Sports games exist in their own joyful anomaly: playing without actually leaving the house. We all like a bit of friendly competition, right? Writers for the Edge have collected their favourites from the ever-popular genre below.
Who could have guessed a free game packaged along a console would be one of the greatest sports games ever (I’m just stating facts here)? Wii Sports was released way back in 2006 along with the Nintendo Wii and was built to demonstrate the capabilities of the console’s remotes. Including five games (baseball, tennis, golf, bowling and boxing), Wii Sports was an excuse to get competitive without having to learn complicated controls or movements. You literally turned the console on, slid the disc in, booted it up and the game was your oyster, and it was an unparalleled gaming experience at the time. You weren’t simply clicking buttons, but instead replicating actions as your Mii look alike translated the remote’s movements into in-game movements. Nothing felt better than watching my devilishly handsome Mii who was set to the tallest setting possible (despite being a relatively small human in real life), smash a baseball out into the sky to score a home run, or managing a perfect strike in bowling while pretending that it was perfectly intentional. Simply put, Wii Sports was such a unique experience that it will fondly be remembered as the only sports-orientated game that I actually enjoyed.
– Sam Pegg
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Perhaps the largest sporting event around when I was a budding young gamer was the London Olympics in 2012. And since 2008, the Mario & Sonic games have been making an appearance at every Olympics held. With 57 sports to choose from, and single or multiplayer to whet your appetite, the question is not which gold medal to win, but how many.
I’m not a sporty person but you can count on these games to turn me into the best gymnast or sailor you have ever seen. Though it can be played on a variety of different consoles, I far preferred the Nintendo Wii for the thrill of drawing back the bow, or the rather hilarious sight of a friend frantically sprinting on the spot in the “swimming”. Almost a decade on since its release, and the games which inspired a generation of Brits to pick up sport, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games remains a pinnacle of party games for all ages. I still hold the Mario & Sonic world record for archery and trampolining in my household – my finest hour!
– Louise Chase
Ice hockey is aggressive and is pretty much rugby on ice. The game in real life seems way too brutal for my sensitive soul but boy do I love smashing people on ice in the video game. It is epic graphically, a great game to play with friends and a huge stress reliever. There is one move called ‘fighting’ which is perfect for those who are sore losers and not afraid to show it. I’m no pro at the game and mainly only use the multiplayer function but from my fun experience of playing it with mates after a night-out I would highly recommend it!
Another major plus of the game is the multitude of kits each team has. For example, the New York Rangers have kits ranging from the 1960s to the modern day. You can learn about the game of ice hockey whilst playing which is exactly how I got into the sport. Sometimes entertainment is the best way to find your love for sports.
– Morgan McMillan