AbsoluteXbox GOTY Awards – Sports Category

Forget the Game Awards, the Game BAFTAs and never mind the Oscars – at Absolute Xbox the countdown to our official Xbox One Game of the Year 2018 begins today.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll bring you the culmination of hours of debate and teeth gnashing, designed to settle one question – what is the single best game we’ve played in 2018?

In true awards season fashion, we’ve broken it down into categories, each of which will receive a best in class, before we reveal the daddy of them all.
First category – top sports title of 2018.

OK, we’re not based in the USA, so we don’t enjoy the variety of sports that our cousins across the Atlantic do, but we do play their sports titles. Regardless, no one made a strong case for any of the North American themed EA titles – despite stellar reviews for NHL19, Madden, Basketball titles from EA and 2K and that Lacrosse thing that literally no-one tried on Game Pass, all our nominations were football based.
Whether a decent Boxing, Rugby, Cricket or Tennis title could have moved the dial away from 11 a side, we’ll never know, at Absolute Towers, the sports game of 2018 was all about the beautiful game.

Despite the release of the classic Sensible World of Soccer remake (and this being cited as ace reviewer Andy Langers’ all-time favourite), it didn’t receive a single nomination. Perhaps because it was a bit rubbish, and actually tainted my memories of playing it in the nineties.
So, perhaps predictably, it came down to the two footballing heavyweights, FIFA vs PES.

Full disclosure, I voted in favour of Pro Evo. Off the pitch, it’s Partick Thistle. On the pitch, it’s Saachi’s Milan (there’s a reference that should send you away for a happy half hour on YouTube). It plays really well, and still maintains my interest a few months post launch – something FIFA hasn’t done in a few years.
However, I was farting at a hurricane. The fanboys have spoken, and by overwhelming majority (but not unanimous!), Absolute Xbox awards best sports title of 2018 to – FIFA 2019.
The addition of the (admittedly hilarious sounding) kick off modes and the capture of the Champions and Europa League licences prompted Andy to say in his original review “For the first time in a good few years I’ve really enjoyed jumping into the game and learning to play using the new additions, lump in all the presentation changes, the UEFA licences and FIFA 19 is walking away with it for me this year.”
For those who haven’t tried it yet, the EA Access 10 hour trial provides full, unfettered access to the whole game, and bear in mind the price usually drops like Neymar right around Christmas. You can read our full review right here. Be warned, Andy’s enthusiasm for the title might cause uncontrolled bouts of impulse buying.

There you have it, our first top title. More to follow in the coming days and weeks as we build up to our overall GOTY.

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