After a major setback due to the pandemic, Euro 2020 is finally here. The UEFA European Championship will run from June 11 through July 11, 2021.
To get hyped for the tournament and into that Euro spirit, here are a few sports games to play. Don’t forget to use your beIN Connect Cards for your Euro 2021 subscription and COPA America subscription 2021 to catch these two football tournaments.
Sports Games You Should Try Out!
EA’s football sim has been largely underwhelming for the last several years, with each new instalment feeling like a reskinned version of the last. FIFA21, for the most part, follows in these footsteps.
But it’s not all a big disappointment. There are some new features that are worth writing home about.
FIFA21 expands its street football (VOLTA) feature and introduces some new gameplay. Career mode is a little more complex, and online co-op is now available for VOLTA.
The visuals are impressive (not surprising, as this is a next-gen game), but the look and feel of the gameplay action are also impressive. Everything from the running to the tackling, passing, and fights for the ball are more fluid and feel more natural.
Direct Passing is a nice addition and allows you to deliver more accurate passes to teammates. Career mode is also more complex and adds another gameplay element to FIFA21. Players can also develop skills that allow them to play other positions. So, if you’re in danger of losing a player – for whatever reason – another one of your players can take over that position.
Ultimate Team is here, too with a lot of great features for the game’s most popular mode:
- Play with friends in new, exciting modes, such as FUT co-op.
- Join Division Rivals with solos or duos.
- Play squad battles against real players or the AI.
- Unlock rewards by completing special objectives in the game.
- Weekend League allows you to take on the top players in the world, on the weekend, and earn great rewards in the process.
- So much more.
All in all, FIFA21 is still enjoyable to play. Best of all, you can play it on virtually every platform, including Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
NBA2K21 returns with more of the same, which has its perks and drawbacks. You get more of the same great on-court action and solid overall gameplay. But if you’re looking for something new, you may be disappointed.
Fans of past NBA2K instalments will love NBA2K21. It’s more of the same gameplay and features that you know and love. And there are some nice additions to this latest version. MyCareer has been revamped, and the shot-stick aiming is great. Instead of just timing your shots, you have the added challenge of aiming them.
Along with aiming, you can also change your dribble speed and play out different moves, like stepbacks, escapes, crosses, and hesitations. Passing looks and feels more realistic. It’s these little details that make the gameplay more enjoyable.
Game loading is faster (something that has plagued other versions of the game), and star players have special moves (like Lebron’s suspended dribble).
The City concept is a great idea, but it falls short of its potential. Although, it is a great way to participate in events and build your reputation. You can also find special vendors selling unique items. But getting a hold of these items – without plunking down real cash – can be a chore. It’s a blatant way to push players towards microtransactions. Many players are unhappy with this, but it’s a trend that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
That said, NBA2K21 still offers solid gameplay and a visual experience that’s second to none.
A few of the key changes and additions to the game that players will recognize are:
- 40 new jump shot landings have been added to the game to provide some new, exciting visual enhancements for players.
- 50 new size-ups have been added.
- The Collector’s Edition of the game is all about the late, great Kobe Bryant and includes in-game tributes.
- There are 150 NPCs in the arena which makes the arena come to life in a way that gamers have never experienced before.
- A complete movement engine overhaul is in the game to make movement more realistic than ever before.
NBA2K21 is available on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
Madden NFL 21
Madden NFL 21 takes advantage of next-gen capabilities and aims to deliver the most realistic NFL sim. For the most part, it delivers. There’s a lot to love about Madden NFL 21, but like many other annual sport game releases, it offers much of the same.
That said, there are some new additions and perks that are worth noting in the latest version of this franchise.
Next-Gen Player Movement uses real player data to give you realistic gameplay. Advanced controls allow you to get creative, especially with the Skill Stick, which allows you to link skill moves for unforgettable game moments.
With Skill Stick, you can master evasive moves, combos, and pass rush moves. Tackling has also been improved with location-based tackling, dive tackling, and more.
That brings us to one of the most anticipated and talked-about new features of the game. Madden NFL 21 introduces a new gameplay mode: The Yard. With this six-on-six format, you play by backyard rules. Take on challenges and rack up points to earn Cred, a new currency. Cred can be spent on new gear for your avatar.
The Yard introduces new locations to play in, like Brandenburg, Lambeau Tailgate, Bo Field, F.O.B. Nico, and Miami Port. It’s a nice alternative to playing in the usual mega-stadiums you find in Madden.
Franchise mode returns for all the armchair GMs of the world. Once again, you’ll have the opportunity to whip an ailing team back into shape. Face of the Franchise also returns with a new football story.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 returns. Fans of the original games will love that these iconic titles have been completely revamped from the ground up and in HD. All of the levels, tricks, and pro skaters you love are back and remastered.
