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Here it is! The most anticipated show of the year – the 2014 Press Row Podcast Sports Game of the Year. The votes have been tallied and the winners are announced. As always, none of the panelists are aware of who wins coming into the show, and the discussions leading up to the unveiling and the reactions afterwards are the best part of it. This year we also add two new twists – we award our first-ever Rookie of the Year award and we “present” the Sports Game of the Year award to the development team for their reaction! It’s our best-ever Game of the Year episode, and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did putting it all together. Happy Holidays!

Joining us this week:
  • Owen Good, Polygon (@owengood)
  • Bryan Wiedey, PastaPadre (@pastapadre)
  • Kat Bailey, US Gamer (@The_Katbot)
  • Chris Sanner, Operation Sports (@ChrisSnr)
  • Samit Sarkar, Polygon (@samitsarkar)
  • T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@ThatSportsGamer)
  • And your host, Richard Grisham, [email protected] (@richgrisham)
Send us your feedback! We love to hear from you and can’t wait to read your stuff on the air in a future episode. Do it one of these ways:

1) Follow the show on Twitter at @PressRowPodcast and send us some Tweets while you’re there
2) Email the show at [email protected]
3) Respond to this post

Also, the Press Row Podcast is now available on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...ow/id563624090) and Stitcher Radio (http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/oper...ss-row-podcast), so subscribe to it and rate it too!

Enjoy the show!

Run Time: 1 Hour, 51 Minutes

If you can't view or listen to the embedded player below, please click here.


Game: Operation SportsReader Score: 8.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PC / PS3 / Xbox 360Votes for game: 19 - View All
Operation Sports Videos
Member Comments
# 1 stos5363 @ 12/19/14 07:38 PM
i think the show was great game but NBA 2k15 was game of the year by leaps and bounds.

The upgrades they did to playcalling and there motion sets alone would puts over the top. You can teach people the triangle offense by just playing 2k. They added a weekly tv show,2 more park modes and another voice for my player and the level of detail from on court animations and graphics including lighting were incredible. Yeah they had a bad launch with the servers but since then the servers have been fine for me and even better post patch #2. I just think the panel held that first week over 2k's heads.which imo is not fair.

Say what you want but nba 2k15 had excellent gameplay, and they added bold new features that other companies are not doing.

I feel like the show was just a 1080p upgrade to an already great game but it didn't show me anything new in terms of new modes or features and the online games are pretty laggy to me.
 
# 2 Ginesis22 @ 12/20/14 11:14 AM
How did the lag fest of The Show win? If NBA 2k gets points taken away for online issues then The Show should also. But then Super Mega Baseball would of won and imo the very fact that it made it into the top 3 is crazy but I guess to each his own.

P.S. Next year you should have a most improved award.
 
# 3 BBallcoach @ 12/20/14 03:56 PM
My list: (Have not played the show or NHL)

1. NBA 2k15... Best game in the series gameplay wise. And just outstanding.
2. The Golf Club- An indie golf golf with an in-depth course creator. And ever continuing upgrades.
3. FIFA 15- The all around better game. The Career mode is deeper and FUT is better than PES
4. PES 2015- This was my first PES, And wow. Blown away with the gameplay on the pitch
5. Madden 15- I mean it's good. and improved, but it;s a tough year this year.
 
# 4 bxphenom7 @ 12/21/14 12:44 PM
I have to say Kat, MLB, NBA, and PES, definitely are ahead of FIFA. I understand people's issues with PES' licensing, but my goodness, the game itself is too much fun to play because it looks like real football. I find FIFA's gameplay less simulation, actually much less, but it has the better modes for sure. So I understand the argument of being the "overall" better game, but I, personally, am having a blast playing PES' Become A Legend and Master League, somehow, when there are better career modes. I think that just speaks to its gameplay.

I think MLB The Show has got to improve its modes, presentation, and add new features for next year. It may be close to becoming like Madden, where not enough updates are being made to distinguish itself from previous iterations. It was my favorite sports franchise a year ago and before that, but MLB 14 The Show didn't feel different, perhaps because of its first year being on PS4.

In regards to NBA 2k15, too many modes is not a problem imo. It creates even more value for the $60. However, I personally don't like how the career mode has become story-oriented and the lack of extra voices now. I liked the career mode when there was no story, because it felt like you were making your own story. It needs to give you options on how you want to start your career, and also provide decisions you want to make that are not the product of set pieces always. I like the sponsorships, and I don't mind cutscenes, but no forced rivals, let me develop my own rivalry based on how I play, something like Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor where enemies remember you and what you've done. In fact, this should be an improvement for all sports games.

Great show guys! I feel the topic will be much harder next year with WWE 2k16 and UFC coming full circle, hopefully.
 
