Earning the title as one of the best sports games Xbox is no small feat. As a genre, sports gaming on Xbox can be an extremely difficult category for game developers to execute well. Even from conceptualisation, game developers must decide whether to focus on simulation or lower the entry bar with simplified gaming.
Are you going to be a simulation type experience like many of the best golf games, trying to marry features and mechanics as close as possible to achieve maximum proximity to the real thing? Or do you lower your bar of entry and cater to more casual players with things like upgrades, simplified control schemes, or even systems borrowed from other games such as Skill Trees or QTEs? These are just a few questions sports game developers will ask before getting to work.
That said, no matter what your own personal preference of sports gaming, our shortlist of the best sports games on Xbox will cater for all types of gaming experiences. As always, we have attempted to document a series of the best Xbox sports games that a single video game fan could own as a collection.
Enjoy our blend between pure simulation and fun arcade experiences as we explore some of the best sports games for Xbox that you can buy right now. Once again, don’t forget to hit us up in the comments when you are done with any titles that you think we have missed. Don’t be shy, we would love to hear from you. –
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 & 2
X|S Optimised: Yes
Up first, what is not to love about Tony Hawk Pro Skater. For anybody who owned the original Xbox or Playstation, this is without question one of the best Xbox sports games of our generation. And now, you can relive the entire experience with much updated graphics and mechanics.
The Tony Hawk series of video games took the underground culture of skateboarding and triple kick flipped it straight into the mouths of the mainstream audience. No seriously, even my mum was landing gnarly smith grinds over the helicopter at some point throughout my childhood.
Despite losing its way over recent entries, the reboot of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 is not only refreshing but a little bit relieving. The remastered package reminds you why you fell in love with the games back in the day, as you scoured every nook and cranny of the maps looking for the elusive VHS tapes (RIP) and nervously tried to hold your grinds and manuals together as you stick an insane combo.
The best thing about THPS 1&2 is that you don’t necessarily need to be a fan of skateboarding going into it to enjoy it. But you will be a fan after playing it.
At this point in time, it’s a little redundant to ramble on about what Rocket League is about. After all, Rocket League has been one of the most popular multiplayer PvP games over the last few years going head to head with titans like Fortnite, Call Of Duty, Apex Legends, and Overwatch.
However, what makes Rocket League one of the best sports games on Xbox (in our humble opinion anyway) is how it translates the drama of real sport so palpably into its gameplay. As much as rocket league is technically a fictional sport, you can just imagine this being a real thing in the future.
The clutch moments, the goal line clearances, the last minute winners, the unbelievable misses; it’s all these things and more that become blended into a cocktail of a phenomenal sports game that comes about when you mix football, crazy physics, and cars.
So much so, Rocket League also makes for fantastic spectator viewing, much like Super Smash Brothers does thanks again to its clutch/comeback based mechanics. The IRL tournaments for mega cash prizes as just as gripping as any form of actual real sport on the television. –
X|S Optimised: Yes
As much as the online experience for F1 2021 can be somewhat frustrating when servers lag out or take forever to reset leaving players with a black screen of death, F1 2021 is an absolutely thrilling sports game to play regardless.
No matter whether you are a fan of Formula 1 or not, both the single player and multiplayer modes are gripping, exhilarating and as realistic as can be. Race as your favourite F1 drivers and take part in building your own Formula 1 team from the ground up during story mode.
For the ultimate simulation experience, players who use racing wheels and bucket seats will want to step up the difficulty and get as close to the real-life action as possible with sim modes. Just, whatever you do, don’t forget to make your pitstop when your crew tell you to do so! Overall, F1 2021 is the best sports game on Xbox for anybody who is a little bored of Forza Motorsport. In fact, this title also made our list of the best Xbox racing games too!
If our list of best sports games for Xbox was rated on graphics alone, WWE 2K22 would not feature. To be frank, we are shocked how the game has not progressed much graphically over the years. That said, what is not to love about wrestling?
If you had the pleasure of growing up/coming of age in the late 90s/early 2000s, you (probably) had the immense joy of being witness to the rise and popularity of WWE’s (then WWF) Attitude Era. If this was the case, wrestling may well be burned and intertwined into your spirit thanks to this, along with other pop culture staples like Tamagotchis, The Simpsons (when it was good), and of course, video games.
