Sports gaming has made improvements in 2021, offering far more options for play than seen in recent years. There were much-anticipated games, like Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2022 and F1 2021. Both budding and retired athletes — plus the diehard fans who follow them — will enjoy the vivid graphics, competitive spirit, and teamwork that accompanies sports. However, you need not be an athlete to enjoy these sports contests from the comfort of your home.
We're rounding up the best sports PC games of 2021 based on their Metascores.
Best for: Driving and racing fanatics
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Mexico is your racing playground in Forza Horizon 5. Unleash your inner racer and immerse yourself in a variety of backdrops, including beaches, jungles, volcanoes, street tracks, and more. Plus, drive through these beautiful landscapes in some of the greatest and most coveted cars in the world.
"A formidable game, with spectacular graphics and an overwhelming amount of content. But above all, it is a fun title that dignifies the fun in video games with no greater pretension than that, to have the best time possible." — MGG Spain
Best for: Multiplayer PC gaming
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F1 2021 serves as the official videogame for 2021's FIA Formula One World Championship. Start off with the experience of "Braking Point," a six-hour story adventure, or grab a friend to play Career mode. You can also opt for the "Real Season Start" if you feel like diving in headfirst. Grow your skills, battle team rivalry, and compete against the infamous Devon Butler, a fictional character that diehards will remember from 2019's F1. Deal with drama off the racetrack while handpicking and growing your own team. CG graphics bring a realistic feel to gameplay, plus you have the option to download 2021's real season, enabling you to begin the season from any point in a past season.
"At first glance, this year's installment of the Codemasters' Formula 1 franchise might seem very similar to the game we played 12 months ago. However, the improved driving model and the revamped, more engaging story mode make F1 2021 a significant step forward and the best game in the series." — CD-Action
Best for: Soccer fans, football club manager dreamers
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Football Manager 2022 offers you the ability to be a primary part of your football club's destiny and become one of the most recognized clubs across more than 120 leagues. As you recruit, select, and sign new members of your team and they progress through matches, you get a real-life point of view of what it takes to manage a high-caliber club. Use data to make informed, tactical decisions during match day experiences, like deciding whether to attack, defend, pass, and much more. Will you make the right decisions along the way to lead your team and overcome all the odds?
"Football Manager 2022 is yet another improvement on the long-running series, one that brings the beautiful game to life more than ever before and recreates both the small and large moments that make the sport so engaging. This is the closest Sports Interactive has come to perfection, with only small elements feeling aged and needing polishing." — Wccftech
Best for: Skateboarding fans
Where to buy: Steam
The Ramp has a singular focus on vert skateboarding, but it still manages to capture the action and exhilaration of real-life skateboarding. It lets you shred a half-pipe whether you are a beginner or a pro in real life, offering plenty of flow with a unique take on skateboarding for PC sports fans. It is easy for newer players, but even veteran players will enjoy the challenge to win. There is no score kept, and you cannot unlock any rewards, so it allows players to truly lose themselves in the love of the sport. Released in August 2021 and developed by Hyperparadise, it is a single-player game, allowing up to seven languages for greater accessibility.
"The ease of use and minimal effort required to drop in and execute some skate tricks is a testament to effective game design: if your core mechanic is perfect, you don't need fluff. Hyperparadise has crafted a masterpiece that improves your day in 15-minute increments, allowing players to turn off their brains and shred." — Keen Gamer
Best for: Those who want a variety of multiplayer game options
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Knockout City provides a high-energy brawl that you can use to defeat your enemies. After you create your own character, you are well on your way with options like throwing, passing, and tackling to win. Ball types change as you jump locations, popping up anywhere on the map, so you have to dodge or catch them to avoid getting hit. If you cannot escape, there is always the option to bundle yourself into a ball. There is also additional seasonal content, like the Snowball Fight in winter. If you are a fan of previous versions, Knockout City picks right up where we left off. You can play with up to eight players, and an E10+ rating offers a wider pool of players for easier play.
"One of the best team-based PvP games to come out in years. It's a fresh take on the American schoolyard staple that proves that lowering the mechanical bar for entry doesn't have to come at the cost of deep tactical gameplay." — IGN
Best for: Multiplayer gamers and fans of X-Games-esque action
Where to buy: Epic Games
Riders Republic is one of the best sports PC games you can play as a multiplayer game that accommodates up to 50 other players in a single race. This is an open community populated by other players and includes familiar sites from Bryce Canyon to Yosemite Valley and Mammoth Mountain. As you meet new people, you can compete in a variety of fun activities, including biking, skiing, and snowboarding. You can also take advantage of the wingsuit and rocket wingsuit to advance your position. As you meet friends along the way, you can shift into multiplayer mode and compete in teams or join the mass PvP race. If you have been looking for the perfect game to play with your friends, this is a great option.
"You'll find many enjoyable hours exploring, racing, and styling your way around Riders Republic. The world is gorgeous, the sound design and music choices are on point. There are only a few events that will frustrate you. Thankfully, you can mostly avoid these." — PC Invasion
A sports RPG game, Dodgeball Academia is a late-summer release by Pocket Trap with developer Humble Games. Join Otto, a dodgeball rookie, and a series of colorful characters that live and play within the academy. There are eight episodes where you play and train to create the best dodgeball game. Rated Everyone for excellent versatility, it is a pick that is suitable for the whole family, including the younger members of the household. This is a game that has won a bunch of awards, including Best Gameplay, Best Character Design, and Best Visual Art from the NYX Game Awards. Play is available in a variety of formats, including TV, tabletop, and handheld mode. Dodgeball Academia supports up to two players and is available in eight languages.
"The best part of Dodgeball Academia…is when everything clicks as an RPG. It's a joy to figure out the right strategy to win a tough fight. This isn't just a great sports game, it's also a superb RPG." — NintendoWorldReport