Last week, The Game Awards announced this year’s nominees for the December 7th award show. Among the nominees were marquee titles like Baldur’s Gate 3, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The list of nominees included the five games nominated for Best Sports/Racing Game. Since this category has been included since The Game Awards began in 2014, now is a good time to take a look back on the games nominated in previous years, as well as take a closer look at this year’s nominees.
Best Sports/Racing Game Nominees for The Game Awards 2023
First, let’s break down this year’s nominees. The five nominees for Best Sports/Racing Game are:
- F1 23
- EA Sports FC 24
- Forza Motorsport
- Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
- The Crew Motorfest
EA Sports FC 24 is nominated for this award in the first year following the loss of the FIFA name and licensing. However, the series is no stranger to this category. This nomination is the 10th straight for the series (2014-2023). That means that the EA Sports FIFA/FC series has been nominated for this award at every The Game Awards since they started in 2014. Despite being nominated every year that this award has existed, the series has never actually won the award.
F1 23 also continues an impressive nomination streak in this category. This nomination makes it five years in a row that EA Sports’ F1 series has earned a nomination for this award (2019-2023). Like the FIFA/FC series, the F1 series has never won the award. With this being the fifth straight year where EA Sports will have two games nominated, they will certainly hope to finally bring one home.
If you’re placing bets on which game will win in this category, Forza Motorsport might be the safe bet. The Forza series of games have been nominated seven times in this category (2014-2018, 2021, 2023). Unlike the previous two games, the Forza series has won this award multiple times. The first win for the series came in 2016 with Forza Horizon 3. The series followed it up in 2017 with Forza Motorsport 7 winning the award, and Forza Horizon 4 made it a Shaq and Kobe-style three-peat for the series. The series would come back and win it again in 2021 with Forza Horizon 5. With the series winning the award each of the last four times it has been nominated, it could be easy to pencil Forza Motorsport as this year’s favorite to win the award.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged is nominated for this award only two years after the original game was also nominated. Not bad for the first two games in your series to be nominated as the best in its genre. While The Crew Motorfest is the first in The Crew series to be nominated, this isn’t the first Ubisoft game to be nominated. Trials Fusion in 2014 and Riders Republic in 2021 were other Ubisoft games to earn this nomination, though neither took home the award.
Only one of these games was nominated this year in another category. Forza Motorsport has also been nominated for the Innovation in Accessibility award. Also, Gran Turismo 7’s VR mode has the game nominated for Best VR/AR Game. This year continues the trend of a sports or racing game having never been nominated for Game of the Year.
Previous Winners and Nominees
There are a couple of series that are staples of this category that were not nominated this year. The main one is the NBA 2K series. The series has been nominated seven times (2014-2018, 2020, 2022) despite never winning the award. Another series with several nominations and no wins is the Pro Evolution Soccer series, now known as eFootball. This series rattled off five straight nominations in the category from 2015 to 2019.
There are a few other notable series to earn nominations. Gran Turismo was nominated in 2017 and finally won the award last year with Gran Turismo 7. Mario Kart 8 won the original award in 2014. MLB The Show received its lone nomination in 2016 with MLB The Show 16. Surprisingly enough, Madden NFL, one of the most popular sports gaming series in the world, has never been nominated for this award.
There have also been a few sports games to get nominated for other awards at The Game Awards. In 2015, Rocket League won this award, on top of winning Best Independent Game and being nominated for Best Multiplayer Game. In 2017, Forza Horizon 5 tied Game of the Year winner It Takes Two for most awards won at The Game Awards. That year, Forza Horizon 5 took home Best Sports/Racing Game, Best Audio Design, and the Innovation in Accessibility Award.
As mentioned earlier, of this year’s nominees, Forza Motorsport is probably the betting favorite to win the award. Meanwhile, based on past winners, EA Sports FC 24 probably has the worst odds since it is not a racing game. In the nine years since The Game Awards began, a racing game has won this award seven times. The two non-racing games to win the award are Rocket League (2015) and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 (2020).
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