By their very nature, sports games aren’t for everyone. Most people will be privy to one particular activity that they like to play, and two or three others that they simply don’t mind watching their friends battle it out on the PS4.
Sadly, this means that a number of the best PS4 sports video game titles get drowned out every single season, swamped by a sea of shooters, open-world RPGs and adventure games. We’re generally all guilty of playing the latter three genres to death, so why not switch things up a little? Gaming, just like any other hobby, has to stay fresh to stay engaging.
So, if you’ve grown tired of punching goblins, shooting mercenaries or teabagging aliens, consider something new. Your new favourite PS4 sports game could be just a few button presses away, and whether you play any of these popular sports games on your PS4, Xbox One or on your PC, there’s plenty to love here.
The NBA franchise is that underappreciated basketbal video game gem that smashes it out of the gate each year, yet nobody talks about it. Despite the last three instalments receiving Metacritic scores of 87, 83 and 85, respectively, it feels like there’s little to no buzz surrounding the king of basketball titles. You can’t go wrong with any of the basketball current-gen NBA titles, but since 2K16 is the newest PS4 basketball video game entry, it makes sense to start here. From its incredibly lifelike visuals, silky-smooth gameplay and wide range of game modes – including the story-driven MyCareer – NBA 2K16 is a safe bet and one of the best sports games for PlayStation 4 owners.
Some call it football, some call it soccer, but I call it fun. Actually, I call it football, but I can’t help how I was raised! Speaking of football, it’s the sport that’s featured in the FIFA franchise, and much like NBA, you can’t go wrong with any IP. FIFA 16 is the most feature complete and one of the best sports games on PS4 though, so if you want the latest squads, kits and stadiums then you should pick this one up.
One of the highlights of FIFA 16 is its career mode, which allows you to take any football team on the planet from the depths of lower-division football to the very top of their football game. It’s an utter thrill to turn a three-star team into a five-star team through hard work, clever use of transfers and just the right amount of training, and watching your long-term strategy pay off in the end is a glorious feeling. Plus, when you smash a thirty-yard screamer into the back of the net, you can choose from a wide array of wacky celebrations for your footballing man-child to act out on the pitch. Winner!
EA Sports UFC 2
Despite Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor quickly becoming household names, the UFC video games themselves have been trailing miserably behind. They haven’t been great, and while EA Sports UFC 2 isn’t the best sports video game to ever grace the fighting game genre, it’s the best new fighting video game you can play right now on your PS4 console.
Much like McGregor and Rousey, who both failed to deliver in their latest fights, UFC 2 has a couple of issues. The biggest of these is its disappointing array of game modes, which more closely resemble shallow attempts at something meaningful than anything fully in-depth. Negatives aside, there’s plenty to love here. Just like NBA 2K16, UFC 2 looks absolutely stunning, and everything to the fighters’ rippling muscles to that mole on Ronda Rousey’s face is incredibly well-detailed. The game mechanics themselves are solid, and punches feel meaty and full of power.
If you want to engage in a online fighting match of UFC with your PS4 friends, you can’t go wrong with UFC 2 – just don’t expect too much substance. However, if you want to punch other players in the face, this is your best bet besides a restraining order.
MLB: The Show 16
Despite MLB: The Show being a flagship Sony baseball video game series, it’s one of those franchises that is overshadowed by its PlayStation siblings Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank and InFamous, to name a few. It’s not generally considered to be in the upper-echelon of PS3 & PS4 exclusives, despite it being arguably the most solid, consistent sports franchise on the market.
If you aren’t familiar with MLB: The Show, it’s a beautiful presentation of baseball, a video game that baseball game newbies can enjoy just as much as veterans. Besides iterating on the series’ already impressive gameplay and graphical fidelity, MLB: The Show 16 adds two brand new modes; Battle Royale and Conquest.
Battle Royale sees you draft a temporary team of players, then take them online to compete in a series of shortened matches. It’s fast-paced, exciting and tense, and will test your critical thinking and decision-making skills when under pressure. That’s what this baseball game is in a nutshell, and MLB: The Show 16 is quite possibly the saving grace in the lineup of PS4 exclusives and one of the best new sports games on PS4 and PS3.
For many, it came out of nowhere, like a supersonic car speeding down a highway. To this day, it remains one of the finest multiplayer titles money can buy, and is a blast whether you play with the skilled AI car bots or your slightly less-skilled human friends.
Football with cars isn’t a completely original concept – PS2 car adventure Road Trip beat Rocket League to the punch, as did its predecessor (deep breath) Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars – but the way this game executes that idea is superb. Gameplay is easy to learn, but hard to master, with the most skilled players capable of pulling off a wide range of aerial rocket boost manoeuvres. Rocket League is one of the most unique sports games on PS4 and other consoles – and one of the best ps4 sports games, money can buy, and it’s undoubtedly worth every penny.
If you don’t like the outdoors, or balls, or bats, then your safest bet is to pick up this PS4 sports game. You won’t gain any of the physical benefits, mind you, but the sheer satisfaction of achieving a KO, smacking a baseball out of the stadium or scoring an overhead kick is enough to dissipate any issues you may have about your body image. Happy gaming!