This year, sports fans had plenty of games to keep them busy. Whether you fancy racers, hitting the links, or pulling off some skateboard tricks, 2023 delivered a little of everything. In addition to the next entry in the beloved Gran Turismo series, fans also had a chance to experience something new and unique with games like Cursed to Golf. Whatever sport you gravitate to, it’s always fun to experience its gaming analog. So here are the Best Sports and Racing Games of 2023.
For more of PlayStation LifeStyle’s Game of the Year 2023 awards, click here.
5. GRID Legends
Grid Legends is a unique racer that packs over 130 tracks to compete on. That includes real-life locations like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Suzuka International Racing Course, with more than 100 vehicles to choose from.
Drift cars, electric vehicles, stadium trucks — you name it, it’s here. You can even create custom races with your own routes down to personalized rules. It has a little something for all racing fans, including a narrative-based career mode and support for 22-player multiplayer.
4. Cursed to Golf
It can be challenging to make golf appeal to all audiences, but the sports-centric roguelike Cursed to Golf manages to do just that.
Its wacky narrative forces a deceased golfer to complete an 18-hole course in Golf Purgatory if they want to come back to life. But the ghostly Scotsman warns them that if they use too many strokes on a single hole, they’ll need to return to the beginning of the course. With 70 different predesigned levels and truly out-there environments to golf in, this is one take on the classic sport that feels unique in just about every way.
3. Need for Speed: Unbound
The Need for Speed franchise has seen several style evolutions over the years, but none so much as Need for Speed Unbound.
With developer Criterion returning for its first title since 2012’s Most Wanted, it makes for arcade-style racing that feels great out of the gate. The heavily stylized art style combines cel shading and realism in ways that look and feel impossibly cool. Its story-based adventure raises the stakes, and street racing missions combined with the open world to explore make this Need for Speed one of our favorite racers of the year – oh, and the customizable anime wraps for the cars help, too.
2. Gran Turismo 7
When it comes to racing sims, no one does it quite like the Gran Turismo series, and Gran Turismo 7 was an especially excellent installment.
With the return of its single-player campaign, it provides more than just great racing. It also builds a fun narrative that helps players learn about the cars they’re driving and gives them a reason to keep pushing. With over 400 cars to collect and dozens of tracks to race on, this is the premier racing sim experience of the year and our runner-up for our favorite sports or racing game of 2023.
And the winner is…
1. OlliOlli World
OlliOlli World is an ambitious skateboarding simulator where the entire world of Radlandia is a skate park. Crafted by the in-game gods of skating themselves, there are rails to grind and kickflips to perform wherever you look. Roll7 has crafted an addictive 2D platformer that seamlessly incorporates skateboarding in just about every fiber of its being.
Pulling off tricks feels effortless, and you feel like a veritable pro skater with each completed challenge. There’s so much to explore and plenty to accomplish, and you’ll spend hours working to do it all. With its wacky environments, endearing pixel art, and accessibility for players of all ages, it’s easy to see why we’ve selected OlliOlli World as our favorite sports game of 2023.