The greatest video games for sports, from the field to the virtual dugout and beyond
The greatest sports games can usually be categorized into one of two categories. One may argue that the game at the top of the list below, Fight Night Champion, and the restored classic are unique masterpieces. Beyond that, there are the yearly upgrades to legendary brands that, in one way or another, surpass expectations.
We’ve compiled a list of the top sports games for 2024, so there’s no shortage of either. See what we’ve selected to round out the finest of the best by continuing to read!
Top sports games.
An intriguing one to begin with. Or is that something like, puck off? Nevertheless, there’s a single reason why NHL 24 makes our ranking before NBA 2K24: the inclusion of female players in Ultimate Team. It’s done pretty cleverly, giving female stars cards that are competitive with those of men. It’s hard not to see this as a test match for Harry Kane and Declan Rice alongside Beth Mead and Ella Toone for EA Sports FC.
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Not captivated by “HUT”? With a keen eye for detail, there’s plenty more ice-based entertainment to be enjoyed, such when a member of the opposing team gets hurt and is jeered for the remainder of the game.
Manager of Football.
The Championship Manager peak, which made Tonton Zola Moukoko and Cherno Samba renowned despite having small professional accomplishments, is no longer loved by FM. Though you will be tasked with managing every facet of a club from any location in the world—a post-release upgrade will include Gibraltar this year—it’s still a worthwhile investment.
Licensed European competitions, a thorough “supporter confidence” system, and more intelligent AI opponents are among the other major additions for 2024. It is important to consider making personal modifications instead of depending just on the meta because managers tend to be more assertive when a team is trailing late.
Champion of Fight Night.
Thanks to Microsoft’s backwards compatibility program, Fight Night Champion is playable on the Xbox Series X and is the ideal reproduction of the delightful science. In one area, EA combines its customarily excellent handling of niche sports with exact controls and visually stunning graphics that are nevertheless certain to stop you cold. Champion Mode from Fight Night Champion is the other. There has never been a more compelling story than Andre Bishop’s, which launched a decade of completely realized storylines that interspersed sporting events.
However, without its bell-to-bell gameplay, Fight Night is nothing. Thankfully, the brutal action still has a lot of impact, and the Legacy Mode of the game keeps you interested as you work your way up from punching bag to prizefighter. Even if it’s still a complete product, it guarantees the Fight Night series.
The Rally Art.
One of the most visually striking and artistic racing games to date, Art of Rally is so beautiful that it’s a terrible shame it didn’t receive the full amount of attention when it first came out in September 2020. With a focus on the “golden era” of rallying, this independent game has a ton of vintage vehicles, including several from the notorious Group B class.
Like Micro Machines, Art of Rally plays from a top-down perspective rather than putting you in control, but don’t anticipate any power-ups. While you traverse 60 stages that range from Norway to Japan, there are several strategies to learn, such as counter-steering and the Scandinavian flick, which make the game even harder to master. One of the real sleeper smashes of 2020.
The Pro Skater 1 + 2 of Tony Hawk.
It’s a bad habit of nostalgia to fool you. Play the original Tony Hawk series on the PlayStation, and your idealized recollections of endlessly listening to Goldfinger and downing Red Bull will probably start to fade. It lacks some of the flow of upcoming THPS efforts and is muddy and fussy.
Thus, the daunting task of recreating a classic series as your mind’s eye saw them all those years ago fell to Vicarious Visions. Not only does it succeed, but it may even outperform one of the most cherished sports teams in history. Smart but subtle changes are made throughout: online multiplayer recreates the bragging rights sessions that were held over a CRT TV all those years ago, and subsequent skills, like reverts, are incorporated to aid enhance flow.
Baseball That’s Out of the Park.
A rival dugout sim showing off to Football Manager? Though it has always seemed unimaginable, this fan-favorite batswinger wins the managerial prize this year. To even attempt Out of the Park Baseball is to get disoriented for a few minutes, hours, or even days.
The 162 games that make up a baseball season are enjoyable to plan for since every real-world choice is faithfully incorporated into the game during play. Contracts, roster changes, and trades all put further strain on the gray area. If you’d rather start at any historical moment between 1871 and the present, you can reject what’s offered from a modern standpoint. Indeed. Seventeen. Eighteen. One.
Desolate Mountains With No One Around.
Make sure you play the greatest sports game you’ve never played as soon as possible. You speed-run a cube-man cyclist through four mountains’ worth of difficult, demanding courses, juxtaposing gory deaths with beautiful landscapes.
Every failure is cruel, funny, and educational—a unique teaching moment as you iteratively improve your routes in an effort to destroy your best time rather than your kneecaps. There are plenty of unlockables, easy-to-use controls, and evenings spent wishing there was “just one more race.” It is utterly excellent in every way.
The Rocket League.
There are some concepts that are so elegantly basic that it’s hard to imagine living without them. One such instance is Rocket League. In Rocket League, which debuted in 2015 and is famously free with PS Plus, teams of up to four players lock bumpers in a game that is effectively “soccer with cars.”
The main advantage of Rocket League is its accessibility. The driving, jump, and boost buttons each have one button. You are responsible for everything else, including the seemingly limitless meta skill ceiling that involves flips, floating jumps, and seal-like accuracy with the ball. The fact that it has endured so long is something to the skill with which developer Psyonix adjusted the recipe for engrossing gameplay. There will be celebrations, new cars, and modern takes on the original format, so this is a game we’ll probably be playing.