Let's take a look at competition. Some games are better than big-name titles, and some others aren't as good. I tried to find the best videos that don't have some blaring loud rock songs I don't like. Let's take a look at different companies utilizing certain licenses:
I'll stick with a certain year here. Madden NFL 2005 vs. ESPN NFL 2K5:
Madden NFL 2005:
Madden NFL 2005 sample
ESPN NFL 2K5:
ESPN NFL 2K5 (includes gameplay footage)
Now some more modern titles! This is a battle of NBA Live 09 and NBA 2K9:
NBA Live 09 (LAC at LAL)
NBA 2K9 (DEN at PHX)
I'm again being consistent with games based in a certain time. So since the NCAA 2K game was way back when, I'm being consistent and include NCAA Football 2002.
NCAA Football 2002
NCAA 2K2: The Road to the Rose Bowl
To be consistent- NCAA March Madness 08 vs. College Hoops 2K8:
NCAA March Madness 08
College Hoops 2K8
How do you feel about exclusive contracts in games? Feel free to read and comment!