TSA Game Of The Year 2013 – Sports And Racing

It’s been another safe year for the sport and racing genres. As you can see, every one of our entries for this year’s award is either a sequel or part of an annual franchise. This is by no means a bad thing, however. Usually, when we get a new contender on the block they often pale in comparison to tried and tested alternatives. Ubisoft, for instance, recently tried to take a punt at the FIFA/PES crowd with Pure Football and failed. Though not a completely new sporting IP, this year saw the return of NBA Live via EA Sports. The game ultimately flopped, especially when positioned next to 2K’s much better NBA 2K14.

As for this year’s winner, again, there are no real surprises. FIFA 14 romped home with a landslide victory, asserting its dominance within the genre for another year running. To some this may seem unfair or unjustified considering how incremental EA Sports is in updating its flagship title. The truth is, whether playing 14, 13, or any recent entry in the series, FIFA still carries its trademark brand of unadulterated fun.

With that said, 2013 did mark the biggest change for the series since it’s re-ascension in the late 2000s. Striving for realism, EA tweaked a number of the games systems. The changes haven’t been universally popular yet mark a slight change in direction. This change is further emphasised in the PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA 14. Adopting the heavily-publicised Ignite engine, these versions of FIFA feel the most definitive with an enhanced amount of detail and organic player interactions.

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In second we have another EA title, this time from Ghost Games. Like several big-name franchises Need For Speed has become an annual affair, the acclaimed IP passed from studio to studio year in, year out. With talented developers such as DICE and Criterion having worked on the series, sculpting the next chapter was unenviable task. Not only that, the unblooded Ghost Games had to make an NFS game suited to new gaming hardware. These slight worries amounted to nothing, however. Rivals dished up a familiar yet refined racing experience with intuitive multiplayer integration, slick visuals and a healthy roster of cars.

Carrying the torch for racing sims, Gran Turismo 6 also managed to grab a spot on this year’s podium. Unlike our first and second place winners, the changes between Gran Turismo 6 and its predecessors were perhaps less noticeable. It’s still the same, insanely detailed racer with a lengthy, progressive single player component. Though still moderately accessible, Gran Turismo 6 is one for the fans, whether they have history with the series or they are just a die-hard petrol-head. Featuring a wealth of iconic tracks and cars, it’s a racing fan’s nirvana.

Just missing out on those top spots we had NBA 2K14, the definitive basketball experience on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Racers Forza 5, F1 2013, and GRID 2 also followed with Football Manager 14 and PES bringing up the rear.

FIFA 14 is TheSixthAxis’ Game of the Year in the Sports and Racing category.

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19 Comments

  1. I’ve only heard good things about NFS Rivals. Perhaps I should have paid more attention, although it just looked like Hot Pursuit/Run/Most Wanted to me!

    I may still pick up FIFA 14, what with the World Cup probably coming as DLC. I didn’t like the PS3 demo but I thought the PS4 demo was good.

    • Yep, same here. Everyone who has it and I managed to talk to only said good stuff about the game. I would really like to read TSA NFS:Rivals review.

      • Yeah a review would be good, or better still a demo!

    • I just started play Rivals a few days ago and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far. For me the closest comparison is Hot Pursuit, if only because it’s cops versus racers and the in-game events follow a similar format.

      • Thanks for the info. I did rather enjoy Hot Pursuit when playing it briefly on a mates’ PS3….might have to check out some trailers.

    • I really hope the World Cup game comes as a stand alone.

      Nobody was happy with the product that was Euro 2012 DLC, but the full game World Cup 2010 was probably the best FIFA game to come out in ages. The presentation was far better than a standard FIFA game, but most importantly each player felt and played much more like their real counterparts than they usually do- most likely because they had less players to focus on.

      Definitely my favourite FIFA, I’m hoping for another stand-alone game here.

  2. How was this decided? Not being snarky, just wondering as the article doesn’t mention who actually voted (assuming people voted).

    It should also be said this is a very European perspective on sports game of the year. Obviously Madden would give Fifa a run for it’s money (although I think globally Fifa would win out). Another title I’ve been mightly impressed by in recent years is MLB The Show, probably my vote for best made sports game, even more so than NBA2K14 on PS4 which whilst gorgeous and very slick, isn’t quite as complete a package as The Show.

    2014 is going to be a mega year as these franchises finally ‘properly’ strut their stuff on next gen!

    • The TSA writers voted, with the option to sit on the fence if they didn’t feel like they had an informed opinion. Naturally, as a European outfit, that’s probably had an effect on things!

      • That’s cool :) I figured from the podcast that you guys were going to do something like that, but the GOTY articles haven’t made it clear, also there was that post where we could vote (albeit only 3 days ago!!) so I wasn’t sure if that was included or not.

      • Ah, yes, I get your point now! The community GOTY stuff won’t be until a bit later, and will be labelled as such.

        I might go through and add a little note to explain, if I remember. :)

    • MLB The Show is the best sports game for consoles. It has been for several years. But these votes were cast by 16 Europeans and I’d guess, excluding myself, that none of them know what RBI or RHE means. None of them know the rare joy of a triple play or the hilarity of seeing a runner caught between bases. God, I love baseball…
      ANYWAY! I’m kicking myself for not remembering The Show when we were nominating, at least.

  3. Destruction Derby on Grid 2 is just awesome. Worthit for just that alone

    • worth it

    • I just unlocked the old Merc racer earlyish into the game, how long have I got to go?

  4. I have FIFA on ps4 not going lie it’s actually good but the game has so many flaws, the players still wait for the ball to come to them, their reaction is poor. This is why pro is my number 1 footy game always

    • Yeah, that has annoyed me on previous Fifa’s too. Worse than that is when you have the ball on the wing, stand still waiting for the winger/defender to make the overlap….and doesn’t! Grrrh!!

      • Lol I feel your pain, especially when it happens when u playing online

  5. You can’t usually go wrong with a NFS title for some arcade high octane goodness unless it has Run in it’s name, but quite surprised that Rivals nabbed top spot. Although that said, it was bound to do well with no competition from the Crew or Driveclub on next gen Playstation. I’ve heard that it’s ok but not as high calibre as Most Wanted or Hot Pursuit.

  6. What a load of

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