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Five Sports We Haven't Seen a Major Release For This Generation That Need It

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Five Sports We Haven't Seen a Major Release For This Generation That Need It

As much as we treasure our world of lifelike sims and addiction-inducing indie masterpieces, there are a number of sports that are flat-out underrepresented in the current gaming landscape. All of the following sports have seen significant and well received titles in the past. Keeping with the holiday spirit, we at Operation Sports offer a list of desired presents to both our dear readers and developers: five sports we have high atop our wishlist for future releases.

College Basketball

Low-hanging fruit, but day in and day out, basketball fans wonder what the 2K team could do with an NCAA license. Live rosters and classic teams could make an already captivating sport even more thrilling. NCAA Basketball 10 was the final official EA release, which sounds even further away when one realizes that then-Oklahoma Sooner Blake Griffin was the game’s cover athlete. How would arenas and player models look on current consoles? What sort of presumably microtransaction-riddled March Madness mode would exist? eSports and March Madness sure do seem like a match made in heaven. Regrettably, barring some sort of landmark court case resolving player likenesses, basketball fans will just have to dream.

Tennis

Presumably, wrangling all of the licenses and top stars would be a financial nightmare that few companies would want to undertake. But Mario Tennis and Virtua Tennis pulled off digital tennis so well almost 20 years ago, so why can’t someone today? Even a budget Virtua Tennis entry that allowed for online play and beefed up performance from the previous console generation’s releases would be welcomed. Once upon a time, Virtua Tennis’s World Circuit mode laid a new foundation for career modes with RPG elements. Five years have passed since the most recent major tennis release on modern consoles, leaving an immensely popular international sport in the dust. Tennis World Tour is coming in 2018, which will fill this void presumably.

Arcade-Style Wrestling

Everyone loves a good sim, but part of what made WWF: No Mercy and its predecessors so addicting in the early 2000s was the simplicity and depth of the gameplay. WWE’s only releases for current-generation consoles have been the 2K series. The previous console generation saw WWE Legends of Wrestlemania and WWE All Stars, but both games suffered from a lack of replay value. No Mercy still routinely tops “Greatest Wrestling Games of All-Time” lists despite its release 17 years ago. WWE’s focus on its 2K series is understandable, but if done correctly, a budget arcade title could inject new life for the sport. Perhaps even Ring of Honor or New Japan Pro Wrestling could invest into independent wrestling’s rise in popularity by releasing a No Mercy clone with updated graphics and endless replay value.

Boxing

As with the aforementioned college sports games, EA had a formidable, somewhat perennial franchise in the form of Fight Night. The series went out with a bang on previous consoles as Fight Night Champion introduced a very dark story to go along with its brutal gameplay. The game earned a Mature rating from the ESRB and showcased a fascinating narrative concept. Unfortunately, EA pivoted towards UFC and left the boxing world behind once modern consoles took over. As with tennis, boxing was captured exceptionally well on classic consoles. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing and Super Punch Out! demonstrated the power of arcade-style boxing games as well. A new crop of boxing stars (we have yet to see a digital Canelo Alvarez or GGG) matches quite well with a new collection of consoles. Here’s hoping that a steady crop of sports deities and boxing legends (and, perhaps once again, the Burger King as your trainer) can grace a new generation yet again.

College Football

No surprise here. Recruiting and building a dynastic program was a blast in earlier releases and is still a wholesomely unique franchise-like experience to this day. In addition to daydreaming about what lavish creation suites could exist to bring one of the most popular sports in the United States to life, simply seeing marquee teams and stadiums rendered on a current console would be breathtaking. How about unlockable mascot teams and a College GameDay presentation style? Even if EA’s throw-in experimental mini-game modes such as the brilliant Tug-of-War could come at a hefty microtransaction price today, they still generated an experience that felt completely fresh from the rest of the product.

 

What sports are on your list? 

