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If You Could Resurrect One Sports Game Series (Roundtable)

Sports Gaming

If You Could Resurrect One Sports Game Series (Roundtable)

On today’s roundtable, we’re going to do a thought experiment to see which sports games some of our writers (and our readers) would bring back from the dead!

You’ve just been given a mystical superpower to bring one (and only one) sports game that no longer exists back into existence. Not only do you get the game, but you get it as if it were consistently developed since its departure from this earth. So a game released say 20 years ago has been released yearly for 20 years, etc.

As one other catch, you can’t pick a game someone else picks. We ready? Let’s go!

What is your pick and what does it feature?

Joel Smith

Welp, this is a no brainer for me. NFL 2K. Hands down. Thanks to this mystical superpower, I’m bringing back NFL 2K and it falls right in line with the progression that the 2K team has had with its NBA series. That being said, I’m fine tuning the game and melding elements that (hopefully) touch all bases.

I’m straight going to rob our insight from our last discussion about franchise mode and implement that here. NFL 2K5‘s franchise mode was pretty dang in-depth for the point that franchise modes were at back in that day. Carrying that forward and integrating the analytics, options and depth of NBA 2K’s franchise mode (while obviously having it fully tailored for the NFL) is what you’ll get. Users will get weekly recap shows of the week on Sundays, as well as pre, halftime and postgame shows.

Users will also have the ability to tailor the franchise experience to their gaming level between beginner, intermediate and hardcore, also allowing them to choose what would be automated and user controlled; beginner will walk the user through everything necessary to run their franchise while also educating them on the workings of each section so that they get an understanding of how a real-life NFL franchise would operate. Intermediate would tone down the instructional stuff but would still help out with the more complex areas of things. Hardcore would offer no help. Further sharing the NBA 2K formula would be “Start Today” feature for franchise mode (starting in, say, week 6 with all trades and real life records).

Presentation would be the best ever to grace a sports game. ESPN, NBC, ABC and NFL Networks would all join forces as they do in NFL now to give gamers a true immersive experience. Overlays, commentating teams, presentation packages — the whole thing. This would be an expensive part of the endeavor, but playing and watching a game of NFL 2K would look so near to what you’d see on TV that someone not knowing you were gaming would be none the wiser.

As the game would be made by the 2K team, you’d of course have a MyCareer mode. Madden’s “Longshot” was a well done story mode, but I’m sure most players would enjoy continuing on at the “end” of the story to steer a player’s career. NFL 2K’s MyCareer would offer two backstories for a player. Either your player came from a rough upbringing, fighting and surviving all the obstacles to overcome and have his shot to make it as a 5-star college recruit. Or your player was a young star who had everything in front of him, easily became a 5-star recruit, but the arrogance, ignorance and “silver spoon” luxuries they had got to their head and they lose their scholarship chances to a top college and need to work their way back to relevance. As done for NBA 2K, having 8 big NCAA football schools get on board to be in the game (like NBA 2K17) will be part of the story; the NFL Combine would also be added in to give the player the full experience.

Of course you’d have online features: head to head, “Seasons” against friends, and online franchise mode.

There would be a “Practice Field Pick Up” mode; 7-on-7 football with a full campaign mode for that alone. Each NFL team would be represented by 9 players, 7 on the field and two subs. You’ll take your squad and compete for Practice Field dominance. There’d be an arcade-ish aspect to this mode. A little more off-the-walls football, but no power-ups, just player skills.

Lastly, a full customization suite would be included; instead of just custom players, you’d also be able to make custom teams and stadiums. Face Scan would be available so you could put your own face in the game, and players could share their creations and teams with each other.

There would be in-game currency, but it would be earned by your play, not real-life money. Players would be permitted to buy game currency, but would be limited to three purchases of said currency per month, with a maximum amount sold of 10,000 units.

There would by a MyTeam option that would function as NBA 2K’s does, but for NFL 2K.

I’m probably missing some stuff, but this would be the big components of my NFL 2K game. And you know you’d buy it without hesitation.

Kevin Scott

While EA has been busy focusing on UFC, it’s been 7 years now since Fight Night Champion was released, meaning we have no serious contenders from current-gen consoles to get our boxing fix. So with these new magic powers bestowed upon me by OS, I am reviving Fight Night.

