• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

When did sports games become so boing?

Unk Adams

I remember back when both arcade and simulation sports games were fun. Now I guess they're meant to be "realistic" - which just means they're slow and boring. I even tried the newest MLB The Show game on GamePass and it's nowhere near as fun as MVP Baseball 2005 on the original Xbox is. The new Madden games don't even feel as good as the Maddens from that era. The NBA 2K Dreamcast games are way more fun than the newest 2K microtransaction filled crap Even the presentation, menus, etc. of new sports games are so boring. It doesn't help that we basically don't get any arcade sports games anymore expect in the case of the occasional low budget indie title that basically has no replay value or features. I also miss when we had competition. Back in the day you could buy Madden, NFL 2K, NFL Fever, NFL Gameday, and NFL Blitz in the same year and they all felt different and tried to outdo each other. Now you get one publisher releasing one game per league and they put no effort in improving it from year to year because I guess they don't have any reason to do so.

Even the "sports entertainment" 2K WWE games became slow, generic, and boring compared to the old Smackdown games...


Yeah I'd say buying them every year is making them more bland ... absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I skipped FIFA last year and was pleased with it this year. Same issue I'm having with COD by the way.
The sports genre was just ahead of its time. Now the entire industry follows the same model: rehash the same games over and over with a new coat of paint and maximize profits. The only creativity we see in the industry these days is with their monetization models.

I'm at a point where I only finish like 1-2 games a year anymore. The only game I'm looking forward to is Elden Ring - which in itself isn't original at this point, but the gameplay and worldbuilding in every Souls game is so wonderful and imaginative. From Software games never have the best graphics/technical - yet they are such a joy compared to everything else on the market because the developers seem to understand the important aspects about video games.


Gold Member
You grew up, and tastes tend to change when you do. You also can't devote as much time to the games as you once did.

I remember doing full seasons, editing rosters daily to mirror real life, etc, with no skipping when I was younger, now the March to October mode in MLB The Show is a godsend.

Great Hair

My last real good PES was 2005 [imho]. Around 2010? the game physics changed, for the worse. Are there any other Sports game out there, beside FiFO and POS Konami?

Fifa was always bad, since forever. I wish SEGA kept making Virtua Strikers, Virtua Tennis.


Gold Member
Realism kills the gameplay, that's why, it slows everything down (unless a game is meant to be an actual simulator).
Exactly what I was going to say. It's not just sports mind. Ever since we had bloom and glare, ultra realism has become the trend to chase often at the cost of gameplay and fun.


do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Checks most played, best selling titles.
Sports games killing it in every region the sport is popular.
FIFA, Madden, NBA2K consistently top the charts.
Atleast the F1 games actually try getting better with each iterations.
The WWE games were seemingly on an up and up path....but obviously the moment something starts getting good you know corporate has to fuck it up.

Devs have no reason to try if people keep buying the shit.

I know someone who bought a PS5 at scalper prices to play FIFA, the only other title he has is Call of Duty.
I couldnt even comment on his purchase because hes been a FIFA + Yearly COD campaign players since like the PS3 or something.
Thats just what he does and he isnt even the weird one...I am for NOT playing FIFA and playing multiple titles per year.
Most of my IRL friends with consoles actually only play maybe 4 games....and 3 of those games are yearly releases or that same fighting game they are waiting for a sequel to, the fourth game is whatever game ive basically forced them to give a try.

Always remember GAF is the outliers....we are the nerdy nerds....the genpop who make up most of the gaming community play the games we all seemingly hate.


A lot of them have always been "boing".



Gold Member
When they started making sports game for sports nerds. With that names, brands & licenses got more important than gameplay.


Gold Member
Too much realism. I think the only soccer game I've ever enjoyed is Sensible Soccer on the Mega Drive.

You stole my comment from inside my brain! 100% mate. Amiga 500 version for me though actually.

