Sports games might seem like a niche idea, but things couldn't have changed. The year 2023 brings new hope for many as some brilliant titles are set for release. However, hardcore fans need not wait as the current market already offers amazing experiences.
Each title we discuss herein is worthwhile in its own right as far as sports games are concerned. They were released in 2022 or prior, but they all have what it takes to stand their ground in the new year. While the list includes personal preferences, these five titles appeal to the larger mass.
Disclaimer: The list is about games that have already been released.
FIFA 23 and other sports games to play this year
5) OlliOlli World
OlliOlli World might differ in scale from other names on this list. However, the overall quality propelled it to the final nominations in the recently concluded Game Awards of 2022. The latest addition to OlliOlli World retains the core aspect of the previous sports games. Developers Roll7 have also implemented some curious mechanics that allow players to enjoy their time with the game.
This simple-looking skateboard game takes players to the magical world of Radlandia, where almost everyone is into the sport. Hand-drawn graphics fit perfectly well with the overall essence OlliOlli World as players travel across the lands, completing different objectives. While this title might not have the seriousness of sports games like the Tony Hawk series, it satiates a player's expectations.
4) NBA 2K23
As far as sports games are concerned, NBA 2K23 has plenty of criticism from its player base. Despite the efforts, gameplay and modes have much to be improved. The latter has been an area of concern as players have accused 2K of being biased toward the MyTeam mode since it includes microtransactions.
Despite the complaints, this is the closest fans can get to playing basketball on a screen. In many ways, the flak surrounding this sports game will matter to the ones buying the yearly upgrades. Those getting NBA 2K23 for the first time shouldn't have those problems, and it offers plenty of content. One can choose to play offline and online based on their preferences; this year's release comes with all the latest squads and updates.
3) WWE 2K22
WWE is the pinnacle of hype in modern entertainment, and the show has been going on for decades. WWE 2K22 returned after a year's gap, and the sabbatical served them well. Whatever Visual Concepts have done has worked, as the disappointment of the previous version has been left behind. This sports game introduces a new engine that completely changes how it plays and feels.
With an added focus on authenticity and realism, the engine harnesses the current generation's powerful hardware. Naturally, the game looks good and plays even better. With multiple modes, different quests, and a huge roster of licensed rosters, there are several reasons for sports game lovers to enjoy this title. PC gamers can also mod the game if they want to, unlocking even more potential.
2) FIFA 23
FIFA 23 is one of the most-played video games worldwide, the virtual go-to destination for all football fans. EA Sports has been able to sustainably deliver new content for fans each year, making this game a leader in its genre. Like NBA 2K23, FIFA 23 isn't a perfect title either, and some of the complaints are similar. Many blame EA Sports for the overzealousness of Ultimate Team, and some monetization practices have been criticized.
That being said, FIFA 23 has certainly been one of the better releases of the series. The content is far more than it usually is, though some might consider it too much of a grind. Some welcome changes have been made to the career mode, but there remains greater room for improvement. Most importantly, this year's launch introduced content themed around the FIFA World Cup, including a separate mode. Players also routinely get discounts between 50% and 60%. FIFA 23 is worth playing in 2023, considering what's on offer.
1) Football Manager 2023
Football Manager 2023 sets itself apart from all the other names on this list. Arguably, this sports game is the world's most popular management title and puts players in charge of a football club. That's the easiest part, as the game eliminates the difficulties associated with the world of football. Unlike many sports games, Football Manager 2023 brings players closer to real-life situations, making management arduous.
The latest release is built on the same formula, but Sports Interactive has offered new licenses for the European club competitions. Moreover, new features like squad planners allow players to have even more control over their squads. Football Manager 2023 might not be for everyone, but it offers infinite replayability, and players can take on different challenges based on the teams they choose.