One Community Writer's 2017 Sports Game of the Year

With 2017 coming to an end and 2018 upon us, it's time to celebrate the world of sports gaming with one writer's Sports Game of the Year.

2017 was a phenomenal year for video games, as our beloved leisure activity/hobby continued to grow immensely. Sports games also saw an amazing year, with the NBA 2K series changing the career mode, MLB: The Show getting deeper, and NBA Live improving dramatically among other things. However, for this year, a legendary PlayStation franchise reigns supreme with its latest installment. Everybody's Golf is my Sports Game of the Year. 

 This was an extremely difficult decision, but Everybody's Golf, in my opinion, changed the way we view not only golf games but sports games as a whole. It very well may be the deepest sports game on the market today, with numerous way to play.  

In particular, its online Open Course feature is an absolute game changer, and it's something that should have been in a golf game a long time ago. To be able to freely roam each course and play holes at your leisure is the type of thing that keeps players coming back. 

Not to mention, it's crazy addicting trying to achieve high scores on each hole on the open course. There are currently eight courses in the game (three are DLC), and although that may not sound like a lot, it actually is.  

Each course is so massive that it feels like it's 10 or more courses. In reality, this is the case, as each 18-hole course is separated between nine holes each. In short, there are really 16 courses for you to play and explore. 

The best part is that the game will receive new courses through updates. They have already added Namron Bay Country Club, a beautiful new course by the sea. It would be no shock to see another one on the way.  

The online mode also allows you to do other things besides golfing, such as fishing and racing golf carts. On top of that, you can play traditional online vs. modes and play a new mode called Turf Wars. So, without a doubt, the online play will definitely keep most players busy.  

The career mode is solid too. The only flaw that many have mentioned is the fact that you must progress through the career mode in order to unlock courses for online play.  

Certainly, this is something that can change in a later update for new players. Other than that, what made the career addicting was the unlocking of new gear after placing well in tournaments.  

The bosses you face may not be as memorable as in the series's past, but there are a couple that do stand out. In particular, the final boss is fairly memorable.  

I mentioned that it's addicting to earn some new swag as you progress both in career and online. The player customization is extremely deep, as gamers and golfers alike can create virtually anyone they want.  

I have seen characters that look like Mario, Luigi, and even Snoopy and Squidward. This is how deep the customization is in the game, and the more gear you unlock, the more creative you can get.  

Then, there's the gameplay. The golfing mechanics in Everybody's Golf are terrific, even for being a quirky type of game.  

It's not a golfing simulation, but its swing animations and ball physics will automatically make hardcore golfers appreciative while also appealing to the non-golfer, as the Hot Shots/Everybody's Golf series has done for 20 years now.  

So, with its deep customization and online as well as its high-quality gameplay, Everybody's Golf is a winner. It has changed golf and sports games forever with the Open Course feature and gives us a glimpse into what the future may hold for sports games.  

There were numerous terrific games that came out this year, and the rekindling of the popularity of sports games is great to see. With so many fun games from which to choose, it was very hard to decide, but without a doubt, Everybody's Golf is my Sports Game of the Year.

Published Dec. 31st 2017

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