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Top Android games to get your sports fix

by Tim McLain

While there might be no shortage of games available on the Android marketplace, there is a need for organizing the "best of the best" titles in each category to make them easier to find.Recently, we kicked off a series of app compilations that address this need. For our latest installment, we present reviews of some of the best sports games for your Droid.

Backbreaker Football ($2.99)

Football season is half-spent, talk of the playoffs is in the air, and there's never been a better time to get your spin/juke fix while on the go via Backbreaker Football. Unlike its console counterparts, which can take weeks or months to master (think Madden's maddening array on control options on both sides of the ball), this Android app is all about simple, fun, arcade pigskin action. Forget mastering complex plays on defense and offense. In Backbreaker, you're dropped right into the action as a receiver. You'll need to use the accelerometer (think tilt) on your phone to spin, juke, or sidestep your way through oncoming defenders. Can you avoid the rush, break away from the pack, and score perfect touchdowns, complete with showboat moves?

FIFA 10 by EA Sports ($4.99)

The World Cup might be over, but the soccer action never stops on your Android phone. FIFA 10 delivers the total soccer experience, crammed onto your phone's small screen. And therein lies the only real problem with the game – players are so small and rendered in such a way that it's hard to tell one player from the next. Once you get into a match, however, the app comes to life. Once you learn the controls, moving the ball up the field, taking shots on goal, and taking a few penalty shots adds up to a ton of footie fun. With Tournament, Manager, Be a Pro, Training, Penalty and Friendly modes, along with Integrated Multi-player modes and special rewards and profiles, there's something here for every soccer fan. Except, thankfully, vuvuzelas.

Fishin' 2 Go ($2.25)

We've all played flight simulators. You know, where you take control of photo-realistic planes, and pretend to know what all those buttons and dials do? Fishin' 2 Go, believe it or not, is a fishing simulator. You're confronted with images of a real-life lake. After choosing your lure and bait, it's time to get it wet. To cast your line, hold your finger down on the screen, tilt your phone back as if you're getting ready to cast, then move your arm forward to send your line flying into the water. To reel in your line, drag your finger across the screen until you get a bite. Tire the fish and keep your "taughtness" level out of the red, and you'll bring home quite the catch. With multiple waterways to choose from, realistic sounds and water effects and tons of gear choices to make, now you don't even have to leave the office to go fishing.

Baseball Superstars 2010 ($4.99)

If baseball is your sport of choice, Baseball Superstars 2010 should be on your phone. No other baseball app offers so many game modes – Exhibition, Season, My League, Homerun Race, Mission, Match Play – along with the ability to customize six players. During play, there are dozens of unique items to unlock, along with hidden characters and even entire teams to uncover. Match Play offers one of the most compelling gameplay options, allowing you to go head to head against another online player, taking turns to hit/defend. Plus, the ever-present leaderboard allows you to post your victories for all the world to see. If you can get over the cartoonish character renderings, this will be your go-to baseball app for months to come.

Hockey Nations 2010 ($4.99)

Like Backbreaker Football, Hockey Nations is an arcade simulation catering to hockey fans everywhere. Gone are the litany of controls in the console offerings, instead this beauty of an app delivers a solid six-on-six 3D experience. With some serious practice with the controls (think touchpad, touchscreen and D-Pad), and tweaks to the rules in the options menu, you'll be high-sticking your way to a goal before you know it. Quick Play, Exhibition, Practice, League and Tournament modes are available, with 14 national teams from around the world pre-loaded for your hockey pleasure.