Best Sports Video Games of 2020: NBA 2K21, MLB The Show 20, F1 2020

Of the fandoms suffocated by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, sports suffered at least as much as movies. Social distance and quarantine measures have compromised the sporting experience, as sport relies on live performances in front of thousands of spectators. And especially in the United States, the game is still played in almost empty arenas and the noise of artificial crowds.

Unfortunately, it was also a unique opportunity for the video games that support these leagues to shine. Everything was brought indoors this spring, sports fans put their favorite games on the couch to nest, Cinephilia tinkered with Netflix, and gamers immerse themselves in the open world.

This year, Polygon’s Samit Sarkar and Owen Good have opted out of this year’s sports video game nominations and decisions. This is drawn from a major update of established titles in the last year of the console generation. Instead, we wrote an essay about the four titles we spent most of our playing time on. And the services these games provide to sports fans have robbed what is taken for granted in popular culture, if not taken for granted, human drama. Of athletics.

With MLB The Show 20 NHL 21

At the beginning of June, I wrote about the baseball-shaped holes in my life caused by the coronavirus pandemic and how I tried to fill them. MLB The Show 20.. At that time, the possibility of an actual baseball season in 2020 was an open issue. It wasn’t until late June that MLB owners forced players into the 60-game season from late July to the end of October.

I have to admit: I didn’t think every sports league could pull it off, but they did — with some scattered COVID-19 outbreaks Despite some head movements. And here is, despite all the unique conditions in which this season’s MLB games have been played: I felt like real baseball.. I spent a lot of time watching the Yankees from summer to autumn. In other words, MLB The Show is no longer needed as a coping mechanism.

That’s not to say bad about my longtime favorite video game franchise, and of course, MLB show games and MLB games aren’t mutually exclusive — I draw different kinds of joy from them. But if you’re using a video game instead of the real thing instead of the accompaniment, you’ll find that it doesn’t really hold up.

Interestingly, I picked it up MLB 20 again rear The real-life baseball season is over. This turned out to be a showcase with excellent backward compatibility for PlayStation 4, which is built into PlayStation 5. The new console runs smoothly at 60 frames per second at native 4K resolution. MLB 20 In fact, it was the first PS4 game I played on the PS5 — it’s never far from my heart.

The Yankees batting summit circer was even more likely in 2020 than watching in a fan-filled stadium.
Image: SIE San Diego Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

I have a similar attachment to the NHL franchise of EA Sports, which I have been playing since the mid 90’s. I turned my attention to EA after my beloved Rangers were wiped out of the NHL Playoffs qualifying round in early August.

The most promising element of NHL 21 It was a long-awaited refreshment in career mode. BeaPro is my favorite in almost every sports game. I jumped into Bea Pro a few days after the actual NHL draft. There, the Rangers chose Alexis Lafrenière for the first pick. In the game, the Rangers themselves were able to win the draft.

I was disappointed NHL 21‘s Be a Pro — You can read my full review for more details — but by playing it, what a professional athlete has experienced in playing sports within the limits of a pandemic I think I was able to understand it anew.

This year, developer EA Vancouver spurred the Be a Pro experience with cutscenes where the players they created interacted with head coaches, agents, teammates, and the media. Many of them invite you to some sort of group outing, such as teammates going to the beach or watching Broadway shows.It was impossible to see something like this NHL 21 — As a simple dialog selection in a text box — and Absent Think about all the activities that the pandemic forced us to cancel.

The life of a professional athlete is quite limited, especially during the season, but there are plenty of opportunities to free up during downtime. Players and mental health must have had a great deal of trouble as they were isolated in the “bubbles” of Edmonton, Alberta and Toronto and couldn’t escape the hotel slots. I’m not sure if the amount of access to video games has reduced all the monotony. — —Summit Circer

F1 In 2020 NBA 2K21

The reality of the pandemic finally landed on me on March 12th. That day, the NBA suspended the season and F1 wiped out the first four events from the 2020 calendar and announced the postponement of two more races. When I read the news on my mobile phone that the brand new Vietnamese Grand Prix was canceled, the first thing I thought was, “You can see the course. F1 2020.. “

That is still the case. The Hanoi race is also not on the 2021 calendar. (The official government key for race promotion was arrested for unrelated issues and the Vietnamese government chose not to continue the project.) When F1 2020 Launched on July 6, I spent as much time learning about the Hanoi Street Circuit as the game’s new career mode. In this mode you can take charge of your own racing team with all the fun bell and whistle details.

