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The 25 best sports games on iPhone and iPad

Be a good sport
Product: Best iPhone games | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: iPhone, iPad
Updated October 3, 2017: New entries added

Videogames arguably started out as digital approximations of sport. What else is Pong but a game of virtual tennis?

As the form as increased in scope and complexity, so sports games have grown in scale and sophistication. Right now, you can play a staggering range of sports games right on your mobile phone or tablet.

Whether you're after a hardcore management simulation or a knock-about arcade blast, there's a sports-themed game for you to play on the go.

Here are 25 of the very best.

Oh, and if you're wondering where all the racing games are, we tend to give that its very own genre.


#1 New Star Soccer

Product: New Star SoccerFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, PS VitaDeveloper: New Star GamesPublisher: New Star GamesGenres: Sports

New Star Soccer
If you've never really gotten along with classic footy games on mobile, New Star Soccer shows that there's another way. This is a proper native mobile football game, and it's brilliant.

#2 Punch Club

Product: Punch ClubFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Lazy Bear GamesPublisher: tinyBuild GamesGenres: Simulation, Sports, Strategy

Punch Club
Train your MMA fighter into a formidable fighting machine whilst simultaneously taking care of his life outside of the ring. It's basically a Rocky simulator, which is fine by us.

#3 Table Tennis Touch

Product: Table Tennis TouchFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: YakutoPublisher: YakutoGenres: Simulation, Sports

Table Tennis Touch
Table Tennis Touch has it all - slick graphics, superb ball physics, and a swipey control system that could well lead to blisters. It's worth it.

#4 Super Stickman Golf 3

Product: Super Stickman Golf 3Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Noodlecake Games

Super Stickman Golf 3
Okay, so Super Stickman Golf 3 is closer to crazy golf than proper golf. But is there a better game off putting a ball into a hole on the App Store? Probably not.

#5 Skiing Yeti Mountain

Product: Skiing Yeti MountainFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Featherweight GamesGenres: Arcade, Sports

Skiing Yeti Mountain
This deeply daft casual game somehow nails the rhythm and momentum of downhill skiing with a simple touch and swipe control system.

#6 Football Manager Touch 2017

Product: Football Manager Touch 2017Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Sports InteractiveGenres: Sports

Football Manager Touch 2017
A genuine, bone fide version of Football Manager right here on our iPads. Football Manager Touch 2017 is one of the deepest portable games of any genre.

#7 Penny Time

Product: Penny TimeFormats: iPhone, iPadDeveloper: IV MotionPublisher: Penny Skateboards AustraliaGenres: Action, Sports

Penny Time
There are more faithful skateboarding sims on iOS, but Penny Time focuses on simply being fun. It does so by creating a slick, stunt-filled autorunner with a distinctive art style.

#8 Slamjet Stadium

Product: Slamjet StadiumFormats: iPadDeveloper: Alistair AitchesonPublisher: Alistair AitchesonGenres: Sports

Slamjet Stadium
One of several 'invented sport' games on this list, Slamjet Stadium is what happens when you combine Speedball 2 (see below), air hockey, and Angry Birds. It's precisely as ace as that sounds.

#9 Touchgrind Skate 2

Product: Touchgrind Skate 2Formats: iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Illusion LabsPublisher: Illusion LabsGenres: Simulation, Sports

Touchgrind Skate 2
The Touchgrind Skate series take a decidedly mobile-centric approach to the skateboarding genre. Here your fingers stand in for your feet, as you slide and flick to initiate tricks. It makes for a trickily engrossing sports game.

#10 True Skate

Product: True SkateFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: True AxisPublisher: True AxisGenres: Sports

True Skate
Just like Touchgrind Skate, True Skate asks your fingers to stand in for a skateboarder's legs. In fact, True Skate goes a little further with this conceit, asking you to push yourself along with your 'spare' finger and place your 'feet' just so on the board.

#11 Virtua Tennis Challenge

Product: Virtua Tennis ChallengeFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, Xperia PlayPublisher: SegaGenres: Sports

Virtua Tennis Challenge
Four years on from Virtua Tennis Challenge's release, no-one's even come close to Sega's mobile take on tennis. Rallies, smashes, and volleys are all handled with Roger Federer-like aplomb.

