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When we think of sports things like football, rugby, running and boxing spring to mind. Along with simulated these physical sports, video games extend the sporting genre in different directions. Some games, like Pyre use the sports setting and aesthetic for a futuristic narrative that spins off into adventure or role play. Others, like Rocket League iterate on traditional sports by adding new elements or combining previously separate disciplines. There are sports games, like Skate that focus on the rush and thrill of sporting participation, while others like Football Manager stick to simulating a particular sport in minute detail.Finally, some video games create their own sporting challenge where esports athletes spend hours practising and honing their skills to compete in hugely popular online competition.
Release Date: 28/08/2018
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person
Rocket League is a sports action game where you drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It's a game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What's not obvious from the...
Release Date: 08/02/2006, updated in 2014
Out Now: Wii and Wii U
Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds
Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club offer motion-controlled sports. Although these games are well known, the depth each of them offers is a best-kept secret. Games like bowling, tennis and boxing are easy to pick up but require...
Release Date: 06/08/2020
Out Now: PC and Switch
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up...
Release Date: 22/10/2019
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Lonely Mountains Downhill is a racing game where you traverse a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route...
Release Date: 10/06/2022
Out Now: Switch
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Mario Strikers Battle League Football is a sports action game and the latest in the Mario Strikers series. Like the previous games, it offers a five-on-five battle sport that combines football and ice hockey with...
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: Mac, PC and Switch
Skate Story is a skateboarding game that focuses on the skill, weight and locomotion of controlling the board. Running through the game is a story where you explore the underworld beneath New York City.
Release Date: 03/05/2023
Out Now: PC
Components: 2D Overhead, Cards and Cartoon
Tape to Tape is a sports hockey game where you lead your team to victory in increasingly chaotic and over-the-top clashes. Bribe the referee and exploit powerful abilities to tilt the odds in your favour and continue your winning streak, then upgrade...
Release Date: 20/07/2020
Out Now: Web
Components: 2D Side-On and Text
Blaseball is an online baseball simulation. Unusually though, it blends in an absurd horror story where players are incinerated and the rules can change -- a little like the board game Blood Bowl. Players compete not so much to get their team to win,...
Release Date: 19/11/2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
What the Golf? is a parody golf game where, despite initial appearances, you rarely hit the ball into the hole. Instead, each golf course has an unexpected twist, such as hitting yourself into the hole or maybe hitting the club.
Release Date: 03/10/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Cricket Through the Ages is a competitive sports game themed around cricket but with little to do with the rules of that game. Players face off and aim for each other as much as wickets. Controls work by holding or tapping the screen to spin limbs and...
Release Date: 08/11/2019
Out Now: Android, Apple TV, Mac and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead
Sociable Soccer is a fast-paced, quick-to-pick-up, slow-to-master, football game. Unlike the intricate lifelike simulation of FIFA, this game wants to recreate the frantic feel of classic arcade football games. It has its heritage back in Sensible...
Release Date: 15/12/1993, updated in 2021
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, Megadrive, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead, 3D Third-Person and Cards
FIFA is one of the two main football video games (the other being Pro Evolution). Each year it's released with improved visuals, more realistic physics and enhanced competitive play. For those who follow the game closely and play it a lot, it offers a...
Release Date: 29/04/2022
Switch Sports is the latest version of Wii Sports. It brings the classic motion sports game up to date with new sports and ways to play. You can compete in six sports, including Tennis, Volleyball, Golf, Football and Bowling. The novelty, as ever, is...
Release Date: 17/06/2023, updated in 2023
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS
Blade Ball is a dodgeball-style sports game where players use their sword-like weapons to deflect the ball at each other to be the last man standing. Like dodgeball, you mustn't get hit by the ball or you are out, here you can move around freely and use...
Release Date: 12/12/2018
Out Now: Android, PC, Web and iOS
Soccer Physics is a super simple football game you play by pressing one button. Made by Otto-Ville Ojala who also made the similar one-button games Wrestle Jump and Tank of Tanks, it's designed to be silly and fun. The matches are 2-on-2 and you time...
Release Date: 15/10/2020
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon
Alpaca Ball: Allstars is a football (soccer) game played with four-legged furry animals. Rather than kick the ball you whack it with your head and long neck. You can also block and ram your opponents, or dive-kick them out the way.
Release Date: 06/11/2007, updated in 2019
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Switch, Wii and Wii U
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a series of simple competitive sports games featuring characters from Nintendo and Sega. Each game in the series is themed around a different Olympic year and location.
Release Date: 14/09/2007, updated in 2010
Out Now: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Skate is a skateboarding series with innovative controls. One stick is used to control the skater's body and the other his feet. This resulted in the need to quickly motion different patterns to intuitively achieve different tricks - what become coined...
Release Date: 28/08/2000, updated in 2018
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, GameCube, Switch, Wii and Wii U
Mario Tennis Aces is the latest in the series of tennis game. These games recreate a relatively traditional game of tennis, although you play as Nintendo characters who each have special moves and powers.
Release Date: 04/09/2020
Out Now: DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Tony Hawk 1 and 2 is a sports simulation skateboarding game series. It features the famous skater in 19 different games. From its start in 1999 on PlayStation it is now available on most consoles and has recently been re-released in updated as Tony...
