Mobile games continue to carve out their own unique chunk of the video game market, and sports fans will find tons of great, console-quality games for Android devices that can put them on the virtual court, diamond, pitch or grass. Here are our picks for the very best of them.
Super Stickman Golf 2 (Free)
The great thing about Super Stickman Golf 2 is how quickly its courses go from somewhat realistic to totally bonkers. The side-scrolling golf game has players shooting by determining the direction and power of their swings, but you’ll have to deal with floating islands, sticky walls, special golf balls that bounce or have other properties, and tough courses. You can also engage friends in asynchronous multiplayer.
Madden NFL Mobile (Free)
Bringing the console of Electronic Arts’ long-running Madden series to Android devices, Madden NFL Mobile has great graphics and the series’ top-down football action. Players can create their own teams of NFL players and NFL legends to field against computer-controlled opponents, and there’s also the ability to play against others head-to-head. You’ll get plenty of gameplay modes and lots of hard-hitting football action in Madden NFL Mobile, and all of it looks great.
Baseball Superstars 2013 (Free)
Mixing arcade baseball action, letting you step up to the plate and thwack fastballs, with deep role-playing customization, Baseball Superstars 2013 is one of the most popular baseball franchises out there. The game lets you create and customize your own players, adjust their stats, work through seasons trying to become the best in the league, and play through games to test your skills and your strategy.
NBA Jam ($0.99)
The two-on-two arcade basketball classic is back from the 1990s in mobile form, and it’s just as much a blast to play now as it was then. Players scramble down the court with famous players (as well as unlockable characters such as politicians), slamming dunks, sinking shots and cooking up to being “on fire” for added speed and other benefits. If you like your basketball fast-paced and a bit goofy, NBA Jam is for you.
FIFA 14 (Free)
Another of Electronic Arts’ well-known franchises brought to mobile, FIFA 14 is a console-quality take on soccer in the palm of your hand. The tablet-optimized game lets you build teams of real players and take to the field, and lets you tap into the action with specially designed, intuitive touch controls. You can also play with a real-world team that will update to reflect injuries and roster changes, making your FIFA matches more dynamic as you play the season.
NBA 2K14 ($2.99)
You might know the NBA 2K series from its console versions, but you’ll also find deep, intense basketball play in the Android version of NBA 2K14. You can play quick games, or keep the same team across multiple seasons to build yourself a basketball dynasty and a legendary franchise. NBA 2K14 also supports traditional controls or a one-touch control method.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 ($2.99)
Where Super Stickman Golf 2 has great 2D courses and gameplay, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 takes things into the third dimension. Players can work their way through the entire PGA Tour either as a custom-made golfer or as Tiger and other pros, and you can also test your skill against 20 special mini-game challenges.
New Star Soccer (Free)
New Star Soccer lets users create their own digital soccer player and work through a career on the field. Instead of playing full games, though, New Star Soccer simulates the actions of your team and tasks you with completing various challenges, like scoring a goal at a crucial moment or completing a tough pass. You’ll do that by aiming, determining the power of your kick, and choosing where on the ball your foot will hit it.
Virtua Tennis Challenge ($4.99)
You’ll have multiple game modes to choose from when you fire up Virtua Tennis Challenge. The 3D title lets you battle through various kinds of matches, ranging from quick exhibitions to a world tour through a number of different courts. You can also take on other players with a Bluetooth multiplayer mode.
Let’s Golf! 3 (Free)
You can take on as many as three other players in Let’s Golf! 3’s online multiplayer mode, and the game’s social integration and chat functions mean you can also interact as you play through the game’s 3D courses. You can also create custom golfers, unlock multiple different game modes to play through, and try out different mini-games for a change of pace.