And do I even need to tell you how amazing this game has become since you last played it. There’s no shortage of real-life boxers that you can use in the game, from modern-day superstars like Floyd Mayweather to legends like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson; and they all look and behave just like their real-life counterparts.

In addition to a marvelous campaign mode that sees you working your way up the ranks in an exhilarating storyline, there’s also plenty to do online. The idea of “gyms” has been refined to allow you to have whole fight cards against other gyms. There will be all sorts of online championships that can be won at different weight classes and a customization suite that allows you to create the exact boxer you want.

Damn, I am getting excited about this game just talking about it. Get on it, EA!

Brian O’Neill

The first sports game I ever played (and fell in love with) was the immortal classic, Jordan vs. Bird. Today it would probably look a lot like NBA 2K’s blacktop mode, but in my updated version it could be played offline or online against other players, and I would double down on the “vs” in the title.

What if every year the new version focused on an NBA rivalry, regardless of how real it may or may not be? Durant vs. Westbrook comes to mind. The main mode could be centered around an RPG-esc story, where they start off as teammates, and follow them from year one until their breakup and beyond. Various 1×1, 2×2 or 3×3 games would be shoehorned in there of course. You could also play through entirely as Durant or Westbrook, and see the story from their various perspectives. A lot would have to be invented, but that would be half the fun.

“Boss levels” could be 5×5 NBA games to mix it up, but the focus would be on the rivalry. I could see an All Star game in there, where you’re forced to work together, maybe even with other real players via the power of the internet, to accomplish a series of goals that are required to advance the story. 2K and Telltale Games could team up to make this happen. Oh and Spike Lee would direct, obviously.

It could go on deep into the future, following their entire careers, and take wild twists and turns depending on decisions the player makes. Like maybe in 2021 they team up again to try and win a title together? Then once you beat the story from both perspectives, you get a teaser for next year’s game. Shaq vs. Kobe, perhaps? Or Jackson vs. Mashburn vs. Kidd, featuring a whole Toni Braxton subplot? I’d totally buy that game every year!

Kevin Groves

This is a tough one. College Hoops 2K and NCAA Football are probably my two favorite sports video game franchises, and that says a lot coming from a guy that spends the majority of his time in the footy forum. Gun to my head (yes it’s THAT serious) and I would say NCAA Football. The number of hours dedicated to online dynasty and the good friends I met on OS can’t be compared to College Hoops 2K, which for me was a mostly offline experience albeit an incredibly deep one for 2008.

Apart from the game which was ahead of Madden in nearly every facet at the time, the entire experience leading up to its release is deeply missed. July was always a perpetual countdown and while many thought NCAA was the appetizer to Madden’s entree, I usually got full off that appetizer and often skipped Madden apart from exporting draft classes to see how my former players did at the next level. To this day, my buddies and I still brag about past triumphs on the field and wins on the recruiting trail while dwelling on missed opportunities.


What game would you resurrect? Give us your choice and what it’d look like in the comments below!


