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Best Fringe Sports Games & Sims

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When it comes to finding the best sports games on the market, most of the focus is on realism and physics. This makes sense, as most players of sports simulations are looking to closely replicate the real-life league. They want to see the real names, likeness, and image of real-life players—and they want to feel like they’re actually on the field themselves. 

That being said, the options for sports games are pretty limited compared to other genres—especially if players want to stick to one particular sport. It’s easy to run out of options when it comes to simulations. Even hits like Rocket League, which are hugely popular and exciting to tackle with friends or solo, aren’t infinitely playable. 

If you’re on the hunt for a fantastic and entertaining sports gaming experience, then we’ve got a few suggestions. No matter what type of sports you like, there’s a title for you.

Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports aren’t traditional video games in any sense of the word—but they’re definitely worth sampling, especially daily fantasy sports. DFS shortens the contest period to usually a single game or set of games. Rather than follow an entire season, players can quickly put together a lineup and see how it turns out. Now that US sports betting has expanded, it’s easier than ever to find an online sportsbook and DFS providers. (Pro tip: if you’re really into sports analytics and data, you can also use your knowledge for point spreads and totals, too.)

OlliOlli World

Skateboarding is enjoying a popularity boost thanks to the Tokyo Olympic Games. In 2022, OlliOlli World launched and received positive reviews thanks to its mechanics and graphics. In terms of gaming mechanics, newcomers won’t feel too bogged down by a difficult learning curve. At the same time, more advanced gamers will quickly get a hold of the ropes and start leveling up. Lastly, the game’s unique hand-drawn graphic style and wide, panning shots add a cinematic quality to this rad release.

Steep

This 2016 release also focuses on extreme sports. The game includes opportunities to experience skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit flying, and paragliding—the latter two of which will have you gasping in your seat. If you’ve ever been tempted to try out these adventurous outdoor sports but lack the resources, then Steep is a fantastic substitute. Since its release, developers have also added speed riding, BASE jumping, and even rocket-powered wingsuit flying to the game’s repertoire.

Mutant Football League

Welcome to the world of OTT American football. This game takes the contact sport and ramps up its more intense elements. Rather than mere mortals, players compete in a 7v7 setup and can fill their lineup with monsters like demons, werewolves, robots, orcs, skeletons, and ‘criminal’ aliens. If you were really into the Transformers series, then you’ll probably also enjoy the absolutely over-the-top interpretation of American football in Mutant Football League.

Ribbit King

This golf spinoff has been around since 2003, making it one of the older sports-adjacent video game releases. Though the graphics might be a little juvenile, the game itself is highly playable. In it, players must launch frogs that sit on catapults through difficult obstacle courses. The mechanics are simple, but the challenges become incrementally harder. The worlds in which players compete are also delightfully weird, adding an element of intrigue that’s maddeningly engaging.

Will Broomstick League Make a Comeback? And Knockout City?

Not all sports spinoffs stand the test of time quite like Rocket League—but it’s not for a lack of popularity. There are two major hits that were taken off shelves for copyrighting purposes. The first is Broomstick League, a game that pretty transparently borrows from Harry Potter’s Quidditch. Despite launching to a massive reception and cult hit status, it has since disappeared from virtual shelves.

However, some gamers have speculated that publishers could be interested in adapting Broomstick League to become an official HP release. If that’s the case, it will likely be re-launched in a few years.

Then we have Knockout City, a multiplayer spin-off of dodgeball with multiple playing characters to choose from. Despite nabbing several nominations and awards after its release in 2021, Knockout City was pulled from the market last year. That happened because of ongoing back-and-forth ownership between EA, Microsoft, and the smaller Velan Studios. It’s currently unknown whether the game will be published once again.

Adam loves gaming and the latest Tech surrounding it, especially AI and Crypto Gaming are his fave topics

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