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DAR Games: The 10 Greatest Sports Gaming Franchises

By @TrueGodImmortal




There are many genres of video games that garner a ton of fans. We discussed the FPS genre, looked at RPGs, but one genre that doesn't get enough love is the sports game genre. It's a market for the casual gamer perhaps, but plenty of hardcore gamers have loved and played a number of sports games over the years. Many of the top sellers every year are sports games, and for good reason. Today, I wanted to look at the gaming franchises that have helped shape the sports gaming world and rank them. What makes no. 1? Read on to find out.

10. EA Sports Fight Night
(Best Game: Fight Night Round 4)



-While I was more partial to the Knockout Kings games before Fight Night took over, Fight Night became one of the most engaging games for fans of boxing and gamers who just wanted to knock people out. There isn't much to the mechanics of the game, as simulating boxing is so much different than reality, as fighters create different moves and defensive tactics with every night, but what makes the franchise so great is that it tried to capture everything about a fighter from their signature to their stance to punching style, and more. Fight Night Round 4 is still one of the greatest games ever IMO.

9. NFL Blitz
(Best Game: NFL Blitz)



-If Madden or even NFL Gameday (an underrated franchise in itself) wasn't your speed, and you preferred a more hard hitting simplified game, NFL Blitz was the franchise for you. It was a game that gave you over exaggerated hits, moves, and just an all around good time playing the game. They would eventually fall off due to NFL licensing and numerous issues, but for a few years, some of us played Blitz just as much, if not more than the Madden games. That shows you how powerful the franchise was and could have been had it remained.

8. NBA Live
(Best Game: NBA Live '98)



-Years ago, this would have been in the top 3. Live was at one point untouchable. It's hard to say what went wrong, it just seemed like the game got worse and worse as the years went by. I was brand loyal to Live up until 2007, and it hurt me as an avid basketball fan to have to stop purchasing Live, but it was necessary. The rumor mill is buzzing that Live could make a solid comeback this year, and if the game this year is really good, then who knows where the franchise could be in a few years. We might have a competition again.

7. EA Sports FIFA Games
(Best Game: FIFA Soccer 12)



-While I'm not the biggest soccer fan, I can definitely recognize the importance of a game like FIFA. With amazing graphics, solid gameplay, and an overall fun experience, FIFA is the premier game in the soccer world, and for fans of the sport, it would probably be seen as the best franchise of them all. It has maintained a level of consistency in terms of mechanics and gameplay over the years unlike most franchises. FIFA is the real deal.

6. MLB The Show
(Best Game: MLB The Show 13)



-Once again, I'm not the biggest baseball fan, but I've definitely played this game multiple times and enjoyed myself. What Makes this game so fun is the realism and the fact that playing a game of baseball, whether in real life or on the video game console, is always more fun than watching a game of baseball. The franchise has taken a hit or two during their rise, but for the most part, MLB The Show has stayed consistent and released quality games to keep their fans interested and most of all, entertained.

5. EA Sports NHL Games
(Best Game: NHL '07)



-Are you a hockey fan? No? Well, even if you aren't, I guarantee this game will prove to be more fun than you would imagine. The NHL is actually pretty exhilarating to watch in itself, so imagine the feel when you're playing the game yourself. It's a lot of fun, and over the years, the franchise made adjustments to get better and better. I'm still partial to NHL '07, but can't deny that every edition of the game is definitely fun.

4. NFL 2K
(Best Game: NFL 2K5)



-The short lived franchise changed the football gaming world forever. While I was a big fan of Madden 2005, it was clear that NFL 2K5 was the better game by far. In fact, I think NFL 2K5 is the greatest football game ever. I spent hours and hours and hours playing that game when it first came out, and I still have it to this day. Other editions of the game were just as potent, though not as iconic, but I really enjoyed NFL 2K3 as well. The fact remains, if EA Sports didn't get the license for NFL games, 2K would own the football and basketball gaming landscape. It's that simple. 

3. EA Sports NCAA Football
(Best Game: NCAA Football 09)



-When we talk about college football, the world doesn't meet it with the same enthusiasm as they meet NFL football with. However, the fact remains, the college football gaming genre had a great series that was fun to play. While it wasn't like Madden where you controlled your favorite players and played with your favorite teams, this game allowed you to just focus on the field and winning. That's the beauty of the NCAA Football game. It wasn't about stardom, cover athlete, or anything else other than just enjoying the experience. It's the most underrated sports gaming franchise and to me, in terms of consistency, it was better than Madden for a few years.

2. NBA 2K
(Best Game: NBA 2K11)



-The king of the basketball world should make the no. 1 spot on my list, but I'm being objective. 2K wasn't always the top dog in town, while the no. 1 option on this list was the no. 1 seller in their particular sport gaming genre (mostly due to no competition, but that's another story) for a majority of the time the franchise was in existence. Still, what gets this franchise on the top 2 is the consistency and the way it gradually surpassed NBA Live as the premier basketball game. 2K gives you realistic graphics, good gameplay, and while it's not the most accurate on some cases (fast breaks, for one), the game over the years gave us enough entertainment to be known worldwide. It's probably the most popular sports game in the world right now, even over Madden, which says a lot. NBA 2K is the king of video game basketball and it isn't even close.

1. EA Madden NFL Football
(Best Game: Madden 2004)



-Though Madden and EA Sports have gotten lazy over the Years, the game is still the football king in the sports gaming genre and the most iconic sports gaming franchise in the world. They have Madden tournaments all over the world, with players getting very intense through the 4 quarters of play. Madden is just universally known as the game to get in the summer and it benefits from having a regular August release date every date, giving football fans something to look forward to. Whether you love football or not, there is no denying the power of Madden and the importance of the franchise to the sports gaming genre. It's the most lucrative sports gaming franchise ever. Simply put.


-True

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