Sports games are one of the most popular genres in the industry today. For sports fans, the appeal of these games is obvious, as it allows them to take control of your favourites teams and enjoy success in tournaments. But as the consoles have become more sophisticated there have been a few misfires over the years that cover a wide spectrum of sports. 

NFL Head Coach

When Madden added the franchise mode to their games, it meant that fans could finally control their teams for multiple seasons. After all, why focus on winning a championship when you could build an entire dynasty? The concept left fans with a game within a game and it was an enticing prospect for gaming fans. However, NFL Head Coach took the concept one step too far, leaving out the actual football and letting players just run the team. Players could call plays but not actually watch them play out, taking out all the fun of the game. 

Royal Rumble

Royal Rumble was known for its boast of having nine wrestlers on the screen at one time, whereas most games by that point in time maxed out at a tag match. But besides this feature, there were few good points in Royal Rumble’s favour. The namesake mode had a time limit that worked more like a survival mode and the roster was so thin that there were barely 30 wrestlers in the game to fill the Rumble length. 

Michael Phelps Push the Limit

The Xbox 360’s Kinect left fans imagining the brilliant uses that motion capture in gaming would provide. Sports games promised a range of new movements, from throwing punches and dodging them in boxing rings to hitting curveballs. But few people were wondering how it would translate to swimming – despite that being the case, the Michael Phelps Push the Limit hit the market. This game was barely playable and saw players watch their character flail in the water with little resemblance to swimming. 

Football Manager 2013

Football Manager 2013 worked in a similar way to NFL Head Coach, simply swapping out American Football for World Football. The concept wasn’t terrible on paper, as there are a lot of tactical decisions to be made in the sport, and fans liked the series on the whole, due to its high level of detail & statistical depth only matched by sports tracking services like Infogol. But this particular game was released on the PC and was unplayable due to the vast number of bugs it had. It had a 3D engine where you could watch the game and provide instructions to the players, but the model was full of so many glitches that it was unplayable unless the 3D engine was switched off entirely, defeating the point of having it at all. 

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Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City

This Michael Jordan game was a mess from start to finish and was a surprise for Jordan fans who expecting the basketball superstar to put his name to something in better shape. The graphics were very cheap looking and was packed with overt product placements, with very little time spent by developers considering how the game would play out for gamers.