Sports games often go wrong, thanks to the abusive monetization used by companies like Electronic Arts and 2K. Today’s roundup forgoes the blatant cash grabs on mobile to offer something a little different. We’ve chosen the best Android games that are definitely worth playing, with a hand-picked list of sports titles that offer fair prizes and gameplay designed for fun. So if you love sports games but are tired of yearly roster wipes after investing tons of money in your digital teams, Android Police has the perfect roundup for you. Dig in and enjoy!
I thought why not start today’s list with a banger, and so Football Manager 2022 is here to kick things off with its excellent football management gameplay. Unlike other football games, this is more of a business simulation where you will build your team from scratch to see if you can take first place. This game offers simulation-like gameplay that requires strategy and planning. Keep in mind that this is the mobile version of the game, so it’s somewhat stripped down compared to the console and PC versions.
This premium game usually sells for $10, although some in-app purchases are included. Fortunately, these IAPs are only so high, where purchases exist primarily for convenience items. Since Football Manager 2022 Mobile is a single-player game, what you choose to spend won’t affect anyone else. More or less, it’s a game with deep mechanics, fair monetization, and enjoyable gameplay. Best of all, it controls well on mobile.
If you prefer something a little more old school or just looking to relive your days playing Tecmo Bowl, you should definitely check out Retro Bowl. This game features similar 8-bit graphics, but what sets it apart is the strategic gameplay and team management, offering more depth than its inspiration.
The game is free, with an in-game credit system. You’ll upgrade some features, like your stadium or practice facilities, and in-app purchases are included, unlocking $0.99 for unlimited play. Additionally, there are optional credit packs for those looking to progress quickly. However, since this is a single-player game, what players spend won’t affect anyone else. So, when it comes to reasonably priced mobile soccer games, Retro Bowl is easily a top contender thanks to its deceptively deep gameplay and fair pricing model.
Believe it or not, Virtua Tennis Challenge dates back to 2012 as a mobile version and was brought back to life as a Sega Forever game in 2017. You might not know this, but Sega used to create quality tennis games at the time. Virtua Tennis Challenge is the culmination of this effort, as it is the last game in the series. So, you can expect polished gameplay, and even though the game is old, the graphics are good enough.
Now Virtua Tennis Challenge offers touch controls, and they work great in a pinch. However, the game absolutely shines when playing with a controller, so it’s the way to go if you have one handy. Like all Sega Forever titles, you can play the entire game for free with ads. If you want to remove ads, you can do that for $2. For a full-fledged tennis game that offers multiple game modes, ranging from singles to doubles, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Great mountain adventure
I’ve been beating my drum on Grand Mountain Adventure for years now. Since the game was recently released on consoles and PC, mobile is still a perfectly viable platform to play the game if you haven’t checked it out yet. It’s excellent in bite-sized bursts, thanks to its short challenges. Plus, controller support means you sit for extended sessions, just like a good console game. The graphics are on point, there’s a ton of content to explore spread across multiple mountains, and you can even play with friends locally on all devices.
The first mountain is free, and if you like what you see, you can unlock the full title for $10.99, including all of the additional mountains previously added as DLC. Considering the game retails on PC and consoles for $20, you’re still getting a bargain on mobile, especially when controller support is built in.
There are tons of golf games on Android, ranging from Hot Shots knockoffs filled with awful monetization to minimal games that are tough as nails. OK Golf falls somewhere in the middle, offering arcade-like gameplay spread across a wide selection of low-poly courses. It’s not putt-putt; these are full-fledged courses with simple commands that almost anyone can complete in minutes. Essentially, it’s an elegant game designed for fun rather than maximum profit, which is how it easily stands out in a crowd.
OK Golf is a premium version that costs $2.99, and there are no in-app purchases or ads. Thanks to the simple graphics, just about any device can run it, and with simple controls, just about anyone can play it. It’s an accessible title that works well on mobile. If you love golf games, this is a must play game for sure.
Bottom of the 9th
When you think of board games, one of the last genres you think of would be sports. Yet Bottom of the 9th isn’t just a well-reviewed physical board game that dates back to 2015, but it’s also a digital mobile game that goes by the same name. This rendition is easily one of the best baseball games on the Play Store, thanks to fair pricing and proven gameplay. And don’t let the fact that it was originally a board game scare you off; the mechanics are taught as part of a spring training tutorial for batting and throwing, so all the basics are covered.
What’s great is that you don’t have to immediately jump into multiplayer. The game has a single-player game mode that you can get familiar with before taking on live opponents. Gameplay is limited to two players if you want to take on your friends, so it’s less of a party game than something two people can enjoy together. Best of all, it’s a premium version that costs $1, which is cheap enough that almost anyone can afford it. Pair that award with accessible gameplay and you have a winner.
Even fishing games are not exempt from the greedy catches of endless monetization. While there are endless fishing games to choose from, if you’re looking for something deep that isn’t a quirky arcade game, your choices are slim. Luckily, Rapala Fishing is a quality contender that offers a variety of fishing spots as well as all kinds of fish to catch. The 3D graphics are nice, the controls are intuitive, and the gameplay isn’t limited even if you’re a free-to-play player.
Of course, Rapala Fishing is a free-to-play game, so it contains in-app purchases, although its only use is to buy in-game currency. You can use this currency to speed up your progress, but it’s optional. The game is easily enjoyed for free, although there is more difficulty. Still, fishing is all about the peaceful grind, so this one is easily enjoyed in your spare time when you’re relaxing.
Hoop League Tactics
Sports management games are all the rage, thanks to the wild success of Sega’s Football Manager series. If football isn’t your bag, then maybe basketball is. Hoop League Tactics offers a mix of genres with the tactical gameplay of SRPG and the mechanics of a management simulation. Not to mention the gameplay of a typical basketball game. It has it all, baby, with simple graphics that can work on just about any phone, making for a very accessible basketball game that should appeal to a wide audience.
There is a season mode as well as a career mode. With season mode, you lead the whole team, while career mode is more of a personal journey for a single player. You can play for free, but if you want full team customization, plus custom league imports and exports, you can shell out $4 for the premium mode. Premium also removes ads from the game. Think of this version as a mix of chess and basketball, and you’re pretty close, with the option to go premium if you like what you see.
That’s the end of the Android Police sports games roundup. We’ve chosen an eclectic mix of titles to cover everyone’s needs, while ensuring that the games offer tons of fun without being designed to suck up money, so if you know of any sports games that might be on such a list, talk about it in the comments as we’ll be updating this roundup with new lists to expand the selection for everyone.
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