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  1. Besides Wrestling, which I don't care about, not having those other 4 games has left a giant crater in the landscape of the sports gaming world.
    Of the ones mentioned, I would only be interested in college football (though I would be VERY interested!). I would add lacrosse to the list. The fast action is perfect for the videogame world.
    I miss the old days when arcade versions of the major sports games came out. NFL street, NBA street, NBA Ballers, The Bigs, I had so much fun with all of those
    Boxing would be nice....UFC is stupid in real life and in video games. No interest what so ever. It was a sad day when EA transitioned away from boxing to UFC.
    Boxing would be nice....UFC is stupid in real life and in video games. No interest what so ever. It was a sad day when EA transitioned away from boxing to UFC.
    Just don't understand why they can't make a college football game with it being fully customizable.  Stock it with generic teams and conferences, but have the tools and ability to customize and share. 
    Just don't understand why they can't make a college football game with it being fully customizable.  Stock it with generic teams and conferences, but have the tools and ability to customize and share. 
    NCAA Football and Basketball go without saying. Im missing college basketball more right now. I still play College Hoops 2K8 to this day. I wish 2K or EA would get the licenses for the schools, conferences and NCAA. Come up with a roster structure that doesn't run afoul of any players' likeness or put the schools, NCAA or publisher at risk for a lawsuit. Generic doesn't mean bad or not realistic. I actually think it may be better as they could really create a universe. Add a MyCareer mode along with MyTeam (with pro players) and put it out there. Bundle it with NBA2K!
    I agree we need to see all 5 of these sports games come back! (actually 4 since we know 2 or 3 tennis games are due to come out in 2018.)
    I also agree on SSX. We need another one to come out for this gen. SSX Tricky was one of my favorite video games of all time! So many hours and time wasted playing this game with friends. Loved it!
    Regrettably, barring some sort of landmark court case resolving player likenesses basketball fans will just have to dream.

    Honestly, all they'd need to do (and what they should have done from the beginning) is make every player 100% random and it's fine. I'd even be ok with limited create-a-player slots and roster editing/sharing if it brought back the franchise.
    The major problem is getting every single NCAA Division 1 program to join in to make it an actual, full fledged college game. It's not college hoops with just the power programs and if someone like Duke, UCLA or Kansas doesn't join in then your game is pretty much dead before it even starts.
    Without a doubt, I would love to have college football and college basketball back. Just take NBA 2K engine to use for college basketball. I'd also like to 2K get a shot at college football.
    Also would like to see college baseball return.
    Also like your idea for arcade style wrestling as the WWE game is consistently lacking a fun factor.
    Two that haven’t been mentioned: First, NCAA hockey (yeah, it’s a niche sport but so college football as far as I’m concerned)
    Second, Pro Yakyuu Spirits desperately, desperately needs to come back. I could probably count the NPB fans around here on one hand, but that was one of the best baseball games around. The presentation was miles ahead of what The Show has done before or since (and I love The Show)
    RBUDD88
    Have you tried Casey Powell Lacrosse?

    No, I kept seeing mixed reviews, some saying the franchise mode is unplayable. Have you tried it? Worth getting?
    I really miss college football and college basketball. The other sports I don't care about. To this day I still play NCAA Football 2014, NCAA Football 2005 (to upload draft classes to Madden 05), College Hoops 2k8 and NCAA Basketball 09
    omg how can i forget**college baseball!
    EA's college baseball was a blast to play. One of my favorite sports games of all time! Would love to see EA or 2K take a crack at this again.*
    I'm hoping some day in my lifetime, the legal controversy over EA and the NCAA’s profits off of amateur likenesses will get resolved.
    EA Sports’ NCAA Football series is one of the most beloved video games series ever! The same can be said about the NCAA College basketball game. EA needs to bring these franchises back!
    NCAA Football was the reason I originally began coming to this website ten years ago to seek out rosters, seek players for my online leagues, and tips and tricks. I still keep my XBox 360 just to play NCAA 14 which is an excellent game to this day. The depth of Online Franchise in NCAA Football is still unrivaled in modern sports games.
    Just provide a generic set of rosters and a TeamBuilder esque addition to teams wary to join. Eitherway, I do not think the game had any reason to be cancelled (player likenesses/money is such crap) and the lack of NCAA sports games is such a void. Back in 2002, not a single player whined about their likeness in NCAA and likely were flattered to see themself in digital form.
    Another game that I would like to see return that no one has mentioned is the NHL 2K series. I always enjoyed 2K hockey in the early-mid 2000s and NHL 2k8 was one of my favorite sports games on the XBOX 360. Why 2K does not have a stake in the NHL series anymore is another loss.
    SHAKYR
    We definitely need a boxing videogame! UFC isn't doing it for combat sports fans.

    I do agree that we need to see another boxing game, but the G.O.A.T. Career Mode in UFC 3 has me intrigued. Love the fact that you now have the option to master the promotion and performance of becoming a professional fighter, inside and outside the Octagon.
    Xbox gamers can argue there hasn't been a simulation MLB game this generation.  In my opinion, Fight Night Champion, to this day, still has the best story mode of all time in a videogame.
    Peter_OS
    I do agree that we need to see another boxing game, but the G.O.A.T. Career Mode in UFC 3 has me intrigued. Love the fact that you now have the option to master the promotion and performance of becoming a professional fighter, inside and outside the Octagon.

