Sports games and sims are one of the most popular genres of video games. Millions of people worldwide play sports games across consoles and PCs every day, emulating star players or trying to guide their favorite teams to virtual glory. It does not matter what your chosen sport is; you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a video game about it.

Football Manager 2021

“Football Manager 2021” by SEGA is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Football Manager 2021 is the latest release from British developers Sports Interactive. Being British, Football Manager 2021 is about soccer, not the NFL. The game is mainly played on PCs, but Xbox and Switch versions are available, although these are not as all-encompassing as the PC edition.

Sports Interactive’s Football Manager 2021 is the daddy of all football management simulators. None of its rivals can come close to matching its ridiculously massive database of players, each with more than two dozen statistics. Football Manager 2021 is so life-like that football teams have used its database to scout players, and some of the best sports betting sites have used it to create their season previews!

The game’s players can take charge of teams from 177 leagues across 52 nations, including 29 fully licensed leagues. Football Manager forums are vibrant places where would-be managers discuss tactics and share their stories of taking soccer’s minnows from the lower leagues and into the big time.

Football Manager is that true to life that Andrej Pavlovic landed himself a real-life job with a professional soccer team. Pavlovic guided FK Beznija to 11 league titles and six Serbian Cup victories in his 16 virtual seasons. The actual FK Beznija offered him a job as a data analyst!

A new edition of Football Manager is set to release in November 2021. Sports Interactive are known for improving their product year-on-year, so Football Manager 2022 should be epic.

MLB The Show 21

MLB The Show 21 is easily the best baseball video game and one of the best sports games overall. You do not have to be a baseball fan to enjoy playing this game. Hell, you do not even need to know anything about baseball at all because San Diego Studios has done a fantastic job in making the game accessible to all.

The game was released in April 2021 on Xbox consoles, plus PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Cross-play is available between the two PlayStation consoles. MLB The Show 21 was the best-selling digital game across the PlayStation and Xbox platforms for April 2021, despite releasing on the 20th of the month! By July 18, 2021, the game boasted four million players.

The game has several modes to choose from, each as immersive as the next. Play as any of the MLB teams, or create your own character and attempt to take him from a rookie into a World Series winner, building up your statistics and negotiating contracts as you go.

Madden 21

“Madden 21” by EA Sports is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Madden 21 did not receive the plaudits it deserved, with critics marking it down due to a lack of innovation, but that is only because Madden 20 was almost perfect. This means Madden 21 is still a superb NFL game.

The game features Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on its cover, and EA has fully licensed every franchise. Expect to see accurate rosters and stadiums of every NFL franchise, giving you the chance to play as any team you wish.

Like in MLB The Show 21, Madden 21 players can create their own character who goes into the famous NFL Draft. Once you have your team, it is up to you to put in the hours at the training field and become an NFL star. Can you take your rookie player up through the ranks and eventually become a Super Bowl ring winner?

Madden Ultimate Team is a superb mode akin to Fantasy Football. You begin with a random roster of players who, to be honest, are not very good. Points earned through playing and completing challenges can be swapped for packs of random players, and those packs sometimes contain legends of the game.