Out of all the video game genres to come and go over the last century, the sports theme is undeniably one of the most well-loved. From classic game series such as FIFA to cult classics like Tony Hawk Pro Skater, countless sports-inspired titles have written their place in history. It’s difficult to beat the dynamic and immersive nature of these games, especially with more modern options showcasing breathtaking graphics and incredibly realistic playability.
Choosing the best sports games ever is a tall order, but it’s not impossible. There have been several incredibly important releases over the years that have ensured the future remains bright for sports-based video gaming. The parameters for the best sports games ever include graphics, playability, game depth, and innovation.
Keep reading for a roundup of the best 5 sports games ever.
Why Are Sports Games So Fun?
Playing sports games is one of the best ways to develop and sharpen your gaming skills, but this isn’t the only reason they’re so popular. Unlike other video game genres, playing popular titles like FIFA allow players to control real-life individuals. It creates a level of immersion difficult to find with other games relying 100% on imagined worlds, people, or scenarios. As a result, sports games carry a level of realism you cannot get with other games, which is a huge reason why so many people love playing them.
Sports games are also massively exciting by nature. For example, how often do you get to make a last-minute soccer comeback in any other type of game? Or finally, land that triple kickflip you’ve been working towards for months? Gamers get a sense of real-world satisfaction from sports games that cannot be matched in other genres like a first-person shooter or RPG options.
Our Favorite 5 Sports Games
There are many titles worthy of being included in the best sports games, but our job is to narrow the options down to five. Without further ado, here are our favorite five sports games of all time:
- FIFA: It’s impossible to choose just one FIFA iteration for this list. With over 20 different titles, FIFA is by far the most popular soccer-themed game of all time. Featuring an in-depth player database and teams from all over the world, there is ample choice when playing any of the incredible FIFA soccer games.
- Wii Sports: The Nintendo Wii well and truly broke the mold after its release in 2006. Wii Sports was one of its flagship games, a motion-controlled catalog of sports options ranging from bowling to tennis and golf. Without a doubt one of the most fun sports games ever!
- Tony Hawk: Without the Tony Hawk series of games, several million fewer kids would have grown up with a passion for skateboarding. One of the most iconic titles of the 21st century, the Tony Hawk game catalog is full of iconic examples like Pro Skater 4 or Tony Hawk’s Underground.
- Football Manager: For gamers searching for a hands-on approach to soccer, FIFA is the undisputed champion. However, Football Manager rules the roost for players looking for a more tactically driven approach. With an absurdly comprehensive and detailed database of over half a million players, the sky’s the limit with this outrageously powerful management simulator.
- Need For Speed: As far as racing games go, it’s difficult to beat the Need For Speed series. With a slew of different releases primarily focusing on street racing and custom car tuning, titles like Carbon, Most Wanted, or Underground, are definitive cultural benchmarks. Racing simulators like Gran Turismo may be more serious options, but nothing beats the Need For Speed series for sheer enjoyment.
Fun Alternatives to Sports Games
Not everybody loves sports games, so it’s always worth considering another video game genre if none of the examples above appeal to you.
Alternatively, you can get your sports fix in other ways. For example, watching sports fixtures can be even more exciting than playing games, especially if you’re a passionate team or player supporter. Moreover, many fans love placing bets while watching sports matches to intensify the excitement. The range of online sportsbooks available nowadays makes it easy to do so, but you’ll still need to research the different bet types and tactics to ensure your success. Reading up on betting strategies is the best way to ensure you understand how parlay builders, odds boosts, and other features can give you an advantage when placing wagers. Finally, if you don’t fancy watching and betting on sport, why not play it in real-life yourself? There are various benefits to this, not least better overall fitness!