Time to take a look at some of the most promising sports games coming your way in 2008. We've included fighters in this list, as there are too few of them to warrant a separate article, and so you have something to complain about in the comments. But not racers, because there are bloody loads of those.
Whether you like football, golf, boxing or professional bull riding, there's something for everyone. Especially if you like football or golf. Read on for more.
FIFA Street 3
The latest instalment in EA's critically derided and commercially successful FIFA Street series is due out on Xbox 360, PS3 and DS on 22nd February. It features "environments that pulsate to the music", according to the press release.
There are more than 250 footballers to choose from, divided into four categories - Tricksters, Enforcers, Playmakers and Finishers. They're highly caricaturised versions of famous players including Ronaldinho, Gattuso and PEOPLE'S HERO PETER CROUCH, who all appear on the box.
The control system has been simplified so it's now easier to pull off fancy moves. EA assures us that while the game will be more accessible to casual gamers, there's still plenty of challenge for proper ones.
Here's hoping FIFA Street 3 is an improvement over the second instalment, which Kristan said "houses a fun game of trickery that feels quite unique" but has "a relationship to football which is cosmetic at best".
Peter Crouch is 6'7".
Football's just a branch of science: Why don't they do a Jossy's Giants game? Eurogamer is reliably informed Jossy himself would be willing to sign over his likeness and voice for the right price (about 14 pounds).
Top Spin 3
The first Top Spin game was great. The second, as Kristan reported, was "a fine tennis title and a game you'll have a lot of fun with off or online, but one that does little to justify its price tag, and is little more than a high-def update of the original".
So will the third Top Spin game take the series in a new direction? Not judging by the press release, which begins the list of new features with the phrase "dynamic weather changes" followed by "evolutionary player visuals".
However, we're also promised the most comprehensive online options yet. And there will be new ways to customise your player, including "free-form body sculpting, make-up and tattoos".
More excitingly, Top Spin 3 will mark the series' debut on Wii. It's about time we had a new tennis game for Nintendo's console, Wii Sports is so Y2K6. How it'll match up against RealPlay Tennis, also out this year, is impossible to guess.
Top Spin 3 is coming to Wii, DS, PS3 and Xbox 360 this spring.
Ace in the hole: Remember when Kylie got her crack out in the name of tennis? To think you gave that up, Martinez. I'm glad Richard Gere killed you in that film.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
The PS3, PS2, Xbox 360 and PC versions of Pro Evo 2008 may already be out, but DS and PSP games are yet to arrive. Some time this quarter, reckons Konami.
The PSP version is said to be similar to the PS2 game. There's a wide range of tournaments and leagues and the all-new World Tour mode, where you complete a series of challenges around the globe. You can swap Master League information between the PSP and PS2 games, along with League, World Tour and Cup Mode data.
PES 2008 for DS will feature Exhibition, Penalty Shoot-Out and Konami Cup modes. There's also a tweaked version of World Tour where you face off with international teams.
If everyone's got a copy of the game up to four players can take part in multiplayer matches. One-on-one battles are also possible with just one copy. You can trade players wirelessly and collect coins to build up your team.
While you're waiting, why not read Martin's review of Pro Evo 2008 on the big consoles.
Advice for girls: Expressing an interest in football may seem like a good way to attract boys. However, getting drunk and shouting "Do another goal!" every time PEOPLE'S HERO PETER CROUCH comes on screen may expose you as a fraud.
Professional Bull Riders
Just to clarify, bull riding is the classic American sport of attempting to sit on animals which are instantly enraged by people sitting on them. It's what they do down the rodeo, as in the cowboy circus not C&A's functional and fashionable range of active leisure wear from the eighties.
You might not be a big fan, but nearly 20 million Americans watched Professional Bull Riders events during 2006 - making it the fastest-growing sport in the land. And not just because lynching is on the decline.
Now Crave Entertainment is doing a videogame which lets you play as a bull rider or - wait for it - as a bull. There are ten three-round events to play through, taking place in locations such as New York, Anaheim and Atlanta. You can play as top riders such as Guilherme Marchi and Chris Shivers, or as a bull.
Professional Bull Riders is coming to Wii, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP and PC in time for the PBR World Finals, which begin in October.
Everybody's Golf 5
The biggest change is the introduction of a new shot system which does away with the power meter. The focus is on your swing instead. There's still a meter option for Luddites, though.
You can compete in 50-player tournaments online, or create matches where you see all the action for up to eight players. Downloadable content is promised along with a wide range of options for tracking and comparing statistics.
The game is "unabashedly old school" in design and "exudes charm", according to Dave. "It would probably be too controversial to call it the best golf game, or the best PS3 game," he wrote. "But on both counts it's a remarkably close call."
Hole in one: As Mark Twain said, a game of golf is like a good wank spoiled. We may be paraphrasing.
SEGA Superstars Tennis
In which you get to play as all your favourite SEGA characters, whacking little yellow balls around areas like the Green Hill Zone and Carnival Park. Sonic will of course make an appearance along with AiAi the Super Monkey Ball monkey, Amigo out of Samba De and Space Channel 5's Ulala.
You can collect trophies in Tournament mode or show off in Exhibition, and the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions will offer online play.
SEGA Superstars Tennis is being developed by Sumo Digital. They did Virtua Tennis 3, which is encouraging as it was marvellous. We were going to say "ace" there but no one wants to be fired after less than one week in a new job.
SEGA Superstars Tennis is out on PS2, PS3, DS, Wii and Xbox 360 on March 28th.
You can say what you like about China's human rights record, unless you live in China, but they certainly seem to know how to run an Olympics. And SEGA certainly knows how to make a best-selling Olympics game judging by Sonic and Mario At The, so it's no surprise they've picked up the licence for the official tie-in.
