As we head into 2019, it’s time to take a look back at the games and features we loved in 2018.
From the expected AAA annual releases like Madden and Pro Evolution Soccer to the smaller games like Super Mega Baseball 2 and NASCAR Heat, it was a busy year for the sports gamer.
But what really stood out as the best of the best? I’m Mike and it’s time for the 2018 SGO Sports Video Game Awards as voted on by the staff of SGO.
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With that out of the way, we kick things off the Best New Feature of 2018.
Best New Feature: NHL 19: World of Chel
The game looked relatively the same, but the team at EA Sports NHL added a new hub for players to enjoy, and it really paid off.
The World of Chel housed four specific modes — EASHL, NHL Threes, Pro-Am, and Ones. Each mode gave a unique experience, and allowed players to play what and how they wanted.
The World of Chel is a mode that lives on the creativity of its users. From the look of players on the outdoor rinks to the way you want to play, it’s all about the what the player wants to experience.
Best Mobile Sports Game: Football Manager 2019 Mobile
Great mobile sports games are tough to come by, but Football Manager 2019 Mobile is just that.
The game is nearly on par with its main system release, and features great player training, smarter AI, and even real-time player transfers. The 2D playing field where you watch all your hard work unfold on the field gives a nice and unique feel to a game when most mobile sports management games remain text based.
While games like NBA Live Mobile and Madden NFL Overdrive are impressive in their own right, there’s something about the depth and accessibility of FM 2019 Mobile that makes it one hell of a game.
Best eSports Game: Rocket League
It’s hard to believe Rocket League is nearly four years old, but here we are, and it’s still one of the most popular games in the world. The Championship Series continues to grow each year, and we’ve even seen the game aired on NBCSN over the past year.
It’s easy for anyone to pick up yet hard to master. With the introduction of Clubs this year, Rocket League continues to build to the team experience that makes it an eSports contender.
Best Game Mode: NBA Live 19: The One
The NBA Live series may still be working towards catching up to it’s counterpart NBA 2K, but there is one area where Live has surpassed the competition: Career Mode.
Giving you freedom rarely seen in a sports career mode, NBA Live 19’s The One mode allows players to take to the courts either in the NBA or on the playground to make a name for his or herself. Whether it be online or offline, by yourself or with friends, The One really takes the feeling of being a pro baller, and making it as open-ended as a mode has ever been.
The best part of it all? No microtransactions to ruin the experience.
Best Racing Game: Forza Horizon 4
Death. Taxes. A great Forza game.
Forza Horizon 4 feels more like an RPG that happens to be a racing game as opposed to just your standard racer. The game looks incredible, it feels like you are behind the wheel of an actual car, and there is so much to do that it could quickly become the only game you play for months.
From the looks of the cars to the environment you race in, Forza Horizon 4 is like playing in Virtual Reality without the need for any obnoxious headgear.
Best Indie Game: Super Mega Baseball 2
Super Mega Baseball 2 is much more than your run-of-the-mill arcade game. It looks like a cartoon but plays and feels like a full sim experience with far more realistic plays than you’d expect from something called “Super Mega Baseball”.
It’s a fun and accessible title that anyone can just pick up and enjoy while deep enough to keep even the biggest baseball purist entertained. The game is so good that it could go down as the best baseball title of this generation of gaming.
Best AAA Game: PES 2019
Every year there’s a bunch of major sports releases, and it always seems like the same games are taking home the award for best AAA title. This year, that all changes with Pro Evolution Soccer 2019.
PES 2019 features some of the most fluid and crisp gameplay we’ve ever seen from a sports game, let alone a soccer title. Representing human behavior better than seemingly any sports game to date, players stumble over another, hard touches can be felt better than ever before and the AI does a better job of exploiting weaknesses you may have left on your team by pulling players out of position.
On top of that, the plethora of modes at your disposal assured you can never really get bored with the game. Even with the limited licenses, PES 2019 is such a great game that you almost immediately forget about it.
Game of the Year: Forza Horizon 4
What more can be said about Forza Horizon 4? The game has almost everything a racing fan could want, and is just as much fun for the casual gamer as it is for the hardcore racer.
There’s over 450 cars to unlock and upgrade, and you can do almost anything you want to them. It’s a car lovers dream of a game. And don’t forget about the incredible dynamic weather system.
I mean, seriously. If you haven’t played it yet and you own an Xbox One, you need to get a copy of it right now and hit the roads.
That’s it for the 2018 SGO Sports Video Game Awards! What are your top sports games of the year? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below, and talk about it at the official SGO Forums.
And while you have a minute, be sure to go back through our archives to check out some of the great stuff we’ve done throughout the year, and let us know what you want to see more of.
Thank you all for a great 2018, and we look forward to making 2019 the best year ever for Sports Gamers Online and the greatest community around!