Sports and racing. What do these types have in common? More than anything else, these are the types of annual conversion. Every year, you will see the same names in the list of releases. While this does not mean that we will feature these same names in the best lists. I remember when the WWE games were good, but 2K definitely managed to derail that train.
After this buildup, I should probably just tell you that this will have many of the same names. In this regard, it’s time to list the best sports and racing games of 2022 (at least the ones we know about).
Also on Wccftech’s Best Games of 2022 lists: Shooters, Fighting, Platformer, Adventure, Indie, Action, Horror, Multiplayer, Strategy/Simulation, and RPG.
Type: Sports (sim management). Platforms: PC (base game). PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch, Mobile (other versions).
I’d like to believe Sports Interactive looked into and survived the annual franchise trap. I have yet to review the 2022 edition, which is a first for me – a real sign that life has passed me. However, I can briefly cover what I thought of my time with it, and there is a small problem with it being an annual release.
Football Manager 2023 is an improvement on Football Manager 2022. It should be, but the gains are much more limited than in some recent games, showing that this is more of an improvement than a year of change. The AI on and off the pitch has been improved, with engine optimizations on and off the pitch, making the game look and feel smoother. There are also improvements to the design of all the graphics, which makes the game more intuitive. It is an improvement and the best sports simulation game in the world.
Type: race. program: Playstation 5.
Gran Turismo is a divisive game. At least that’s divisive in my mind. When I reviewed it, as you’ll see from the previous epilogue, I couldn’t deny how special the race was. It was impossible not to be fascinated by the details of the cars, whether you were driving them or simply looking at them. However, there are issues with not estimating the player’s time outside of the race. Post-launch explained part of this with outrageous cash-grab microtransactions.
However, I cannot deny that the racing is excellent. It’s just a shame Polyphony Digital didn’t understand that people played Gran Turismo for it (and what great career modes they were), and not for the lazy shit.
Gran Turismo 7 is an excellent game. It looks great, with features like portrait and shot modes, which make the game feel eerily realistic. On the track, the racing is top notch. Every car is unique. Every garage change and every track decision matters. However, this does not mean that there are no problems. The online requirements always failed me a few times and I lost progress when the servers died; This is before launch. In addition, there is a looming time issue. The game doesn’t value your time with the campaign (café menus), as it moves at a very slow pace at best. Also, the soundtrack is awful. However, whatever flaws I find, the overwhelming positives far outweigh them.
NBA 2K23 (9/10)
Type: sports. program: Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5 (Next Gen); PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch (last generation)
When I was in school, I used to play hoopball. It has always been a privilege for me to have that height. I used to play NBA Basketball back on PlayStation 1, and always enjoy my time with it. I’ve also played a few more recent titles, but 2K put me off due to its rampant monetization tactics.
However, after hands-on with this year’s release, I can’t help but agree with Nate. The action within the court is well balanced, and the career mode has reasonable depth and choice. Other aspects, such as the city, and the abuse of microtransactions, have improved since their last NBA title game. All steps in the right direction and make this game excellent.
NBA 2K23 builds on last year’s solid entry with some well-thought-out changes on the court, a deeper and more satisfying career mode, and a host of accessible tweaking content. Most refreshingly, almost none of these add-ons are designed to drive extra spending. If Visual Concepts stay hungry, NBA 2K23 could be the start of a new dynasty that will be proud of its cover star.
GRID Legends (7.5/10)
Type: race. Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S/X, and Xbox One.
GRID Legends is a step up from 2019’s GRID. Codemasters has recently pushed across multiple franchises to include story in their racing games, and GRID Legends is no different. The story was interesting, although it didn’t quite reach the level you could rate great.
What helps GRID Legends stand out is the excellent racing that leans towards arcade racing without going too far and essentially devolving into a kart racing title. Featuring a plethora of modes, strong competition AI, and a bunch of excellently designed cars that feel and operate completely differently, it’s a game worth picking up.
This is what Nate thought:
Grid Legends is an exciting and engaging arcade racing game, but it doesn’t beat the competition in any particular way. The game’s new story mode is more awkward than captivating and the mediocre amount of content at the end can make you feel like you’re going down the same old path. Grid Legends is worth considering if you’re looking for some accessible asphalt action, but you might want to wait for the Blue Book price to drop a bit.
Some additional games always deserve at least a mention from the sports and racing genres, and they’re usually annual titles – some of which you’ll see below. What was clear, particularly with EA’s purchase of Codemasters, was that they would judge a little less on the racing genre, particularly if they could improve on their recent Need for Speed revival.
- FIFA 23
- PGA Tour 2K23
- F1 Manager 2022
- Need for Speed Unbound (7.5/10)
Rarely the strongest of genres due to frequent yearly releases, Sports and Racing were strong in 2022. Codemasters succeeded with F1, and GRID Legends was arcade fun (if that’s what you want). 2K has also seen significant improvements, although WWE was still lacking. This all bodes well for the future, so let’s move on to 2023.