It'll feature more than 35 events including swimming, archery, boxing, gymnastics, Judo, rowing and table tennis. Not to mention weightlifting and wrestling, sailing and shooting, triathlon and Taekwondo. Probably not bull riding.
Brand new control systems are promised along with the ability to compete against other virtual athletes online. You'll battle it out in many of the official venues including the Beijing National Stadium and the National Aquatics Centre.
Beijing 2008 is in development for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and is out this summer.
Let's Take a Torch to Catford: Eurogamer is still a staunch supporter of South East London's Olympic bid, even though it failed.
If you like your sports a bit more obscure, you might enjoy this Wii exclusive from Hudson. Deca Sports features ten sports including curling, figure skating, kart racing and beach volleyball, plus snowboard cross, badminton, beach volleyball, supercross, basketball, archery and "soccer".
"With Deca Sports we wanted to offer a sports package that is unrivaled in terms of sheer number of available sports," said Hudson boss John Greiner, who clearly hasn't seen the Beijing 2008 press release. "The game is easy to play, but offers layers of depth that even hardcore sports enthusiasts will love to play."
You'll use the Wii remote to play each sport - swinging it, for example, to hit and spike in beach vollyeball. Twisting your wrist will guide your snowboard, waggling it will pass the ball in soccer and so on. Both single and multiplayer modes are promised along with a training feature.
Deca Sports is out this summer.
Can curling ever be sexy?: The Canadian Government pays people to make things like this.
We Love Golf!
If you like golf, you'll love We Love Golf. For the Wii. Capcom says it "transforms the Wii remote into a virtual set of golf clubs". It's being developed by Camelot, who also did Everybody's Golf and Mario Golf. They certainly love golf and no mistake. Golf.
You'll use the remote to select clubs, line-up shots and swing. You can also flick it to add a "touch fade" or "draw" if you have any idea what they are. Up to four players can compete against each other and modes include Tournament, Stroke Play and special mini-games. Oh, good.
We asked Close Personal Friend the Capcom PR Man why he loves We Love Golf. He muttered something about it being accessible and fun for all the family before stating, "You can dress up as Street Fighter characters. While that's not why you should be checking out the most fun and accessible golf game on the Wii, it's definitely the most incredible thing in a golf game since the gold teeth accessory in Tiger Woods."
We Love Golf is out later this year.
Cinderella story: Gunga galunga.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympics
According to some bint, the first Mario & Sonic was "the best collection of mini-games for Nintendo's console since Wii Sports". She should bloody know.
Now the DS version is on the way and promising to be much less tiring You'll use the stylus to jump, swim, run, shoot and pedal your way through 16 Olympic challenges including two exclusive to the handheld game - 10m platform diving and cycling. There are also five exclusive Dream events: canoeing, boxing, basketball, long jump and skeet shooting. Once again you can play as a range of characters from the worlds of Mario and Sonic, each with unique abilities and an anatomically incorrect number of fingers.
You can compete against up to four other players wirelessly, with both single- and multi-card options available. Plus you can upload your scores via Wi-Fi Connect to see how you rank against other players around the world.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympics DS is out on 8th February, and a review will be appearing on Eurogamer shortly. Bet you can't guess who's writing it.
Soul Calibur IV and Legends
On to fighting games now, yes all right is it a sport isn't a sport haven't you got work to do.
Soul Calibur IV, in development for Xbox 360 and PS3, is promising to "revolutionise the fighting game genre" with its fancy new battle system. Other items on the checklist include enhanced AI, interactive environments, HD shizzle, extra customisation options and an online mode.
Most excitingly, Darth Vader (or "the Sith Lord Darth Vader" as he's described in the press release, in case you get confused with the Popular Television Chef Darth Vader) will appear in the PS3 version. Yoda in the Xbox 360 game will be.
Soul Calibur Legends is exclusive to Wii and will make use of the remote and nunchuk. It's described as a third-person action adventure and follows Siegfried and other familiar characters on a familiar quest for ultimate power. There are more than 10 stages in Quest mode, and you can compete or play co-operatively with a friend.
Soul Calibur IV and Soul Calibur Legends are out this summer.
Fighting chance: This video of a man racing a giraffe and a zebra has nothing to do with Soul Calibur IV or Soul Calibur Legends.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
This Wii exclusive stars all manner of videogame heros, from Mario and Pikachu to Solid Snake, Samus and Link. We're also promised lots of music from various Nintendo games, plus special items such as Pok Balls and Assist Trophies.
Solo mode is a side-scrolling beat-em-up adventure. Back in May 2006 Shigeru Miyamoto told us, "This time we're getting a lot of time to focus on Smash Bros., plenty of time to develop it, so people can expect a very robust single-player game."
Multiplayer lets you pick characters, venues and rules. For the first time in the series' history you'll be able to battle it out online against up to four players.
According to series creator Masahiro Sakurai, there won't be too much remote waggling to be done. "We've found that trying to implement too much of the pointing device or the motion sensing stuff gets a little bit in the way of the gameplay," he explained. "So rather than just trying to implement too much of that in the game we're trying to keep the controls simple."
Super Smash Bros. Brawl has just been delayed in Japan by a week and the US by a month, so goodness knows when it'll make it to Europe - but it's still down for this year.
Super Smashing Great: For loads more game info and plenty of nice videos, visit the SSBB gamepage.
That concludes our round-up of 2008's sports games - the ones that have been announced, anyway. Chances are there will be a new FIFA and Tiger Woods, not to mention UEFA Euro. And if we're very lucky Tekken 6 might make an appearance. Next up: RPGs.