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  1. For me, it would be between NFL 2k and NCAA COLLEGE football.  But I think I would lean toward NCAA.  With so many teams and different divisions the game never got boring to me. Today you could really have some depth to college football with High school recruits, season mode, and new playoff format would make the very fun!
    I'll get a little weird here and combine two of the items in the roundtable. I'd want College Football 2K to come back. Yes, College Football 2K3 was terrible. However, we want college football video games back, and we want 2K football. Why not have both? I guarantee they would knock it out of the park after a couple releases. Factor in the deep customization they offer in NBA2K and boom.
    College Hoops would be a close second for me. Luckily, I can re-live some of that magic by having a custom college league in NBA2K so I'm not craving College Hoops as much as football right now.
    The death of EA"s separate World Cup game has been under-reported. We are only getting a 32 team free add-on, not the full 200 plus team qualifying tournament that showed cased the wonderful diversity of football. Instead EA is putting all resources for FUT even in the WC where is has no business at all. The 2010 World Cup game remains my favorite sports game of all time. There was no reason to kill the WC other than greed and pushing loot boxes. College sports and 2k football went away for much different reasons. 
    Tecmo Bowl, Tecmo Bowl, Tecmo Bowl! Sometimes we get too critical with series for not having one element that is exactly like the real sport. I want Bo to go wild, I want LT to be the fastest man on the planet, and of course, the ambulance driving on the field AND the soundtrack! Second choice is NCAA football, third would be ANY Indycar driving game
    Definitely a college basketball (from EA or 2K) or an NCAA Football game!! We need one so badly.  (I've slowly gotten over MVP Baseball since "The Show" is so good).
    EASY for me.  NCAA Football in a second.  Hours and Hours of playing online dynasty.  Trying to win the recruiting battle, the heisman trophy, the conference, national championship etc.  It had the most in depth online experience I've ever had even now.  A close 2nd would be PGA tour/Tiger Woods golf in it's "prime".    Played in a large circle of friends and the competition was fierce.   Alot of alt shot, best ball, 4 ball, etc.  Miss them both terribly.
    So many,  NCAA  football from EA  and NCAA  basketball from both EA and 2K , 2K pro football and the SSX  series but if I can only pick one seeing that my xbox is lacking a sim baseball game ( no RBI doesn't count in my eyes) I would pick EA MVP  baseball, would love to see that in 4K
    Fight Night for me. UFC has a lot of good things that they could use in fight night in terms of physics. We really need a deep and dedicated boxing game and we need it ASAP. Failing that, NCAA. I miss turning a really small college team into a team of absolute world beaters. I could get lost in NCAA games and am considering a PS3 just to see if it still plays as well as it used to.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    There are a few I'd like back (2K Football & NHL, NCAA Football & Basketball, and MVP Baseball).
    If I had to pick, I'd probably go with NCAA Football. Recruiting was a lot of fun. And I've always enjoyed watching college over NFL.
    Can I cheat and say licenced arcade sports games. NBA street 2, NFL street 2, NHL hitz!! Oh how I long for current day versions of those titles 
    its a toss up between NFL2k, CH2K, and EA NCAA Football. I still play all three consistently.
    but if I had to really pick one it would be CH2K..
    This is a easy one for me, College hoops2k, Id even take EA making a college basketball game, for that matter even though it wasnt nor would it be as good as CH2k. I just miss CH2k8, still the greatest video game ever made imo. I do miss NCAA football too, but considering how screwed up EA has done with Madden, Im sure NCAA football would likely suck if they were to make it again.
    I wouldnt mind seeing MVP baseball make a comeback, still the greatest baseball game, not named MLBTS. However The Show has gotten stale, due to the lack of effort put into franchise mode, which is why I didnt buy this yr, so if a MVP baseball came back and EA didnt screw it up like they have with Madden, then maybe MLBTS team would get their focus back on Franchise instead this fantasy crap DD and online play, but maybe not as it seems the younger gamers, are more casual these days, and dont care as much for Franchise modes, as us old timers,lol
    Will always be NCAA Football. In NCAA Football 19, Road To Glory has been expanded with the all-new Nike All-America Combine. You square against other recruits in different drills and skills tests to see where you stack up and depwnding on your performance determines your star rating. Also introducing the Army All-American game as well.
    Recruiting has gotten a boost. Now in addition to official visits, unofficial vidits have been added as well as early signing period. Keep up with what recruits are thinking with all-new Twitter.
    For me, it's NFL 2K and it's not even close. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any end in sight with this exclusivity deal between EA and the NFL.
    The three that immediately come to mind were College Hoops 2k, NCAA Football and MVP Baseball. MVP is more nostalgic for me because it brings back my college years, but it would probably rank 3rd for me. College Hoops had the best dynasty/franchise experience that I've ever played and there has never been a game that I have played more (in terms of hours) or as long (in terms of real life years), but I think my one vote would go to NCAA Football. Football gaming just rules all and an updated NCAA game would be amazing!
