Sports and gaming have long gone hand in hand. Athletes love to play as themselves in the games and fans love to play out their sports dreams through video games. How else can the Knicks win a championship? This isn’t a new thing, either. Since the days of Tecmo Bowl to Punch-Out!!, sports video games have always been part of fans’ DNA. The joy and anger that comes from playing against your friends in FIFA or 2K are almost unmatched. The passion rivals the energy you put into rooting for your own squad.
Over the years, there have been many classic sports games—so many that ranking the best 25 was an incredibly challenging task. And as technology has become more advanced, so have sports games. Now, players look more lifelike, the inputs for moves are more precise, and the gameplay feels more fluid. That makes ranking the classics even more difficult. There's no true consensus on this, and everyone will have their own list. For ours, we excluded all racing games. So no Mario Kart or Gran Turismo, despite both being classics. Also, no football-manager- or soccer-manager-style games, sorry. With all of that being said, check out the Complex Sports ranking of the 25 best sports video games ever. We're sure you'll get mad, so enjoy.