After a few golden years of fantastic entries, it seems like most mobile sports games have succumbed to the freemium model. There are far too few quality titles available that just let you jump into the game without having to deal with player cards, pointless upgrades, or waiting for 'stamina meters' to refill. Nearly all the top mobile sports game franchises have switched over to a team building system that requires you to unlock (or buy) card packs to upgrade your team.

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But there are still great games to be played. We've tried to cover the five major North American sports here — football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and, ahem, soccer — with the best available options for each. Be sure to note which games are more sim-based for the hardcore sports fan, while others offer more arcade-like option for casual players.

The best sports game for Android: NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 is a rare premium sports title for Android that doesn't rely on micro-transactions and loot crates which automatically makes it a great game in my humble opinion. The graphics are top-notch, and there are multiple game modes including online multiplayer and the game also fully supports Bluetooth controllers.

$5.99 at Google Play Store

Batter up!: MLB Nine Innings 2019

The 2019 edition of Nine Innings builds on the franchise's great graphics and gameplay, featuring all 30 MLB ballparks and over 1,700 players carefully rendered in 3D for a very authentic gameplay experience. There are multiple ways to play with gameplay optimized for one-handed controls. This is easily the best baseball game available for Android.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

GOOOOOOOOOOAL!: eFootball PES 2020

Konami's celebrated football franchise is back for 2020 with enhanced dribble controls and options for local and real-time online matches against friends or strangers. It's all part of the developer's focus on taking this mobile soccer game into the eSports realm with competitive online play that's responsive and rewarding.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

Become a football legend: Score! Hero

Score! Hero offers a unique take on the sports game genre. Instead of charging you with building a team, you create your own player and must progress through your professional career from rookie to legend. Instead of the free-flowing action found elsewhere, here you only take over once your team has control of the ball. Play freezes, waiting for you to swipe at the ball to take your shot or pass to a teammate. It's an interesting dynamic that really highlights the strategic elements of soccer.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

Super Bowl bound!: Madden NFL Mobile Football

An EA Sports title that's designed around pay-to-win mechanics and restrictive gameplay? I guess that's just what's "In The Game" these days. Still, Madden NFL Mobile Football reigns supreme among the few playable American Football games available for Android, with the latest edition adding a redesigned GM mode.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store


NBA Jam is a classic title that's continued to be updated by the developers and remains one of the most polished and fun sports games in the Google Play Store. This remake of the 90s arcade classic features all the fast-paced two-on-two action you remember with upgraded graphics and rosters. Touch controls are simple and responsive, making it super easy to set up an epic alley-oop, or sink three shots in a row and hear Tim Kitzrow — the original NBA JAM commentator — yell his infamous line, "HE'S ON FIRE!"

$4.99 at Google Play Store

He's in on a breakaway!: Hockey Hero 2019

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a proper version of EA's NHL series for mobile. Instead, the best version of hockey for Android is Hockey Hero 2019, an endless runner-style arcade game that has you ducking defensemen and going top shelf on an endless stream of hockey nets. It's far from a traditional hockey experience, and yet it's more rewarding than anything else on the Play Store.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

It's in the hole!: Golf Star

Golf Star is the best golfing game on Android, featuring excellent graphics and intuitive controls. The game lets you customize your golfer and jump into Career Mode, where you learn the ropes and hone your skills. It's going to take you a bit of time to figure out the intricacies of the physics and how to properly read the greens and aim your putts, but you'll pick it up in no time. Beyond Career Mode, there are multiplayer modes such as Tournament Mode and Goodwill Match Mode that let you compete in one-on-one competitions against live opponents.

Free w/Ads, IAPs at Google Play Store

Gnarly shredding, dude!: Snowboard Party: World Tour

Snowboard Party: World Tour is easily the best snowboarding game available on the Play Store. The graphics are great, the pop-punk soundtrack is fitting, and the touch controls are surprisingly tight. There are also four different modes to choose from — Time-Attack, Freestyle, Big Air, and Halfpipe, along with a multiplayer mode for playing against your friends. There are 16 snowboarders to customize and upgrade, which you can do without spending a dime — although in-app purchases are included.

Free w/Ads, IAPs at Google Play Store

Hit the slopes!: Grand Mountain Adventure (beta)

Grand Mountain Adventure feels like the spiritual successor to the 90s classic SkiFree, offering endless and calming gameplay. You get to freely explore each mountain, completing timed runs to unlock new ski lifts that let you access new areas of the mountain. The game is still officially in beta and might not be available to everyone, but it's a very solid experience with more mountains available to be unlocked with a one-time in-app purchase.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

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