Was gonna buy this:

"Goalscoringsuperstarhero" lol
Last edited:


Spoorts game are made for people who enjoy the sports in real life..The more realistic the sports game the better. I find EA makes their sports game too arcadey.


Probably whenever microtransactions became the primary point of revenue instead of innovating the gameplay each year

My only sports game now is Rocket League and its not even a sport


Gold Member
You stole my comment from inside my brain! 100% mate. Amiga 500 version for me though actually.

Was gonna buy this:

"Goalscoringsuperstarhero" lol
That's very cool! I loved Cannon Fodder too, spend so many time trying to make Jools and Jops to survive, and failing.


They're too complex. They lost immediacy.
I'm not a sports afficionado, but I do used to play a game once in a while. I think the last sports game I played was NBA Live 2008? Not sure.

Those were fun as fuck and you could just play a quick game without any commitment.
Last edited:


When they realized they can just copy paste code every year and still make a large profit

So like 2006/7
It started way back, i remember spending many hours on Fifa 98 that i enjoyed a lot (my first Fifa too)

Bought Fifa 99, and it was the SHOCK of the me of back then that didn't know who EA were really. SAME GAME with just new musics and little changes in menus.

This was the last time i ever bought a Fifa game.


I generally dont enjoy sports and even watching it bores me, let alone sports in video games.

The only one I played was Capitan Tsubasa in NES.
OMG i can't believe somebody mentioned this game here, legit my fav soccer game ever, and actually (not many people are aware but) one of the sickest soundtrack ever, and also my favorite game based on anime ever.

Fare thee well

To be fair, I generally find watching sports boring already, but I used to play some sports games long ago. I think I had a football game on the N64, a great hockey game on my pc, and I had a few great winter sports/olympics games I loved. It's so long ago I can't even tell you their names 😄
I can't get into the "realistic simulation" sports games anymore. But I really like games like Rocket League, Super Blood Hockey, RIGS and Golf Story. I tried mega baseball? on Switch. Even that was too sim for me. I miss old school RBI.
Last edited:


Most fun that I had playing a soccer game was Winning Eleven 3 Final Ver... so I guess that's around the time of 98 World Cup.

It walked the fine line of being arcadey but also simulation like quite well. Most of PS1 Winning Elevens were fine. It became too complex for its own good in later PS2 release though, and lost interest since then.
If you enjoy baseball, Super Mega Baseball is a nice antidote for this particular problem.

Yeah I'd say buying them every year is making them more bland ... absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I skipped FIFA last year and was pleased with it this year. Same issue I'm having with COD by the way.
Yeah, it's always good to mix things up, for sure.
Last edited:


Temp Banned for Remedial Purposes
It was the transition from 16 bit to 32 bit systems. Thats when developers had access ro enough power for graphics and "realism" to become ends in themselves over gameplay.
Right? I stopped playing NHL games when they took out the 2D Fighting Game events you could provoke. Gave Mortal Kombat a run for its money. I miss these kinds of sports games.


Gold Member
Sports games are the perfect couch PVP with your friends. When you take it online, you usually end up playing against sweaty tryhards that memorize the best plays/glitches to always score or whatever.

When gaming as a whole moved away from playing in the same room with your friends, sports game lost what made them fun. I still enjoy a campaign mode now and again, but even playing my friends online isn't the same as playing together.

For one thing, I can't unplug their controllers when they pick the bo jackson run and I picked the wrong one.


I can't play NBA 2K games any more because they tried to make them TOO MUCH like a fucking broadcast, with ads and everything. Used to love that series, now it's a chore to play.


Give me NBA Jam, NBA Hangtime, NHL'94, Sensible Soccer, Kick off, Early Maddens, TV Sports Football, Exciting hour, Wrestle fest, Wrestle Mania Arcade, NFL Blitz etc etc.

I used to love playing some of those old Japanese takes on baseball from Konami and Namco, big heads and all.

Realism is both a boon and a bane. Companies are far too greedy now.
Top Bottom