#12 Speedball 2 Evolution

Product: Speedball 2 EvolutionFormats: Android, Bada, iPhone, PSP, iPad, Xperia PlayDeveloper: Vivid GamesPublisher: Tower StudiosGenres: Action, Sports

Speedball 2 Evolution
Speedball 2 was one of the first games to show that you didn't need to follow the rules of a real sport to be a great sports game. American football, handball, and ice hockey gleefully combine with a little Mad Max hyper-violence and plenty of humour.

#13 Pixel Cup Soccer 16

Product: Pixel Cup Soccer 16Formats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Batovi Games StudioGenres: Sports

Pixel Cup Soccer 16
Who needs realism in footy games? Pixel Cup Soccer laughs in the face of the FIFA model and returns to the 8 and 16-bit eras of simple arcadey kick-abouts.

#14 Grudgeball

Product: GrudgeballFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Cartoon NetworkGenres: Action, Film/TV tie-in, Sports

Grudgeball is a fictional sport from a popular cartoon, The Regular Show. But all you really need to know is it makes for a really fun mobile sports game, which is something of a mix of volleyball, dodgeball, and hot potato.

#15 Power Ping Pong

Product: Power Ping PongFormats: iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Gasp GamesPublisher: ChillingoGenres: Arcade, Sports

Power Ping Pong
It might sound like damning with faint praise to call Power Ping Pong the second-best table tennis game on iOS, but Power Pong Pong remains a fine iOS sports game. It's also a bit brighter and more vibrant than the majestic Table Tennis Touch.

#16 Pumped BMX 3

Product: Pumped BMX 3Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Noodlecake GamesGenres: Sports

Pumped BMX 3
It's surprisingly tough given its cute graphics and Tiny Wings-like momentum system, but Pumped BMX 3 is deeply technical and thoroughly rewarding BMX stunt game.

#17 Skateboard Party 3

Product: Skateboard Party 3Formats: Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows PhonePublisher: Ratrod Studio Inc.Genres: Sports

Skateboard Party 3
Skateboard Party 3 is a much more casual, relaxed game than the likes of True Skate. It's all about the maximum showmanship from minimal inputs - and it's all the more fun (if ultimately less rewarding) for it.

#18 Touchdowners

Product: TouchdownersFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Colin LaneGenres: Casual

Another gem from Colin Lane. Like Wrassling and Dunkers, Touchdowners only superficially resembles its host sport, but trying to get the ball into the end zone is a madcap treat nonetheless.

#19 New Star Cricket

Product: New Star CricketFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: New Star GamesGenres: Sports

New Star Cricket
Like New Star Soccer, except with cricket rules in place of football. New Star Cricket is far bittier than its famous brother, with multiple mini-game types to represent the sport.

#20 Flick Kick Football

Product: Flick Kick FootballFormats: Android, iPhoneDeveloper: PikPok GamesGenres: Sports

Flick Kick Football
The original and, we would suggest, still the best ball flicker on the App Store. PikPok's swipe-to-kick mechanics are just spot-on, and the escalating challenge of the core game never grows old.

#21 NBA 2K18

Product: NBA 2K18Formats: iPhone, iPad, SwitchPublisher: 2K GamesGenres: Sports

NBA 2K18
2K has gradually refined its mammoth basketball sim for mobile play, to the point where this year's version offers a startlingly rich console-like sports experience. If you're into your b-ball, you need to download it.

#22 Wrassling

Product: WrasslingFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Colin LaneGenres: Fighting, Sports

Wrassling is a deeply, deeply silly take on a deeply silly sport that turns out to be surprisingly nuanced. You take control of a hilariously crude wrestler with only basic control over your limbs, and you must somehow throw a series of opponents out of the ring.

#23 Golf Zero

Product: Golf ZeroFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadGenres: Platform

Golf Zero
Golf Zero plays more like Super Meat Boy than any golf game you've ever seen. But the aim is still to put (or rather putt) a little ball into a hole, and it's brilliant fun, so it makes the cut.

#24 Bottom of the 9th

Product: Bottom of the 9thFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamPublisher: Handelabra Games

Bottom of the 9th
Playing a game of baseball with dice rolls might sound like the driest, most boring game ever, but Bottom of the 9th is nothing of the sort thanks to a streamlined ruleset and charming presentation.

#25 Stick Cricket 2

Product: Stick Cricket 2Formats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Stick SportsGenres: Arcade, Sports

Stick Cricket 2
Let's face it, cricket is one of those sports that doesn't naturally lend itself to mobile play. Stick Cricket 2 finds a great solution, honing in on the batting with a compelling timing-based control system.


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 3 October 2017
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