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Key Points

  • Xbox 360 is a gaming console produced by Microsoft since 2007.
  • Sports games are meant to simulate a real-life sports experience with realistic graphics and audio.
  • NHL 9 and FIFA Soccer 10 are examples of popular sports games to play on Xbox 360

There are a lot of Xbox 360 sports games that you can play right now, ranging from football, basketball, soccer, and hockey, among others. Some of these games include the FIFA series, the NHL series, and NBA 2K series.

With several titles and head-to-head competition between game publishers and developers, picking the best Xbox 360 sports games can be challenging. Thankfully, there are many options to choose from based on the type of game you are looking for. 

The great thing about these games is that you can participate without sprinting, diving, jumping, or even riding.  In this article, we will explore the 10 absolute best Xbox 360 sports games ever released.

#10: NBA 2K11

NBA 2K11 - Xbox 360
  • Relive 10 different legendary games from Michael Jordan's career and replicate in NBA 2K11 what MJ did on the court
  • Delivering the most realistic feeling and reacting dribbling system to date with seamless transitions between ankle breaking moves
  • Take your offensive game to the next level with an unprecedented amount of control via the enhanced Shot Stick
  • Updated AI systems across the board make The Association the smartest franchise mode in sports gaming

NBA 2K11 is a 2010 basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts. Compared to other games, this one strives to realistically portray the experience of the NBA. For instance, MyPlayer mode lets you create your player and play through their career in the NBA.

The game also has an association mode where you assume control of an NBA organization through the seasons. Since this game is centered on Michael Jordan, a lot of people enjoy it.

From the start of the game, you’ll realize that the entirety of it is all about MJ. During the gameplay, you can tie up a player when playing on D and force them to pick the ball up.

One of the coolest things is Jordan’s challenge. With this challenge, you can go through 10 of MJ’s best games, play, and try to replicate what Jordan did in those matches. To succeed, you must complete a certain number of goals.

That said, NBA 2K11 is a huge improvement over the previous edition. Since every facet has been improved or overhauled, you can expect to enjoy a rewarding experience.

DeveloperVisual concepts
Publisher2K Sports
PlatformsXbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
Release dateOctober 5, 2010
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

#9: FIFA Soccer 10

FIFA Soccer 10 - Xbox 360
  • You have complete control over your players, with the ability to assign a specific role and movement to every outfield player on your team one at a time, and then combine them for the perfect set piece.
  • The first true 360 dribbling system in a soccer game gives you precise control to skillfully play spaces between defenders that previously was not possible.
  • Advanced animation warping technology lets skilled players face defenders and maneuver around them with highly-responsive lateral dribbling.
  • More intelligent AI with more authentic behavior. Players now avoid passes not intended for them, avoid blocking teammate shots, and throw themselves in the way of attacker's shots in defense.
  • Work on individual skills in a fully featured practice mode before stepping on the pitch. Select exactly how many attackers and defenders you want in play, and practice set pieces.

FIFA Soccer 10 is a soccer Xbox 360 simulation game that strives to recreate all the technical, strategic, and tactical nuances of the game. In the virtual pro mode, FIFA Soccer 10 lets you create a player, design his attributes and sculpt his look to match your own.

After you’ve sculptured your star, you can take it to the pitch and play as your fledgling baller. You can then take your new player to a new practice arena and work on drills, hop into a Play Now match, or play in Manager Mode.

Essentially, you can use these modes to improve your soccer star and accomplish what you intend to achieve. While playing alone can be fun, eventually, you’ll need to build a player while also progressing with a full soccer club.

Overall, FIFA Soccer 10 is a game worth its title. The gameplay is lightning fast, there’s end-to-end football, and the commentary is some of the best in any sports game. The best part is that getting into games is ultra simple, letting you move quickly from one activity to the next.

DeveloperHB Studios, Sumo Digital, Exient Entertainment, EA Canada
PublisherEA Sports
PlatformsMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release dateOctober 20, 2009
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

#8: NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 - Xbox 360 (Renewed)
  • This renewed game may come repackaged in a generic case. It has been cleaned, tested, and shows minimal wear.

