Sporting News' Scores

  • Games
For 49 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Forza Horizon 3
Lowest review score: 30 R.B.I. Baseball 16
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 49
  2. Negative: 3 out of 49
49 game reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The changes this year might not be exciting on the surface, but the longevity of the game could benefit greatly from what they provide — more strategy in building teams and more control of players on the field.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite not having MLB behind it Super Mega Baseball 2 could be considered the best baseball game of 2018.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    MLB The Show 18 is still a great game for those passionate about baseball, but the consistency the series has displayed over the past decade has been at least somewhat broken with this new edition. For many, the fantastic gameplay will offset the loss of modes, the lack of advancement in others, and the lingering server struggles. Ultimately, though, it's becoming more clear now than ever that the series is begining to have trouble meeting the heightened expectations now present within the genre.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Perhaps it's fitting that Mutant Football League is a little rough around the edges and has some punishing characteristics. The game is brash, self-aware, and best suited for an older audience. The carnage inflicted is thoroughly entertaining and strategically the game gets better as its nuances become better understood. With "Mutant Football League," the dirtiest trick of all was making fans of the original wait 24 years for the sequel.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While FIFA 18 may not excel in every area and has some issues on the pitch, the game offers great value and something for everyone. The story mode is excellent, career mode is improved, the online suite of features is especially strong and everything surrounding the pitch such as the visuals, presentation and atmosphere work to enhance the moments that make the sport so exciting.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All the pieces are there with Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 but it feels as though many fall a little short of their full potential. PES is still a champion on the pitch where it matters most, but the series continues to fight an uphill battle in terms of licensing and feature set.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    NBA 2K18 shines in the areas that matter most to basketball fanatics, through excellent gameplay and presentation, a variety of modes all with considerable depth and its celebration of the league's history.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It may be surprising that it would take an "arcade" mode to round out a simulation-based product, but NHL Threes does just that for NHL 18. While the series is still lacking in some aspects of gameplay and presentation this year, "NHL" achieved something important, by becoming the most appealing edition of the series for an audience that extends beyond just the fanatics of the sport in a very long time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    NBA Live 18 is closer to being a really good game than many would have anticipated, even after a year off for the series. It offers refreshingly simplified and genuinely fun gameplay with an excellent career mode. Deficiencies in other areas of the game hamper its appeal as a total package, making it difficult to recommend as more than an alternative to its competition, but it's still important to recognize this may finally be the turnaround year that NBA Live has been seeking since the current console generation began.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Were it not for "Longshot" and MUT Squads, many veterans of the "Madden" franchise might have had a difficult time discerning last year's edition from this one. Thankfully, those two new modes pay off, making all the effort devoted to them worthwhile. They're joined by subtle but valuable improvements to gameplay that become apparent the more Madden NFL 18 is played.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Golf Club 2 will resonate better with experienced and patient gamers due to its difficulty, but those who stick with the game will almost certainly feel rewarded for doing so.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With proper support NBA Playgrounds could become a great series in the future. It's just not quite there in this, its rookie season.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's difficult to reconcile how great the core gameplay is in "MLB The Show 17" with how it can literally waste your time by not recording the results. Should the servers stabilize and become reliable, there isn't a better pure gameplay experience in the genre, and there's also a lot of content and value to be found in the traditional modes as well as its live services. Like the real baseball season, it may be a long grind to get there but the payoff will almost certainly be worth it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Whether it's laying out big hits or scoring satisfying goals there's some fun to be had with Old Time Hockey. It just takes too long to get to a place of enjoyment, and even then doesn't negate the underlying issues and otherwise lack of content despite a reasonable $12 price point.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Disc Jam has the right formula to become the next big breakout indie game and possibly even succeed as an eSport. The matchmaking will need to improve and new content delivered regularly to prevent it from becoming just a passing fad, but with a high fun factor and strategic nature, despite simplicity and accessibility, Disc Jam delivers.