This article first appeared on Golfshake.com in Jun 2018
The PGA Tour announced that it would be forming a new partnership with HB Studios to feature in their golfing video game series ‘The Golf Club’. This was perhaps slightly surprising as the Tour has had a long running deal with gaming giants EA Sports. This deal is said to now be on hold, and this does suggest that there could be another EA game to come in the future. Many of you will be familiar with the games from previous years as they were fronted by the one and only Tiger Woods from 1998 to 2013, with Rory McIlroy taking over the cover for the most recent edition in 2015. Reflecting on the 2018 announcement, we felt rather nostalgic and thought that it would be a good idea to take a look at what we believe are four of the best Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game editions.
1 –Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘09: All Play (Wii)
Now for number one. This one is very much a personal entry, and focuses completely on the version produced for the Nintendo Wii Console. The ‘All Play’ edition was one of five sports games released by EA on the innovative gaming platform alongside the likes of NBA Live and FIFA Soccer, and we believe it was pretty good. The way that the game integrated the use of the Wii remote with the game of golf was outstanding, with features like being able to move the remote in a certain way to put spin onto your shots. I found that this made the game a little more interesting and it felt like you played more of an active role when you physically made the swing yourself. Overall, the reason that this ranks highest, for us at least, is because it really provides an element of fun and engages the player in a way that even some of the other edition releases on the Wii did not.
2 – Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘12: The Masters
The Masters version, which was released in 2011, provided a focal point for the game and rather than the player having a lot of equally pitched game modes to play they were encouraged to play in the Augusta National event. Featuring arguably the biggest tournament in golf meant that the makers could build around this and create a format which meant gamers would plot their way through career mode seasons, all to reach Augusta. This proved to be a great idea and we found that this added more meaning to the regular tour events which you played in. Once again there were more players added, which only increased the enjoyment and personalization scope. This game was a brilliant addition to the series and the use of The Masters worked really well.
3 – Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘04
Throwing it back a little further, Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’04 really was a big step forwards in terms of quality for the series. One feature was introduced in this edition and still stands as a big part of even the most recent installment of the game. That feature is the ability to create your own golfer whilst personalizing what they look like, simple yet effective. Alongside this, EA had developed their servers to allow players to compete online with friends and strangers, again a concept that has been used widely by EA Sports in the vast majority of their sports games. By introducing this, a whole new section of gamers were drawn to this title and it proved a big hit.
4 – Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘10
Having conquered the golf game market throughout the era of the PlayStation 2, this was the final edition that EA would produce for the PS2 format, moving on to bigger and better things in terms of graphics and gameplay. The 2009 release saw the US Open make an entrance to the video game fold in which players were able to try their hand at golf’s toughest test from the comfort of their own front rooms. With a wide range of golfers featured on the game, the players were well and truly spoiled for choice and in addition to this, could play on a number of new courses. Included in this version were courses such as Torrey Pines and Oakmont which gave the gamer even more scope for experiencing what it is like in for real life professional golfers to play these wonderful venues albeit through a TV screen. As always with this franchise, hours of fun was almost a certainty.