Released in 2012, NBA 2K13 is a basketball video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. At the start, you’ll be directed into My Player mode, which requires you to create your own baller with several customization options.

You can enter My Career mode after creating your player, which is basically the highlight of this game. Afterward, representatives from various teams will interview you based on your performance and how you conducted yourself.

Besides letting you play as a custom character, My Career Mode allows you to live the National Basketball Association lifestyle, enjoy things such as your team plastering your face on billboards, and even sign shoe deals. The game controls are also excellent, giving you a ton of choices on both defense and offense with lots of contextual button presses.

Plus, the players look as true-to-life as video game graphics allow, maintaining careful attention to detail. Visually, this game isn’t perfect, but it is very solid. Overall, If you pair the intricacies of real basketball in this game with the killer work Jay-Z has put in, you get a killer package that’s hard to pass.

DeveloperVirtual Concepts
Publisher2K Sports
PlatformsXbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Wii U
Release DateSeptember 19, 2012
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

#7: NHL 9

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NHL 09 - Xbox 360
  • Defensive Skill Stick - NHL 08 gave you true offensive prowess with the Skill Stick, and this year, you have the power to stop it. Block passing lanes with 360 control of your stick or kill an opponent's one timer game by lifting their stick just before they receive a pass
  • Be A Pro - A dynamic 3rd person camera puts you in the role of one player on a team. The Performance Tracker will rate your play in over 50 categories, to make sure you know what parts of your game need to improve. Start your career off in the ranks of the AHL and become one of the best in the NHL. Your very own hockey card will mark your progress, from your rookie beginnings to a potentially legendary ending
  • Create-A-Play Breakouts - create a winning strategy in both online and offline play. Make breakout plays from your own zone or set up behind your net and tell your right winger to look for the flip dump from the defenseman
  • NHL 94 Controls - Hit, pass, shoot, and score using the simplified two-button control system featured in NHL 94. So even if you're new to the game, you can challenge the best of the best
  • One-handed Dekes - When you are skating in on a breakaway, tap the puck to one hand and tuck the puck behind a sprawling goalie for the ultimate finish

Launched by EA in 2008, NHL 9 is the 17th video game in the NHL series released by EA Sports. In this game, you can create a player to use. You can also join online teams with friends, find players, level up players, participate in tournaments and even receive awards.

The first feature of this game that you’d want to dive into is Be A Pro. As soon as the game begins, you need to create your virtual likeness and complete all the customization options.

From there, you can watch a brief tutorial before jumping into your fledgling career. Unless you want to control an already established NHL player, you’ll begin in the AHL.

Once you’ve become a Pro, you can use your created player and rise through the ranks of your favorite team. Since you’ll begin in the AHL on their third line, you’ll want to work hard until you are a first-liner for your team.

If you play well on the AHL team’s first line, you will move to the NHL team’s third line, rising through the lines until you become your team’s star. Therefore, you can choose your level of play depending on whether you just like to have fun or you’re looking for a challenge.

DeveloperEA Canada, HB Studios
PublisherEA Sports
PlatformsXbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
Release dateSeptember 9, 2008
ModeSingle-player, multiplayer

#6: FIFA Soccer 12

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FIFA Soccer 12 - Xbox 360
  • Player Impact Engine - The new physics engine is built to deliver real-world physicality in every interaction on the pitch. Experience an infinite variety of outcomes in every contact. Players feel more resilient on the ball, push and pull during the fight for possession, preserving their natural momentum.
  • Tactical Defending - Fundamental changes to the approach of defending places equal importance on positioning, intercepting passes and tackling at the right moment. Tactics and timing are crucial.
  • Precision Dribbling - Enjoy new ways to take on opponents, more time on the ball, and complete control of the pace of the game. Utilize close dribble touches in tight spaces, on the wings, and to fend off opponents.
  • All-New Career Mode - Now driven by the same drama, storylines and emotion as the real world game, users will face more decisions and factors than ever before. Evaluation logic has been improved to reflect a player’s true value, and the excitement of Transfer Deadline day has been expanded.
  • EA SPORTS Football Club - For the first time ever, everything within FIFA 12, is measured in a meaningful way. Earn experience points and level up to build your status. Gamers will relive crucial real-world football events through regular challenges so that FIFA 12 will look, feel and play like the real-world season.

