The Best Sports Games of 2021

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An eventful 2021 is drawing to a close and whilst we've had to wait slightly longer for some of our favourite titles this year - thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic - lockdowns have meant we've been able to spend more time gaming than ever before.

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There's been a number of significant releases in the sports world these last 12 months, with yearly franchises like FIFA 22 and NBA 2K22 taking centre stage for units sold. We also saw numerous new releases this year, but did any of them make our list of the top five sports games from 2021? Let's find out.

5. FIFA 22

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Call us boring, but after a couple of below par releases in FIFA 20 and FIFA 21, there was quite the expectation on EA Sports' shoulders heading into the release of FIFA 22.

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Now, it's not the best FIFA title that we've ever played - that honour remains with the ICONIC FIFA 10 - but in terms of a first full edition on new-gen consoles, we don't have too many qualms with this years release.

Hypermotion technology lived up to the hype, whilst significant graphical updates ensures that the EA Sports release find its way into our top five this year.

4. F1 2021

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Codemasters' F1 series has continuously delivered some of the finest racing content that one could desire, and they hit the nail on the head once again with their 2021 release.

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There were some who questioned whether it would be worth the upgrade from F1 2020 version. The answer is a definitive yes, with one key mode ensuring that it made our top five.

Braking Point, F1 2021's Career Mode, is in our opinion the very best Career Mode in any sporting release this year. Not only does it have the best storyline and cinematic backing, it's challenging enough to frustrate and elate you at the same time.

3. Football Manager 2022

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We could probably add Football Manager into our next 10 end of year pieces, as the team at Sports Interactive seem to get it right every single year.

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2021 was no different, with their latest release checking all the boxes for yet another successful year of managerial turmoil. DataHub was probably the standout feature of the FM 22 release, with big news coming in the form of adding women's football, which could feature as soon as next year.

2022 will be a groundbreaking year for Football Manager, but 2021 hasn't been a disappointment.

2. Knockout City

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Moving away from the traditional yearly releases now, we land at the multiplayer dodgeball title, Knockout City.

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With Battle Royale titles taking the world by storm, it was only a matter of time before a sporting-themed variant landed in the gaming world, and the team at EA Sports got it spot on with Knockout City.

If you haven't played the game, you really are missing out. It's simple to pick up, but being the best requires developing some intricate tactics for your playbook. If there was a title for the most addictive sports game of 2021, then this would take the biscuit.

1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2

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Now this may be cheating a little bit, but we simply couldn't write a top sports games article and not include Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

Arguably the best sporting franchise of all time, Pro Skater 1 + 2 were reimagined and re-released onto new-gen consoles earlier this year, with releases on PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S.

There aren't many notable changes from the initial release back in the year 2000, but as the age old adage goes 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and this game certainly isn't broke.