What Happened To Arcade Style Sports Games?

What Happened To Arcade Style Sports Games?

I am a huge sports video game fan and while I love games like NBA 2K and Fifa. I must say that I miss all the arcade style sports games we would get back in the day. I am not just talking about things like Mutant League Football or Baseball Stars. But games like Fifa Street, NHL Hitz, NBA Jam and NFL Street! Some of these games were made as recently as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. But this style of sports game is very rarely seen these days.

The most recent one is NBA Playgrounds. I got this on the Nintendo Switch and while it has the appearance and style of an arcade sports game. It is let down with needlessly complex shooting mechanics that take away the fun of the game. But it is a step in the right direction and I would love to see this worked on. Of course, NBA Jam is the gold standard when it comes to arcade style sports game, but I feel that games like Tecmo Bowl and Sensible Soccer could also be classed as arcade style as they are more about fun than trying to be ultra realistic.

I think part of the problem is that EA has a monopoly on the NFL and while they do have Madden Arcade (or whatever it is called) it is clearly just a little side thing, with very little attention paid to it. I feel that EA could have a monster of a hit on their hands if they went all in with Madden Arcade and gave it a proper release and really gave it some attention. NFL Blitz from Midway showed that video game football could be enjoyed by anyone and I feel EA have the chance to do that with Madden Arcade.

As far as the NHL goes, I have no clue what has happened here. The NHL Hitz series was a lot of fun and there was that NHL Arcade game released on consoles a few years ago, but it never came close to matching the awesomeness of NHL Hitz. To me, hockey is a game that is just tailor made to be an arcade style experience with over the top hits, shots and of course fighting.

So while these days, sports games tend to go for the ultra realistic approach and that is something I enjoy. I would love for there to be an arcade version out there somewhere that is fully licensed but is more about fun than stats and realism.


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