Commonly known as FIFA 12, FIFA Soccer 12 is a football simulation video game developed by EA Canada. Like other console FIFA games, FIFA Soccer12 is a realistic game that lets you play your favorite games by following the rules.

Instead of the star player, this game focuses more on teamwork and allows players to easily pass the ball and get a feel for the game. This can be done via a virtual joystick or new swipe controls, which open up special shots.

Gameplay innovations have also greatly improved with matches unfolding with a more authentic tempo. The biggest change from previous versions that you’ll notice is its new ‘Tactical Defending’ system which requires more skills.

This means that even if you are a pro, you may need to adjust to successfully attack the opponents. The developers have also improved the Precision Dribbling system to give you greater control of the ball in tight situations.

Since this requires time to master, it’s primarily designed for advanced FIFA players. That said, FIFA Soccer 12 has improved gameplay and new play options, thus making it a must-buy for any FIFA fan owning an Xbox 360.

DeveloperEA Canada
PublisherEA Sports
PlatformsXbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
Release dateSeptember 27, 2011
ModeSingle-player, multiplayer

#5: NHL 10

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NHL 10 - Xbox 360
  • Multiplayer support including 2-7 player support locally and 2-12 player support online, with Xbox Achievements via Xbox LIVE.
  • New Battle for the Cup Mode lets you experience the intensity of NHL playoff hockey. Play through injuries, intimidate rivals, and match lines as storylines carry across the entire series.
  • All-new GM mode lets you scout amateurs, put players on the trading block, hire staff, and earn experience points to become a legendary GM.
  • All-New First-Person Fighting feature lets tough guys change the momentum by trading blows with an NHL enforcer. Tug an opponent’s jersey to gain an advantage—before or after the whistle.
  • Capture multiple championships via coveted EA Sports Hockey League Cup which is always up for grabs as new seasons start on a monthly basis online.

NHL 10 is an NHL series video game developed and released by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts. As the 19th game in the series, the NHL 10 is undoubtedly a better game than its predecessor.

Having tweaked the gameplay, and offering first-person fighting, this game is more of an improvement over the previous one. NHL 10 stick controls are simple to understand, hard to master, and ultimately very rewarding.

This game has also added a few new or improved modes, including Battle for the Cup mode where you play a seven-game playoff series. Plus, the game has a Be A Pro mode which requires you to take your own creation through an entry draft.

The only issue that you may have with NHL 10 are just a few bugs and glitches. You might also find it annoying that the sticks go through the boards after the play stops.

Although owners of NHL 09 might not feel the need to buy it, you should still consider purchasing this outstanding hockey simulation. This way, you’ll experience new features and little adjustments that any self-respecting hockey fan should probably choose.

DeveloperEA Canada
PublisherElectronics arts
PlatformsXbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release dateSeptember 15, 2009
ModeSingle-player, multiplayer

#4: NHL 11

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NHL 11 - Xbox 360
  • The all-new Real-Time Physics Engine brings real-world highlight reel moments in-game like never before. From face-offs to body checks, real-world puck and player physics trigger true-to-life reactions.
  • More than 200 Gameplay Enhancements—An all-new faceoff system, quick dekes, the new Hit Stick, and hip checks are just some of the many gameplay improvements that make NHL11 the most authentic hockey video game experience to date.
  • Broken sticks - After snapping your stick on a wicked slapshot or having it broken in two from a hit, the play is never dead. Kick the puck to your teammate or have your teammate pass you his stick if you can’t make it to the bench to get a new one.
  • Be a Pro Enhanced—For the first time ever, begin your career playing for the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup. Get scouted, enter the NHL entry draft, and see if you can become the greatest player of all time.
  • The EA SPORTS Hockey League takes online play to the next level as championship seasons are awarded with banner-raising ceremonies and new user celebrations that allow you to rub it in the faces of your biggest rivals.

