It is easy to overlook the pivotal importance of video games for the game of golf.
The truth is that video games produce excitement and interest in upcoming generations of players. How many of us remember playing Golden Tee at the local arcade, or Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004?
The past decade has witnessed a decline in mainstream golf-related video games. That absence has been to the detriment of the entire industry. Therefore, it is exciting as a resurgence has occurred as the next generation of golf video games are released!
Mario Golf Super Rush
Nintendo’s Mario Golf Super Rush is probably not the first game you think of when it comes to golf video games. However, for many future golfers, it will be the first one they play.
Nintendo takes the game of golf and transforms it into an immensely fun arcade-style game. Play as Mario, Peach, Yoshi, or one of 13 other characters as you compete for your way through 6 different courses. Multiple game modes and challenges mean there’s endless replayability. The simple controls are also easy to pick up but difficult to master. This makes this the perfect game to play for all ages!
The unique controls and abilities of the Nintendo Switch also give this game fun and unique accessories. For a more “immersive” experience (although I doubt you’ll mistake yourself for a citizen of Mushroom Kingdom) you can get fun golf club controller packs.
Overall, Mario Golf Super Rush provides an easy entryway to golf for people of all ages. It is not a golf simulator, but it is faithful to the sport in the most important way. It is a fun, social, enjoyable experience!
PGA Tour 2K Series
Developed by HB Studios, the PGA Tour 2K series began from humble beginnings. HB Studios worked alongside Electronic Arts (EA) to produce the famed PGA Tour series of games. The PGA Tour series had existed since 1990 and was the staple of golf video games. After 2015, EA decided to cancel the series. In response, HB Studios set off on their own and created The Golf Club, the first installment of what would become the PGA Tour 2K Series
In the years that followed the first release, HB Studios signed contracts with both the PGA Tour and 2K Sports. It is important to note that while the contract includes the rights to include a PGA Tour mode and TPC courses, it does not include the rights to players’ likenesses. The most recent release in the series has been PGA Tour 2K21, which is undoubtedly one of the best golf games available.
By expanding both the granularity of play and the player assistance available, HB Studios has built a masterpiece for experienced and new players alike. The courses are beautiful, distinct, and interesting to play. Likewise, the difficulties and challenges mimic those you would experience out on the course yourself. PGA Tour 2K21 is a must-play for any video game golf enthusiast and its success led to Tiger Woods signing a multi-year exclusive deal with the series!
EA Sports’ PGA Tour
As previously mentioned, the EA Sports PGA Tour series of games has been a staple in the golf industry since 1990. However, after the 2015 Rory McIlroy PGA Tour installment, the series was canceled. This was supposedly due to waning sales and generally poor reception of recent releases.
The global pandemic has seen an unparalleled resurgence in the golf industry. Seeing a renewed interest in the sport and the success of competing games, such as the 2K Series, EA Sports PGA Tour has risen from its tomb. With a release slated for the spring of 2022, the latest installment of the iconic franchise comes out alongside the Master’s Tournament. Utilizing the latest in-game engine performance, EA promises to deliver a game as beautiful to look at as it is fun to play. We certainly eagerly await its release!
All in all, the future of golf video games is as vibrant and alive as it has ever been. There is a multitude of recent and upcoming fun arcade or simulator games that we did not cover in this article. All golf video games are an important part of growing the game.