Top 25 Sports Video Games of All Time, In Honor of Madden 25
Counting Down the Best Sports Video Games of All Time
If you're a sports fan that was born in the last 30 years, odds are that you also like sports video games. They're popular because they allow fans to get in the game and become their favorite players. Over time that experience has become more and more realistic, but that's not always what makes a game great.
There are a lot of things that can make sports games great. Sometimes it's nice to play a simulation type of game and rack up stats to win MVP in season mode. But other times it's better to play an unrealistic game and just have fun. If I'm playing by myself, I'm more likely to nerd out and become obsessed with stats in a simulation game. If I'm playing someone else, I'd rather play an arcade style game.
But no matter what your preferences are when it comes to sports games, there's no doubt something for everyone. You can kick it old school with throwback games or you can go out to the store and pick up the latest and greatest. With about 30 years of gaming out there on the market in some form or fashion, sports fans can get their fix in a lot ways.
So in honor of the release of Madden 25 (the greatest game franchise of all-time), I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the best sports video games of all time. With so many installments within franchises, I tried to look at the games as a whole. So you will see individual games as well as franchises in the list.
Let's take a look at the top 25 video games of all-time:
Hot Shots Golf
Hot Shots Golf is a fun, less serious approach to the game of golf. It's certainly not in the top tier of sports video games, but it's definitely a classic.
Racing games don't get a lot of love, but NASCAR 98 is the best one ever made. This classic was released on the original Playstation and you could even buy the steering wheel accessory if you wanted to get fancy.
Fight fans love this series and for good reason.
Whether you like it real old school on NES or the updated 64 edition, Excitebike will not disappoint you.
When you talk about modern games with a realistic feel, NHL Hockey is a series that immediately comes to mind. Even if you're not a hockey fan, theses games are flat out entertaining.
Tennis? Yes, Virtua Tennis rocks. This is a good example of a sport that's enhanced by gaming.
Fantastic boxing series that allows you to put legends from different eras together in the ring.
If you watched rasslin' back in the 1990's and you owned a N64, odds are that you played this game.
2K really started doing good work with this series a few years back, and now it's one of the best of all-time.
You don't have to like soccer to enjoy the FIFA games.
Very underrated baseball series for the N64. Awesome gameplay for the time period and still fun today.
The NBA Street series was awesome, but Vol. 2 is the gem because there are three different versions of Michael Jordan you can play as.
This fantastic series looks like it might be done after a very long and successful run.
This specific year gets so much love that it earned its own spot on the countdown.
I still hate the fact that they quit making this game. It had a perfect blend of simulation mixed in with arcade feel.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
Great series that's kept evolving on new platforms. However, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for Playstation still gets the most love.
WWF No Mercy
This game was a couple installments after Revenge and it's easily the best wrestling video game ever made.
Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball
Some prefer the N64 Jr. games, but give me the original game for SNES. Still just as fun almost 20 years later.
Blades of Steel
This is the hockey game that started it all. It's an NES must own classic that's always fun to play.
Tiger Woods Golf
Golf is boring you say? Well even if that's how you feel, you can't go wrong logging a ton of hours playing Tiger Woods golf.
The Madden game series is simply awesome. There's not one particular installment that I would call the greatest, but as a whole, it doesn't get any better.
Mike Tyson's Punchout
Beating Mike Tyson in this game is one of life's great challenges.
Fun is the only word to describe NFL Blitz. This game will never get old.
Can you zig? Can you zag? That's what legends are made of in Tecmo Bowl.
NBA Jam is the best sports video game ever made. Whether you grew up playing it on SNES, Sega, or in the Arcade, this game just kept you coming back. From start to finish, there's not a more entertaining sports game in history. Nearly every contest comes down to a last second dramatic shot and there will just never be another game like Jam. I still prefer the old school versions, but the new ones are just as good with updated rosters and graphics. If you've never played this game (don't tell anybody) and go find a copy right now.