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Somehow, the early 2000s are almost a decade and a half behind us, but that era created some of the most legendary sports video games to ever be released. That was long before we were 20 years deep into the same series cycles that no longer feature as much innovation and depth to them. Not to mention, the series that have been forgotten or still awaiting a comeback.

Now, this list isn’t ranked on which game is the best, because it’s impossible to do based on your favorite sports and how some of these games were constructed.

Just a nice trip down memory lane of some of the sports games that shaped our lives in one way or another.

  • 10. Wii Sports, 2006

    Console: Wii

    It’d be wrong to not have Wii Sports on this list, despite it not having the same depth of the other games on this list.

    When the Wii first dropped, everyone was playing baseball, bowling, and tennis with their friends or families. Even until this day, it’s a college dorm room favorite when you’re just looking to kill time. Since it was released, Nintendo has also released a ton of sequels with the hopes of landing another classic, but nothing compares to the original.T

  • 9. MVP Baseball 2005

    Console: Microsoft Windows, PSP, PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox

    Sadly, EA Sports doesn’t make baseball games anymore, but MVP Baseball 2005 is still considered the best title to ever drop involving the sport. Manny Ramirez was on the cover fresh of the Red Sox winning the World Series, and it offered simple controls with a deep franchise and addicting mini games. It’s all still regarded as one of the best video game soundtracks of all-time.

  • 8. NFL Street/NBA Street Series, 2004/2001

    Console: PS2, Gamecube, Xbox

    It was too hard to pick a specific edition of either one of these series, but when NBA Street dropped it was a game-changer for EA Sports.  This wasn’t a traditional simulator like Madden or 2K, instead it was an arcade version of the sport that incorporated your favorite players and extreme plays being made. The success of NBA Street paved the way for NFL Street, with both getting multiple sequels in the 2000s.

  • 7. Fight Night Round 4, 2009

    Consoles: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

    This entry comes a bit later into the 2000s, but amongst the boxing community is considered one of the best to ever be released. While past boxing games weren’t always the smoothest or easiest to pick-up, Fight Night Round 4 offered graphics that were stunning at the time and were easily accessible to casuals of the sport . Also, the cover Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson still goes extremely hard after all these years.

  • 6. Backyard Baseball 2001

    Console: PC and Mac

    There were many entries in the Backyard Baseball series, but this was the first one to incorporate big league players. We all remember Pablo Sanchez tearing it up, now he could play alongside a kid version of Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez. For many young sports fans, it was the first game to hook them on the genre, before they transitioned to Madden or Triple Play Baseball.


  • 5. NFL 2k5

    Console: Playstation 2, Xbox

    While 2K no longer creates football games, NFL 2K5 is viewed by many as the greatest sports game to ever drop. It had some of the greatest commentary and presentation we’ve ever seen, thanks to a licensing deal with ESPN that allowed them to feature the iconic Chris Berman. Plus the graphics were unreal for a game dropped in the mid-2000s, with accurate face scans for the players, which is something Madden today still struggles.

  • 4. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, 2000

    Console: Playstation, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS, Nintendo 64

    The original Tony Hawk Pro Skater is a classic within itself, but the sequel brought even more depth to the series with the ability to customize your own skater and build your own skateparks. Similar to NFL Street and NBA Street, it was a way for casual sports fans or kids to learn about the sport of skateboarding without breaking a leg or arm. Another all-time soundtrack as well.

  • 3. Madden 2004

    Console: PlayStation, PlaySation 2, Microsoft Windows, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Xbox

    Madden gets destroyed amongst reviewers and sports fans today, but Madden 2004 was what many consider the pinnacle of the series. It featured Michael Vick on the cover, who is still the most broken QB to ever be featured in the game. But the introduction of Owner Mode added a new level of depth to franchise mode, where you had control of everything from concession stands prices to relocation.

  • 2. NCAA Football 2004

    Console: PlaySation 2, GameCube, Xbox

    Somewhat comparable to NFL 2k5, NCAA Football 2004 nailed the atmosphere of college football flawlessly. It featured the classic ceremonies pre-game and on the sidelines, along with somewhat excessive but entertaining touchdown celebrations. It also featured one of the most highly touted quarterback prospects of the era with Carson Palmer on the conver.

  • 1. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003

    Console: PlaySation 2, Microsoft Windows, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Xbox


    At the peak of the Tiger Woods hype, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game series was taking off, with the 2003 edition being viewed as the best one. The “Tiger Challenge” was one of the most popular features of the game, which was used to upgrade different skillsets and rare courses. It also weirdly featured the lead singer of Saliva, Josey Scott Sappington.

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