EA or Electronic Arts have always been a powerhouse gaming company. Known for its top-selling games and worldwide reach, the company has published a lot of critically acclaimed and beloved series over the years. EA has always been very dominant within the gaming industry especially with sports games.
No other gaming company has come close to what EA has done with hundreds of sports titles released since 1982. With so many games on their roster, the next top titles have proven to be very popular for both audiences and critics alike. These are the top contenders for the best EA sports video games.
There is no doubt that EA Sports’ FIFA franchise is one of their most popular and best-selling games to date. With over 260 million copies sold worldwide, it is the most popular EA Sports game ever. The franchise’s biggest entry to date, FIFA 18, has sold 24 million copies since September 2017.
The game has been awarded the Guinness World Record for the best-selling video game. First released in December of 1993, the game featured countless football superstars on the cover making the games even more appealing. The most recent release, FIFA 21, has sold 1.5 million thus far.
EA Sports have even ventured further into mobile gaming with FIFA Mobile to major success as well. Since its release, the game has had over 193 million installations and has been performing well on the platform.
NBA Live is another sports game franchise from EA that has sold over 34 million copies. Throughout the years, NBA Live has taken many names from NBA Playoff to NBA Showdown and finally settling on NBA Live.
Initially released in December of 1994, the game was available on Genesis, Super NES, and PC. The game soon became available for the PlayStation, Xbox, and even through mobile devices with NBA Live Mobile.
Much like FIFA, the game features popular basketball stars on its cover photo as a means to boost sales and has been largely successful. The franchise has seen a lot of cancellations with the 2012 and 2019 cancellations being the notable ones. Despite this, it continues to be one of the top-selling and highest-rated EA sports video games to this day.
Named after the iconic American football coach, John Madden, Madden NFL is another EA sports game. It has sold more than 130 million copies all over the world and only places second to FIFA. It is the only game to be officially licensed by the NFL.
The game series has roughly 7 million dedicated fans with cash tournaments being held. Madden NFL has heavily influenced the sport itself with several televised football broadcasts using visual cues similar to those seen in the game.
The game is available on different platforms such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox, PC, and several games have also made it to the mobile platform. Madden NFL is considered to be the second-largest source of income for the league. It is said that the franchise rakes in about $4 billion in revenue each year.
Say what you want about this series but it is still one of the most dominating forces within EA Sports. The game is touted as one of the best two-on-two basketball games which placed a shining spotlight on both players against another duo.
It is a game that specializes in skills and how you work with your teammate which is what basketball has always been about. But NBA Jam took it to another level with its fancy graphics and old-school approach. There’s nothing fancier than shattering backboards or shoving players to the ground.
The game’s popularity over the years has been proven by its critical ratings and sales record. The series was later named as one of the Top 100 Games of All Time by Next Generation citing its four-player option that is highly popular in arcades.
UFC 4 brought the fighting game to the stratosphere and elevated the entire series as a great contender within the genre. What made UFC 4 the best entry in the series is its onboarding experience where it teaches new players the basics of MMA disciplines. This includes kickboxing, boxing, wrestling, and more.
This allowed players to immediately understand what the game is about, opening the game to a much wider audience. The game also featured a fun multiplayer mode and even featured an online World Championships that featured seasoned players from all over the world to fight for the top spot.
This proved to be quite successful as the game was received positively by critics. The game topped UK charts and was also highly successful in other countries like the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, NHL 21 is the 30th installment of the NHL franchise from EA sports. The game offered quite an expansion from its previous iteration with more cinematic interactions.
Players can create their players and begin their careers through the Canadian Hockey League or other European hockey leagues. The game was well-received by fans who were amazed at how much control they had over their character’s fate in the game.
What was surprising in this game is that players were able to interact with their coach or the hockey press. Players were able to choose certain dialogues when interacting with the hockey press that increases their popularity based on how they answer.
Skate 3 came into the scene just as the skateboarding genre was about to take a very long hiatus. However, Skate 3 proved that the genre still had some life when the game became a massive success for the company. The game is set in an open-world environment and played from a third-person view.
The mechanics of the game takes heavy inspiration from Tony Hawk games. The game also features popular skateboard pros like Danny Way, Terry Kennedy, Eric Koston, Darren Navarette, and many more. However, what made Skate 3 special is its online game modes such as 1-Up, Own The Lot, and Domination.
The online multiplayer mode allowed players from all over the world to participate in these events which further made the game very popular. The game became one of the highest-selling games for EA Sports in 2013 and was one of the most requested titles for the Xbox One backward compatibility feature.
Fight Night Champion
Fight Night Champion is the only EA Sports title that earned the Mature rating from the ESRB. The game features a grittier and more realistic take on boxing with a graphic depiction of the brutality of the sport. The strong language of the game’s story mode also added to the reason why such a rating was given to the game.
The game featured an all-new Full Spectrum Punch Control where players can throw punches by flicking the controller’s right control stick instead of pressing a button. This allowed for a more expressive take for the player and allowed for a much grittier and realistic take on the controls.
Fight Night Champion still had a very successful run with critics praising this seemingly dark turn of the franchise. Critics loved the Champion Mode stating that this was the heart and soul of the game. The game rose to the top of the charts in the UK after its release.
If you talk about the most successful sports video game franchise from EA, you would never leave out NBA 2K11 as one of the most successful entries of the series. NBA 2K11 is a basketball simulation game that featured many real players from the NBA. Players were also able to create their own characters.
The game has real commentary from Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg as well as reports from the sideline from Doris Burke alongside real halftime shows and replays. The unique Jordan Challenge mode depicts players like Michael Jordan as he attempts achievements from his career like earning 69 points in a single game.
Released in 2010 October for Windows PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii, the game was well-received by critics alongside many positive comments from fans of the franchise. As of August of 2011, the game has sold over 5.5 million copies all over the world.
With most of its sports titles dominating the sports gaming scene, EA Sports has made the industry highly competitive. Their special brand of sports depiction in their games has brought what fans of football, boxing, NFL, basketball, and MMA love about their sports, into their lives in a way they get to participate too.
With a key eye for detail, it’s no surprise EA sports games are the highest selling. Its vast collection of sports games prove that this California-based video game developer has what it takes to create top-notch, critically-acclaimed, and highly popular games.