    I am in the same boat....toss up between CH2K, NFL 2K and NCAA Football.  
    This Thread just reminds me how awesome the 2003..ish timeframe was for sports video games.  The golden age as far as I am concerned (And I go back to Atari & Mattel handheld games).  So many choices, and online hadn’t yet taken over the landscape.
    College football. I'll take a 2K College Football game, especially if it's on PC like NBA 2k is. I can't pick MVP because of EA. I can just see it being about Ultimate Team just like Madden is. A new Fight Night would be great too although haven't played it since 3 on PS3.
    FIGHT NIGHT is the game that desperately needs a revival. All these other games listed might have a passionate fan base but at least their sport has a good alternative representation where as boxing has nothing outside of some gimmicky mobile or vr offerings. And their is tremendous enthusiasm for it to come back as well. Just bought champion again once it was backwards compatible, jumped on line to find hundreds of players still online playing that game. 
    College Hoops 2K.
    Copy and paste legacy mode from CH2K8 and have it mirror MyLeague where we can edit any and everything.
    Have MyCareer mode with/without the story where you can play for your school for up to 4 years. Then export to NBA 2K or become an assistant coach in college where you can start out at a small school and work your way up.
    MyTeam mode that features NBA players during their college years. Also allow us to purchase players to add to our team if we like. How cool would it be to have an 18 year old LeBron or KG and add hem to Duke or Ohio State? What about college greats like Len Bias and Hank Geathers? The options are endless!
    Online they could make it where you take your MyPlayer to different campuses and play against the best players in that state.
    Take the NBA 2K engine and tweak it to the college game like they did back in the day.
    Fictional rosters from a likeness perspective, but have the teams modeled after and play like their real like counterparts.
    NHL 2K. But specifically a mixture of what you would have gotten if the series had kept the ESPN presentation (or if it had moved on to NBC or whoever else after that) and the gameplay of 2K8. If those two had combined and continued developing, I sincerely think we'd have something that would be so good it would be uttered in the same breath as "NHL94".
    Front Page Sports Football series.
    It would have been about 20 years since the last game was released, and I can only imagine what could be created with it. In the game itself, you had the NFL teams and players, but you could also create 8-, 10-, 12-, 18-team leagues. Also back then, the community-created mods allowed you to adjust player traits, create an annual guide, a records book, schedule maker, weather conditions, and a bunch other other mods.
    It would be the sports equivalent to Cities: Skylines - with the main game created and distributed by the designer and all the mods created by the community.
    Fight Night is a good choice.
    I’d also say Pro Yakyuu Spirits from Konami. Had the chance to import the 2013 version and absolutely loved it. Yes, the language was difficult, but after some time using some of the communities translated sites for the game it was a blast. I still think gameplay wise, PSY was always better than the Show. It’s just a shame that Konami decided to stop PYS version and not bring it to PS3. I’d always wonder how awesome that game would have been/looked on PS4. They are still producing Power Pros, so there is still some hope hey can bring it back in future.
    If NHL 2k got announced that would be an instant buy from me. It's not even that I thought it was superior to EA NHL series (there were things I liked and disliked about both), but there is no way that a modern NHL2k game could be worse then EA. That series is terrible now.
    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Operation Sports mobile app
    NCAA Football, 100%. I don't care if it came back as an EA title, or if 2k got back into football and handled it (I'm sure they would get it right). I just want CFB again.
    I almost exclusively play NCAA 14 on my 360 still. If a college game emerged on the new generation of consoles, with updated graphics and physics, I'd be elated. I know Gridiron Champions is supposedly coming, and I'll buy it even though everything is fictional, but I'd love to have the real deal again.
    Easily the Top Spin is grossly under represented in this generation and this is the perfect game for this era of e-sports/online world tours gaming.
    The Bigs / MLB Slugfest...
    As much as I love good simulation sports (NBA 2K, MLB the Show, etc.) I’ll always have a spot in my heart for over-the-top, arcade-y versions. I was just considering hooking my PS3 back up just to see if they’re still as fun to play as I remember.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2K College Football. NCAA 2k3 had a lot of potential. It was just ahead of its time with ideas but secondary in execution. College hoops would be nice to see as would an EA sports college game. I miss the combination of drafting players from the college games to the pro's. Those were to golden age of gaming.
    This is a easy choice for me,  CH2k. While I enjoy the NBA game,  I still prefer college basketball. That goes for whether Im watching a game, or playing a video game.
