Hey Poor Player Holiday Buyers Guide 2022 – Sports Games

More Than Just Yearly Updates

Sports

Is it already that time again? With the Holidays closing in once more, we know a lot of you are looking for gifts for all the players in your lives, and maybe some things you’d like to get for yourselves too. If you’re not sure what to get, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From November 3rd to November 18th, we’ll be bringing you guides to satisfy every type of player each weekday. Strap in and kiss your wallet goodbye.

Sports games get a bad reputation for being the same thing every year, but while that can be an issue for yearly releases, even among those games, you’ll find plenty of interesting innovations, and those are only a small part of the sports genre. We’ve got five sports games here that managed to stand out in 2022.

 

Cursed to Golf

 

Sports

Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Our Review

Cursed to Golf is, in some ways, a traditional golf game. It has all the meters and scoreboards players can shake a stick at. In other ways, though, it’s quite different, with a storyline, minimal club options, and it mixes roguelite and card elements in to provide a dose of variety. It’s a game that can be super difficult, yet at the same time very inviting with great designs and tight controls. If you’re looking for a game that just sticks to the sport itself, we have another entry on this list for you, but if you want something a bit more creative, check out Cursed to Golf.

 

Mario Strikers: Battle League

 

Sports

Platforms: Switch

Fans spent fifteen years asking for a new Mario Strikers game, so why does it feel like when they got it, the game was forgotten after only a few short months? Well, it probably doesn’t help that there’s not a ton of single-player content here, meaning this is primarily for players who want to play online or have a group of friends who are just into Mario Strikers as they are. If that’s you, though, the gameplay here is as tight as ever, with tons of new characters, and some interesting new mechanics, and Nintendo have kept releasing free updates throughout the year to try to breathe new life into the game. Most of that will still only matter if you plan to play with others, but a few games this year are more fun with a group.

 

OlliOlli World

 

Sports

Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Our Review

OlliOlli is back with a ton of new levels, a whole new graphical style, and somewhat simplified controls that make it far more accessible to new players while still offering plenty of challenge for those who forged themselves in the fires of the earlier games. It’s a little short, but if you already checked out the main game, you can look into the VOID Riders expansion, which is reasonably priced and brings extraterrestrial shenanigans to the party. It had been awhile since we got a really good new skateboarding game, but OlliOlli World has us thinking about pulling sick runs all over again.

 

PGA Tour 2K23

 

Sports

Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC

Our Review

If the wilder style of Cursed to Golf isn’t for you, perhaps consider a more traditional golf game instead with PGA Tour 2K23. While a name change hasn’t altered the serious nature of The Golf Club series, what did change this year is a new three-click system which really clicked with me. There’s still room to grow on presentation, but playing with this new system feels better than the old analogue controls ever did, allowing me a huge level of precision once I got used to them. That it all happens in the year, 2K signed Tiger Woods to be their cover athlete feels fitting considering his legacy in golf video games. Maybe he’s just a good luck charm. In video games, that is.

 

Rollerdrome

 

Sports

Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC

Our Review

While Rollerdrome isn’t a real sport, there’s a part of me that wishes it was, though perhaps without all the death and murder. It’s a wildly interesting game with style for days and a strong foundation that makes playing it a ton of fun. It can, at times, get bogged down by too many competing systems, forcing you to manage so much that you can’t focus on the sheer kinetic fun of just skating around and pulling off amazing stunts and moves, but few games this year can match the high of its best moments.

 

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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