If it seems like video game emulation has been all the rage lately, that’s because it was. Whatever console or arcade system you want to play, you can find it online. What makes the emulation so great is not only that it allows you to enjoy your favorite titles from the past regardless of the console, but the visual fidelity can enhance each title in ways that we never have. would have ever imagined. That said, not all sports games have received this treatment, which is why I’m rounding up this top 5 PCSX2 sports games that still deserve an emulation boost.
Getting started is easy, but emulation may require a rather “heavy” gaming PC, especially when it comes to CPU, so do your homework before you get too frustrated. That said, I’ve recently covered a few groups that have taken emulation to the next level with individual gameplay tweaks and improvements, especially with NFL 2K5, Crazy 08, NCAA Soccer 06and NCAA Soccer 14.
Groups of talented individuals have found ways to revamp textures, stadiums, uniforms, scoring bugs, casting options, and more. Being so impressed with their work, I wanted to take a look at five other games that I’d like to see get the same attention as previous titles I’ve covered.
The Five Best PCSX2 Sports Games That Need Updates
The culmination of a three-year restart program and the transition from Triple play series at the MVP series. MVP 2005 was the ultimate baseball game for many and still is for some even today. It offered a superior pitch and keystroke interface that was both accessible and intuitive.
Let’s also not forget that MVP 2005 also delivered an in-depth franchise mode and also included a proprietary mode that allows you to upgrade facilities over time. Whether you are celebrating MVP 2005 as the best or just a solid baseball game, it still holds up very well today, whether on PC with mods, emulation, or just the original console.
Although it is sometimes possible to get updated rosters for the game, this is usually done by purchasing a memory card for the original console. If the game were to receive the same treatment as the other games I’ve talked about before, it would bring a lot back to this title, and probably in waves. New stadium ads and textures, new current and alternate uniforms, new casting options, and scoring bugs would simply be a boon for game loyalists. In short, 2004 Baseball MVP has always been the mods favorite game, but I wish 2005 Baseball MVP also received this treatment.
2005 All Star Baseball
Although Acclaim officially went out of business in September 2004, they still managed to produce one of my favorite baseball games in a long run from 1997 to 2005, with 2005 All Star Baseball be my favorite
It’s a game (and a series) that offered so many unique features, many of which are still not common in the current era of gaming. From first-person pitch to future interpretations of the ballpark, great reviews fluid and a franchise experience where you participated in everything from spring training to winter meetings, and you even got to participate in the Rule 5 Draft.
For me, 2005 All Star Baseball was the best overall experience a true baseball nerd could have at the time, even though MVP 2005 gained most of the notoriety that year. Even today with Sony MLB The Show franchise available, I find real entertainment value to be taken BSA 05 on my PC via the PCSX2 emulator.
Now, with the ability to play the game in higher resolution with improved graphics, I often wonder what could be done if a small group dedicated themselves to improving this series in a way that NFL 2K5 and NCAA Soccer 14 have been.
Like with MVP 2005have 2005 All Star Baseball updated with the current ecosystem of today’s era of baseball would be as welcome as any game on this list. Even though the title might not hold up as well as saying NCAA Soccer 06 Where MVP 2005he still plays a great game and I would jump at the chance to see him improve in almost any way.
Dirt in Daytona
A NASCAR title that flew too far under the radar in its day, and was overshadowed by EA NASCAR deductible and NASCAR HeatMonster Games’ cult title which was available for almost all available platforms was released in November 2002. If you missed it, know that it offered a lot of things to do once this disc was inserted.
The game allowed fans to race in coupe cars, trucks, and the Dodge Weekly Series, and all of them were fun to drive and provided a different experience on the track.
Not to be outdone, D2D also allowed players to jump into a career mode that saw you get behind the wheel locally and prove yourself race after race and series after series, culminating at the top of the food chain in the NASCAR Winston Cup series.
While it still holds up very well to this day and running with a roster full of Legends is great, it would be phenomenal if even the game’s textures and logos were improved through modding. The visual fidelity through the emulator helps sharpen the edges and sharpen the graphics, but seeing the tracks, cars and drivers get a makeover would be exceptional and hopefully open the door to people who have never raced in this series before.
NCAA Baseball MVP 06/07
Once EA lost the rights to the MLB license, instead of closing shop, they went in a different direction but with the same engine. They took the MVP Baseball engine and created the college baseball equivalent. I’m listing either the ’06 version or the ’07 version because if you have any recollection of that series it was the same title, the latter providing a few more authentic stadiums and new gear.
Much like its MLB predecessor, the NCAA version of MVP was exceptional and one of my favorite series ever created. It only lasted two years due to a lack of sales and support, but the developers did an incredible job of recreating the college game down to the “ting” from the start. A Deep Dynasty mode that gave you a chance to reach Regionals, Super Regionals, and potentially the College World Series, and had a Recruitment mode that helped you find the next big talent for your school.
The series also featured a stadium creation feature, and you could not only rename the kids on your team, but you also had access to their ratings and the ability to edit them for an overall realistic experience.
The game plays beautifully on the PCSX2 emulator, but even at max it’s starting to show its age in terms of graphical fidelity. To see this series get the same treatment as its sibling football counterpart would be, well, just amazing.
This game is already eating up a lot of my emulator playtime, and visual improvements and updates would take it to the next level.
NCAA Gamebreaker 2004
Although overshadowed by EA NCAA Soccer series, the 989 NCAA series offered an awful lot of alternatives, including a solid physics system and AI that were a serious challenge. Also, while I loved the voices of Corso, Nessler, and Herbstreit in the EA series, hearing the legendary Keith Jackson comment on the NCAA GameBreaker The franchise was an exceptional “get” for Sony. Although some of the comments are repetitive, hearing his voice again is worth the experience alone.
NCAA GameBreaker was already an extremely sharp game, and for many the visuals surpassed most of its competition in 2003 and 2004.
The graphics were clean and the game did an amazing job of creating a larger than life atmosphere for the game sounds and the college sites themselves. Again, the game already looks spectacular for having almost two decades and three generations of consoles, but there is always something that can be improved.
Honestly, an updated roster, logos, helmets and uniforms, and terrain textures would be enough to get back into a full dynasty with GameBreaker.
Here is the lowdown on modding PS2 ISO files. It’s extremely difficult and time-consuming, and the groups and individuals doing it do it for the love of the sport and the title. To make things even more difficult, not all ISO games are accessible and can be modified in the same way, and with some it is simply impossible.
So while I’m sitting here typing the sports titles that I’d like to see improved, I’m doing it from a naive point of view. That said, as the creator himself (see MLB The Show stadium creations) I have a deep respect for everything that goes into every title and creating a better experience for the community.
These are my top five sports games that I’d like to see get the PCSX2 enhancement treatment if possible, but there are so many solid sports titles from the PS2 era and we here at Operation Sports would love to know which games you would list above.