Updated on February 1st, 2023
Last year was a pretty stellar year for lovers of sports and the video games they inspire, as 2020 delivered sports gaming titles by the bucket load.
And if 2020 was good, then 2023 promises to be even better, as game developers and publishers do everything they can to make the most of the booming video game sector.
In this article, we take a look at a multitude of different online happenings and developments which already have sports fans around the world excited and ready to play.
Multiplayer sports video games are growing ever more ambitious in their scope and reach.
The Gap Between Fan and Competitor is Constantly Shrinking
One trend that continues to grow is the online realm bringing fans of the sports they love so close to the action that they sometimes almost feel as involved as the players or head coaches themselves.
Gaming is just one of a variety of online activities that makes this possible with training apps, online betting apps, and fantasy sports leagues, all giving people that feeling that they are living every goal and every touchdown.
This has certainly been the case when it comes to video games, with the data used by titles such as the new Football Manager being every bit as technically up-to-date and relevant as the stats used by real-life coaching teams and sports directors.
Read more: Best Sports Games for PS4 You Must Play
As television and live streaming, coverage continues to give even more in-depth access to locker rooms and franchise boardrooms, and social media opens fans’ eyes to the private lives of their favorite stars, expect this merging of the spheres of fan and player to continue to interlink.
As VR tech improves so too do the possibilities of gamers physically playing out certain sports in locations that resemble nothing like a golf course, cricket pitch, or rowing lake
VR Tech will put Gamers Right in Midfield or Centre Court
If you are among the old-school group of sports fans who have shunned the mobile revolution and refuse to engage in technology, then it is quite possible that the advances mentioned above have passed you by.
However, there is a genre of games out there that once played will leave no one in any doubt that sports video games are coming closer to accurately aping genuine sports experiences.
That genre is VR, where virtual reality versions of sports such as Ten Pin Bowling, Rock Climbing, and Boxing are already available as long as people have a VR headset to hand.
As the cost of such headsets plummets, with many working just with a mobile phone rather than a full-blown PC setup, there is no doubt that VR sports games will proliferate in the years to come.
All the Usual Big Players Have Released Planned
There are some video games that you can almost set your watch by, as a new version of them is released annually without fail.
Often this is because people appear obsessed with having the latest FIFA or NFL Madden game rather than the developers actually doing very much to improve the games.
This is also partly due to gamers wanting to play as their favorite breakthrough sports stars.
2021 promises to deliver in droves in that regard. MLB The Show 21 is a title that all baseball fans will have notifications turned on for. MotoGP 21 promises to deliver red hot action on two wheels.
And Riders Republic caters to those extreme sports fans who only enjoy games if they involve daredevil stunts and radical tricks.
Of course, on top of all this, there will be all the usual suspects from the sports video game world. Here’s to hoping that they put bug fixes and playability above other more trifling concerns in 2021.
Mobile Sports Games Complement Other Mobile Apps
Let’s be honest, most sports fans want to be out and about over their weekends, as they either go to a stadium to catch a live game or organize some other sort of special viewing experience. They may even want to get active themselves.
With this in mind, it is impossible for such people to cart a PC or console with them wherever they go, so most of them rely on mobile sports games to fill the downtime spent in the arena’s toilet or during an extended half-time break.
The other great thing about mobile games is that they fit perfectly alongside other sports apps, such as the ones people use to place bets, keep track of their fantasy sports leagues, and remain up to date on the latest scores from around a league or competition.
After all, what better way to celebrate a parlay bet coming in than firing up a video game of the sport that helped you win in the first place?
Video Games are Starting to Take Over Some Sports
While it is clear that sports games are only gaining in popularity in online circles, that is being taken to whole new levels by Esports leagues and competitions, as some of them begin to actually dictate how traditional sports are trained for and competed in.
Two prime examples of this are road race cycling and F1 motor racing, both of which saw the rise of their own Esports competitions and leagues in 2020.
This is because the online fervor for video games like F1 2020 and cycling training apps such as Zwift have forced UCI and F1 suits to get with the times.
However, what those same suits were probably not quite expecting was the incredible impact that Esports has had on their organizations, allowing drivers from anywhere in the world to try out for their beloved F1 teams and even race against some of the best pro drivers on the planet.
In cycling that has even meant amateur gamers/riders being able to race and train right alongside their cycling idols, all in a virtual reality world. Who knows, perhaps one day all cycling and F1 races will be contested this way.