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The Best Sports Games of 2023

Having summed up what's to come in the racing genre, role-playing, action and strategy, it's now time for the sport...

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We've now come to the sports games coming out in 2023. In addition to the obvious annual releases of the top titles, there are also some smaller games to keep an eye out for. We've already dedicated a piece to the racing games of 2023, so if you're curious about that, check out our article here.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

Undisputed
Release: Out now (Early Access) / Platform: PC (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S coming with full release)

Boxing has been down for the count for a long time now, but it looks set to rise soon with Undisputed. We have been playtesting it and were very impressed with what we saw. The game is available on Steam in Early Access and over the course of the year things like a career mode and the ability to create your own boxer will be added. The boxing feels great and we have high hopes for the game's full release.

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The Best Sports Games of 2023

Blood Bowl III
Release: 21st of February / Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox

The Super Bowl has just concluded and while many players are probably sore in several places, it's nothing compared to the injuries showcased in Blood Bowl III. This is the ultra-violent version of American football with turn-based matches set in the Warhammer world. Kick, fight and use weapons to make it all the way to victory. Everything you can't do in the Madden series. If you fancy a slightly more tactical and much more violent sports game, this might be something to check out.

The Best Sports Games of 2023
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WWE 2K23
Release: 17th of March / Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Xbox

While it is debatable whether wrestling is a sport, WWE 2K23 falls under the category of sports and therefore it is included in this list. It's been a difficult few years for the WWE 2K series with the über fiasco that was WWE 2K20. The franchise needed a year's break after that and hopefully they have now started to warm up the machine to finally offer a well-polished wrestling game. As usual, we'll see much of the current lineup of wrestlers alongside legends and legends like Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

EA Sports PGA Tour
Release: 24th of March / Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

It's no secret that the heyday of golf was when the Tiger Woods series was at its peak. However, 2K managed to reverse that trend with PGA Tour 2K21, but there was no game the following year. Instead, PGA Tour 2K23 came out last year to perfectly okay reviews. Now it's time for EA Sports to try its hand at the art of golf with the all-new EA Sports PGA Tour, which will be the company's return to the sport after eight years (Rory McIlroy PGA Tour was released in 2015).

The Best Sports Games of 2023

MLB The Show 23
Release: 28th of March / Platforms: PlayStation, Switch, Xbox

Year after year, MLB The Show offers perhaps the best gameplay in sports gaming. Unfortunately, the sport is not very big outside of a few countries and the game is not as popular as it should be. We can expect to see the Diamond Dynasty mode (the sports game's best Ultimate Team mode) along with hopefully some new additions to the Career mode and Franchise mode. This year's cover boy is Miami Marlins star Jazz Chisholm and we have a feeling the game will be just as exciting as Chisholm.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

eFootball 2024
Release: 29th of September / Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Pro Evolution Soccer is buried and eFootball is what Konami now chooses to call their once classic football series. It's been a long time since they could take on EA Sports' FIFA series and we're not expecting that this year either. It's no longer an annual release but the series has a base game with annual updates to team lineups and the like. The look really needs to be better than what we've seen since the series changed its name, but on the pitch it hasn't been completely horrible.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

Madden NFL 24
Release: 2023 (Likely August) / Platforms: Multiplatform(TBA)

The Madden series has been released in August for the past 22 years, so we're going to venture a guess that's when the game will be released this year as well. The Super Bowl, as mentioned earlier, has just been settled after a thriller, but we'll have to wait six months until we can play the next game in the series. That means, of course, that there will be updated team lineups and a game in the franchise that doesn't feature the retired Tom Brady (because surely he's retired for real now?). The Madden series has been criticised for being stagnant on many fronts and we need something new this year. Ultimate Team will be there, of course, and we're hoping for a more polished Franchise mode.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

NBA 2K24
Release: 2023 (Probably September) / Platforms: Multiplatform (TBA)

