It's been almost four full years since the EA Sports NCAA Football series was canceled behind the class action lawsuit rooted in the unlicensed use of amateur athletes' likenesses and other legal issues. While the compensation of collegiate athletes and the use of institutional trademarks are another issue, the reality of the situation has left millions of sports gamers without a college football experience.
If you love sports video games, that probably makes you sad.
As EA Sports improves its Madden franchise, one can't help but wonder what technological advancements fans of the NCAA Football series could be enjoying. Remember when you could export a draft class from NCAA Football and upload it into Madden as a rookie class?
The thought of that concept should cause you to share a nostalgic and wistful tear. There has been some talk of the series returning, and it seems likely at some point because of the money that can be made by all parties, but fans don't know when.
While we wait, here are four other sports video games we wish existed.
College Hoops 2K18
The last of 2K's College Hoops series was released in 2007. Notorious draft bust Greg Oden was on the cover, which might be considered an omen for the series.
Nonetheless, the game itself was an excellent companion for NBA 2K, and quite enjoyable as a standalone title too. Last year I called or College Hoops 2K17. This year I'll update that to College Hoops 2K17 and keep hoping.
Fight Night Champion 2
Fight Night Champion wasn't just the last game released in the Fight Night series, a continuation of Knockout Kings from EA. It was also the last legitimate boxing game for a console.
Boxing gamers are yearning for the return of this series, but there's been no indication it will return. Instead, EA Canada has focused its virtual fighting efforts on the EA UFC series.
MVP Baseball 17
EA's MVP series was arguably the best baseball simulation on the market, but it was squashed when 2K countered EA's exclusive NFL license for Madden with a third-party restriction to boost its ill-fated MLB 2K series.
Since The Show is a first-party produced title, it wasn't affected. The license has since expired, obviously, but EA has yet to throw its hat back onto the diamond.
Top Spin 5
Tennis anyone? Clearly, that's an invitation that no game developer is answering. There were a few high-profile tennis simulations on the market for the last generation of consoles, but it's been years since anything new was released — no, Mario Tennis doesn't count.
Out of Virtua Tennis, Grand Slam Tennis and Top Spin, the latter was the most technically sound and challenging of the three. So if I get to pick, that's the series I want to see continued.
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