We recently asked OS Staff Writers what their most anticipated games of 2013 were, and why that was. Right now it seems there is a big variety of opinions as to which games are the most anticipated of the year. Be sure to read their opinions and add your own!
Grid 2 -- As the "racing games" guy on Operation Sports, it would be crazy for me not to list a racing game as my top choice, and for good reason. Codemasters has always been one of the best when it comes to that genre, making some of the best games during this generation. With Grid 2, they look to build on the success the first game had with better visuals, handling, features, and modes -- something you obviously expect out of a sequel. Although they have shown very little gameplay, what they have shown looks great, and Codemasters knows how to iterate and they do it very well. Lucky for me and everyone interested in the game, we only have to wait until May 28 to finally have the game in our hands.
NBA 2K14 -- Other games were serious contenders for my second spot, but 2K Sports has always made me anticipate their annual basketball game each and every year. NBA 2K13 was a phenomenal game -- although I still loathe the menu design -- but that's beside the point. The on-the-court gameplay was some of the best and they keep outdoing themselves each and every year. NBA 2K14 is being teased already and if what I think is true, this year's game will be even better than the past few years.
Next UFC Game -- Quite frankly, I'm really interested to see how EA positions its first foray into UFC-branded products. Will they lean heavily on EA MMA's unique striking and pace? Will they bring over the solid grappling elements of UFC Undisputed 3 (and the Pride Mode)? Will each fighter truly behave like their real-life counterparts, specializing in specific aspects of the game? I'm hoping for a deep simulation that has lots of room for mastery, both online and offline. I don't mind some sizzle, but at the end of the day, a fighting game has to rely on its systems and mechanics.
NHL 14 -- Sure, I don't really know what to expect from the next NHL product, but I'm a hockey guy, and I've got to hope EA brings some meaningful improvements to certain lingering issues (defensive controls, AI routines, lame fighting engine) and spices things up with some long-overdue presentation upgrades and added modes. This year provided a nice surprise with the revised skating engine, so I'm hoping to be surprised again.
Grid 2: I didn't play much of the original Grid, but what I did play has me incredibly intrigued for the sequel. Grid is one of those games that doesn't have to worry about anything but being fun. SSX proved that can be a deadly combination in sports themed games last year, and I think Grid could be a similar type of game this year. Color me as excited.
NCAA Football 14: I don't think NCAA is going to be among the best games of this year, don't take me as listing it in here as that -- but I am extremely interested to see exactly where this year's franchise goes. Last year's game was stuck in the mud, and there wasn't very much to be excited about the NCAA franchise. This year, I'm hoping something, anything is done to insert some excitement into the series. If not, there could be some bad vibes about the future of the series starting to surface.
Madden 25 - Could this be the year that the Madden team realizes the potential that was buried under the bugs and non-working features in Madden 13? History, especially on the current-gen consoles, makes me skeptical. That said, I think Tiburon really wants to make a great Madden before the next consoles arrive and I'm cautiously optimistic for Madden 25. I may be naive and I've been burned with almost every iteration of Madden this generation, but the football fan in me wants to believe! I'm gonna stick my neck out and say I'm looking forward to this year's game.
2K's WWE Game - We have absolutely no details, we have no release date, we don't even have a confirmation that it will come out this year. Despite all of that, I've seen what 2K is capable of doing and to ignore the potential of 2K 's animation proficient studios and a WWE licensed game would be ignoring the obvious. The potential for a major change in the way we experience WWE games is possible. 2KSports has been traditionally strong with it's presentation and this bodes well for a series that lacked a lot of the "little things" in that department with THQ. Hopefully 2KShare can be used much like the THQ servers for community creations (except much more stable) and can be expanded even further. This seems like a licensing match made in gaming Heaven!
MLB 13: The Show: The Show is a truly a slow burn, consistently trading "hot new features!" for gradual and meaningful changes. It's always a pleasure to see what they've tightened up, year to year. I was a little underwhelmed with Diamond Dynasty, so I am excited to see how it has been improved. What's more, I am excited to see how Franchise mode has been tweaked, since it is where I spend most of my time.
OOTP 14: I probably spend more time with OOTP, historically, than I do The Show...simply because it is so addictive. Like The Show, this series treads on small changes rather than widespread enhancements, crafting one of the most complete PC games I've ever played. Hopefully, the improvements continue (especially to the UI) to keep me negotiating contracts and trading players well into the night.
NBA 2K14: Every year, it's more or less the same cycle for me: I get the latest installment of NBA 2K and play it to death for a few months. Then I fall off for a few, then come back to it a few months before the next one releases. I'm usually playing the last one the night before the new one drops. And I keep figuring they're going to drop the ball one of these years. But the NBA 2K series is like the San Antonio Spurs: somehow they stay on top, year after year. As the series makes the leap onto the next generation of consoles, I can't wait to see what they come up with.
Shadowrun Returns: This isn't even close to a sports game, but once I read about it, I had to throw it out there. Based on a pen-and-paper RPG blending cyberpunk with magic and beloved by me circa seventh grade, Shadowrun Returns built up its funding via Kickstarter, and it would be interesting to see if that kind of model can be extended to more sports games as well. Part new XCOM, part traditional RPG, this is certainly a game that will be dominating my iPad gaming time when it drops this summer.
If you could choose two of your most anticipated sports games of 2013, what would they be?