Like Madden, the NBA 2K series has been released the same month for several years. In fact, eight years in a row the game has arrived in September, so that's where we're putting it on the calendar this year too. Of course, we're expecting to see the sports game's best (and soon to be only) story mode in career mode. In recent years, 2K has baked this in as a hub to online play as well, so it's hard to see that major part being taken away. MyTeam (the Ultimate Team mode) is sure to be there along with other game modes. The presentation has been on point for a long time, so we can expect a really nice looking game with hopefully solid basketball gameplay.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

NHL 24
Release: 2023 (Likely October) / Platforms: Multiplatform (TBA)

In recent years, October has brought the hockey experience of the year, the NHL series. Ice hockey, like baseball, is not very popular outside a few countries. We finally got a new graphics engine a few years ago after the previous one had been used for an eternity too long. We are looking forward to World of Chel, which is an excellent and fast-paced online game that is a lot of fun to play, especially with friends. Otherwise, we expect the usual game modes, but we need to see something new. After all, NHL 23 was a carbon copy of NHL 22, which is not okay when the game is settling into the new console generation.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

Football Manager 24
Release: 2023 (Probably November) / Platforms: Multiplatform (TBA)

Every year in November, hours mysteriously disappear. We're sitting at our computer or console and suddenly it's 4am and the sun starts to rise. That's what the Football Manager series does to its players. The addictive "just one more game" or "I'll just try to sign a new centre-back" takes a lot longer than you might think. We know what we're going to get from the series every year and it's a deep, deep managerial experience where we can control everything our club does. Lots of stats and other numbers to check and games to play. This is king when it comes to managerial play.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

EA Sports FC
Release: 2023 / Platforms: Multiplatform (TBA)

The divorce between EA Sports and FIFA is complete and from this year onwards we will have to get used to EA Sports FC. The question is how much the game will differ from what we got used to in the FIFA series. However, the feeling is that most things will be the same with the same game modes, but with a new logo and fewer licenses. However, EA Sports snapped up the licence to the Premier League a few days ago for the equivalent of £6.15 billion. Not small change exactly. Expect a FIFA experience, with accompanying Ultimate Team, under a different name. FIFA has for many years been released at the turn of September and October, and EA Sports FC should also be around that time, but with a brand new game series, nothing is certain.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

UFL
Release: 2023 / Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Since Konami has decided to step away from the fight with EA Sports, new rivals are needed. The brand new game series UFL wants to at least try. The game from developers Strikerz will be free-to-play ("without pay-to-win") and has teamed up with FIFPro (an international trade union representing 65,000 professional footballers). We've seen some small teasers and it looks promising. Somewhat worryingly, the game was delayed from August last year and still has no launch date except for the promise it'll arrive sometime this year.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

AEW Fight Forever
Release: 2023 / Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox

Like the WWE game above, AEW Fight Forever falls under the sports category, whether you like it or not. In real life, AEW has been a good alternative to WWE and for large periods of time has even been the better product. Both WWE and its game series WWE 2K have really needed some competition and we hope AEW Fight Forever can take up the fight in the wrestling gaming world. It's supposed to be a spiritual successor to titles like WWF No Mercy and Virtual Pro Wrestling and offers a career mode and nine different match types. We don't have a date yet, but the game should be released sometime this year.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

Tape to Tape
Release: 2023 / Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

After all the big titles with the latest graphics, it's refreshing to see a game like Tape to Tape. This retro-inspired hockey game will offer really charming graphics where the matches are completely without rules. Tackle and stand offside as much as you want. We will be able to play against several different fun teams with funny logos. One of the matches we've been able to see online is against a team with referees where they can rule out one of your regular goals, laugh about it and then give themselves a goal instead. Developers Null Games describe the game as a "roguelite hockey game where every choice matters on your journey to build the best hockey team". How enticing does that sound? The game will be released sometime this year.

The Best Sports Games of 2023

Skate 4
Release: Potentially 2023 / Platforms: TBA
When is the next installment in the Skate series coming? We've been waiting for 13 years now and many wonder if Skate 4 will ever be released. After many ifs and buts and Twitter posts and various images, it seems that this year could be the year that Skate 4 finally arrives. We know the game is coming as EA announced it back in 2020 at an EA Play event. However, it wouldn't be surprising if we don't see the game this year and instead there's a launch next year.



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