It's very rare that you get new IPs in the sports game genre. Unsurprisingly, 2012 is no exception to this rule. Each of the nominees is the latest iteration in long running and wildly successful series, both critically and commercially. These are no half-hearted updates, however (the FIFA 13 Wii debacle aside); each is outstanding in its field, the number one interactive version of its respective sport and superb games to boot. As sports fans, gamers have never been luckier with the quality of output as in 2012. And, with each series striding onto bigger and greater things, this is unlikely to be any different in 2013.
Here are the Nominees:
And the Winner is...
Like the touchy-feely letch on the dance floor who doesn't understand the meaning of no, FIFA keeps coming back for more. Unlike the Saturday night predator, FIFA is getting better and better with each attempt. FIFA 12 was decent, but had its problems with an unwieldy defensive system and erratic attack dynamics. This time, the focus has been to greatly improve attacking movement and possibilities, while ignoring the awkward defensive work. Instead of the mess it ought to be, FIFA 13 is thrillingly great fun, with an admirable 'you score 5, I'll score 14' ethos akin to the classic mid-noughties Pro Evolution Soccer.
When value is a touchy-subject for many gamers, with first day DLC now the cynical norm, it is refreshing (or at least thankful) to see that FIFA 13 is almost saturated with a great variety of different modes and options. From online seasons, manager modes, live fixtures, and 'Be-A-Player', to skills school, there are an incredible amount of things to do.
A worthy winner of our Sports Game of the Year Award 2012, not only is FIFA 13 the best sports game of the year but it is arguably the best football game ever. That, ladies and gentleman, is praise indeed.