Sports video games are not necessarily the most complex nor intelligent, but they never aim to be - they are instead supposed to give the gamer the feel of authenticity, whilst remaining fun. As games on this list prove, it is no easy task.
After all, one of the main reasons for watching sports is its unpredictability. It's extremely hard to catch that one particular aspect of sports, while making all the others feel authentic in something as programmed as a video game.
You also have to take the gamer into consideration, meaning he has to feel like he's actively participating in the competition and determining its outcome.
2016 failed to deliver even one revolutionary game that would shake up the industry. Therefore, this list consists mostly of newer instances of annually released franchises, that are an improvement on last year's titles, but not much more.
Also, racing games are not included on this list, as they are so distinct that they deserve one of their own.
This one deserves a spot on the list, because not only is it dealing with a niche sport, but Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 is an independent title as well. The sport itself is a combination of handball, hockey and football.
In that particular order. Lacrosse is pretty hard to play, but the game makes it look easy, at least in the passing department. Complex shooting though is a very different story.
The first downside is the rather stale commentary and no licensing. The gameplay itself is also rather hard to master, at least when you want to perform more elaborate plays than passes and quick shots. AI is also an issue, as players on your team tend to get in the line of shot or refrain from getting open all too often.
The game could be labeled as a disappointment if it wasn't for the fact that it was dealing with a niche sport and was actually really fun in the rare moments when everything clicked.