The EA Sports series of Street Sports Game is a series of game by Electronic Arts released under the brand name of EA Sports BIG. The games are a more arcade and less-realistic take on the sports when compared to the likes of Madden NFL or FIFA Soccer, two other EA Sports games, but they still had the big sports stars that the two games had. There are different series of these games and they tend to be classified separately, but they usually have some common elements. The games would usually place more emphasis on tricks than tactics.
So far, there are 3 series of these games:
- NBA Street (Basketball)
- FIFA Street (Association Football/Soccer)
- NFL Street (American Football)
While they have the same publishers, each series were developed by the same team that developed the non-street version.
The games provide examples of:
- As Himself: Multiple rappers appeared as playable characters in the NBA and NFL Street games, including Nelly, Xzibit, and the Beastie Boys. Xzibit is practically the star of NFL Street 2; not only does he have a spot on the cover and a song in the game, he also plays quarterback for a team named after himself stacked with an all-star roster of NFL players, narrates the tutorials, and gives your created character a primer on how to progress in Own the City mode.
- Character Customization: Every single game, regardless of what sport, allows you to create a custom character and build their stats up until they're on par with the best players in the game. Most games also allow you to create an entire team and customize them to varying degrees.
- Crossover: Apart from having Mario, Luigi, and Peach as playable characters in NBA Street V3 on the GameCube, the series had a habit of crossing over with other EA franchises. In the first NBA Street, Moby and Zoe from SSX join with Tracy from Sled Storm to form the unlockable Team BIG. SSX would later return the favor in SSX 3, where Stretch appears as a secret character.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Every game has a mechanic where, after beating the other team, you can recruit a player to your side. This tends to come into play for original characters who serve as bosses or for real-life players.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: Once you start winning consistently on Easy in the original NBA Street, the game gets pretty in your face with it. The announcer will berate you for playing on easy at the start AND end of each game. Eventually, the post-game tips will straight up tell you "Change the difficulty level. You're too good to be playing on Easy."
- Early Game Hell: The "NFL Challenge" mode in the first NFL Street starts your team off with piddling stats and pits you against the NFC West and AFC West. You will quickly learn that your teammates can barely do much of anything at this state, and that even the worst NFL teams will outperform you.
- Expy: Stretch from NBA Street is a pretty obvious one to Julius Erving, what with his Chuck Taylors, huge afro, and ungodly dunking prowess.
- If Takashi, also from that series, wasn't originally designed as one for Yao Ming, who was still playing in China at the time, then he definitely feels like one now, since, like Yao, Takashi is East Asian, absurdly tall, and great at blocking shots.
- Bonafide—yet another NBA Street original—is a subtler one for Allen Iverson. He's from Philadelphia, where A.I. spent most of his pro career, is fairly short for a basketball player, and is great with handles and crossing up his opponents.
- Jive Turkey: "Joe the Show" Jackson goes beyond Totally Radical and into this with his play-by-play. Possibly justified, since he looks older than most of the players, so he might just be using the slang from when he was a player, but he still habitually says things like this:
- MJ is in the house, baby! Ooooooo-wee!
- Made of Iron: The players on NFL Street. They hit and get hit as hard as your average American Football player while wearing little to no pads.
- Large Ham Announcer: NBA Street revels in these, first with "Joe the Show" Jackson in the original, then with Bobbito Garcia in the games afterwards. The FIFA games' MCs were more subdued, and the NFL games ditched the announcer in favor of trash talk between the players.
- Limit Break: The aptly named "Gamebreaker"
- Mundane Made Awesome: All three games run on this, with players pulling off impossible dunks, shots, or tackles like it's no big deal.
- The basketball courts in V3: sure Foss Park being dedicated to shooting victims or Rucker being the go to playground for street gods is awesome, but you'd think this is the hallowed ground of the Dream Team home turf by how much they are revered.
- Old Save Bonus: NFL Street 2 gives you 25,000 credits for each save file you have of certain EA games. Also, when you complete Own the City mode, you unlock the ability to import that character into Madden NFL 06's Superstar mode.
- Product Placement: NFL Street 2 gives Reebok (or Rbk, as they were branding themselves at the time) plenty of this, since Reebok was the NFL's jersey manufacturer at the time. You can purchase their shoes and branded NFL apparel, some of which gives you stat boosts when equipped, put their logo on your character's shirt or hat, or even unlock and play as the Rbk team, which features an all-star lineup of NFL players.
- NBA Street V3 gives both Reebok and Adidas this treatment, with several shoes from both brands that you can customize and then equip on your players, as well as a host of other non-customizable shoes you can purchase for your character.
- The original FIFA Street is more even-handed, putting branded clothes from Nike, Adidas, and Puma, among other brands, in the game for your players to wear. However, unlike the generic clothes, you can't customize them by changing the colors or adding logos.
- Rubber-Band A.I.: Like many EA titles, NFL Street has a catch-up mechanic. While it can be turned off for quick games and pickup games, it's permanently enabled for the already difficult NFL Challenge.
- Spiritual Successor: It's very clear the Street series, especially NBA Street, was heavily influenced by Midway Games' NBA Jam. This eventually came full circle, as EA Sports revived Jam in 2009, and included Stretch as an unlockable character.
- It's also arguably a direct successor to EA's own NHL Rock the Rink, which came out on the original PlayStation in 2000 and was developed by the same studio that went on to make most of the Street titles.
- Totally Radical: All of them, to some degree, but NFL Street gets hit with this the hardest thanks to the corny Trash Talk.