Release Date: 05/08/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon and Open World
Dodgeball Academia is a sports game that focuses as much on story as sporting action. You play Otto, who hopes to become the ultimate dodgeball player. To do this you need to build a diverse team and learn new skills.
Release Date: 28/07/2020
Skater XL is a skateboard simulation game. But unlike other skateboarding games, Skater XL steers clear of objectives or narrative. Instead you can explore a variety of maps and locations at your own pace, finding new places to try different tricks.
Release Date: 13/06/2017
Out Now: Android and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On
Captain Tsubasa Dream Team (Captain Tsubasa Flash Kicker Dream Team on Android) is a game set in the world of a Japanese cartoon about football. It's a tactical rather than action game. You play as the manager rather than players, but then at key...
Release Date: 11/06/1999, updated in 2021
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, GameCube and Switch
Mario Golf: Super Rush is a sports game that combines running and jumping with golfing skills. It's a proper recreation of golf, but with novelties, modes and characters to make it more entertaining for younger players.
Release Date: 25/05/2007
Out Now: GameCube, Wii and Wii U
Components: 2D Overhead and 3D Third-Person
Mario Strikers Charged, also Mario Strikers Charged Football and Mario Power Soccer was the sequel to Super Mario Strikers for the GameCube. It offers a fast and furious game of football starring Nintendo characters.
Release Date: 25/05/2022, updated in 2022
Roller Champions is a roller-skating sports game. It's a full-contact battle where you complete laps to score points while keeping opponents at bay. While it may sound a little goofy, considerable skill is required to manoeuvre your player and gain...
Release Date: 16/06/2021, updated in 2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Golf Club: Wasteland is a golf game in an unusual setting. You play on an earth decimated by an environmental catastrophe. Through beautiful visuals and eerie audio, you piece together what has happened to the planet to cause such devastation. It's an...
Release Date: 25/07/2017
Out Now: PC and PS4
Pyre is an unusual mix of role-playing and action sports. It takes place in a fantasy world, where you guide a caravan of exiles during fantasy sports games called Rites. As you explore you build a party of characters who encounter other groups of...
Release Date: 12/06/2016
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Videoball is a minimalist sports game for up to six players. The aim is to get one of the balls into the opponent’s goal by shooting it with triangles. It’s highly skilled, frantic and works brilliantly in a competitive family setting.
Release Date: 14/12/2018
Components: 3D First-Person
Ear Hockey is a bat and ball competitive game played by listening to the in-game audio alone; no screen is required. It uses spatial audio cues to signal to the player where they are in the play space and where the main game object, the ball, is...
Release Date: 31/12/2019, updated in 2022
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Football Manager is a football management simulation video game that started back in 1992 and has evolved each year. Now fully licenced for most of the Football Leagues, it offers an intricate way to manage a Football Club of your own.
Release Date: 24/02/2011, updated in 2017
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Apple TV, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Riptide GP: Renegade is a fast-paced racing game set in the underground hydro-jet racing scene. It takes extreme jet-ski action in a wacky direction, but there's a significant skill in manoeuvring your vehicle through tight twists and turns to achieve...
Release Date: 18/03/2020, updated in 2020
Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Dunk Lords is an over-the-top two-on-two basketball fighting game. While themed around the well-known sport, here it takes on a more aggressive and full-contact form. But the result is about the silly competitive dribbling, shooting and dunking rather...
Release Date: 08/06/2009, updated in 2009
Grand Slam Tennis is a physically active sports game where you choose one of the 23 real tennis players or create your own. You can play either singles or doubles. Unlike other tennis games, this focuses on hitting the ball with a gesture via the Wii...
Release Date: 14/10/2022, updated in 2022
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels
Pixel Cup Soccer is a fast and fun sports game where you play with up to eight friends in all sorts of football competitions and teams. The controls are simple but how you use your team requires practice and skill. It stands out for bringing back the...
Release Date: 01/08/2018
Out Now: Mac and PC
Regular Human Basketball is a very different sports game. You play basketball by jumping around inside robot players to control their moves. It sounds both strange and hard work, but in reality, it's a lot of fun.
Release Date: 07/12/2020
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Slapshot Rebound is a sports hockey game where teams battle to control the puck and score goals with real-simulated physics, like the classic football game Kick Off. Play is as you would expect, however, interaction with the puck is all through...
Release Date: 25/08/2020
Street Power Football (Street Power Soccer) is a rhythm and timing game where you compete in a range of competitions that require timing, quick reactions and finesse. Some of these are a pure rhythm action or aiming challenge while others offer a full...
Release Date: 15/11/2022
Super Buckyball Tournament is a multiplayer futuristic sport game where teams of three battle each other to get an oversized ball into the goal. It's like Rocket League only without those tricky car physics. Instead you use your character to run, pass,...
Release Date: 29/03/2018
Out Now: PC, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
ClusterPuck 99 is an 8-player sports game where teams bash and jostle each other to gain control of the puck. The aim is to work together to get it to your opponent's goal while avoiding other players and spikes. You can use power-ups and speed boosts...