Top Sports Games of All Time

When you think of sports video games your mind goes straight to FIFA, PES, Madden and maybe even the classic PGA Tour series, but there's more to sports video games than these mainstays.

Before FIFA tied up licenses and made football games all professional you'd find all kinds of football video games hoping to be the next big thing. Actua Soccer, Red Card Soccer, Sensible Soccer, and other games incorrectly using soccer instead of football all had a go at finding that winning formula – some doing better than others.

Microsoft once tried its hand at first-party sports line-up for Xbox, which included tennis, golf, NHL, NBA, NFL, snowboarding and even rallying. The games were at the time pretty good, but the XSN brand died and so did Microsoft's first-party sports offering. Many of these games ended up at 2K.

Even Midway had success with its arcade-style Blitz games in the '90s and noughties.

These days the sports genre is dominated by the output from EA Sports – with SEGA, 2K chipping in with a few titles here and there - but just how many of these big budget titles will make the list. Find out below.

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  • 30.

    FIFA 12 UEFA EURO 2012

    UEFA Euro 2012 is a thoroughly decent piece of DLC. In all the hubbub about the Olympics, it's easy to forget that a major football tournament is just a few weeks away. In any other year, Euro 2012 would be dominating the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 29.

    PES 2013

    PES 2013 manages to do something only the best arcade experiences achieve. It offers playability to those who want to dip their toes in and hardcore techniques for the serious gamer. Pro Evolution Soccer has steadily defined... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 28.

    Football Manager 2013

    It's Football Manager, and chances are if you liked other ones you'll have snapped this up already or are planning to. The Football Manager carnival is back in town, bringing with it hundreds of new rides and thousands of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 27.

    EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

    An enjoyable stopgap which bodes well for the series’ future. EA's international tournament entries are often treated as fun, if disposable, warm-ups for the full FIFA games in September. Which is fair, but to overlook 2014... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 26.

    Madden NFL 15

    Madden NFL 15 is an excellent return to form for the series - an essential purchase for longstanding fans and a great starting point for players looking to jump on board. Madden NFL 15 feels like a reboot for the series.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

  • 25.

    PES 2015

    A superb football game held back by a frustrating flaw in its passing game, this is the best football title on new-gen. But it could have been the best of all-time. PES 2015, like Gazza in Euro 96, is inches away from greatness.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

  • 24.

    FIFA 17

    Is FIFA 17 a big change for the series or more of the same? It's a bit of both really. Listen to Tom's thoughts about FIFA 17 in this video review. With added Dave, and Messi in goal! FIFA 17's The Journey is EA's best footballing... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One

  • 23.

    It's a funny old game Having fewer teams than its biggest competitor, as well as dodgy kits, hasn’t bothered fans of Pro Evolution Soccer, and why would it? Over the past number of years Konami’s offering has been the superior... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One

  • 22.

    Pro Evolution Soccer 4

    A few people are bound to prefer how things were in an older game, but PES4 offers enough changes to make it a very worthwhile purchase.It is hard to express what makes it so good. It just feels right Anyone not familiar... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS2, Xbox

  • 21.

    Football Manager 2005

    If you are serious about football and fancy yourself as the next Jose Mourinho (probably without the huge money pit), you could easily spend half your life playing Football Manager 2005. It's 3am and your star striker has... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 20.

    Pro Evolution Soccer 5

    Joyous controls and little nuances make Pro Evolution Soccer 5 the best game in the series and the best football game of this generation. Reviewing Pro Evolution Soccer games feels very, very familiar to me - it's something... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox, PS2, PC

  • 19.


    If you own a skateboard, get this game. Finally skating has its Pro Evo and the Hawk has a reason to ruffle its feathers. Few of you will not be familiar with the Tony Hawk series of games. Under the name and supervision... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360

  • 18.

    Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

    PES 2008's gameplay is a big improvement on last year's effort. It's about as close as us mortals are going to get to that uncontrollable burst of emotion professional footballers experience. By now you've probably read our... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 17.


