It’s true — when we think of EA Games in 2021, we’re automatically drawn to either FIFA or NFL. And, while that’s understandable considering EA tends to pour most of their resources into both empires, EA does surprisingly create some other fantastic games outside of the bubble. Admittedly, they don’t receive anywhere near as much tender loving care as the mentioned kingpins – but they’re definitely there, alright.
Over four decades, EA has gone on to build, publish and produce hundreds, if not thousands of video games for their ever-expanding library. From open-world RPGs to extreme snowboarding, story-rich shooters to life simulators, EA has made itself known for exploring so many opportunities and branching out to new worlds. However, even with all the high credibility, there are still selections of games we can’t help but wish were back in the spotlight. If only for a moment.
Before EA Big went dark in 2008, the brand was able to produce some of the biggest and boldest extreme sports video games in the world. Of course, we’re mainly putting SSX in the spotlight on this one. Thanks to its exaggerated mechanics, bubbly personalities and death-defying courses, the snowboarding super-hit went on the reach global recognition in no time at all.
Following on from the launch of SSX, fans were given even greater spin-offs, which included the likes of SSX Tricky and SSX On Tour — both of which were warmly welcomed to the fan base. Sadly, SSX went dark in 2012 after its final attempt to resurrect the passion that made previous entries renowned. However, deep within the extreme sports world, gamers have been kicking and screaming over a remastered collection of the earlier titles. Say, SSX, SSX Tricky and SSX 3? Couldn’t be a bad call there, EA. Just saying.
4. Need for Speed: Underground 2
When it comes to the street racing scene, Need for Speed pretty much has a permanent place in the books. After all, with such an inspirational series of releases under its belt, there’s no wonder racing fans and gamers alike both flock to EA for their fix. However, even with multiple branches of the Need for Speed domain all being worthy of a remaster — nothing quite hits home like the Underground segments.
While previous games in the Need for Speed series were just as addictively challenging, the gritty nightlife of Bayview in Underground 2 somehow managed to tick a whole bunch of additional boxes. Not only was it the first branch of chapters to feature an actual story in the racing domain, but also the first to drift away from arcade-style circuit racing and focus more on street racing and in-depth tuning. So, as expected, fans have been eager to pull up in Bayview ever since. If only EA narrowed in on the oozing potential flourishing from the iconic chapter — we could be on to something truly outstanding.
3. The Godfather
Seeing as we covered The Godfather in our previous list, it seems only right that we include it here as well. After all, EA produced one of the best gangster-themed games known to mankind with this one — and a remaster sure wouldn’t go amiss on newer hardware, either. Though, with the enormous pile of projects on the developer’s plate, The Godfather most definitely sits somewhere at the bottom. But that’s not to say the demand isn’t there, though.
For a PlayStation 2 title, you would’ve expected something a little more watered down — especially for a movie-based video game. However, what we weren’t expecting from a video game adaptation of the iconic movie franchise was an absolutely phenomenal experience. Everything down to the narrative, Corleone backstories and open-world gameplay proved to be a gift that just kept on giving. If only we could fill Aldo Trapani’s mobster shoes and revisit Little Italy all over again. That’s a journey I think we could all back should EA ever decide to venture down that road again.
2. The Sims
It’s fair to say that Maxis, the EA division that develops The Sims, will never likely run short on ideas for their bustling life simulator entries. Just take a gander over their library of early 2000s expansion packs and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Wizards? On vacation? You’re kidding? Thankfully, all of that creativity was jam-packed into a collection which released in 2005, though you might just struggle to get your paws on that bundle these days.
While The Sims 4 is more than capable of satisfying your hunger for endless customization, there are still a few odd things that we can’t help but miss in the earlier instalments. Perhaps it’s the spool of expansion packs that boosted our games to further horizons? Maybe it’s just the nostalgia burning high in our hearts? Either way, I think I speak for everyone when I say a remastered collection of The Sims would make for a fantastic gift for 2021.
1. FIFA Street 2
Okay, so I know we spoke about EA’s mighty clasp on FIFA and how other games have suffered because of it — but this has to be an exception, surely? FIFA Street was a branch of games that drove completely away from the enormous stadiums and professional leagues, and instead opted for a more casual style that could ultimately relate to the rest of its fan base. Street football – who’d have thought, right?
From its diverse skill sets to its ludicrous mechanics, FIFA Street put its players in the centre of a concrete jungle where almost anything was possible with the ball. Game modes were far more fleshed-out than your average Premier League game, and players were completely open to customization that passed the bounds of knee-length socks and polos. All in all, the trio of Street chapters hooked up to become some of the most satisfying spin-offs in the FIFA universe. Though, sadly, EA has yet to rekindle that iconic flame.