FC 24
- MLB The Show 23
- Legend Bowl
- WWE 2K23
Best Racing Game
- F1 23
- Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
- Forza Motorsport
- Monster Energy Supercross 6
- The Crew Motorfest
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