NHL 11 is an ice hockey video game developed by EA Canada and published by EA Sports. Released on September 7, 2010, this game features a physics-based game engine; something touted as the biggest change in NHL 11.

Since the game lacks an IIHF license, it doesn’t use official International Ice Hockey Federation jerseys. As an ice hockey simulation, the game strives to follow the rules of the sport as much as possible. For instance, you can score goals from all areas of the ice while mirroring the play of an ice hockey game.

While the default control scheme uses the left analog stick to control player movement, the right stick is used to simulate the movement of the hockey stick. Compared to the past games, making those tough passes in this game needs a bit of strategy.

To whip a pass, you need to hold the pass button for a half-second longer than normal. This means the system demands a bit of calculation to make accurate passes. The best thing about this game is how the realism takes you by surprise, regardless of how much you’ve played. Just when you think you can predict the game, something you’ve never seen before suddenly happens.

DeveloperEA Canada
PublisherEA Sports
PlatformsXbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release dateSeptember 7, 2010
ModeSingle-player, multiplayer

#3: NBA 2K12

NBA 2K12 (Covers May Vary) (Renewed)
  • Celebrates the legendary careers of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson with three different game covers
  • Features 15 legendary NBA players, including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dr. J and more
  • Relive celebrated careers and heated rivalries from NBA history, re-created in meticulous detail
  • Offers the most visually accurate NBA game to date by building off NBA Today's real-time stats, rosters, schedules and ratings
  • Dynamically update every graphic detail of the game from the shoes to player models and court floors

Launched in 2011, NBA 2K12 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts. The first thing you’ll notice with this game is the depth of content.

Alongside the Quick Play mode, the game offers more than four other deep experiences. First up is The Association mode which puts you in complete control of an NBA team.

With this mode, you can build your ideal roster, monitor the news feeds, and still play. Since the game comes with several customization options, you might find yourself completely overwhelmed by what it offers.

Besides the association, the game offers other modes such as Season, Playoffs, and Situation Play; the latter of which allows you to preset the score and time remaining. This game also has a Blacktop mode with a three-point contest.

While NBA 2K12 is an incredible package deal, it has too much content, making the learning curve a bit steep. But if you’ve been playing other NBA 2K titles, you should be able to master the game pretty fast.

DeveloperVisual concepts
Publisher2K Sports
PlatformsXbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2
Release dateOctober 4, 2011
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

#2: NBA 2K14

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NBA 2K14 - Xbox 360
  • Crews - The single-most requested game mode is back! Face off against opposing crews online using your MyPLAYER. Create your logo and face off in 5v5 battles with other crews featuring leaderboards and stats. (PS3 & Xbox 360 only)
  • Dynamic Living Rosters powered by Stats, Inc. - Player attributes and tendencies automatically update daily to reflect true life hot and cold streaks. Now, each game played in the NBA can have an effect on your game
  • King James Soundtrack - Featuring artists and tracks hand-picked by LeBron James, including JAY Z, Eminem, The Black Keys, Daft Punk, and many more
  • MyTEAM - Back and better than ever, with new player modes, multi and single player tournaments, and much more. (PS3 & Xbox 360 only)
  • Pro Stick - Throw down show-stopping moves, pull off intricate shots, and toss flashy no-look passes with deadly accuracy with Pro Stick control. Easily the most intuitive basketball controls ever implemented, Signature Skills - Six new Signature Skills, ensuring each NBA player's unique abilities are represented in the most authentic way possible. New jump shots, dunk and layup packages, dribble moves, free throws, pre-game intros, getbacks, celebrations and more

NBA 2K14 is a 2013 basketball video game developed by Visual Concepts. Being the fifteenth installment in the series, this game allows you to tweak your shots and make defenders tumble miserably on the floor.

