Best iOS Sports Games
Best iOS Sports Game: R.B.I. Baseball 19 ($6.99)
A new season brings updated player models to R.B.I. Baseball 19. This was already one of the most realistic baseball sims available for mobile, and tweaks to animations and ball physics improve the experience. But the welcome addition for 2019 is a Franchise Mode that lets you control your team across multiple seasons, leading them to championship glory. An all-new Legends team can play in Exhibition Mode, and there are now even more all-time greats than in the previous edition. Expect weekly roster updates as the season progresses.
Madden NFL Overdrive Football (Free)
For the 2018 NFL season, EA completely overhauled its mobile Madden game. Madden NFL Overdrive Football is built around a player-vs-player mode in which you take on challengers in 3-minute matches. The scoring is fantasy-style, in which you rack up points for yardage, completions, first downs and touchdowns, as you try to outscore your opponent. EA throws in tactical elements, too, with Captains and Coaches who affect the run and pass plays you can call. Fill up your Overdrive meter, and you can deploy tactics that stymie your rival. It's an exciting head-to-head competition that's enhanced by Madden's improved graphics — they look especially sharp on an iPhone X display — and more realistic game engine, but if you prefer the older version Leagues and Live Events return in this installment.
FIFA Soccer (Free)
Electronic Arts continuously updates its mobile soccer game, with the latest version reflecting the latest European season. You'll also find the same features in FIFA Soccer as before, including the team-building Ultimate Team management mode, quick-play matches in Vs Attack mode and social play leagues where you team up and take on your fellow soccer fans.
Football Manager Mobile 2019 ($8.99)
Football stat junkies will get a blast out of Football Manager Mobile 2019, the latest in Sega's long-running sports management sim series. You're in the manager's seat of your own football club, making the big choices when it comes to hiring, training, and trading your star players as you try to set up the perfect lineup and tactics for each match. You can choose from 56 different leagues across 19 different countries, with Russia, China, and the Bundesliga making their first appearance in the franchise. As usual, the game comes in two versions, with Football Manager Mobile providing the lean, iPhone-friendly experience, while Football Manager Touch features a more detailed, iPad-friendly interface and a 3D match engine.
New Star Manager (Free)
For a lighter take on the beautiful game, check out New Star Manager, which puts you in command of the struggling New Star FC as it seeks to turn around its fortunes. You're in charge of the whole thing, from team training and hiring decisions to on-field tactics, inspiration, and even managing off-pitch drama between temperamental players, the sporting press, and fans. It may be a lighter, friendlier approach than the famously immersive Football Manager series, but that's not to say that there isn't anything to do in New Star FC.
PGA Golf Tour Shootout (Free)
PGA Tour Golf Shootout puts you on the greens of some of the PGA Tour’s iconic courses, such as Deere Run and Sawgrass where you’re able to play single-player challenges or engage in head-to-head matches against players from around the world. As you play, you’ll unlock and upgrade a variety of golf clubs, each with their own characteristics that you’ll need to take advantage of on each shot. Daily challenges and rewards will keep you coming back for more.
MLB Home Run Derby 2019 (Free)
This arcade-style take on the All Star Game's signature event has been updated to reflect the new baseball season and the All-Star Game festivities in Cleveland. All 30 MLB ballparks are available in MLB Home Run Derby, and the game features a faster-paced multiplayer mode. You can now play with classic players, and more all-stars have been added for the 2019 season. Otherwise, expect the same homer-smacking fun as before, as you earn bonuses for the number of home runs hit, distance those homers travel and targeted skillshots. Use those bonuses to upgrade your players or your equipment.
NBA 2K19 ($7.99)
The 2019-20 NBA season looms, but you can still grab the annual update for 2K's basketball sim. NBA 2K19 brings new story mode that lets you replay different eras of memorable franchises such as the Jordan-era Bulls or Tim Duncan's San Antonio Spurs. MyCareer Mode has been updated with a new story, and you're able to play head-to-head matchups with other players via LAN or GameCenter. 2K says it's also simplified the game controls, though not every NBA 2K series player is a fan of that move.