Plus, there’re new soundtracks to act as the backdrop to your gameplay.
The revamped version of these two games also includes some new pros and crazy trick combos to master.
All of the original gameplay modes are still available along with couch co-op to compete against friends. The Create-A-Skater and Create-A-Park features have both been upgraded. There’s also a multiplayer mode, so you can compete against players around the world.
One of the biggest draws of these games is that you don’t have to dedicate hours to gameplay. Each level is just two minutes and broken down into mini-challenges. In those two minutes, the goal is to complete as many challenges as you can.
It takes some time to master the skills to complete challenges, and that’s part of the fun. Nailing a trick is also satisfying and rewarding as a whole.
The visuals make you feel like you’re really at the skate park. That’s because you can skate at 60 FPS in 4K or 120 FPS at 1080P. All of the visuals have been enhanced, from skater textures to shadows, reflections, and lens flares.
The visuals, audio, and impeccable level designs make this easily one of the best skating games to be released in a long time.
Right now, you can grab this game on PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Don’t forget – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is also coming to Switch on 25th June.
Super Mega Baseball 3
If you love baseball but aren’t a fan of the more serious sims, Super Mega Baseball 3 is a great alternative. The third instalment of the game features new stealing and pick-off mechanics along with crazy pitches and passes and special player traits.
The gameplay is fluid and appeals to both casual and serious players. Whether you’re a novice or experienced player, you’ll enjoy Super Mega Baseball (SMB) 3.
SMB 3 allows you to create and customize your own league, including team names, the length and structure of the season, uniforms, logos, player appearances, and more.
Notable features of this game include:
- There are 14 whimsical ballparks to choose from, each with unique day and night features and different lighting conditions.
- Online gameplay, so you can compete with other players and move to higher divisions. The Pennant Race mode is cross-platform, allowing you to play with more players.
- Create and manage cross-platform leagues with friends, or play in the Online Leagues mode.
- Simulate games and teams in the Seasons and Eliminations brackets. Play solo, or have your friends join you.
- Franchise Mode, which is now multi-year and allows you to find and develop unique players.
Super Mega Baseball 3 is just a fun game with great visuals and players that are full of personality. It doesn’t transform or innovate on the second iteration of the game, but it incorporates all of the features that are loved by fans of the game.
Rocket League combines football and vehicles for absolute arcade-style mayhem. It sounds mad – and it is – but that’s what makes this game so fun to play. You can customise your car, play with friends or compete online with people from around the world.
Now, Rocket League offers cross-platform progression. This means that you can take your inventory, rank, pass tier and more to any connected platform.
Seasonal events and limited-time modes make gameplay immersive and fun. They add a new dynamic to the game and different elements to change things up. Catchy soundtracks and the ability to create your own custom car makes Rocket League all that more enjoyable.
Single and multiplayer modes are available. You can even change the rules, including those based on basketball and hockey.
Rocket League has only gotten better with time, and the developers continue to incorporate new features and mechanics that enhance gameplay. There are hundreds of tradeable cosmetic items, and if you’re serious about competing, there are Competitive Ranks.
Konami’s PES2021 continues the critically acclaimed franchise, which debuted in 1995. PES2021 is still a fan favourite, and for good reason. Gameplay mechanics are fluid and makes you feel like you’re really there.
- The Finesse Dribble is an example of the game’s advanced trapping mechanics, which are dependent on the player’s abilities.
- The Master League is a single-player mode that lets you take on the team’s managing role. Build and develop your own club, but be prepared to face challenges along the way. If you’re a fan of football management sims, you’ll find this mode to be immersive and fun.
- Online mode allows you to compete against other players of the same skill level. If you win enough games, you can compete in a final showdown match.
- 3D body scans of players add a new layer of photorealism. Stadiums have also been designed with great detail to match their real-life counterparts. The visuals make you feel like you’re actually in the stadium.
If you played the last iteration of this game, you may be disappointed to find that it’s virtually the same game. That’s why it’s available at such a low price – even lower for PES 2020 game owners. But that doesn’t take away from the gameplay or mechanics of PES2021.
PES2021 is available on PlayStation 4 and PC. There’s also a mobile version of the game for Android and Apple smartphone devices. With the mobile version, you can play wherever and whenever right from your smartphone or other mobile devices.
These are just a few of the many sports games you can play to get into the Euro spirit. And if you’re looking for some other games to keep you busy as we kick-off summer, don’t forget to check out the new PlayStation Plus Games for June.
If you want to learn more about the games we’ve reviewed above, be sure to check out Twitch and YouTube for further updates, insights and playthroughs.