With that period of wrestling baked firmly into the sub-culture of most children and young adults the world over, we were treated to some amazing Wrestling video games along the way like WWF No Mercy and WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain. WWE 2K22 doesn’t quite hit those highs (not many do), but it’s the closest the sub-genre has come in quite some time.
For Wrestling fans and those looking to beat their friends up with steel chairs, this will get the job done as it always has, and the My Career mode is much more fleshed out than in previous entries. Showcase mode and 2K Towers mode also add more depth, but the game lacks polish in some areas, something that’s dogged the 2K series throughout the years.
As much as we begrudge to put an entry from a series that has caused such personal ire over the years (and the fact that FIFA has been largely the same for the past number of outings), it’s also been the source of some truly wonderful gaming moments between friends.
FIFA 22 is the latest game to roll onto the pitch, and the new animations (supposedly over 4000 new ones to be precise) really do have an impact on the gameplay like a heavy touch making players stagger and lunge or an off-balance shot causing players to fall over after having let a strike loose.
This year, FIFA comes packaged with its usual Career mode and micro-transaction laden Ultimate Team, as well as the previously seen Volta Football mode, and our personal favourite, Pro Clubs. It’s the latter game mode where we personally have found much joy (and an abundance of sorrow) with our friends as you make a player, create your own club, and then take on the world with your teammates.
The progression in this mode is steady, the teamwork is essential, and the camaraderie grows exponentially as you make your way up the divisions. It pains us to say, but FIFA caters to a lot of demands in its package.
Just don’t get caught in its wallet-draining web of FUT mechanics.
For anybody who loves basketball and wants to repeat press the repeat button, go with NBA 2K22. However, for anybody looking to shoot hoops with a little more fun, NBA 2K Playground 2 is one of the best sports games available on Xbox right now.
Occupying the arcade Basketball niche that games like FIFA Street, NCAA Football, and various Mario titles did for their respective sports, NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 enters this space as a not perfect but still very enjoyable title. As mentioned we have included a list of titles that anyone in theory could pick up and play and have a good time. For the true Basketball aficionados out there however, the main NBA 2K series is probably the better bet for them. Ironically NBA 2K18 sits as one of the best rated sports games in the series on Xbox, so that particular title may be your best bet.
Playgrounds 2 is a much more goofy take on the dribbling and dunking action, with the caricature/cartoon player models, over-the-top animations, and wacky power-ups all attesting to that. The game sticks with its card based model of unlocking players, and the Season mode is nowhere as elongated as the usual Career or Dynasty mode in other sport sim games (which is actually a good thing as it fits the tone of the game much better).
Another great feature is that 2K Playgrounds 2 can have its Season mode played with a friend in online co-op, and everything is better with friends.
It’s not NBA Jam or NBA Street, but it does scratch the same itch.
Baseball as a sport doesn’t have a whole lot of games to point to in the outfield of the genre. One such game though (and it’s actually a very good game), is MLB The Show 21.
The Show series has had multiple great entries during its tenure, and MLB 21 is no different thanks to the litany of additional features it offers to its players beyond being a top notch Baseball sports simulation game. While it’s quite the technical game to master, the difficulty curve is softened by the detail of the in-game tutorials that allows new players to familiarise themselves with and ease into the game as they take their baby steps towards being a homerun hitter.
“Road to The Show” mode acts as the Career portion of the game where your player can be both a gifted pitcher and batter allowing you to get your teeth into the meat of a succulent series of seasons, and there’s even a Creator Mode that lets you build your own field of dreams.
Even if Baseball isn’t your first, second, or even seventh sport of choice, MLB The Show 21 is a deeply satisfying experience that knocks it right outta the park.
If you liked the game Steep for Xbox, then you are bound to enjoy Riders Republic. Frankly, the extreme sports world is criminally underrepresented in video games at the current time of writing, and that aches the heart to its very core.
As much as Steep did not meet the heights of the fantastically insane SSX Tricky did back on the PlayStation 2 or bare the brimming characteristic charm of 1080p snowboarding, Riders Republic emerged from Ubisoft with all chains firing.
As a purely open-world extreme sports adventure, Riders Republic is just one large massive multiplayer playground where the wildest of tricks and stunts is the only way to impress.