NBA Live Mobile (Free)
The NBA 2K series may dominate the premium mobile basketball space, but EA’s NBA Live Mobile offers a strong free-to-play challenge. NBA Live Mobile offers a variety of game modes, including PVP and Blacktop games as well as season play, live events, leagues and head-to-head action. You’ll have to expect a bit of grinding typical of free-to-play downloads, as you work to earn new players and various boosts, packs, and in-game currency. (You also have the option of spending a few bucks to speed things up).
College BB Coach 2 (Free)
College BBall Coach 2 puts you in the coach's loafers, as you’re tasked with leading your team to championship glory. It's a full-on coaching sim for mobile devices, challenging you to manage various aspects of your team, from scouting and recruiting to training, game strategy, tempo, go-to players and other tactics, which you can see play out in the game simulation engine. You can even step into the game for decisive moments with the Game Impact Moment system for clutch shots (with similar training minigames as well). The game is free, though in-app purchases allow you to customize starting teams, conference and courts, player names and stats, and schedules.
Pocket Run Pool (Freee)
Mobile gaming auteur Zach Gage is at it again, this time taking on arcade pool games with a clever puzzle variant that uses a streak mechanic to reward careful, accurate play. Each ball is worth its value in points, plus a multiplier on each pocket. The catch? Each time you pocket a ball, the multipliers rotate around the table. Scratch or miss and you lose lives until it’s game over. The free version of Pocket Run Pool gives you Standard, High-Stakes, and Insta-Tournament game modes, with additional features like a Break of the Week mode unlocked with an in-app purchase.
Darts of Fury (Free)
Darts moves out of the pub into the future with the brightly colored Darts of Fury. Brought to you by Yakuto, the same developer behind the equally delightful Tennis Table Touch, Darts of Fury shines, thanks to simple controls and an engaging quick style of play. You take on all comers in a neon arena, racking up experience points that you can use to upgrade your darts and flights. Best of all, you're facing real opponents as you climb the ranks to face off against the elite in a battle of bullseyes. An update to the game added a trio of head-to-head challenges in which you compete with other players for prize money.
Rowdy Wrestling (Free)
Rowdy Wrestling takes the already zany world of pro wrestling and somehow manages to make the whole thing wackier by distilling things down into a fast-playing battle of weird physics. You'll swing your wrestler's arms around to strike, engage in barely controlled drop kicks, and toss other wrestlers out of the ring in a Royal Rumble-style free-for-all. You can duke it out in rumble matches, as well as career and endless mode, earning points that you can use to unlock new wrestlers, many of whom are dead ringers for iconic pro wrestling giants.
Badminton League (Free)
Games that move from the court to your mobile device live and die by how easy it is to operate their controls. Badminton League gets the mix right by placing easy-to-mash buttons that control your movement and your shots right within reach of your fingers. Different gameplay modes — frome one-on-one match-ups to tournaments — keep the action lively, as you attempt to prevail in matches, earning experience points that you can use to upgrade your skills and equipment.
WGT Golf (Free)
The World Golf Tour's mobile game delivers a great free-to-play golf experience, featuring faithful recreations of some of the world's most storied courses. In WGT Golf, players can engage in full 18-hole stroke play games or more faster paced modes such as 9-hole closest to the hole or hole-in-one challenges in both single and multiplayer. While the game is free, expect ads and in-app purchases for 'branded' high quality in-game gear from the likes of Callaway and TaylorMade.
Why we love Sports Games
Americans spend an average of 5 hours every day engaged in sports and leisure activities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A good sports app might help give you the same fix in less time. The very best sports game apps combine advanced graphics with simple, touch-based controls, making it easy for you to pick up your phone or tablet and jump into the action. Whatever type of sport gets you going, there's likely a great game to match it on iOS devices. Whether you like getting into the middle of the rough and tumble of big-league sports or prefer to manage teams and tactics, there's something for you to sink your teeth into in this list of some of our favorite mobile sports games for iOS.