The 8 Best Xbox One Sports Games to Buy in 2017

Shop for the best sports games for Xbox One

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Some people are the outdoorsy type, while some people enjoy hanging inside playing virtual sports instead. But it can be a little overwhelming when you’re trying to decide which game to play. So let us help you choose which ones to tackle with the following list of eight of the best titles on the market for the Xbox One (from baseball, to basketball, and even hockey).

Madden NFL is the only American football game on the market these days, but don’t think the series has gone soft due to the lack of competition. Madden NFL '17 is one of the most fully-featured football games ever with multiple career and GM modes, both online and offline, along with the ever popular collectible-card-game-style Ultimate Team and a brand new Draft Champions mode where you can build a team from scratch. The gameplay out on the field leans a little more towards simulation than arcade, so it is slower and less forgiving defensively than past football titles, but is all the more satisfying to play because of that. The more realistic gameplay style does slightly hurt the game’s pick up and play appeal for local multiplayer with friends, but it doesn’t take too long to learn. One area where Madden NFL 17 doesn’t miss a beat is in the presentation, however, as it is easily the best-looking football game ever.

The best soccer game debate on Xbox One comes down to two choices: Do you want the game that plays the best, or do you want the game with the most real teams and players? For us, we want the game that plays the best, which means Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is the clear winner. Pro Evo 2017 just feels great to play. Movement is smooth and fluid and you aren’t locked into animations like some sports games. Long through passes and centering volleys actually connect more often than not because your CPU teammates make intelligent runs and are usually where you expect them to be, which leads to some truly impressive highlight reel-style goals. Pro Evo 2017’s only real fault is a lack of real world licenses, but the near-perfect gameplay should more than make up for that among die-hard soccer fans.

Not only does NHL '17 have tons of multiple gameplay modes like career, GM, online games and leagues, but the amazing presentation makes it look and sound just like a TV broadcast. It offers multiple difficulty settings, rule and gameplay options, and A.I. behavior adjustments so that players of any skill level can hit the ice and have a ton of fun whether they want a fast-paced arcade-style game or a more realistic simulation.

The NBA 2K series has been king of the basketball world for a long time now, so it is no surprise that NBA 2K17 is easily the best basketball game on Xbox One. It plays incredibly well and has intuitive controls that let you jump in and have fun right away, of course, but it also offers a wealth of options and A.I. sliders to let you fine tune the game to play however you want to. Whether you’re a basketball purist and want a realistic simulation or an NBA Jam-style arcade shootout, NBA 2K17 can do it all and more. We’re also big fans of the addition of classic NBA teams and players so you can play with the greatest teams ever, past and present. NBA 2K17 also has the distinction of being one of the best looking sports games ever with some of the most realistic player models on Xbox One.

For pro wrestling fans, characters and matches of the past are almost more important than what is happening currently – especially when the current product is so stale and boring – which is why 2K and developer Yuke’s made a great decision when they gave WWE 2K17 the biggest roster in franchise history. With more than 120 wrestlers on disc (with more as DLC) ranging from the current roster all the way back to the larger than life superstars of the '80s, '90s and Attitude Era. And if your favorite character was somehow omitted, the game has a fantastic suite of creation tools to let you make anyone else you want. The gameplay does have a learning curve for things like submissions and kicking out of pinfalls, but once you get used to it you can have a ton of fun in the wrestling sandbox WWE 2K17 offers.

There is little question that the best rally racing game on Xbox One, and maybe ever, is DiRT Rally. With gorgeous and stunningly realistic graphics, great engine sound effects, and a fantastic lineup of real rally cars, it is one of the most authentic rally games ever. It is unrelentingly challenging thanks to an extremely realistic physics and handling model and brutally difficult A.I., but it can be one of the most satisfying and fun racing experiences you’ll ever have. It requires patience, practice, and skill to be successful, but if you’re dedicated enough DiRT Rally is truly something special.

For almost as long as video games have existed, one-on-one fighting games have been one of the most popular genres. Fighters test player skill in ways other genres can’t even touch and are some of the most satisfying games to play online, in single-player, or local multiplayer, and the best fighting game on Xbox One is easily Killer Instinct. Killer Instinct combines a deep and rewarding combo with the most diverse roster of any fighting game on the market to create a game where there is always something new to learn, or a new character to play, or a new challenge to face. It has a ton of depth, but it is very intuitive and also offers fantastic tutorials and training modes to ensure players of all skill levels can pull off even the most impressive moves and combos. It is available as a free-to-play game where you can buy individual characters a la carte, but we suggest buying the Killer Instinct Supreme Edition, which gives you access to everything in the game right away. 

Unlike some other sports genres, there are actually more than one or two golf games to choose from on Xbox One.  Just because there are more options doesn’t mean that the big “AAA” release isn’t still the best choice, however. Rory McIlroy PGA Tour started off a bit slowly due to lack of content (which accounts for the low reviews on, but thanks to a number of free updates there are more than enough courses and modes to keep you playing for a long time these days. The gameplay lets you choose from an old-school three-click swing or a modern analog swing, and they both work well. Putting is more challenging than past games in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series, but that makes it all the more fun and satisfying.

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