Through it’s open world nature, this helps flesh the game out more with exploration, and the mechanics of traversal (something usually tiresome yet necessary) are actually fun thanks to the ability of using a variety of extreme sports gear to make your way around the mountains.
After putting in quite a few hours (**days**) into EA’s Dodgeball brawler Knockout City, we cannot surmise quite why this game is so addicting. However, there is clearly something so brilliant about Knockout City else we wouldn’t have plunged so much time into dodging, ducking, dipping and diving.
On the face of it, Knockout City is a game based on the sport of Dodgeball with some fairly simple mechanics layered on top of it like movement techniques and different types of throws.
Add in a few maps with unique features, special balls that explode or trap players, and most importantly, game modes that require and profoundly reward tactical and methodical teamwork and strategy, and you’ve got a game that’ll make you stop and take notice.
Okay, so it doesn’t have the brunt and furore of Call of Duty or the nuance of Rainbow Six Siege, but Knockout City brings a different dynamic in that a skilled and well-drilled team that communicates and works together will almost always triumph over an allegiance of three individuals.
And after all, the beauty of team sports is teamwork. –
X|S Optimised: No
The oldest game on our list of best sports games for Xbox by a large margin, Powerstar Golf emerged as a launch title for the Xbox One. This is felt in PG’s looks, as the game graphically isn’t going to blow anyone away (seeing as it started development as a 360 title, it makes sense, but still). However, looks aren’t everything, as this arcade Golf game goes to show.
Powerstar Golf employs mechanics that previous fairway goers will be accustomed to, but are easy enough for new caddies to get to grips with quickly. The cast of characters all have their own attributes and unique powers, and the Career mode has RPG style experience and upgrades that almost constantly feed into building up some statistics of your chosen swinger.
Random Challenges also regularly pop up, and the Rivals mode has you play against the ghost of other real player’s attempts at a hole in an effort to beat them.
Admittedly the package is a little on the plain side, but Powerstar Golf is great for both single and multiplayer play. Those looking for a more serious time at the links should check out PGA Tour 2K21. –
Best Sports Games Xbox Roundup
Regardless of whether you are a sporting fanatic or much prefer playing sports video games over the physical activity, all of these titles will bring huge amounts of fun to your gaming lineup. From some of the best sports simulation games on Xbox to arcade style and whacky experiences, the sports genre has stepped it up a notch over recent years.
If you love sports but despise EA then you are almost out of luck with Electronic Arts dominating this space. While we would love for there to be a solid rival to EA where soccer and basketball are concerned, as much as these titles are pretty much the same every single year, they do keep you coming back for more. After all, it’s the games and tournaments themselves where the fun really is player out.
Did we miss any great sports games for Xbox? The GRID, perhaps?
Tell us about your favourite sports Xbox games in the comments below. Meanwhile, feel free to check out some of our other incredible articles.
Regardless of whether you just want a microphone for clear comms with your squad, or are on the march for something that will seamlessly work with your stream, no doubt you have some pressing questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about the best gaming microphones from fans just like you.
How to watch Kayo on Xbox
Although there are no console supported apps for streaming software like Kayo, you can watch Kayo Sports on your Xbox via the Edge browser. Although this may sound counter intuitive as most people have use smart TV units, it actually works very well. If you don’t have an AppleTV or Chromecast Ultra, you can watch Kayo Sports on Xbox and the quality is very good.
Are sports games better on Xbox or PS5?
If you are looking for the highest quality of graphics when playing sports games then all sports titles on the PS5 look better than the Xbox. However, we believe that sports games are better on the Xbox because of the range. That said, it really depends on what you want to play and whether than sports game title is on Xbox on Playstation.
How to watch live sports on xbox free?
To watch live sports on Xbox for free, you can use a streaming service via the Edge browser and use your Xbox just like you would do your computer. Alternatively, for American Sports you can subscribe to Fox Sports Go or ESPN apps which are accessible on the Xbox One. The only other alternatively to watching live sports on Xbox is by download the Live Sports and TV application which is slightly spotty in terms of content quality but will get the job done.
Content Disclaimer: This handpicked shortlist of the best Xbox sports games has been independently written. We have not been commissioned by any manufacturers featured on this list, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or free gifts.
Should you click on any link to Amazon and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission. But that’s just how we keep this website alive and free to use! Please hit us up in the comments with any questions you may have about sports gaming on Xbox.
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