A golf game in which you wrestle alligators? A football game with an ice level? Obviously we're on to something here!
Sensible soccer looks really high-octane and looks brilliant for it. This is the soccer game I cut my teeth on:
That's an interesting point about the fun factor being lost as we've moved towards more sim-like experiences. You'd think there'd be a gap here for the Indies if they ever got over their obsession with boring platform games.
I'd also classify GT5 as a sports game, to be honest, and have spent a good few hours at it. I've pretty much hit a wall with the fourth difficulty tier - I just can't handle the more powerful cars.
It's funny about some of the complexity involved in the big titles - in our Madden franchise we all enjoyed playing the games, but for some of us there was the meta game of managing salaries etc from year to year, which involved the keeping of spreadsheets. It's always a good game if you need to keep a spreadsheet for it, I find.