Hanoi has a 1.5 km straight that connects turn 8 and 9 double apex roundabouts to turn 11 hairpins. Even if you use the Ferrari engine for a new team, you will die in the middle of the straight with the back marker chassis. And off-the-rack aerodynamics where the game starts you. The setup didn’t give me linear speed to dodge McLaren or Renault, let alone racing points. Everything I tried was passed straight on, as I was running in low fuel mode.

Beauty shot of F1 car running diagonally in the corner of the frame in F12020

The Hanoi Street Circuit can only be seen and raced at so far F1 2020..
Image: Code master via polygon

The challenge in Hanoi surprised me. Even though the AI ​​difficulty was set in the late 90’s, my team finished fifth in the 2020 season and took the podium in Bahrain and Hungary. But our best race so far has finished in 10th place at the purely fictional Vietnamese Grand Prix.

After thrashing straight and dropping to 14th place on the first tire set, I chose a heavier medium tread on the first pit stop. This allowed me to go out longer than the person who chose the software and had room to breathe even when running in 13th place. I was also able to switch back to soft tires at the end of the race when others were medium.

With 11 laps remaining, he was 5 seconds behind 10th, and on the final lap he caught both Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat (heavy tires) with a double pass on the outside of the hairpin on turn 11. This may be the only time you can watch the Vietnamese Grand Prix. But that was the best single point I’ve ever earned in a four-year and hundreds of hours of virtual racing career.

F1 2020 It was one of the two best examples of video games that set foot with uninterrupted excitement when the actual league had to be closed. NBA 2K20 And 2K21 Provided others. This year, I didn’t hear much about what the pandemic did for recreational athletics. But the lost season of basketball also includes thousands of disappeared YMCAs, church leagues, and street court games. Basketball fans migrated online because of their experience and the NBA experience when the pandemic shut down both.

I played more pickup basketball at NBA 2K20 And 2K21 More than ever in other video games and real life. Visual Concepts’ NBA 2K series is so complex and technically demanding that it’s often complaining that you need to interact with the games one by one as you would in real life. Well, thanks to the summer vacation, I finally got some time. In addition, I reinvented myself as a big game.

Recalling my own church league experience, I found that at the age of 12, I grew faster than anyone else, and the game became easier as I approached the rim, creating a pivot man back in the true basket. — Paint Beast in NBA 2K terminology. Then I decided to work on a low post game in The Rec and The Park, which are the coordinated / competitive modes of the game. Developed muscle memory to drive to baseline. Then drive into the lane. Drop step now. I’m still a little panicked and not a good post-simmy, but I got there.

Five white basketball players will leave the locker room for the first match.

Reinvent yourself as a big game NBA 2K21 It was one of the most satisfying sports experiences I have had in video games.
Image: Visual concept via polygons / 2K sports

It makes more sense to make it bigger than to hang on a wing and lift a brick. There is no talking ball handling movement. It’s more convenient to set (and roll off) a pick than to call a teammate to overtake a man.Little by little, I’ve synthesized a low post game that really helps all Sharpshooter playmakers and playmaking sharpshooters. NBA 2K20Park (and now the city, NBA 2K21 PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X).

Was it always a success? No. I got a lot of C + teammates’ ratings not only early on, but also when I thought I understood everything. “Yes, go back to MyCareer,” one teammate sent me a message after a particularly scary, high-selling game.But overall, I found it NBA 2K20 And 2K21 It embodies the best sports video games.Their presentation, signature animation, or NBA 2K21Next generation sweat’s the best MLB The Show 20, It reveals your true strengths as a player, and challenges and inspires you to make them even better. — —Owen

Back to top button