The sports genre might be one of the most underrated categories in all of gaming. Sure, they suffer from a yearly release schedule that makes the previous entries obsolete, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t games worth remembering. To help keep handheld gamers busy till the Vita releases next month, we’re showcasing the best PSP games from each of the main genres of gaming, with the feature originally kicking off with action games.
MLB ’11: The Show
Running around the bases is an American pastime that has been around for many decades, and Sony’s latest entry of MLB: The Show lets you relive the last baseball season. Numerous different modes from the console version made the jump to the PlayStation Portable, including Home Run, All Star Game, Season and Road to the Show.
Speaking of modes that didn’t make the transition, Sony pulled support for the online mode of The Show in 2009. The extra development time saved by discontinuing online support allowed Sony to beef up the animation and season modes for future versions of The Show. If you are looking to take your favorite baseball team with you on the go, no game does it better.
Hot Shots Golf Open Tee 2
The Hot Shots Golf series and PlayStation have gone hand in hand since the days of the PlayStation One. The idea behind the series is simple: provide players with an accessible golfing experience while delivering a deep experience for more advanced players.
Even if you are new to golfing games you should not find the basic mechanics of Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 surprising. The goal of any golf game is to sink the ball in the hole under Par, but the real challenge comes in the type of clubs you utilize as well as type of shots needed to get the ball to its intended destination.
The on-the-course-action directly affects your chosen character off the green. By completing single player challenges you earn loyalty points for your chosen character, which you can use to unlock new characters and outfits. Hot Shots Golf Open Tee 2 even supports ad-hoc multiplayer so you can earn loyalty points with your friends.
FIFA Soccer 12
With football/soccer being the biggest sport in the world, EA made sure that FIFA 12 was accessible to their fans all across the globe when the game was released this past September. Not only is there a strong line up of different European leagues, but tons of international teams that helped ensure that football fans the world over could get in on the action.
For a portable title, FIFA 12 for PSP brought most of the modes from its console brethren onto the small screen. Fans looking for a quick fix could always jump right in with the instant action options. If you felt you needed to fine tune your approach to the goal or defense, an exhaustive tutorial mode was also included. The real highlight of course is Manager mode. In Manager mode you take on the role of a general manager, allowing you to edit lines, simulate games (or play them in real time), all to the tune of the FIFA schedule. For football fans FIFA 12 offered the complete experience in the palm of your hands.
Madden NFL 12
The Madden franchise absolutely dominates when it comes to American football videogames, and that is not just because EA is the only company with the rights to develop official NFL related games. Last year’s Madden NFL 12 brings the complete console experience to the PlayStation Portable with very little lost in translation. Just like with FIFA 12, EA took extra care to ensure that players of Madden NFL 12 for PSP weren’t missing out.
In terms of modes, Madden NFL 12 probably features the most of any game on this list. The expected quick play, exhibition and season modes all make their appearance alongside newcomers like SuperStar Challenge. SuperStar Challenge lets you relive some of the best plays from the previous season from both the offense and defensive positions. If you’ve ever wanted to rewrite football history then the five tiers of challenges present in SuperStar mode might be for you.
Madden NFL 12 has a lot to offer football fans whether they’re looking for a few quick games on the commute to work or the ability to manage their favorite team wherever they go.
What are some of your favorite PSP sports games? We’ll be taking a look at several other genres over the course of the week, so stay tuned!