10 of the Worst Moments When Playing Sports Games

We all love a good sports game, right? They can perfectly capture the competitive scene of the sport in question, bringing it straight into the living room. Grabbing a few beers and playing some games on FIFA with your mates. Nothing quite beats that. Especially considering the new season for a lot of sports has just begun. We have football (both American and the real one) kicking off and making headlines all over the shop. With the new season comes the new games, too. Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, NBA 2K17 and Madden 17 just released, with FIFA 17 just around the corner, finalising the line-up for another year.

Sports games contain a dark side, however, it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes all you want to do whilst playing a sports game is throw your controller at the screen in sheer frustration. The games are really rather good at mimicking their real-life counterparts, as the more emotionally involved you get, the more anger you release at the game for its little foibles. Here are ten of the worst moments when playing sports games. I’d advise you bring out your inner Louis Van Gaal and start noting these down.

10. Receiving terrible players in Ultimate Team (or modes like it)

Sorry Clifton, but you’re not gonna make the grade.

Player packs in Ultimate team (other modes are available) are always a gamble. But you’re willing to take the risk. Who knows? You might receive a world-beater. Chances are though, you’ll get players who are worse than the ones you already have. Take that credit card and confidence.

9. The referee

referee“What a load of rubbish!” comes crying from the terraces, and with good reason. Everyone hates the referee. Every decision against you is a crime against nature, but as soon as one goes the other way, you let out an ironic cheer, or clap (your choice). But sending off my player for a challenge that was exactly the same as one you ignored from the opposition is not cool. Are you blind ref?

8. Your favourite player looks nothing like his real-life counterpart

bad-player-likenessPlayer likeness is an important aspect of any sport game. They give you a nice feeling of realism whilst you’re pulling off some incredibly ludicrous pieces of skill that make Messi look messy. But what happens when your favourite star looks completely wrong in the game? Other than crying yourself to sleep, I don’t know. It takes you out of the game by reminding you that you’re definitely playing a video game.

7. Your marquee signing getting injured for months in Career Mode

career-mode-injuryYou’re excited. You just signed the player your team desperately needed to be able to compete on all fronts. This player will be able to bring the best out of your team and unlock its potential. What? Injured in training? Out for the rest of the season? Okay lads, back to square one.

6. Thrashing your opponent, but you can’t score any points

just-cant-scoreYou all know this feeling. You’re completely dominating the game, but just can’t score any points. For all your slick play, attacking flair and awesome understanding of tactics, you just can’t win. It’s frustrating enough as it is, but then your mate gets one lucky chance and scores. Shotgun, meet head.

5. Being lugged with a terrible teammate in Rocket League

What a save!

What a save!

You’re on a roll. You’ve won your last four ranked matches, MVP in one or two. You’re feeling great. Along comes whining, moaning bitch teammate who complains that everything is your fault, despite the fact they last touched the ball a minute ago and that was scoring an own goal. What a save!

4. Rage quitters

rage-quitYou’re online, coasting towards a win, feeling good. What’s that? Connection lost with the other player? Why God, why? We’ve all been there. Thankfully, games like FIFA take into account the stats of the game, and the momentum of play to decide on the result when someone quits, but it still feels cheap. Real sports stars can’t rage quit, so why can people playing video games? Take losses on the chin you wimps.

3. Getting schooled by your younger sibling

nfl-losingOne of the worst feelings in any game is being beaten by your little brother or sister. How can they, someone who has no understanding of nietzschean philosophy, beat you at FIFA? It doesn’t make sense. Move aside, old timer, it’s time to let the younger generation in, you’re no longer relevant. God. Now I know how Gerrard felt when he retired from England duty.

2. Your favourite player demands to leave on Career Mode

player-leavesYour best and favourite player demands to leave, for seemingly no reason. Was it something I said? You think to yourself. You’ve done everything you can, including a new bumper contract, more minutes on the pitch and making him your team captain. Why on Earth do they want to leave? No one quite knows what’s going on in their virtual heads, but it doesn’t stop it feeling personal. A punch, straight to the gut, is what this feels like.

1. Losing to a team ranked way lower than your own

mk-dons-beating-man-u

Real-life MK Dons thrashing Manchester United

You might think that there is nothing worse than losing at a sports game to your younger brother or sister, but there is. What if the team you lose against is ranked way lower than yours? Shame, meet depression. Another FIFA example here (it’s all I know). You pick Real Madrid, your mate picks Accrington Stanley, easy win for sure. Ten minutes later you’re making excuses as to how you lost 5-0. After something like this, you never want to play a sports game again, but it’s especially embarrassing if you lose like this against your younger brother or sister. Goodbye civilisation, hello hermit life.


Sports games are great fun, but thanks to any of the ten reasons I’ve listed above, they can become painful exercises of restraint. Controllers are expensive, so you can’t afford to throw your controller across the room in an insane temper. If you can think of any other moments in sports games that are worse than these, let us know in the comments!