Rating: Damn good / ★★★★
Publisher: EA Vancouver / EA Sports
Release Date: September 17, 2016

I don’t play sports games. Not since the N64 with its beloved catalog of arcade-esque sports titles that have since grown up to develop the most sophisticated of sweaty face technology: I’m talking NBA, FIFA, and 1080°, the one and only snowboarding game of the 90’s. Ah, yes. Nostalgia. Since then, I’ve had no interest, but in recent years, these genre games have taken more risks. NBA 2K16, a (say what?) Spike Lee joint, is one of the notable deviations from standard fare. Some long-time fans were less enthused by the auteur’s vision, but I welcome this kind of experimentation in the AAA field and hope to see sports games evolve into annual spectacles with a surprise in every box.

FIFA 17 was far more conservative in its personal regrooving. Essentially, it’s the same-old, same-old with a steeper difficulty curve due to the introduction and importance of defense mechanics and a new mode, The Journey, inspired by one of the most successful games in the franchise’s history (–well, according to me).