Released in 1998 by 989 Sports
When people say that PS1 sports games don’t hold up these days, this is what they’re talking about: primitive gameplay that doesn’t make up for the ugly graphics and excruciating sound.
Where it falls in the series
This is the fourth of 10 GameDay titles on PS1. The PS2 installments go from 2001 to 2004, and oddly, the PS1 run lasts through 2005. I can remember the series being pretty popular in PS1’s heyday, but it wasn’t long before Madden caught up, and GameDay didn’t have the gameplay to compete.
The action is mired with problems that should have been fixed by the time this series got to its fourth installment. The player’s movement doesn’t have a natural flow to it. Tackles, catches, and jukes often have a bad stutter to them, like time speeds up and slows down intermittently.
The passing game is troublesome, with passes that don’t lead the receivers far enough, resulting in a catching mini-game crapshoot. The offensive line either completely bulldozes the defense or is completely useless, which affects both passing and running plays.
The playcall screen is very poorly organized. The game moves fairly quick from play to play otherwise, which I always appreciate, but boy, I hate this playcall screen.
The 32-bit, 3D graphics were ambitious at the time, but they’re tough to stomach today. The players and field aren’t terrible per se, but the animations are so choppy and muddled that it makes the game a chore to play.
The sound, which sometimes I don’t even mention in my reviews, is AWFUL. The announcers and field sounds are drowned out by the most annoying crowd noise I’ve ever heard in a video game.