    It sounds intriguing but a huge part of me doesn't want to support the game because it helped shelve Fight Night.I feel like fans are being intentionally starved into being UFC/MMA fans.
    CH2K  and EA NCAA Football- would love to see another version of both these 2 titles.
    In my opinion CHk28 is still the best basketball game made to date.
    and EA's NCAA Football 14 and 11 ranks at the top along with NFL2k5 as the best football games made to date as well
    GlennN
    No, I kept seeing mixed reviews, some saying the franchise mode is unplayable. Have you tried it? Worth getting?

    It’s actually pretty good if you are into field lacrosse. I’m a way bigger fan of box lacrosse and the NLL. I would love to see a fully licensed NLL game using the Casey Powell engine but the guy who makes those games says there isn’t enough interest.
    Soooo miss the NCAA series. Especially football. July isn’t the same without that yearly release. A new Fight Night game would be amazing. Forget about the UFC games. Going to ground? Yeah nope. And Top Spin 5 please. Then again if 2k would bring it back you’d probably need 20,000 VC just to add a second set to the match.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Obviously praying for a college sport game every year. It would look amazing on frostbite either the amount of energy that’s in a game. But I think, as an Xbox owner for multiple generations, I haven’t bought an MLB game since mlb 2k9. 2K destroyed the image of baseball of Xbox because it’s poor production and mediocre attention. I have been waiting for a good baseball game for so long, hell im waiting for MVP to come back. But the fact that PS4 is the only console to play a major league sport is absurd to me
    There's got to be a creative way around the NCAA likeness issue. Maybe make them all aliens? And then you can customize to human?
    Or every player model is the same. One size and race and then the user can change ... or a couple of model options with cartoony appearances.
    Or remember when the first Bill Walsh came out? They didn't have a lot of the licenses, so you had teams like "South Bend."
    Maybe try and curve away from the legal issue by not involving the NCAA?
    johnnyg83
    There's got to be a creative way around the NCAA likeness issue. Maybe make them all aliens? And then you can customize to human?
    Or every player model is the same. One size and race and then the user can change ... or a couple of model options with cartoony appearances.

    They don't really have to get too creative. Just don't infringe (or provide a mechanism to) on any student athletes' likeness. It sucks for realism but it is what it is. 2K and Madden have shown that some schools are still willing to get into the videogame space. They had protections in place to not allow themselves or the schools to get hit with any likeness stuff. In 2K you cojldnt even edit your MyPlayer to the name of a current student athlete at the respective schools. Just do that on a large scale. Like most things these days it comes down to money. How much is the game gonna cost vs how much they expect to make on it. NCAA Football seems like it would be a slam dunk. College Hoops, I'm not sure about. A MyCareer mode would help, I think.
    1) Wrestling isn't a sport.
    2) Uh... College basketball and college football are still basketball and football. You do know that, right?
    3) Those NCAA parasites can get bent.
    On the extreme sports side of things:
    Skate 4 so I can die in peace.
    Would also be down for another SSX.
    Additionally, a worthy MX or ATV game would be welcome.
    Back then we didn't know how blessed we were. NCAA Football and College Hoops 2K were AMAZING games.
    I think college basketball is the ideal video game "online franchise", as you have a relatively short season along with March Madness. Throw in NCAA football-esque recruiting system, and I probably wont need to play many other games besides this and The Show year round.
    Hopefully someday they can figure this out and get college video games back. Even a generic game would totally work for me, but unfortunately I don't think a company like 2K or EA is willing to test their waters on releasing a generic game. Only one I've ever seen like that was Blitz The League.
    yea, Re: College bball... it would have to be totally generic, probably. I dunno if I'd mind, though. I dunno why they couldn't take the 2k 'engine' and make it like 20 or 30 dollar DLC.
    I dunno if they understand how thirsty we are for college bball. haha. It's not the same when someone makes a roster update with college rosters because you miss out on the recruiting part. The recruiting and closed legacy (or whatever it was called) in 2k8 was amazing.
    Basically, what they could do is make a bunch of teams, maybe not ALL of the teams, but just a bunch of teams, make conferences with different prestige, then add in the ability to add conferences, and add teams, and make it all able to be customized. Toggle sliders, etc.
    I'd like to think they could improve upon the 2k8 legacy mode a bit, but I would play something very similar if they just had a better engine for the games. I have to play 2k8 as a totally sim game because it's no fun to play anymore.
    -Smak
    I used to mostly just play College Football & College Basketball Video games, so would like to have those back.
    Also, I know there is MLB the Show, but I miss MVP baseball.
    And it would be cool as someone mentioned to have a good Olympics game.
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