27 February 2018

The Winter Olympics have just finished up, and it was an impressive display of the best athletes the world has to offer. The fastest skiers and skaters, the biggest airs and most spins, an incredible display of talent and dedication. If you've been enjoying these sports, but don't quite have the abilities or the 20 years of training, we're going to take a look at the top 5 games that will immerse you in the frozen world of a winter athlete.

5. Shaun White Snowboarding

If you’re talking winter sports athletes, none are better known than the extreme snowboarder Shaun White. Affectionately known as “The Flying Tomato” for his red hair, the young man has been dominating the freestyle scene for years and recently took a Gold Medal at Pyeongchang 2018.


His licensed game gives you the chance to step into his realm and enjoy the sport for yourself at multiple locations around the world. The controls for this are easy to pick up and play as it’s an enjoyable arcade-style game. Fans of the SSX series will find themselves at home with the exaggerated tricks and novelty of some maneuvers.


The levels are great build and the terrain parks are a lot of fun, however over a long period of play challenges can become repetitive. You can change your board and riding style from the menus, are there are options for customizing your character. The addition of some large real world companies adds a feeling of credibility.


This game is great as something to casually play and kill some time, good for kids and adults to get a taste of freeriding.


 Available on PS3, XBOX360, WII, PSP, PS2, PC


4. NHL 18

NHL 18 brings us the latest official game of the NHL franchise. Offering players the chance to jump inside their favorite real world teams, to compete in a variety of different competitions.


This year’s inclusion of many international ice hockey teams from European Leagues means you will be playing as and skating with many of the stars of the Pyeongchang 18 Hockey Centre.


The NHL series have a proven style of gameplay honed over years of releases, and 18 continues the tradition well. You can work towards solo glory in franchise mode, play alongside others in co-op or online, and explore a 3 on 3 arcade style game that is a new option in this release.


This game delivers an authentic ice hockey simulation and caters well to fans of the real life leagues. The controls are easy to learn, and after a while you can deliver some crafty stickwork. This is a compelling addition to the NHL series and an absolute must have for those with a passion for the sport.


Available on PS4, XBOXONE



Now strictly speaking, it’s a little early to include SNOW in this list, as the game hasn’t quite been released yet, however it’s expected to have some exciting developments.


Firstly, it’s going to be free. Completely free to download and play as much as you like. It will be set in an open world environment offering players massive areas of untouched terrain to explore on Skis or a Snowboard.


This game will emphasise freestyle aspects of the sports, with large terrain features and competitions throughout the world, and the options to edit and create your own features wherever you see fit.


This game aims to bring an authentic experience to the movement and physics of extreme winter sports, and should be kept on the radar for any aspiring shredder. The beta was released late last year so the full version should be out just in time for your winter fix in 2018.


Available on PS4, PC


2. Mark McMorris Snowboarding

Here is another title based on and released by a real world Winter Olympian, Mark McMorris. Hailing from Canada this young man has been pushing the boundaries of his sport, and in this game, he invites you to join him.


The title offers a realistic approach to the discipline of freestyle Snowboarding, and while the controls are quite difficult to master early on, they can offer a great level of individuality in maneuvers. The movements and environments look natural and you can really immerse yourself in the dynamic landscapes.


You will spend most of your time on your home mountain competing against other real world athletes, but also have the opportunity to ride online alongside other players. A great feature of this game is the world editor, allowing you to generate your own unique mountain range and then fill it with all the features you can dream of.


With the Skate game style, real world athletes and authenticity this is probably the best Snowboarding game available currently.


Available on PS4, XBOXONE, PC


1. Steep: Winter Games Edition

This game has to be #1 on the list, probably because it’s the one officially licensed by the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.


Offering 12 official olympic competitions this is the game for any Winter Olympics fan.

Spend your time training on your skis or snowboard across real world mountains in Europe, Japan and Alaska, before heading to Korea to compete for gold. These maps are enormous, offering huge massive amounts of game time.


The game has been built nicely and includes the original Steep game, which offers snowsports and paragliding/wingsuits, and the Winter Games expansion, with its own new mountains, disciplines and storyline.


The controls of this game are simple to master, and it’s great being able to switch from board to skis in an easy menu. This was one of the first games to offer freestyle skiers an opportunity to express themselves, and the skiing competitions have a lot of variety between downhill alpine and freestyle modes.


The winter olympic venues have been painstakingly recreated and it gives the game a real sense of realism to have all the competitions looking completely authentic.


Steep: Winter Games edition is definitely the best game for a well-rounded winter Olympics experience.


So if you have been loving the winter games and the coming season is a bit too far away, you can get your fix from some of these great games and fly through the air, spin, jump, grind and skate like the best athletes in the world, from the comfort of your own couch.


Fingers crossed for a curling simulator next winter games!


These games and more are available from EB Games.