Boasting a player base of over 75 million, Rocket League is a game that is still going strong in 2021, with its initial release dating back to 2015. This was most definitely helped by Rocket League’s transition to free-to-play back in September 2020, but you don’t get numbers like this overnight. The reason it has sustained demand for such a long period of time is most likely attributed to the one-of-a-kind gameplay experience it provides. Have you ever seen any other sports game that has incorporated elements of soccer, racing, and explosions as seamlessly as Rocket League has done? If you’ve never seen or heard about Rocket League, that sentence must have been confusing for you. Let me explain why this is the next game you should be trying out.

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In Rocket League, you and the opponent take control of various different forms of racing cars, which can even be an SUV if you so choose. There will be a gigantic soccer ball placed in the middle of the pitch, and the aim is to use your car to push this ball into the opponent’s net. Whoever scores the most goals within the given time limit wins the game. I know this sounds bonkers, but trust me, it is as fun as it is bizarre. Since you have to use your car to hit the ball and not your legs, which is usually the case for soccer, you will have to figure out the most efficient way yourself – the angle, the part of the car, where you hit the ball, etc. On top of that, there are boosters all over the pitch that can help speed your car up, whether that is to hit the ball or to crash into other cars. Yes, you heard that right. It’s legal to crash into an opponent’s car and leave them dismantled for a couple of seconds, before they restart from their side of the pitch again. I don’t think there’s many other Sports games, if any, that almost encourages you to foul the opposition. Did I mention that you could jump with your car as well? This game is revolutionizing what a Sports game could be, and I’m all for it.

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Many players usually look at the fun of going for goal in Rocket League, and rightly so – the ecstasy of slamming the ball into the opposition net to be met with colorful celebratory explosions is as good as it gets. However, in my time playing Rocket League, I’ve also experienced the gratification in defending your own goal from the opposition. Imagine the scene: the score is 2-1 to you, but in the dying seconds, the opponent speeds into the ball, hurling it towards a goal that is sure to be met in a couple more seconds; only for you to swoop in from the side to block the ball’s trajectory. The game finishes and you’re the hero of the team. The sense of achievement that this game provides you with is so gratifying, especially because it is not easy to control a soccer ball using a car, and it feels like every touch you make contributes to the final result. This sensation is most likely responsible for the countless hours that millions of players have poured into the game over the years.

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Of course, you could play Rocket League in a one-to-one format, but just like soccer, it’s always more fun to play as a team rather than as an individual. Each team can have up to 4 players at once, and the chaos that ensues when you have 8 players at once in the same game is hysterical. Since I play this game on my Nintendo Switch, if I have friends over, up to 4 players can play on the same screen at once. The shouting and screaming that accompanies this game makes this a surprisingly good party game, both for the players and the onlookers. I think it’s brilliant that there’s slow-mo replays after every goal scored in the game – you could see who was at fault for each goal, and the finger-pointing that ensues between you and your friends makes for a great laugh. However, as you know, recently the world has been plagued by the infamous COVID-19 virus and it has become difficult to gather as a group in person. This is why it’s great that you can still play with your friends online, either against each other or against other players around the globe. This is a great way to catch up with your friends during these difficult times – I usually like to play this game with friends while screaming at them via video conferencing platforms. In all seriousness, this is a great multiple-player experience, and is a great way to bond with others as you have to work together as a team in order to get one over your opponents. If it’s hard to get time with your friends but you still want to play in a team match, it’s extremely easy to match up with other players under similar circumstances! From my own experience, it might be harder to take the dub with people you’ve never played with before, but win or lose, this game will be sure to provide you with a hilarious moment or two at the very least.

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Almost forgot to mention, Rocket League offers customizability as well! You can choose your car type, its color, the color of your celebratory explosion, the wacky accessories you want to place on top of your car… the list goes on and on. Rocket League has done collaborations with various famous franchises in the past from different mediums, including Rick and Morty, Hot Wheels, Nintendo, and even Game of Thrones! This is a brilliant move from the developers, as not only does this expand the variety in accessories and cars to choose from to keep the game fresh for players, but it also acts as an incentive to draw fans of other mediums to experience Rocket League. Offering this huge variety in customization can also contribute to players feeling more attached to their cars with every game they experience. This was absolutely the case for me – it was always hilarious to see my whacky SUV running around aimlessly during the action replays.

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As you can see, not only did Rocket League pave a way for its own distinct genre in gaming, it also did it extremely well, and continues to do so. If I could stir up so much energy and laughter within my small group of friends just by playing this game, it is no wonder that there is a huge following for the Rocket League esports scene. I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of ridiculous plays these Rocket League pro-players can pull off, and the kind of crazy atmosphere they could stir up in a proper esports venue. I really do feel this is a one-of-a-kind game, and an experience that all gamers should go through at least once. So, what are you waiting for? It’s free to play and you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. Download Rocket League on your Mac, PC, Linux, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation console today!

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