Sport is not the most popular genre among video gamers. The main reason is the fact these games are designed for fans of a particular sport with gameplay elements that have little to no effect on a broader audience. Sports games receive a lot of flak for lackluster gameplay or lack of realism compared to the sport they are trying to emulate. Despite all these debates no matter how factual, the fact remains that the earliest playable ‘video’ game was a Sports game.
Naturally, there are tons of sports games that have come into existence over the past several decades on multiple platforms with several advancements which again may or may not be in keeping with the standards of other genres. Nintendo, though for the longest time had consoles that were not even remotely close to offering the gameplay value that other platforms had for sports games, until of course the Switch.
Nintendo Switch’s growing popularity makes it the ideal portable console for sports games. Since its launch several AAA sports titles have made their way to switch. The console also has a small but intriguing list of exclusive sports games. So, the Switch, while not on par with the graphical capabilities of its more powerful counterparts, is still capable of offering a wholesome experience when it comes to sports games.
Here are a few of the best sports games for Nintendo Switch which you can play while on the go.
Quick Links: EA Sports FIFA | MLB: The Show | Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands | A Little Golf Journey | Retro Goal | NBA 2K Games | Lonely Mountains: Downhill | AO Tennis 2 | Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 | Mario Strikers: Battle League
EA Sports FIFA
EA has steadily been churning out FIFA games every year since the 90s. Although it takes a decade to see any real change in the FIFA games apart from the updated roster, the game shares the same fanatic following as the sport. It is this sentiment that makes Switch users ignore the fact that every FIFA title on Nintendo’s handheld is just FIFA 19 (the first one on Switch) with a new coat of paint.
You can debate on a lot of things with these games, but the only real reason to play is because it is FIFA’s official game.
MLB: The Show
San Diego Games’ MLB: The Show franchise is the last remaining baseball simulation game series available on any platform. While real baseball may be on the decline, this game enjoys a massive fan-following. The realistic gameplay mechanics and graphics elements continue to provide fans with an enjoyable simulation experience of baseball. MLB: The Show takes an RPG approach to its gameplay with a rewarding career mode experience.
The finely tuned multiplayer is also a great reason to play this baseball simulation title.
Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands
This is an indie game that more than lives up to the expectations that its title sets up. A beautiful video game representation of the unforgiving winter sport of skiing, Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands offers all the joys of the sport without the carnage. This game is more focused on exploration and offers a dozen open-world skiing resorts which are colossal. The scenic backdrop of each ski slope makes it worth deviating from the tough challenges that await you at various points.
The more than mesmerizing graphical detail complements the impressive physics quite well, which is also among the best found in any skiing video game. This is quite a remarkable feat considering that Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands was created by a team of two developers who were recovering from a skiing accident. Based on the lessons learnt from their skiing experience, Toppluva AB’s Sebastian and Victor have also added a Zen mode for ironic reasons. This is without a doubt, one of the best sports games for Nintendo Switch.
A Little Golf Journey
If you thought golf couldn’t be any more relaxing, A Little Golf Journey offers a virtual experience of the game that will change your mind. This game features 10 beautifully designed courses with over 100 holes. This is not like your average golf game though, where there are crowds of about 20 people cheering as they watch you take an eternity to cross the par. In this game, there are no crowds, it’s just you and your companion in an unlikely golf adventure.
Although quite unconventional, A Little Golf Journey still offers enough of a challenge to immerse you into the core golf gameplay. But what sets this game apart is the story where you’ll discover that there is more at stake than just beating your opponent.
As the name suggests, Retro Goal is an excellent tribute to old-school football. Inspired by the popular Temco Bowl series, this game looks to revive the cult following its predecessor received through the unique style of gameplay. Retro Goal allows players to both play as and manage their teams with emphasis on the offense. The gameplay is quite straight forward with some addictive elements that are bound to appeal to long time followers of football.
While the defense is simulated through autoplay, you can still manage the defensive players. On a platform dominated by soccer, Retro Bowl stands out as one of its best American Football games.
NBA 2K Games
NBA is one of the very few video games on any platform that offers a complete experience while allowing players to live out their basketball fantasies. 2K’s NBA games capture the various nuances of the sport quite well through some refined mechanics. The career mode offers some tough challenges through modes that are optimized for all playstyles.
The multiplayer mode is also one of the best found among sports games on switch.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill
This title proves how exciting the sport of mountain biking can be even if you are experiencing it from the confines of your couch. Lonely Mountains: Downhill offers a thrill ride of a lifetime as you venture down a steep mountain that has various obstacles and challenges along the way. What sets this sports game apart, is the unique and morbid fact that you can die. In Lonely Mountains death comes in many ways, by hitting a tree, crashing into a rock or even the classic falling off a cliff method.
The gameplay is quite challenging and reflects physics and controls inspired from the mobile game, Skiing Yeti Mountain. The gameplay is complemented quite well by some impressive low-poly graphics which is optimized for the handheld, and all of that make it one of the best sports games for Nintendo Switch.
AO Tennis 2
Tennis is one of the most popular games in the world and there are tons of video games that prove this fact. But Nintendo is not of this world, so having even one Switch tennis simulation title may seem like having too many. Nonetheless Big Ants’ AO Tennis 2 is one of the best tennis games available on Switch. The gameplay is quite engaging and challenging for beginner and pros alike.
Unlike other AAA sports titles, AO Tennis 2 does not compromise much on the graphics, which makes this one the most realistic sports games on switch. Furthermore, the game was developed in cohesion with the organizers and players at the Australian Open. So, this is as official as it gets when it comes to tennis games.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
The only thing cooler than having a name like Tony Hawk is having a video game named after you. Skating is more accurately described as an unconventional means of transport that became a favorite pastime that somehow got recognized as an art. Which means in America it is greater than the Olympics.
This game offers all the classic elements that made Tony Hawks so popular for so many years. The series’ longevity is proven by Pro Skater 1+2’s fluid playability which is quite rare for Switch games of such graphics requirements. Although some aspects had to be toned down, the Switch version still offers a similar experience as its bigger more powerful counterparts.
Mario Strikers: Battle League
Everyone’s favorite Italian plumber is a jack of all trades and the master of his Nintendo domain. So, it is natural that the likes of Messi or Ronaldo and their simulation games would hold no candle to Mario and his battle league. The game follows a 5 vs. 5 competition style which favors the chaotic gameplay familiar with other Mario titles such as Mario Kart over realism.
The gameplay is engaging and offers an enjoyable multiplayer mode as well. Fans of the series will enjoy the returning characters which made the previous 2 Strikers titles and the entire Mario franchise so popular. Battle League is an exclusive to the platform, which makes it graphically one of the best sports games on Nintendo Switch with the most fluid gameplay.