With the new year upon us, let’s take a look at the greatest golf video games in history. This list is obviously subjective and if your list differs, or you have a game that should have made the list then comment it down below. Otherwise, sit back and read about the top 15 greatest golf games in history
15: Outlaw Golf Franchise
Outlaw Golf and Outlaw Golf 2 were released in 2002 and 2004 respectively. A part of the greater Outlaw series, which featured other sports, Outlaw Golf brought a unique spin to classic golf games. The courses featured were distinctive and different. Additionally, the Composure Meter brought an element of “frustration” into the game. The more shots missed would decrease the player’s performance.
14: Golf Clash (2017)
The only mobile game to make this list is Golf Clash (2017). It is available on both Android and IOS. The game allows you to challenge other players in realtime in a 1v1 tournament. The gameplay is entertaining and engaging. Overall, this app does a great job of bringing the golfing experience to the mobile platform. However, obviously, the gameplay is extremely unrealistic and repetitive over time.
13: The Golf Club Franchise
Originally released in 2014, The Golf Club franchise now has 3 total titles. These titles include The Golf Club (2014), The Golf Club 2 (2017), The Golf Club 2019. The course creator function is excellent and allows for almost infinite playability. While the first game did not feature a career mode, the latest game has a fully fleshed out PGA Tour Career mode. The game is clearly made by the same creators of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Furthermore, the graphics are excellent. The only reason this game finds itself at number 13 on our list is that it does not transform the genre.
12: Wii Sports (2006)
Released alongside the Wii console by Nintendo, Wii Sports revolutionized gaming. When the Wii came out in 2006 it quickly became one of the top-selling consoles of all time. Much of its success can be attributed to Wii Sports. This game took advantage of the motion-detecting controller and allowed players to actually “swing” in golf. The accuracy of the game is obviously is lacking. Nonetheless, this game definitely cracks the top 15 golf games for its uniqueness and one-of-a-kind controls.
11: Worms Crazy Golf (2011)
Developed by Team17, Worms Crazy Golf is a fun 2D golfing game. Based on the larger worms franchise, Worms Crazy Golf creates a fun light-hearted experience. Real-world golf knowledge or skill will not benefit any player. However, it can be an excellent introduction to golf for younger kids. The game mechanics are interesting and very addicting. I know I’ve spent longer than I should have playing Worms Crazy Golf
10: Real World Golf (2005)
Real World Golf only makes the top 10 because of its unbelievable controller. Released before the Nintendo Wii, Real World Golf utilizes a Gametrak controller. This controller looks like a golf club with gloves attached. Swinging is strange but overall it was a futuristic experience. The gameplay itself isn’t anything special. However, the unique controller and risks that were taken definitely earn itself a spot in the top 10
9: PGA Tour Golf (1990)
This groundbreaking release helped guide the genre to what it is today. The advanced 3D graphics and realistic ball physics were state-of-the-art at the time. Likewise, the unique sound made the experience enjoyable and memorable. PGA Tour Golf (1990) was widely considered the best golf game at its release. While this 30-year-old game has not been immune to the effects of time, it does still hold up surprisingly well.
8: Golden Tee Arcade
The Golden Tee Golf arcade game is an absolute classic. Originally released in 1989, the game continues to have a strong following. The Golden Tee arcade games feature a signature trackball controller. The controls are regarded as easy to start but difficult to master. The game is now a popular choice for arcade tournaments. Surprisingly, the community is still very active and new content is still being released.
7: Golf Story (2017)
Released for the Nintendo Switch, this indie game has a distinctive feel. Unlike the other games on this list, Golf Story has a strong and engaging narrative. While the gameplay is uninspiring, the story and art design make the game worth playing. If you have a Nintendo Switch and are looking for something lighthearted to play then be sure to check this one out.
6: Golf (1984)
The grandfather of all golf games, Nintendo’s Golf (1984) started the modern golf game. Released for the NES, this game was the first golf game to feature a power and accuracy bar. Today these are both staples in the industry. Interestingly, the main character is rumored to be none other than Mario himself, which would mean there are two Mario games on our list.
5: Mario Golf Franchise
The Mario Golf franchise began in 1999 and has featured numerous titles. The latest game in the series is Mario Golf World Tour (2014). The series was the first Mario game to feature 3D graphics. The games feature fun and engaging single-player modes as well as entertaining multi-player. Like other games on this list, it is not necessarily the most realistic but definitely one of the most fun.
4: Sid Meier’s SimGolf (2002)
If you’ve played any Sid Meier’s game then you know exactly what this game is about. Sid Meier’s SimGolf allows the player to be in the shoes of golf course designer. Players can build and design their own unique golf course and then play it. You have to balance limited resources and build the best golf course you can. The unique and fun gameplay brings this game up to the number 4 spot on our list.
3: Links (2003)
Released during the golden age of golf and subsequently golf video games, Links (2003) was an excellent accumulation of the genre’s major features. The game had diverse gameplay. There were varying control options for hitting the ball, a developed career mode, multiplayer options, and compatibility with course designing software. While not on the bleeding edge of innovation, Links was still an excellent game and earns itself a spot in the top 3.
2: Hot Shots Golf (Everybody’s Golf) Franchise
Hot Shots Golf (Everybody’s Golf) is a Japanese made golfing franchise that has existed since 1997. It is one of the most prolific titles in the golf gaming industry and includes over 10 titles. This franchise is not based on realism. Instead, the game is very multiplayer and social based. The lack of realism may be a negative for some people, but it allows the game to be more relaxed. The gameplay and controls are fairly consistent with that of similar titles. It is also the first major golf title to come to virtual reality gaming with Everybody’s Golf VR. If you haven’t played these yet then be sure to check them out.
1: Tiger Woods PGA Tour Franchise
The Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise is actually part of the larger PGA Tour franchise. However, the Tiger Woods ones are widely regarded as the undisputed best-golfing game. Specifically, The Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 is viewed as the greatest one. Earlier titles lacked the perfect swing control and subsequent versions were viewed as too difficult. The game did not directly have any state-of-the-art features. However, it perfected the gameplay experience. Other titles in the franchise worth checking out are Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13.