2024’s Essential Games for Sports Enthusiasts

2024’s Essential Games for Sports Enthusiasts

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Video games and sport have always been a natural pairing and they appeal to both sports enthusiasts and video game enthusiasts, with some of the fiercest competition available¾especially when you start delving into the multiplayer aspect of these games.

I can remember playing games like NBA Live 97 and FIFA Road to the World Cup as a kid and it’s a genre of games I’ve always loved, being a gaming nerd and a sports fan. But what is the state of the sporting video game world in 2024 and what titles can we expect to play? I delve into this in the below article and have given my top list of essential games to look out for in 2024 if you love sports!

Football Manager 2024

The Football Manager series is immensely popular and it can actually help with your sports betting too. By tapping into your managerial skills and utilizing the wealth of statistics available, you can seize the opportunity to make informed picks in fantasy sports betting or increase your knowledge for sports betting wagers in general.

Football Manager 2024 is the latest installment in the series, and it was released in November 2023 but covers the current European soccer seasons too. Essentially, you become a football manager and aim to lead your team to glory. This involves starting lineups, formations, substitutes, trades, injury management, and more. The game is incredibly detailed, and you can easily lose hours trying to become the next Pep Guardiola. FM24 is the first game of the series that allows you to transfer your saved files from previous game versions too, which is pretty groundbreaking.

WWE 2K24

Sure, some people don’t class wrestling as a sport, but I do! The wrestlers are still incredible athletes and I’ve had a love for retro WWE games since WWE Smackdown in the early 2000s. WWE 2K24 stands to be one of the greatest wrestling games yet and they keep pushing the boundaries of the game to bring you fun and entertainment that goes far beyond what’s possible in the real-life ring.

As this is the 40th anniversary year of WrestleMania, you’ll be able to relive a whopping 21 of the historical matches, which will be incredible. This game features one of the largest rosters of current and past wrestles too, with iconic legends like the Undertaker, Kane, Stone Cold, and even Muhammad Ali for some reason!

EA Sports College Football 25

NCAA college football has always been incredibly popular and oftentimes, the college games are more followed than the NFL games themselves! Due to this popularity, EA Sports has decided to resurrect its once-popular brand of NCAA football games with the rebranded title EA Sports College Football 25, which is more in line with its current naming convention.

The game is expected to be released in July 2024 and we should get some sneak peaks in May. You can expect incredible control over your NCAA teams and players though, and all the strategy and play-making that we expect from American football games. An interesting aspect I want to see is how EA manages to recreate the incredible atmosphere of college football games¾is this even possible in a video game?

MLB The Show 24

Baseball fans don’t have a huge amount of choice when it comes to video games. In fact, the The Show series is essentially the only worthwhile MLB game available. MLB The Show 24 is the current installment of the series, and it is incredibly popular with the baseball fanbase.

You can expect a return to features like the Negro Leagues and historical baseball teams and players, but also the well-developed Road to the Show career mode, or the Diamond Dynasty if you want to build your own successful baseball team. The gameplay should be improved too, with the sleek controls and beautiful graphics that we have come to expect from this series.

BMX Streets

Skateboarding and BMX games often fly under the radar compared to the big football, wrestling, and basketball games but BMX Streets is highly anticipated. This game is actually the follow-up to BMX Streets: PIPE, which changed the genre dramatically.

BMX Streets provides incredibly realistic cycling combined with fantastic levels¾it’s easily one of the most realistic extreme games I’ve seen. Mash Games have also paid great attention to detail to the bikes themselves, which is often an overlooked aspect, but everything looks great. The tricks are, of course, smooth too and you will be able to pull off some amazing moves on the streets.

Initially, this game will release on Steam but hopefully, it will come to console too as there is a distinct lack of extreme sports games on Xbox and PS5.

NBA 2K25

The NBA 2K series is essentially THE go-to game for NBA fans. It’s always one of the most anticipated games of the year and although the series has faced criticism, it remains a fan favorite, with a huge community and esports scene.

This game won’t drop until later in the year but as an avid NBA fan, I can’t wait to get my hands on it, and I hope features like MyCareer and The City/Neighborhood have been improved. I always love to see the historical aspects they introduce in the game as I grew up watching the NBA in the 90s. Hopefully, MyNBA Eras makes a return, and we get to play with legendary teams and lineups from decades past!

TopSpin 2K25

There has been a distinct lack of tennis representation in the sporting video game world and the Top Spin series hasn’t been seen for over 10 years! Now seems to be the year of its return and we caught a recent glimpse of a teaser trailer, which looks phenomenal.

I particularly liked the attention to detail of the courts and the lighting¾the graphics certainly seem to have come a long way and the depth of field used on the different gameplay angles really made the gameplay feel immersive. Details on the game are minimal but we expect it to be released around the same time as NBA 2K25 in the fall.

Madden NFL 25

The Madden series is easily the longest-running NFL video game franchise and it’s always been a big hit with football fans. We can expect Madden NFL 25 to be released later in the year, around August, to coincide with the start of the new NFL season.

You can expect the inclusion of new rookies entering the league, such as Caleb Williams and Michael Penix Jr., but it will be interesting to see what game modes are available, and how the game competes against the aforementioned EA Sports College Football 25.

EA Sports FC 25

FIFA (I’m still calling it FIFA, I don’t care that its’ been rebranded as EA Sports FC!) is easily the most popular sporting game in the world, so FIFA 25 should hopefully be groundbreaking. The recent releases haven’t had as much love but if they continue to include features like Ultimate Team and the card aspect of the game, sign me up!

Sporting Video Games Have Never Looked as Promising

I have already made plans to buy several of these games when I get the chance, with NBA 2K25 and WWE 2K24 being at the top of my list! It’s amazing to see how the world of sporting video games continues to evolve, and how game developers push the boundaries of console and PC game engines and what they can do.

Games like EA Sports FC 25, BMX Streets, and TopSpin 2K25 continue to give amazing depth to the sports they represent, offer realistic physics, player likenesses, and gameplay, and make for an amazing experience for sporting enthusiasts. Which games would you consider from this list or are there any other titles that I have missed that you are waiting for?