Gift Guide: The Best Sports Video Games for the Holidays

Ryan Klocke@@RyanKlockeBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2011

Gift Guide: The Best Sports Video Games for the Holidays

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    If you're a kid—or an adult who likes to act like one—nothing beats unwrapping a new video game for the holidays. After all the sweaters, socks and stocking stuffers, it's a genuine feeling of awesomeness to tear through that bow, tape and paper to uncover something you actually wanted.

    That's the power of video games. For $60 or less, you can give a gift to someone that will provide months of enjoyment. No other gift comes close on the Price-to-Appreciation scale. 

    And to make sure you hit it out of the park, grab a sports game. If somebody likes sports, they'll love them in video game form, too. So here are the 10 best choices for the 2011 holiday season. 

10. Madden NFL 12

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    Compatible Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, Nintendo 3DS

    IGN Rating: 8.0 (Great)

    The Rundown: This is the DEFINITIVE sports video game. Madden Football is to video games what the Beatles are to rock music. It's the most well-known, gotta-have-it game of the year for gamers across the country. If the person in your life doesn't already have this title (and make sure they don't), you can't go wrong with this purchase. 

9. Fight Night Champion

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    Compatible Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

    IGN Rating: 8.0 (Great)

    The Rundown: Boxing, a true classic sport appreciated by grandpa's and grandson's alike. This game gives you the ability to have Muhammad Ali square off against Mike Tyson, all in HD-quality that will make every jab and uppercut look super realistic. One warning to people buying for youngsters: This game is grittier than most on this list and carries a Mature rating. Real life boxing matches can get bloody, and so can this game. 

8. Zumba Fitness 2

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    Compatible Systems: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 (Available in early 2012)

    IGN Rating: N/A

    The Rundown: Zumba workouts have swept up the nation with their energetic beats and moves that help shed the pounds away. So why not have the same experience in your living room? This game will get the whole family off the couch and working toward a healthier new year. 

7. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters

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    Compatible Systems: PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X

    IGN Rating: 8.0 (Great)

    The Rundown: Ignore the name! We can't stress that enough. Regardless of Mr. Woods' affiliation, this title is the best golf video game on the market. It gives you the option to create your own golfer and play for the green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club. It's hard to argue with the awesomeness of that. 

6. UFC Undisputed 3

5 of 10

    Compatible Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

    IGN Rating: None yet, but it looks promising

    The Rundown: You can't get it under the tree, but you should no doubt pre-order this or give a gift card if you're shopping for an MMA fan. The newest edition of the awesome UFC video game franchise, Undisputed 3 (due out in February 2012) is the most complete yet. 

5. F1 2011

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    Compatible Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Windows

    IGN Rating: 8.5 (Great)

    The Rundown: As popular as NASCAR is, it's hard to enjoy it in video game form. Drive straight, turn left. Drive straight, turn left—it can get a tad monotonous. Enter Formula 1. It's the World's most popular form of motor sports, and it's easy to see why: Super fast cars from Ferrari and Mercedes and McLaren. Crazy twisty race courses. Competition at its highest level.

    F1 as a sport has it all, and so does the official video game adaptation. 

4. NCAA Football 2012

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    Compatible Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

    IGN Rating: 8.5 (Great)

    The Rundown: If you've got a crazy college football fan at home, this is the go-to game for him/her. All the excitement of a SEC or Pac-12 showdown is packed into video game form and played out by the gamer in their living room. Tailgating is optional. 

3. Kinect Sports: Season 2

8 of 10

    Compatible Systems: Xbox 360

    IGN Rating: 6.5 (Okay)

    The Rundown: Kinect represents an exciting new era of gaming, where users put down the controllers and use their own body motions to control the games. And there's no better way to use that technology than for sports. With this game, you can play football, baseball and golf, not to mention skiing and other activities, too. Video games don't have to be lazy anymore, and this title proves that.  

2. WWE 12

9 of 10

    Compatible Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

    IGN Rating: 9.0 (Amazing)

    The Rundown: This game hits shelves on Nov. 22, so it will be a hot ticket for the holidays. Oh, and don't go all "wrestling isn't a sport" on us, because we won't let that argument get in the way of an awesome, awesome video game. The experts at IGN have named it an "Editors' Choice," and it would be a choice gift for the WWE fan in your life.  

1. FIFA 12

10 of 10

    Compatible Systems: PlayStation 3, PlayStation2, PlayStation Portable, XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X

    IGN Review: 9.5 (Amazing)

    The Rundown: This game is amazing. AMAZING. Don't think the person you're buying for is a soccer fan? Well, they will be after playing the latest and greatest from this venerable EA Sports franchise. And if the person you're looking for is a soccer fan, we'll you're 100 percent set.