Best Sports/Racing Games of 2022

For enthusiasts of sports and racing games, 2022 had plenty on offer.

Posted By | On 27th, Dec. 2022

Best Sports/Racing Games of 2022

Given the level of interest, widespread praise, and sales that the biggest sports and racing games tend to generate on a regular basis, it feels weird to call them a niche category of games. Even so, it requires its audience to have very particular tastes- and if you do have those tastes, you’re probably pretty happy about how 2022 went. Arcade racers, hardcore racing sims, addictive management simulators, you name it- 2022 was chock-full off great sports and racing games to play on a pretty consistent basis. Here, we’ll talk about our favourite games from that group, before crowning one of them as the one that captured our attention more than all the others.

NOTE: The nominees and winner were decided by an internal vote held among the entire GamingBolt staff.



redout 2

Fans of antigravity racers have been begging Sony and Nintendo to put out more WipEout and F-Zero games, but at the very least, until they do so (if they ever do), we do have some great alternatives to turn to- like Redout 2. Like its predecessor, it captures the high speed thrills and loops and turns of the genre impeccably, while making everything feel much more polished in the process- not to mention the fact that it looks incredible. There’s also a ton of content for players to feast on here, with the highlight undoubtedly being a meaty campaign. Its steep learning curve might turn some people away, but if you get the hang of it, you’re in for a great time.



Shredders is yet another example of an indie taking up the mantle of an absentee genre giant. EA refuses to make more SSX games, for whatever reasons, but FoamPunch’s Shredders serves as a decent substitute. To be clear, there’s plenty of room for improvement here, but you can’t help but appreciate the single-minded focus with which the game tries to recreate a fun and arcadey snowboarding experience. The tricks, the gorgeous white slopes, the semi-open world structure- it all comes together to make for a very enjoyable experience.


The WRC license is changing developers as it moves to Codemasters in 2023, but this year’s WRC Generations served as a fitting sendoff to the series’ KT Racing era. Under the developer’s stewardship, WRC games had a bit of a rough start, but they made consistent and significant improvements year over year, and WRC Generations keeps that trajectory going. With solid audio and visual, a healthy selection of cars and modes, excellent driving mechanics, and the addition of hybrid cars, WRC Generations delivers an accomplished rally racing simulator and caps off KT Racing’s time with the license wonderfully.


Football Manager 2023

Football Manager is one of very few annual franchises where every new game legitimately feels like a meaningful improvement over its predecessor, so it’s no surprise that this year’s game turned out to be as good as it is (even if the leap from FM 22 to FM 23 is smaller than it has been in quite some time). Long-suffering series fans have been well aware of the series’ knack for sucking players in for literally hundreds of hours of gameplay, and Football Manager 2023 delivers that in spades as well, to no one’s surprise. Micromanaging the operations of a football club and looking through an ocean of granular data may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you fancy yourself a wannabe football manager like so many others do, then this is the game for you. Well, until next year, at least.


F1 Manager 2022

The F1 brand has had a strong presence in gaming for a long time, thanks to Codemasters’ annual racing sim series, but we also got a very different taste of F1 in gaming this year. With F1 Manager 2022, Frontier Developers took the license and turned it into a management simulation sim, a genre that the developer is very familiar with. The results? Solid, in a word. We hadn’t had one of these in a very long time, so for fans of the sport in particular this is an easy game to recommend- because how can you not have fun while managing and expanding your very own F1 team, and anything and everything to do with it? Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long line of games that’ll made steady improvements with time, because the foundation laid down here is a promising one.


Gran Turismo 7

While Gran Turismo was once at the apex of racing sims, the last decade saw it get lapped by Forza Motorsport- the fact that the series’ last mainline numbered entry launched in 2013 (and was never available on the PS4) didn’t exactly help matters. With Gran Turismo 7, it’s safe to say that, at least on the gameplay front, Sony’s beloved series is back on track. The traditional single player GT experience that we’d all been desperate for is present and accounted for here, and it’s meatier and more filled with an exuberant love for automobiles than ever before, while the multiplayer suite, too, offers its own set of strengths. GT7’s monetization and progression issues let it down at launch, but with multiple post-launch fixes and tweaks, the game’s core strengths have been able to blossom much more.

NHL 23

nhl 23

The NHL series is probably on the lowest rung of EA Sports’ ladder of annual sports franchises, and the way it’s been treated in recent years has made no secret of that fact. This year, however, NHL 23 finally brought about a long-overdue upgrade for the series- in some respects, at least. When it comes to its visuals, audio design, and general presentation, NHL 23 represents the peak of the series, and is sure to appeal to fans of the sport. On a gameplay level, though there are, as always, a number of tweaks, things remain largely unchanged- and while that is a legitimate criticism levied at the game by many (and not without merit), there’s also no denying that the core gameplay when you’re on the ice remains as fun as ever.


GRID Legends_05

Codemasters’ GRID franchise has seen its ups and downs over the years, but this year’s GRID Legends felt like a bright spot in more ways than one. Though it’s unlikely to take anyone’s breath away or steal any crowns away from the likes of Forza Horizon, it is still an accomplished racer that holds as much appeal for hardcore enthusiasts as it does for casual racing fans. From a meaty story mode and a wide variety of vehicles to fun and addictive driving mechanics and more, GRID Legends has more than enough on offer to satisfy those who decide to take the plunge.

WWE 2K22

The WWE 2K series was in the absolute worst shape of is life until not too long ago, seeing sharp and consistent declines in quality with each new instalment, which finally culminated in the absolute disaster that was WWE 2K20. Thankfully, the series made the very smart decision to recede into the background, regroup, and come back stronger- and come back stronger it did indeed. WWE 2K22 might still have plenty of rough edges, but at long last, it captures the fun of wrestling games like no other game has managed to do in a very long time. It looks better, it plays better, it has all the pomp and panache you’d expect from a WWE game- and more than anything else, it promises a much brighter future for the series.


need for speed unbound

Long-suffering Need for Speed fans had been starved for a good new instalment in the series for quite some time (though 2019’s Heat was pretty decent, all things considered), while fans of Criterion had also long been hoping for the developer to make its return. This year’s Need for Speed Unbound accomplishes both those things at once, proving that time hasn’t eroded Criterion’s ability to make an excellent racer. With high-speed thrills, fast-paced cop chases, an open world that’s always a blast to drive through, and a solid collection of cars and customization options, Need for Speed Unbound is exactly what this series has been in need of for some time. On top of that, with its very different visual style and aesthetic, it carves out a wholly unique identity for itself as well.



Gran Turismo 7

There’s no denying that Gran Turismo 7 had some noticeable caveats to its success, especially at launch. The fact that we think that, in spite of those very real issues, it still ranks as one of the best games of the year- that should tell you something about GT7’s quality. If what you want from the game is excellent racing simulation, an impressive dedication to realism and authenticity, top notch audio and visual design, and a plethora of content, you’ll find plenty of that in abundance here. Maybe it doesn’t touch the heights of, say, Gran Turismo 3– but viewed on its own terms, Gran Turismo 7 is probably one of the best racing sims we’ve played in many years.

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