# 5 ocat @ 12/22/14 02:27 AM
So a game that's been out not even a week gets the #3 spot!? Come on guys, clearly you're in the honeymoon period. As for The Show winning, meh I guess it's a worthy winner but it does nothing different from the PS3 version and the online sucks (which NBA 2k gets criticized for, lol). But SMB being better than FIFA, PES and madden? Take the rose coloured glasses off........
 
# 6 JohnDoe8865 @ 12/22/14 03:37 AM
Great listen, surprised MLB 14: The Show won but it's that good! I hope they revisit Super Mega Baseball sometime in March to see if the "honeymoon" period swayed the voting.
 
# 7 dowroa @ 12/22/14 12:21 PM
Operations Sports:

I am pretty disappointed with the listing of Top 3 games that I just heard. A lot of the explanations I heard were "playing current favorites", and not speaking to which is the best sports game of 2014.

Sports games (and racing games) have to be judged on different criteria than most other games. They come out year over year, and are additive (other genres are getting there, but not quite to the sports gaming level, yet). In my opinion, you have to have the fun, content, and breadth to be considered a "Top 3 game of X-year."

What astounds me the most is to hear what was the sports game of the year last year (Fifa 2014) not even be in the top 3 this year! Yet a fun and under-featured game like Super Mega Baseball be in 3rd is beyond comprehensible, to me. Fifa '15did NOT get worse this year. The online was better than anything else listed. The modes are still rock solid. Is it hugely innovative as 2K's Player Career is attempting to be? No, but that is a battle for 1st or 2nd -- not 5th.

People on this specific panel appear to be voting favorites -- not sports game of the year. This seemed to be the same on the Podcast from Operation Sports that did racing games as well (I couldn't even make it through that podcast as I was offended for some of the choices from the members in that episode, personally). A sports (or racing) game should have to be evaluated for the complete gambit of the game -- not just on what excited you today.

Simply, this is akin to Mariokart 8 getting Racing Game of the Year, which is even referenced as a joke at the top of this podcast! A "fun game" (which is always a relative metric) being highly ranked is misleading when a simple feature-by-feature or depth comparison would just show the "fun game" to fall hopefully short in comparison. That is not to say we should not enjoy these "fun games", but are they really "the best" or "the top" games of the genre? In my opinion, they are not (whether or not you think they should even be compared in the discussion or not).

I am glad everyone enjoys the games they enjoy, as they should. For example, I bought, play, and enjoy Super Mega Baseball as it takes me back to Tegen's RBI I played as a youth. But, please, discontinue ranking the games in an order if everyone's systems for ranking are so disparate. Super Mega Baseball isn't as feature rich as Madden, NBA 2k15, Fifa 15, PES 2015 or even Golf Club (it has on-line!).

Super Mega Baseball should get an honorable mention if everyone enjoyed it (like Rookie Game of the Year). That is perfect. However, It should not be #3 and it should not be displacing quality, high level feature content games like FIFA and PES.

Thank you for your high quality and almost always enjoyable podcasts, but I think I will skip ranking podcasts from this group in the future. OS panelist do a GREAT job of talking about WHAT they enjoy and WHY they enjoy it. I agree and have found MANY reasons to give games I would have never thought of trying a chance from listening. However, the "ranking" this year seems to as shallow as MarioKart 8 being voted the racing game of the year.

- brian
 
# 8 ralphieboy11 @ 12/22/14 02:56 PM
I love this podcast, but I too was disappointed with the rankings this year. It didn't seem right for Super-Mega Baseball to come in so late and grab so much attention. It looks like a fun little game but as the previous poster mentioned it's not a full depth content game like these other titles. That is shown in its price alone.

I thought of the exact same analogy before I read dowroa's post. It was just like Mario Kart 8 winning sports/racing game of the year.

I didn't really agree with the Show as best title either. I love that series, but the first Next Gen title didn't have the polish of their previous titles. There are still issues with lighting in certain ballparks, and the patch support seemed less this year with the game coming out so late and SCEA moving onto '15. Also, I think the Show is lagging behind in Next Gen graphics at the moment. My list would have gone like this.

1. NBA2K
2. FIFA 15
3. The Golf Club(outstanding new title with tremendous developer support)
4. MLB the Show
5. Madden 15(showing good signs but still struggling with making the game look like the real game we see on Sundays)
6. PES (I enjoy this game but the graphics and licenses are too much for me to overcome)
 
# 9 Turbojugend @ 12/23/14 11:08 AM
I totally agree with the selections this year. All-in-all this was a pretty solid year for sports games, but The Show is the only one that has stuck with me, two months into the offseason and I still can't stop playing. I wouldn't have been surprised if NBA 2K15 won, but the launch issues definitely soured things. I wouldn't have been surprised at FIFA 15 either, but unfortunately for FIFA, Konami showed us there's still a lot that can be improved in the gameplay dept.

Looks like I'm going to have to give Super Mega Baseball a spin. If anything, it should fill the gap waiting for The Show 15.
 

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