    Ive yet to play any game as much as I did with CH2k8.  Even with all its flaws, with how slow players would move while running plays around the court, and the occassional freeze where you would have to start over, CH2k8 was that good, that you could overlook those issues, even though they were annoying.
    EA's NCAA College Football. My favorite game ever. There are other older games which I get nostalgic about, but NCAA Football is the game I want back that I know I'd play for hours and hours and hours. Not even close for me.
    It's a funny thing, as gamers we complain about it when a yearly title comes out and "all they did was update the rosters and the uniforms"... well to be honest I'd be happy right now if all they did was keep supporting the game with uniform updates. Half the time the gameplay tweaks don't end up making the game better. You look at the trade-offs in dynasties in something like FIFA where they add the 'real time' animations for trades but you lose a bunch of actual options from the game in making those trades (e.g. initiating a cash AND player deal), or the running game in Madden where, inexplicably, the CPU backs seem to be turning back into the defender to initiate contact rather than running to open space. It doesn't feel like a game like NCAA 14 is 5 years behind. Which indicates that the last 5 years of development has not gone in directions that I, as a gamer, really appreciate and prefer.
    It's clear I'm a dinosaur... as I was playing Madden 19 in "All 22" camera view I realized it was basically the same as NCAA 14 with a few new animations and then the cutscenes. And I don't like the way the gameplay is affected by the triggered animations and I have little patience for the cutscenes which I button mash to roll past as fast as I can because they're the same dozen I've been watching as I play my offline dynasty in its fifteenth season.
    I think my real hope for offline dynasty gamers like myself is that EA and co. figure out how get us involved in microtransactions. Clearly we're not going to be considered until we're of real value to game companies and that means value added beyond point of purchase sale. I am so down for paying for uniform packs and new stadiums and whatever else they can nickel and dime me for AS LONG AS the dynasty modes (not these Long Shot movie things - played about 3 minutes of the Madden 19 one, which is the first time I've even clicked on one of these and realized quickly this is not for me) keep improving and the options to customize and tailor my gaming experience aren't chipped away at in the name of cinematics.
    Any AAA MLB game that could compete with The Show on Xbox and PC. EA never made a great one of these but at least it was something other than the indie games we get now on Xbox.
    I loved the NFL 2K series, but at this point I'd actually rather bring back NCAA College Football 2K. Kill two birds with one stone - the return of college football gaming along with the 2K football engine. Would also be interested to see 2K's implementation of MyPlayer in a college football game.
    Any of the college sports games, just the recruiting part is what I really miss. Another game that needs a comeback is boxing. The last fight night games were really fun
    Sent from my iPad using Operation Sports
    Give me a half decent NASCAR game.
    EA's series have been the best even though the most recent release is almost 10 years old.
    NASCAR Heat looks great but the gameplay is probably the worst I've ever played.
    The resurrection of EA's MVP Baseball would be amazing to see. They were truly ahead of the game back in 05'. Implementing expansion baseball was a staple in the franchise. Although this years edition would be MVP 19' - they need to keep the same 2005 soundtrack!! :59:
    Let me explain how this plays out.
    God: “Let’s play a game. If you win, you get resurrected. If I win, I send you to hell.” (I am definitely not Heaven material.)
    Me: “Alright, God. How about three challenges of Simon Says? If you can do everything I ask, you win. If I stump you, I win and you bring me back to life. This child’s game should be a piece of cake for you.”
    God: “ I am omnipotent. You cannot stump me. Let’s play.”
    Me: “Alright, game on. First thing… Simon Says lick your elbow.”
    God: “ I am God. Physical drawbacks for mortals are no match for me.” *God sticks his tongue out of his mouth and it grows exponentially until it touches his elbow, without him even lifting his arm.*
    Me: “Holy ****.”
    God: “Done.” Proceeds to crap on the cloud we’re standing on.
    Me: “No, no, no! I was just impressed was all.”
    God: “That’s two challenges. No arguing. I’m God.”
    Me: “What?! Ughhh, fine. Last chance for me so I guess I’ll pull out all the stops. Simon Says… Resurrect me.”
    God: “Done.”
    I go to In-and-Out for a Double-Double Animal Style.
    It’s a win-win.
    NCAA Football. My favorite game ever. There are other older games which I get crazy about , but NCAA Football is the game I want back again. i spend all my holidays playing this game with best buddies :cheers444
    I would say fight night but I have high hopes for this boxing game bring made now to end up bring better than fight night. Since I can play a modded NCAA game with the ps2 engine which in my opinion had better movement in some ways than the new versions, I'm gonna say bring back NFL Gameday and NCAA gamebreaker. Those were killing it on ps1 and were better than madden every year for a while. They had a few things that needed adjustments but I bet it'd be something cool of it were developed for decades. 

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