When it comes to video games, it is often first-person shooters and strategy titles that take all of the headlines. There is however a world beyond bouncing grenades and neon green guns in the thriving market of sports games. In this article, we pay homage to that fact by looking at some of the top-selling sports games of all time.
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The Best-Selling Sports Games of All-Time
Kicking us off on our odyssey of top-selling sports games is a title you might not have heard of but one that has achieved cult status in many corners of the globe. Football Manager is the strategy and simulation game that sees you take the reins at a football club of your choosing and mastermind their rise from obscurity to global domination.
In terms of detail, Football Manager is unmatched by any sports game on the market. If you want to dig down into the specifics of match tactics and individual player instructions you can. If you want to take an active role in scouting and identifying potential transfer targets you can and, if you want to become responsible for the financial destiny of your club, you can. All of this goes to make playing Football Manager a totally engrossing experience, which is perhaps why it has sold over 40 million copies.
Pro Evolution Soccer/eFootball
Remember this? If you’re of a certain age the mere mention of Pro Evolution Soccer will have you reminiscing about Roberto Larcos, Man Red, and the absolute unstoppable power of an Adriano long-distance shot.
Unfortunately, the franchise fell to the wayside with FIFA ultimately winning out in the battle between the two titles, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Pro Evolution Soccer has sold over 112 million copies.
Speaking of reminiscing, the first edition of NBA 2K was released in 1998 on the Dreamcast! Remember that!? What an odd console. Anyway, being released on a one-hit-wonder console didn’t hold back NBA 2K from becoming one of the most popular sports titles of all time. Today, the game is a huge franchise and regularly sees around 2.4 million players logging on to play every, single day. Oh and before we forget, NBA 2K has shipped just over 123 million copies since it was first released on the Dreamcast.
Back in 1988, EA Sports wanted a big name to front their new NFL video game and when they couldn’t convince Joe Montana to leave Atari, they went after John Madden instead. In hindsight, that was one hell of a bit of luck because let’s face it, Montana NFL just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Madden NFL.
Since then the game has gone on to do an estimated $4 billion in sales, shipping an enormous 130 million copies. Such is the success of the gaming franchise that is estimated to rake in $600 million annually in revenues – not too shabby.
Earlier this year FIFA had to change its name to EA Sports FC after a licensing disagreement with FIFA (the governing body of world football). Considering the reputation of the latter it’s probably a blessing in disguise for the video game which first hit our consoles way back in 1993. Since then it has sold – wait for it – three hundred and twenty-five million copies. Yes, you read that right, 325 million copies, more than double second-placed Madden NFL which even had a five-year head start. In terms of popularity, there really is no game quite like EA Sports FC, and this year’s edition, despite its critics, has performed exceptionally well in terms of playing numbers and overall sales.
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