One of the most consistently prolific genres in gaming is sports simulations - just as real-world professional sports will continue to be immensely popular for the foreseeable future, so too will computer simulations of these events. Significant advances in sports simulations are made each year, as these games continue to improve in how they look, play, and sound. This year America's most popular sports - football, basketball, and baseball - seemed to take a back seat in favor of some of the secondary favorites, such as hockey and soccer. In addition, extreme sports games have become prominent once again. The following five games are the nominees for best sports game this year.
FIFA 2001 marks the first major progression in the FIFA series since it first entered three dimensions a few years ago. Players are much more detailed and lifelike than those found in the previous games. The pace of the game has been slowed to accurately represent the pace of the real game, and the computer AI does a much better job of recognizing different on-field strategies.
After years of complaints from Links fans about the lack of improvements to the series, Microsoft delivers Links 2001, which features a new graphics engine and a highly anticipated course editor. Courses no longer look flat, but instead they've been enhanced with various three dimensional objects such as plateaus and massive hills. New visual effects, like the lip on a bunker, can even affect gameplay, forcing you to take a more precise swing.
Like many of the games in EA Sports' 2001 lineup, NHL 2001 benefits from significantly improved visuals and refined gameplay. NHL 2001 is an amazing-looking game: Players' faces are incredibly detailed, and they have a wider range of expressions. This year's version also gives you the ability to configure specific AI features like passing time and how quickly players recover from body checks.
The widely praised console skating game finally comes to the PC. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is just an incredibly fun sports game. Even if you don't like skating, the game's addictive career mode and easy-to-use trick system are enough to hook even the most dedicated traditional sports fan.
The line of quality games in the Virtual Pool series continues with Virtual Pool 3, which offers improvements in just about every category imaginable. Virtual Pool 3 offers better multiplayer support, better graphics, and better single-player action than any of its predecessors. Even the solid physics engine from the previous games has been improved to make ball movement much more realistic.
|And the winner is... »|