Best Sports Games Ever Made

Some of the earliest versions of what we know today as sports video games popped up in the mid-1900s when the first electro-mechanical games were made including K.O. Champ in 1955.

The earliest game to be decided as the first sports video game would come along when William Higinbotham created a game called Tennis for Two, the game was played using an oscilloscope which these days you might only see used in a hospital to display basic information.

We have created a list of the best sports games throughout the decades, including some fan favorites and highest-grossing titles.

UFC 2009 Undisputed

In May of 2009, the first UFC game would be released around the world, with 1,000,000 copies selling its first month. It was developed by Yuke’s Osaka and published by THQ on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, the biggest consoles at the time.

The game implemented six styles of fighting, with boxing, kickboxing, and muay Thai being the three forms of striking. Then when it came to grappling you had Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, judo, and wrestling. You could choose from the biggest names in the UFC Betting and fight with friends in two-player mode or even online.

Interestingly, although many mixed martial arts fans will remember this as the first UFC game, there was in fact a much earlier game released back in the latter part of 2000 on the Dreamcast, Playstation, and Game Boy Colour. The game was titled Ultimate Fighting Championship and would be published by different brands around the world including Ubisoft.

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

If you liked motorsports back when the most popular games console was Playstation 2, you had to own this game. Released in 2000 by Polyphony Digital via Sony Computer Entertainment, GT3 was hugely hyped and sold over 1,000,000 units on release day in North America alone.

By March of 2002, the game had sold over 8 million units worldwide. The game would go on to sell nearly 15,000,000 units by 2008 making it the second most popular game of all time on the Playstation 2, second only to Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.

The game featured breathtaking graphics for the time as well as the ability to fully modify cars and build up your winnings in order to choose what new car you wanted to invest in. The game was as close to progressing in the racing world as most of us will ever get to experience.

Madden NFL 2004

This amazing breakthrough game in the Madden franchise was the 15th installment of the game that brought with it a seriously overpowered Michael Vick, which must have been like the development team’s easter egg for those who really knew the game.

But that wouldn’t be the reason for this game’s huge success, this was the first time we would be introduced to Madden’s Owner Mode. This new feature allowed you to control everything from your staffing to how much you sold your hotdogs for on game days.

The game would be a success across a huge range of platforms including the GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Windows PC.


Now NBA games are a staple of any basketball fans’ game collection, but before we had the ability to buy packs of players and make trades in career mode, we had the humble NBA Jam game. First released in 1993, you’ll only remember this game if you are in you’re well into your 30’s at a minimum.

Although this wasn’t the first basketball game by any means, it was certainly one that turned up the heat on the competition. One very sad fact about this line of games from Acclaim and Midway is that they wouldn’t feature Michael Jordan, due to a marketing agreement that was in place with his shoe sponsor Nike.

Wii Sports

This Nintendo exclusive is by far the most popular sports game to be released of all time, with 82.9 million copies sold as of 2021. In fact, the game is still sitting as the fourth most popular single game of all time, alongside giants like Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V.

The game that was released in 2006 brought with it a whole new way to play sports games with the unique controllers of the Wii console. You could now throw your own bowling balls, return your friend’s tennis serve and even get in a quick 9 holes on the golf course by mimicking the real actions needed to play these games in real life.

This game really got widespread, it seemed like everyone was playing this and not just younger people, Nintendo had done a great job of bringing families together with this fun addition to the sports game world. The creators have since released two popular sequels with Wii Sports Resort in 2008, and Wii Sports Club 2013.

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