Newer often means better, but that is not always the case with sports games. Now that we are coming to the end of an important decade for the genre, it is time to sort out the rotten sports games and rank the ones that worked. Sports games may fail for various reasons including buggy servers, repetitive gameplay, and a lack of significant changes since the last game in the series.
The games you'll find below are among the best of the decade. Ranging across various sports, they all have superb gameplay and longevity. Even if you're not a fan of the sport, these titles are all highly enjoyable and absolutely worth your time.
From the talented sport games developers at Electronic Arts, SSX is a snowboarding game that stems from the SSX series. Notably, SSX has a phenomenal soundtrack to listen to whilst snowboarding. Often, music can make a huge difference in whether a game is enjoyable or not.
SSX didn't bum players out the way recent snowboarding games have. It's an out-of-control title that has high replay value and longevity. SSX is backward compatible for Xbox One and is a definite recommendation.
9 Top Spin 4
One sport that seems to be missing from game consoles in recent times is tennis. Tennis a popular sport played worldwide, but a major video game release hasn't been part of consoles in recent years.
Sometimes, tennis appears in video games just as a mini-game, as it does in Grand Theft Auto V. The best tennis game of the 2010s has to be Top Spin 4. Being able to sign with sponsors and face well-known tennis opponents like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is sensational. Top Spin 4 released in 2011, but still excels by today's standards.
8 Skate 3
It's safe to say that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 was a complete failure. It was riddled with bugs, there was hardly a graphical improvement, and it just didn't work. In contrast, EA's Skate franchise has released hit after hit.
One sequel that many people are waiting for is Skate 3's. Skate 3 is backward compatible for Xbox One, but the series has not released a new title on any of the latest consoles. Skate 3's emphasis on wild tricks and learning how to skate better seems to work. Online multiplayer allows you to compete against friends on a large selection of maps. One of the greatest sports games of the 2010s? Absolutely!
7 Rocket League
As a vehicular soccer video game, Rocket League is considered to be a sport. Such a basic premise has exploded into video game sales like nobody could have predicted.
In later updates, the creators of Rocket League, Psyonix and Panic Button Games, added new game modes such as basketball and ice hockey. Although they are titled as different sports, they are mostly the same as the original game mode, just incredibly fun variants. Rocket League has become so popular that it is now a major event in eSports.
6 NHL 19
It is not always the case, but often the newest sports games have the best gameplay. Technically, Electronic Arts doesn't have exclusive rights to NHL games, but 2K Sports decided it wasn't in their best interest to continue making NHL games.
As of now, NHL 19 is the best hockey game and is a definite recommendation. Being able to play on top of frozen ponds and play the game with improved physics that shape gameplay gives NHL 19 an authentic hockey experience.
5 MLB The Show 19
Unfortunately, MLB The Show 19 is only available for PlayStation 4. It also happens to be the only good baseball game available, which is bad news for baseball fans with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch.
It is unknown if developer SIE San Diego Studio will ever bring MLB The Show 19 to other platforms. In the meantime, PlayStation owners can enjoy this game for the most realistic baseball experience, which received a bump in difficulty this year. The 30-plus new legends they incorporated into the game were a nice addition, too. Playing as players such as Jimmie Foxx, Willie Mays, and Mark Prior is too cool.
4 Pro Evolution Soccer 2019
Konami has proven time and time again that they are the leader in soccer video games. Electronic Arts' FIFA games are by no means terrible, but Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 has a competitive edge against FIFA.
In Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, there are added soccer leagues and new skill traits. The soccer leagues include the Russian Premier Liga, Superliga Quilmes Clasica and Jupiler Pro League. Skill traits make each player more multi-faceted compared to before. You won't regret picking up a copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 today.
3 Fight Night Champion
It has been a while since we have seen a spectacular hand-to-hand combat game based on a real sport. For most, the likes of Dragon Ball FighterZ and Mortal Kombat 11 are the best fighting game options.
EA Sport's UFC game series has proven to be less effective than last generation's boxing games. Fight Night Champion was well-received by both critics and players alike. Matches are competitive and highly entertaining. It released in 2011, but is still a highly enjoyable game.
2 Madden 19
The most popular NFL game happens to be made by Electronic Arts, the exclusive owner of NFL video games Fancy that!
Madden 19 features improvements and new features that make it a better experience than previous games. Small nuances such as being able to push your way through the gridiron make it a fantastic addition to the series. The usual improvements, like a slight graphical upgrade and updated rosters, are present in Madden 19. Simply put, Madden 19 is the best way to play an NFL game.
1 NBA 2K19
NBA 2K19 has improved the gameplay in several ways. Stealing has been reworked and is no longer as frustratingly tricky as NBA 2K18. Also, the game is far more advanced in terms of difficulty. Players on offense rely on the skill stick to dribble around players. Also, players have to use the skill stick to block and defend against other players.
AI has also been improved, so it will be even more challenging when playing offline. Cheesing the ball against AI and players, as people would do in recent years, has been mostly removed. When all's said and done, NBA 2K19 is the best basketball game of the 2010s.