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While 3on3 Freestyle is lacking in many ways, it's still a unique entry on the market that is worth trying out. Given that the game is free, there's really no reason for anyone who may have interest not to do so. There is the potential that new modes, courts and characters through post-release support could make the game more appealing, but the core gameplay may not be good enough for those with current-day expectations of traditional sports games to give it much time to improve.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Blizzard Mountain expansion is a no-brainer for those who are already deep into Forza Horizon 3. Developer Playground Games has delivered a challenging experience that both broadens and compliments the world of Forza. Given that Blizzard Mountain can't be accessed until having played many hours into the game, however, those who are just starting or haven't reached the point at which it would unlock should wait and see first whether they get there and are still engaged with the game before buying.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There just isn't much fun to be had with "Infinite Air" because of a steep learning-curve that isn't overcome in a reasonable amount of time.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    100ft Robot Golf has some clever ideas and an amusing story, but doesn't quite come together as a completely satisfying game because of limited content and some technical issues. Still, it's another example of independent developers taking a chance on unique concepts — and that's something to be celebrated.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    FIFA 17 is a well-rounded product offering up tons of official licenses, several different ways to play, including the intriguing story mode, excellent online features and performance, and gameplay that is accessible and enjoyable. It may feel a little too familiar in some areas, but the additions and improvements that were made have helped to reinvigorate a series which began to stagnate in recent years.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Much like the Warriors, one year removed from the title and on the brink of a repeat NBA "2K17" has come up just short of pulling it off. To even have come that close to doing so should still be considered quite an achievement.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's difficult to imagine how Forza Horizon 3 could have been any better.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If PES 2017 can't overcome licensing shortcomings, then no sports video game can. It delivers a fantastic gameplay experience that is well-balanced and exceedingly rewarding.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While it relies on tried-and-true modes and features, it delivers well on the most important aspects of a modern sports video game simulation. Newcomers to the series will appreciate the variety and depth of options it offers though it's an exceedingly difficult game to grasp at its introduction, while veterans experience mature on-ice gameplay that addresses many issues that were present in preceding iterations while still leaving that all-too-familiar feeling that not a whole lot has really changed.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Madden NFL 17 mostly avoids gimmicks in favor of addressing long-running areas of deficiency in the series. The developers stuck with the progress they made in recent years — aspects hardcore football fans appreciate like penalties and accuracy mattering for quarterbacks — while adding an element of unpredictability that makes the game feel much more like the actual sport.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While Dangerous Golf offers up some fun and an addictive nature, the base concept isn't strong enough to sustain either for an extended period of time. It's something that can function in a diversionary sense as a side-mode in a larger game but crumbles in trying to hold up as a game of its own.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ultimately, the NASCAR Forza 6 DLC is underwhelming. Perhaps it’s the relatively large price tag ($20 for the content on top of having to own the $60 Forza 6 “proper” game), the lack of NASCAR-specific racing modes, or the lack of compelling NASCAR-based multiplayer to go along with the single-player series of events.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Three years into the reboot of the R.B.I. Baseball series and it's still a completely uninspired mobile-quality game being sold for four times as much on consoles. It's a shame that Xbox owners have now gone several years without a having a legitimate MLB game but it's been even longer since a quality one was released for a Microsoft system.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    MLB The Show 16 is yet another excellent game in the series, but only enough has been done to sustain its status as such in coming off similarly received editions. Failing to properly address some long-running core deficiencies and a lack of innovation has prevented the franchise from reaching even greater heights...Instead, Sony San Diego has continued to build on its strengths with visuals and gameplay while further expanding the appeal of Diamond Dynasty. In doing so, The Show may lack some flash but it remains the most steady sports gaming franchise in existence today.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    One of the biggest hurdles for sports management sims involves making the games accommodating to newcomers while offering the depth and array of options necessary to satisfy dedicated fans. Pro Basketball 2016 proves to be the most accessible of the sports management games I've played to date. The layout and menus are visually pleasant and present pertinent information where one would expect to find it. Tasks and various options and settings are organized well with the necessary navigation to and from areas easy to complete.

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