With all the new additions and improvements I have listed above, Out of the Park Baseball 24 delivers a baseball experience that feels authentic both on the field and up in the owner's office. It's an experience that can be customized in a way where the difficulty offers a challenge to returning players and a solid level of accessibility for newcomers.
Monster Energy Supercross 6 offers another deep career mode to satiate those looking for an immersive experience with longevity while offering up a fully integrated online suite for those looking to take the action online. If suiting up and getting dirty in some of the most iconic venues in the United States is your type of fun, adding Monster Energy Supercross 6 to the rotation is something you won't regret, and chances are the title might find a spot in that rotation for quite some time.
Criterion has delivered another outstanding experience with Need for Speed Unbound, and while it's not shocking that Criterion has made a good game, it is nice to remember that they're still capable of ripping off a banger, and the same goes for NFS now having another entry that's worthy of the lineage. From the unique art style to the fantastic racing, Need for Speed Unbound is a racing game that feels authentic and sticky enough to stay relevant through the winter.
The struggle with sports simulations that are released every year is determining whether the newest title is worth the upgrade. For me, Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2023 is an instant upgrade. Even if you have purchased every version available, the visual upgrades would still be worth it.
NKR3 may not be on the same level as some of the kart-racing juggernauts like Mario Kart, but Slime Speedway offers a fun experience, especially online, and one that people of all skill sets can enjoy. It just may take those with a bit more background in this genre to find a true challenge.
I preferred the Nintendo Pro Controller to the Joy-Cons as it created a more consistent experience. However, with some time and practice, controlling your car with the original Joy-Cons can be done, but it can feel frustrating when in a pack trying to race clean. If you're a NASCAR or racing fan in general, having Rivals available on the Switch should be enjoyable enough, and it's a game that should lead you into the official 2023 season.
Dakar Desert Rally impressed me at every turn, jump, and twist from a visuals perspective. The AI is fun and unpredictable and will give you a run for your money on the right difficulty. I genuinely appreciated what the AI had to offer in Dakar Desert Rally, especially with the title being slightly shallow in terms of alternate offerings.
What elevates WoO is the solid career mode, excellent driving model, and online offerings. Online or off, the game offers an exciting track experience. Add in the career mode that is addicting, authentic, and deep, and that combination will have you playing the newest release from Monster Games for months after its official release. World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing is available now for PS4/PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S for $49.99 (USD).
In short, Flashout 3 takes some getting used to, and in today's world, that is not the typical way to keep people involved. Still, once you understand the mechanics and controls, Flashout 3 delivers on enough fronts to create a fun and immersive experience, just one that lacks longevity and depth.
Still, it lacks depth, game modes, presentation, and the visual fidelity of even a PS4/Xbox One high-end game. If you're accepting of that, and career mode can hold your attention, then adding NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All to the rotation is a simple choice. It will not be a game I consistently play, but it will be something that occasionally fills a void.
It may lack the direct action that the F1 series does have, but that was never the intention to begin with. The game is about managing an F1 team, making tough decisions, keeping the board happy, and finding consistent success in some form. For me, F1 Manager 2022 will never be a game that's always in the rotation, but it will make an appearance quite often. It's also a title that is not only accessible but inadvertently teaches newcomers about the sport in ways that a standard broadcast could never pull off.
That's not to say that you can't find enjoyment in the new offering from IguanaBee, as I did, and I will continue to play it for now. If you keep your expectations in check and understand the game has some issues, it is a game that is easy to pick up and play and accessible for the whole family.
The ultimate issue with MPTC is that it becomes repetitive with very little to do once career mode and online become stale. Hopefully, the developers get a second shot and can add created and shareable stadiums, logos, and players that can be used online and offline in career mode. If you're itching for a console tennis game that plays well, give Matchpoint: Tennis Championships a go, but understand it's a first-year effort, and there are some mechanical issues and a lack of depth.
With F1 22, the developers allow you to take the simulation aspect as deep as possible, or if you’re a newcomer, ease your way into it. Regardless of your approach, the difference in difficulty and accessibility is noticeable without losing fun and excitement. Whether you’re a die-hard F1 racing fan or just looking to get into the sport and have some digital fun, F1 22 deserves a spot in your rotation, and it will take a heck of a game to knock it out.
When all combined, Out of the Park Baseball 23 creates a deep baseball simulation experience and one that is finally accessible to the masses - or at least much closer. If you're new or a seasoned veteran, the improvements in OOTP 23 deliver a highly impactful baseball punch that is sure to please.