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The Best Sports-Themed Console Games



Sports Games

Regular visitors to our site and readers of our reviews know we love all types of consoles and games. We don’t have a particular favorite genre, but we understand how gaming works as an escape for many. The title you choose to play this evening depends entirely on your mood.

You may be a sports fan eager to run down the clock until tonight’s live clash from the NFL. You’ve made your predictions on the fixture, checked your possible returns in a trusted money line parlay calculator, and set a reminder to watch the build-up and tussle live on television. Now it’s time to enjoy an alternative reality where you control the top athletes and most famous teams.

Sports games rank amongst the best-selling titles, allowing users to adopt the role of their heroes. What’s your pick of the sports-themed console games? Are you a lover of the EA Sports FIFA franchise recently rebranded as EA FC? Would you prefer one of the many PGA Tour golf games featuring Tiger Woods, or are you more of a Mario Golf type, enjoying the innocent fun?

No guts, no glory

Why are sports-themed console games so popular? The genre is a lasting success, from the early days of Duck Hunter on the SNES to the NBA 2K23. Players of a certain vintage can appreciate just how much sports games have improved during their lifetime. Magnavox Odyssey was iconic when released in 1972, but it wouldn’t impress gamers of today. Where’s the multiplayer option, and how do you play against friends online? We’re living in very different times.

I fondly remember rushing home from school to spend hours battling against virtual rivals over a series of grueling events on Olympic Gold for the Sega Mega Drive. Released in 1992, my lasting memory of the game was frantically moving my thumb and forefinger across two buttons to sprint and take gold in the 100m dash. The resulting blisters were painful, but it was a small price to pay for the glory and the crowd’s unbridled admiration.

Would you prefer a slightly newer game based on the trials and tribulations of an Olympic athlete? You can tell a lot about a person by the sports-themed console game they hold dear. Not least their age, but many of these classics are returning as retro games and are proving just as popular. 

There’s no clear way of deciding the best sports game ever released, as it’s a matter of opinion. But we can settle an age-old debate about the best game by researching the sales figures. What’s the highest-selling sports game of all time, and is it also the best? Keep reading as we reveal the most popular titles according to the money they generated.

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Kicking off our list is the maestro of the virtual soccer universe, FIFA. Developed by the gaming powerhouse EA Sports, FIFA has become synonymous with nail-biting penalties, last-minute goals, and the sweet taste of victory. With its realistic gameplay, immersive graphics, and an extensive array of gaming modes, FIFA has earned its spot as the king of virtual soccer. 

Over the years, this franchise has seen its sales skyrocket, making it one of the highest-selling sports-themed console games of all time. Whether you’re a die-hard soccer enthusiast or just someone looking for a thrilling gaming experience, FIFA has something in store for everyone, including players of all ages.


Moving on to the hardwood, we have the iconic NBA 2K series. If you’ve ever dreamt of being the next LeBron James or Stephen Curry, this game gives you the chance to live out that fantasy. From jaw-dropping dunks to buzzer-beating three-pointers, NBA 2K has managed to capture the essence of basketball like no other game. 

With its smooth controls, lifelike player movements, and a captivating storyline in its career mode, NBA 2K has dribbled its way into the hearts of sports and gaming enthusiasts alike. It’s no surprise that this franchise has clinched a top spot in the realm of sports-themed console games, proving that the love for basketball transcends the boundaries of the physical court. If it’s been a while, we advise revising an NBA 2K classic.

Need for Speed

For those who prefer the thundering excitement of the racetrack, the Need for Speed franchise has been an evergreen choice. This adrenaline-fueled series has redefined the world of racing games, offering players a chance to rev their engines and burn rubber in some of the most exotic locations around the globe. 

From sleek cars to intense customization options, Need for Speed has kept players glued to their screens, experiencing the thrill of high-speed chases and heart-pounding pursuits. Its dynamic gameplay, coupled with stunning graphics, has propelled it to the top tier of sports-themed console games, catering to the insatiable need for speed that resides in every gamer’s heart. It’s not easy to forget.


Now, let’s switch gears and dive into the world of the ultimate fighting championship with the renowned EA Sports UFC series. This game has taken the concept of virtual combat to a whole new level, allowing players to step into the shoes of their favorite MMA fighters and engage in bone-crushing, adrenaline-pumping battles. What’s not to love?

With its realistic fighting mechanics, authentic character representations, and an array of gameplay modes, EA Sports UFC has become a staple for those who crave the raw intensity of mixed martial arts. Its success in the gaming world has solidified its position as one of the most sought-after sports-themed console games, appealing to both MMA enthusiasts and gamers hungry for a taste of virtual combat.

Madden NFL

Last but certainly not least, we have the timeless classic, the Madden NFL series. Developed by EA Tiburon, this franchise has dominated the realm of American football in the gaming universe. From the huddle to the end zone, Madden NFL has offered players an immersive experience that captures the essence of gridiron glory. 

With its realistic gameplay mechanics, detailed player statistics, and an array of game modes, Madden NFL has become a staple for both hardcore football fans and casual gamers looking for an adrenaline-fueled sports experience. Its enduring popularity and unwavering fan base have cemented its status as one of the highest-selling sports-themed console games of all time, showcasing the enduring love for American football in gaming.

Feature image: Google Images Creative Commons Licenses

Do you have a favourite Sport Game? Share it. Keep gaming everyone

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