    If you enjoy a good racer Pure is a no brainer. If you think you don't like racing gamers, Pure could be the game to change your mind. If you think racing games are dull you clearly haven't played Disney Interactive Studios'... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 16.

    FIFA 09

    We had worried that FIFA 09 was going to end up like EURO 08 with a Premiership skin. Luckily for us, we were wrong. The best FIFA game ever made. It's interesting times in the world of virtual footie. For years Konami's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 15.

    FIFA 09 All-Play

    FIFA has been given what it needed to draw in the first timers and the old hands, snatching the title of best football game on the Wii with a last minute flick of the remote. Football, as Jimmy Greaves once said, is a funny... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 14.

    UFC 2009 Undisputed

    UFC 2009 Undisputed is stylish, fresh and deeply engaging. It is, in short, a bruising powerhouse of a game. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is closing in on you at frightening speed. Sweat is dripping over his heavily-tattooed... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 13.

    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

    If you want a fun, accessible golf game that lets you pretend to be a real pro then look no further. Tiger Woods 10 on Wii sets a new benchmark for others to follow. Few people could deny the fact that the Tiger Woods series... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 12.

    Fight Night Round 4

    If you're into boxing you're going to love Fight Night Round 4. The physics-based fighting is simply brilliant, the career mode will last you an age and the online functionality is solid. When it comes to beat 'em ups I'm... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 11.

    FIFA 10

    FIFA 10 is a simulation in the truest sense, and is sure to solidify FIFA's leading position in the two-horse race with PES. Last year I said FIFA 09 was the best FIFA ever created. Now, 12 months on, that statement is untrue,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 10.

    2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

    If you don't own FIFA 10, and are looking for a football video game to help fuel your World Cup fever, then you should absolutely buy this game. I am distressed. Team flies out to Los Angeles for the behemoth... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 9.

    FIFA 11

    FIFA 11 feels far more realistic than its predecessor, and packs in new features. You could get by with last year's game, but you will be missing out on one of the best sports games of 2010. FIFA 11. It's FIFA 10, but better.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 8.

    FIFA 12

    FIFA 12 feels like a brand new and more realistic football experience. The King is dead. Long live the King: FIFA 12. Forget what you know about FIFA. While EA has been keen to highlight how much of a change this year's game... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 7.

    Football Manager 2012

    FM 12 is painfully addictive, screen-shatteringly frustrating at times but so moreish it's like the computer game equivalent of Chocolate Fingers. Certain franchises inspire devotion through consistent quality and, often,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 6.

    Trials Evolution

    The way that Trials Evolution is explained and developed ensures it easily overtakes its much-loved ancestry. Crack! Snap! Slapstick death! Occasionally when playing Trials Evolution you will think: just how is this fun?... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 5.

    FIFA 13

    FIFA 13 is definitely an improvement on its predecessor. Despite producing an outstanding game last year, FIFA 12 unravelled after a year of play. Much like the famous Panenka penalty style, a consistent amount of similar... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

  • 4.

    PES 2014

    Return of the king. With the FIFA vs PES battle now largely a critical rather than commercial one (that war has been long-won), PES 2014 finds itself in the position of competing with itself to satisfy a loyal and not-so... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, PSP

  • 3.

    FIFA 14

    FIFA delivers an exhilarating game of football. Any worries I had about this year's FIFA are but a memory. 14 is very good. It feels different, and while it may not necessarily be superior, it easily matches its predecessor's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 2.

    FIFA 14

    Better than the 360/PS3 versions in more than just looks, this is the best version of FIFA 14 you can buy. Editor's note: FIFA 14 on Xbox One is, in terms of modes, almost identical to the version found on Xbox 360 and PS3.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

  • 1.

    PES 2016

    The best football game ever. Update It's been two weeks since PES launched, and what was a joyous celebration of the arrival of the greatest football game of all time has been soured somewhat since the revelation that squads,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC