Long before Electronic Arts employed its signature realistic tone with series like FIFA and NHL, its subsidiary studio known as EA BIG was known for developing the wackier games for the fold. As the hype for extreme sports reached an all-time high, so came a slew of video games, with BIG being the go-to faction for building on their worlds and amplifying their designs.
EA BIG has, unfortunately, been shut down, with 2008's FIFA Street 3 being the final chapter in the book. Although fourteen years have passed since its closure, many gamers still swear by their word, claiming the spin-off studio was perhaps the greatest Electronic Arts, as a video game developer, ever built in its many decades on the scene. However, with its future dwindling on the precipice of self-destruction, it seems that any potential remaster has been shot down in flames. If given the chance, though, then we would go ahead and choose these five.
5. FIFA Street 2
FIFA Street was EA's way of meshing its beloved football kingdom with a whole new design, using a variety of trick shots to pave the way to an entirely new concept. Rules and regulations were out, as were the professional players. Out of the blue, but in the most memorable way, came concrete stadiums, rough-and-ready characters, and a whole lot of drum and bass to bolster its stylish sidekick of a spin-off franchise.
While the original FIFA Street was as memorable as they come, the series never really found its feet and nailed the formula until 2006, when its second chapter rolled out. Improving almost every element from the gameplay to the visuals, the trick guage to the soundtrack, FIFA Street 2 made a remarkable job at making a statement and severing its link with its parent series. Is it worthy of a remaster in 2022? You bet.
4. NBA Street Vol. 2
Before FIFA Street paved the way to a new generation of footballing entertainment, EA BIG pioneered NBA Street, a basketball counterpart that flowed from an almost identical vein. Similar to FIFA Street, the series itself never truly found its place on the market until 2003, when it finally rolled out its second volume.
Boasting a full-on career mode, which allowed for its participants to build a legacy and become the next street legend, NBA Street Vol. 2 set the benchmark for what sports games should thrive to become. EA BIG hit the nail on the head with this one, and it's a crying shame the series was never able to pass over to the following generation of consoles. We can point out a few million loyal gamers that would gladly give a left leg to have a well-deserved remaster for current gen hardware.
3. SSX Tricky
Of all the games EA BIG has pushed out over the years (less than thirty, now that I think about it), SSX Tricky remains one of the greatest pieces of art the studio has ever developed. Combining the love of snowboarding with a plethora of mind-boggling tricks, tongue-in-cheek humor, and an entire mountain of iconic courses, the short but sweet ice gem proved itself unlike anything else in the genre.
Unfortunately, despite its booming popularity that only escalated over the years, EA BIG never made the effort to breathe a second wind into the game. Of course, the game itself has been a major pawn on the extreme sports front for well over a decade now. However, its future unfortunately dried up as soon as the company shut its doors in 2008.
2. Def Jam Vendetta
Many will argue that Def Jam peaked well after the original Vendetta chapter rolled out in 2003. And although we're inclined to agree that Fight for New York was a much better game overall, it doesn't quite tear us away from the sheer love that we shared with its predecessor. With hip-hop and street brawls going hand-in-hand, the debut entry rolled out the red carpet for a whole new world of fighting entertainment.
Up until Def Jam Vendetta came out, the fighting scene was plagued by overly ambitious games that dared to knock the likes of Street Fighter and Tekken from the podium. Def Jam, on the other hand, aimed to not only adapt to the way the wheels clunked together—but to reinvent the whole contraption from scratch and build on its core functions. Thankfully, it all paid off, and Def Jam became something of a global sensation during the noughties. Without Vendetta to pilot the ship, none of this would have happened. So there's that.
1. SSX 3
While SSX Tricky is the go-to handle for most snowboarding fans, SSX 3 also possesses an abundance of top-shelf qualities, all of which mold together to carve one monster of an open-world playground. For the first time in the series, EA BIG figured out how to absorb even more hours from the player, using its enormous mountain range as a way to encourage exploring, as well as completing side activities for extra cash.
The idea for SSX 3 was relatively simple: select a character, and conquer the mountain. Competing in races and showoff events, you could earn cash to purchase attributes to develop your skills, acquire new clothing and boards, and even build your archive with a whole bunch of novelty items and features. Think of it as the original Steep, only with a downgraded palette of elements. More the reason to have it remastered, right?
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.