While the graphics are largely unchanged, the controls and gameplay are still of a high standard. The presentation is also decent, from the menus to the nice touches. These include team mascots and cheerleaders. Audio and music effects are also of an amazing standard.

Play-wise, NBA 2K14 still provides a decent experience. Although the game loses a bit of its charm, the controls are slick and responsive. That said, this game will make your adrenaline pump during those closely matched games.

Both NBA 2K13 and NBA 2K14 are premium games, but 2K13 offers supplementary content via IAP. If you already own NBA 2K13, then you might not need this one.

DeveloperVirtual concepts
Publisher2k Sports
PlatformXbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows
Release dateOctober 1, 2013
ModeSingle-player, multiplayer

#1: FIFA Soccer 13

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FIFA Soccer 13 - Xbox 360
  • Attacking Intelligence - All-new positioning intelligence wires attacking players with the intelligence to analyze plays, and to position themselves to create new attacking opportunities.
  • FIFA 13 Complete Dribbling - Make every touch matter with the control to be more creative in attack, and the freedom to exploit 1v1 opportunities.
  • FIFA 13 1st Touch Control - A new trapping system eliminates near-perfect control for every player by creating uncertainty around trapping.
  • Player Impact Engine - The second generation of the award-winning physics engine expands physical play from collisions for the ball to off-the-ball battles, giving defenders more tools to win back possession.
  • Tactical Free Kicks - Create dangerous and unpredictable free kicks utilizing the most skillful players on the pitch. Position up to three attacking players over the ball and confuse opponents with dummy runs, more passing options, and more elaborate free kicks.

FIFA Soccer 13 is perhaps the only game that’s relevant to every continent where Xbox 360 console exists. Developed by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts worldwide, this game features some of the best facial discolorations and blemishes.

While some players have thicker calves and longer arms, noticeable heft isn’t commonplace. The game also features new gameplay innovations such as First-Touch Control, Attacking Intelligence, and Complete Dribbling.

With these innovations, you can create a situation where you can anticipate and react to the actions of the ball, as well as the opponent’s moves. The Complete Dribbling enhancement also gives you all the moves and range of motion you need to defend.

Although it takes time to master the game, once you own your skills, you can dribble with ease. In addition to the solid gameplay, this is one of the best games in terms of overall polish, options, and functionality. Hence, it will be tough to beat.

DeveloperEA Canada
PublisherEA Sports
PlatformsXbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii U
Release dateSeptember 25, 2012
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

The 10 Best Xbox 360 Sports Games of All Time: Summary

RankXbox 360 Sports Game
1FIFA Soccer 13
2NBA 2K14
3NBA 2K12
4NHL 11
5NHL 10
6FIFA Soccer 12
7NHL 9
8NBA 2K13
9FIFA Soccer 10
10NBA 2K11

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Last update on 2023-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Absolute Best Xbox 360 Sports Games of All Time FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a sports video game?

A sports video game is a video game that simulates the practice of sports. Most sports have been recreated with a game, including team sports, track and field, extreme sports, and combat sports.

Some games emphasize actually playing the sport (such as FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer, and Madden NFL), while others emphasize strategy and sport management.

Are games still made for Xbox 360?

Even though Microsoft stopped producing the Xbox 360 console some time ago, these games still live on. Companies still sell dozens of Xbox 360 games, including classics like FIFA Soccer, Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: World at War, Red Dead Redemption Game of the Year Edition, and many more.

Can you play cross-platform Xbox 360?

With a system link (if the game supports the feature), you can play with others across Original Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox One S , Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S consoles.

Can you still play Xbox 360 online 2022?

On January 13, 2022, Xbox 360 game servers for Halo games were turned off (sunsetting the service). This means that while these games can still be played, online services such as challenges and file sharing are no longer available.

How many Xbox 360 consoles were sold?

Across its eleven-year lifecycle, the Xbox 360 sold more than 84 million consoles.

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