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A Game For Every Fan

Whether you love golf, NFL or athletics, there’s a sports game out there for you. Sports games offer excitement and can even give you a taste of how it feels to face the world’s best competitors without you having to leave your seat.

We’ve Always Had Sports

Sports games are a natural direction for video games to take. Not only do sports offer the same promise of entertainment as games—competition, action and an unpredictable outcome—but they also come with their rules already decided, making them an easy adaptation for the people who made early video games.

In fact Tennis For Two—arguably the world’s first video game—was a sports game as its name suggests. Tennis For Two was created in 1958, when William Higinbotham built a rudimentary but highly playable tennis simulator using an oscilloscope and an early, analog computer from the Brookhaven National Laboratory where he worked.

In the 1960s, electro-mechanical arcade games like Taito’s Crown Soccer Special and Sega’s Grand Prix made sports games more popular, putting them alongside other arcade attractions to great effect. Although neither was a true video game—they didn’t use a computer, after all—Grand Prix looked and felt a lot like the true arcade racing games that would follow in the coming decades.

There’s No Sport Like Pong

In 1972, the iconic Pong was released and it’s no exaggeration to say that it changed the world forever. A game based on table tennis might seem an unlikely choice for a video game that would attain previously unimaginable popularity, but that’s exactly what Pong was.

Atari built the original Pong arcade game cabinet, basing the gameplay on an earlier ping pong game that was included on the world’s first home games console, the Magnavox Odyssey.

The game was their first release but it was huge— Pong the arcade was the first true commercial success that any company had achieved with a videogame. Pong outperformed all other arcade machines many times over, often earning money more quickly than they could be emptied.

Other companies began to make copycat Pong arcade machines, trying to capture some of Atari’s business. With no way to stop these pretenders to its throne, Atari had to innovate or die. Pong signalled the start of the golden age of arcade games—a race between game makers to produce better and more engaging arcade games which saw an explosion of creativity and ingenuity.

There’s No Pong Like Home Pong

In 1975, Atari released Home Pong as a standalone console that plugged into any TV. Like the Pong arcade cabinet before it, Home Pong was a runaway success, selling 200,000 units in the holiday season of its release alone.

It’s hard to overstate the impact that Home Pong had on the world. It certainly launched the home console market in a big way, with companies like Magnavox again trying their hand followed by future behemoths like Nintendo. Fierce competition between these manufacturers led to quick development of home consoles, as each brand tried to offer players more choice, better graphics, better sound and more.

Sports Games Get Serious

In the eighties and nineties, Electronic Arts became the face of sports games. In truth, EA had always been deeply interested in sports. Their first self-made release was a skating game and their founder had created the company to one day make a computerized version of the pen-and-paper Football simulators he had played as a kid.

EA approached John Madden to endorse their first football simulator in 1984. The first Madden title wasn’t released until 1988, an unbelievably slow development for games back then. Much of the delay was caused by Madden’s uncompromising vision for the game, which was too much for the computers of the time.

The first Madden game was a moderate success in its own right, but paved the way for the next title on the Sega Genesis, a smash success which helped the console hold its own against Nintendo.

Madden’s popularity continued into the 2000s as EA Sports dominated the sports games industry, introducing other popular franchise titles, notably FIFA soccer. 2K games also defined the sports games genre as it developed the hugely popular NBA Live series.

Today, every sport you can name has a range of video games based on it, from detailed, hyper-realistic games, often developed under franchise, to silly party games with skewed physics and bizarre settings.

The Lasting Appeal of Sports Games

Sports games are popular because they allow us to play as our heroes. You can score the winning goal in a World Cup Final, cross the end zone in the Super Bowl or score the winning basket in the NBA Finals.

Not all sports games involve playing the game itself though—often you can manage your favorite team instead. Games like this, that put you in the position of a coach or manager, help fans try to answer those “what if?” questions they’re left with after an unsatisfying result—"what if he’d gone left instead of right”? “What if she hadn’t gotten injured so early”? We might never know the answers, but we still want to game out the possibilities, and sports games let us do just that.

Sports Games on Gamepix

Whether you’re an athlete or a fan, you’ll love our range of sports browser games on GamePix. All our sports games are free to play, unlocked and ready to play whenever you are. As they don’t use Flash, they can run on any browser, desktop, mobile or tablet—any device with a web browser in fact—so you can play at any time and in any place for free. Get started today and see how quickly you can claim the championships and medals you’ve always dreamed of holding.


Can you play sports games on PC?

There are a huge number of sports games out there, and some of them are locked to certain consoles or systems but all of the games here on Gamepix are HTML5 browser sports games, so work on any device that has a web browser, including PC.

Are sports games fun?

Yes! From serious sports simulators to management games and party game versions, sports games are popular because they’re so fun. Whatever sport you enjoy, you’ll find a fun sports game for you among the free browser sports games here on Gamepix.