9 Ultimate Sports Games

I’m a huge sports fan. I love playing, watching and involving myself in variety of sports all the time  — obviously it would make sense then to have a few sports games on my iPad. A dilemma I face sometimes though, is that the market for sport games on iOS is saturated with tons of apps you could really do without. With the Olympics still a recent memory as well, there’s never been a better time to love sports.

In this list, I have been concise in selecting, in my opinion, the best of the best sport games out there for the iPad. These are the ten that offer the most full and exiting experience for the sport in question. Let’s begin.

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NBA 2K12

This is great way to experience all the slam dunking action of the NBA and get involved yourself. There is a full 82-game campaign in Season Mode if you want to take your favourite team to victory, or you can just play a match in Quick Game featuring all 30 NBA teams.

This is an incredibly realistic basketball experience, and involves a little bit of skill to tackle the tougher opponents. Those three-pointers are made all the more satisfying when you have to work for them. The controls are also easy to use and smooth. If you want to pay respect to one of the greatest ballers of all time, the game features something called the “Jordan Challenge,” where you can relive ten of Michael Jordan’s best moments.

Price: $9.99
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: 2K Sports

NBA Jam

While on the topic of basketball, this is an incredible hoops title for the iPad that combines serious strategy with comical gameplay. All players can jump incredibly high and shoot some of the most ridiculous shots you’ve ever seen. It makes for a great laugh and an involving game.

It has a Campaign Mode which you can play through just like NBA 2K12, however, the only difference (besides the insane jumps) is that all matches are 2 on 2 instead of the traditional 5 on 5. Defense can be difficult at times, but the shots are so good that it almost doesn’t matter.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Electronic Arts

Virtua Tennis Challenge

Virtua Tennis has been one of the most iconic titles in tennis for as long as I remember. I’ve played it on the PSP, PS2 and even in arcades. I’ve also thoroughly annoyed their title for the iPad, Virtua Tennis Challenge.

This game allows you to escalate up the world rankings while taking on some fabricated big names in tennis. The personalisation of your own character, playing style and other details really involves you in the game. I’m still happily playing through the world tour and have no complaints as of yet.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: SEGA

FIFA Soccer 12

If it’s pouring rain outside and you’re stuck inside longing for a kick about, don’t fret. You can engage in feature-rich FIFA gameplay using your iPad and FIFA Soccer 12. You can play with any of your favourite teams, as there are over 22 officially licensed leagues, 500 licensed teams and more than 15,000 players.

The authenticity of the soccer is unparalleled. Not only does the title look great, but it plays superbly as well. You can employ strategy with ease during gameplay and play through a season like other sports titles. One problem I have with soccer games is that the shoot button is always different across separate titles, so to my relief, there’s a button simply labelled SHOOT. Thank goodness.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.1 or later
Developer: Electronic Arts

Madden NFL 12

The NFL is probably the most popular sporting league, and it wastes no energy in trying to appeal to the fans with a superb football experience on this iPad app. You can feel the smoothness of the gameplay and graphics when you’re playing. The overall feel of the game is superb.

There is a mode recently added called touchdown mode where you lead your offense on a 2-minute drive for the game winning touchdown. This gives you a chance to relive a crucial moment in a game over and over again with the pressure of the clock making it an adrenaline-fueled charge to score. This and many more features makes this the football game to get.

Price: $6.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Electronic Arts

NHL 2K11

All the fun of hockey (besides the violence) is thrown into this realistic simulation of a great sport. There’s lots to keep you occupied, with modes like Season Mode, Quick Game, Free Skate, Winter Classic Mode and a Shootout Mode. Each one offers a reasonably full experience of the sport.

There’s no better way to enjoy hockey on the iPad than this game. The gameplay is far from flawless, however, that’s not to say it’s a bad experience. The controls take a little getting used to, but overall, this is the ultimate game for hockey fans.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: 2K Sports

Real Racing 2 HD

Motorsports maybe aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think of sports, but this is an unmissable title for the iPad. The Real Racing collection of games prides itself on having a realistic and aesthetically pleasing gaming experience, with this title especially delivering.

The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen on the iPad, which enhance the racing all that much more. Gameplay is realistic and intense, causing you to devote your absolute attention to the race at hand. This is by far one of the best racers out there for iPad, contested only by the likes of the Asphalt series.

Price: $6.99
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Firemint Pty Ltd.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

He may have lost his title as the No. 1 golfer in the world, but Woods is still headlining the PGA Tour series as its ambassador, just as people always remember. The game features some great graphics and gameplay which keeps you involved continuously.

The swing meter included is a really nice touch, responding well to the iPad’s touchscreen. All the courses look beautiful and every environment adds to the overall golfing experience. This is the definitive golf game for the iPad as of yet.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Developer Name

iOOTP Baseball 2012 Edition

A surprisingly addictive app, this baseball game is great for anyone who has even the faintest interest in this iconic bout of bat and ball. You have the ability to take on an enriching experience of the sport with some great gameplay to boot. I found the game to be very involving, as I’ve sat down with it multiple times, the game never failing to make me play longer than I anticipated. A very intriguing and worthwhile buy.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Out Of The Park

Anything Missing?

This is quite a small and concise list and there are tons of great sports titles out there, however I think these are the nine that are definitely worth getting. I’ve tried to cover a variety of sports, but if there’s an unmissable title for a sport not on here, go ahead and let us know in the comments below.