Metacritic’s Top 10 Sport Simulators Of The 2010s

Anthony Bunn


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The evolution of sports simulators over the last 10 years is impressive. Although this genre has a bad reputation for recycling games from year to year, iconic titles exist. Unfortunately, such niche sports as rugby or handball don’t get enough fanbase to attract investments for video game production.

Nevertheless, making this list was easy as there is plenty of worthy simulators for football, soccer, baseball, and other highly celebrated disciplines. Read on to know the best installments of the decade, according to the latest Metacritic ratings.

10. Fight Night Champion – 85 Points on Xbox 360 and PS3

Fight Night Champion game picture

Fight Night Champion is a rare boxing simulator that managed to attract not only fans of the niche individual sport, but thousands of non-fans too. Champion is the 5th and the most successful installment in the series. It was warmly welcomed by both critics and players. In 2011 it was one of the most technically accomplished games. All gaming editions were surprised by the quality of visuals. At the same time, Fight Night Champion gameplay is not too complicated, but ultimately stylish.

9. NCAA Football 11 – 86 Points on Xbox 360 and PS3

NCAA Football 11 game picture

The College Football League is incredibly popular over the US. Despite the enormous popularity of this sport, NCAA Football 11 has become the last American football simulator to score such a high rank.

There were several reasons for that. First of all, the installment raised the realism quality bar for simulators. Next, NCAA Football 11 is the chapter that features the most advanced version of the Dynasty Mode. In the game, you can choose from an ultimately wide range of teams and stick to different strategies. You can either play for outstanding powerhouses or base on the courage and fortunes of rising teams. Unfortunately, the series was discontinued in 2014 to boost the production of Madden NFL.

8. UFC Undisputed 3 – 86 Points on Xbox 360 and PS3

UFC Undisputed 3 game picture

UFC Undisputed 3 is the last most successful game in both UFC Undisputed and EA Sports UFC series. While the first one used to learn on its mistakes become significantly better every year, the EA’s take can’t get higher 79 points.

UFC Undisputed 3 offers you to experience hardcore fighting on an octagon ring. The quality of combat is very high, and it feels incredibly natural. You will become addicted to it even if you’ve never seen UFC before.

7. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 – 86 Points on Xbox One and PS4

Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 game picture

Although the FIFA series is more celebrated by PC gamers and has more licensed content, you shouldn’t think that its quality is higher than Pro Evolution Soccer 2016. Many soccer fans argue that PES presents much more realistic gameplay, better controls, and sharper visuals, and we totally agree with them. The only drawback of the series if the lack of licenses for some of the most recognized leagues.

6. Super Mega Baseball 2: Ultimate Edition – 87 Points on Nintendo Switch

Super Mega Baseball 2: Ultimate Edition game picture

It may sound impossible, but this game managed to become one of the most popular baseball simulators without ultimate cinematic graphics. Moreover, all the leagues in the game are not real! It’s ranks on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 are slightly lower but still impressive for an indie game.

Super Mega Baseball 2: Ultimate Edition balances between a physically realistic baseball simulation and an arcade game. It’s easier to learn and play than the competitor MLB, so it’s very fun even for baseball rookies.

5. NHL 11 – 88 Points on Xbox 360 and PS3

NHL 11 game picture

Hockey League is far from being as popular as soccer, football, baseball, or basketball. However, the quality of NHL 11 made it a canonic hockey simulator. The realistic gameplay and stunning visuals let the franchise stand out and outshine the competitors, such as 2K NFL. While other games offered small changes to new games, NHL 11 changed the genre in with a new engine and excellent gameplay solutions.

4. FIFA Soccer 12 – 90 Points on Xbox 360 and PS3

FIFA Soccer 12 game picture

If the real soccer competition means more than gameplay perfection, then FIFA Soccer 12 will make you happy. This game includes the biggest roster of licensed soccer leagues and national teams amongst all simulators. Besides, you can play the Ultimate Team mode, in which you have no limitations for the number of legendary players in your manually created team.

3. NBA 2K13 and 2K17 – 90 Points on Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and PS4

NBA 2K17 game picture

The NBA series used to be popular for College basketball games, such as NBA Jam. But soon, the niche became too hard in development because of license payment issues. Fortunately, basketball popularity has grown a lot over the decade, and the series blew the market once again. The series returned the fame and boosted it due to significant improvements in each new game. The cinematic story within the single-player career mode soon became a key feature of nearly all AAA sports simulators.

2. MLB 10: The Show – 91 Points on PS3

MLB 10: The Show game picture

The story of this game is heroic. MLB 10: The Show entered the market on the edge of decades in 2010 and became the fan-favorite baseball simulator of PS2, PS3, and PSP users. When 2K decided to compete with the series in 2012, it invested a fortune into MLB 2K13 development. This venture resulted in 48 points on Metacritic! MLB 10: The Show is a revolution for baseball simulation, and it keeps the bar very high.

1. Out of The Park Baseball 17 – 92 Points on PC

Out of The Park Baseball 17 game picture

Out of The Park Baseball 17 seems to be the only PC title with such a high rank on the list. While the previous title is focused on simulating realistic matches, this one wins with text-based gameplay! It’s hard to believe, but this game is the most addictive baseball game so far. If a professional approach means more than visuals, try it!

Sports Rule!

Playing sports simulators is a great way to draw motivation and blow-off steam after daily routines, so picking up at least one of the games on the list is necessary. Which is your favorite sports sim, and did you find it on our list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below the article!