The recent releases of NBA 2K23 and PGA Tour 2K23 have continued the impressive legacy of the 2K sports franchise. Of course, while the NBA arm of the series is the most famous and the one often met with the highest praise, there are plenty of other great options.
MLB games are dominated by Sony and the NFL is where EA Sports shines but 2K has strong entries throughout history for both baseball and football. There are also tennis, pro wrestling, hockey, and more released from 2K Sports that have impressive ratings on Metacritic. Only one entry per franchise is included here.
10 All-Pro Football 2K8 (2007) - 75
Before 2K Sports officially became the name of the publisher in 2005, the company was putting out some top-notch football games. In fact, up until 2005, they were receiving better ratings than the iconic Madden franchise and threatening to take over the sport.
However, EA Sports gained exclusive rights to NFL games soon after. 2K attempted to combat that with All-Pro Football 2K8, which included a fictional league combined with some legendary players like Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders. Reviews were down from NFL 2K5 but were still pretty solid.
9 PGA Tour 2K23 (2022) - 78
As noted, PGA Tour 2K23 was just released in October and has been met with rave reviews. It is already the highest rated in a franchise that has been running every few years since the early 2000s. As is often the case, Tiger Woods is the cover athlete.
It wasn't just on Metacritic that the game received strong praise either. PGA Tour 2K23 has high scores on GameSpot, GamesRadar+, and several other places. It is also the first in the series to be released on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
8 WWE 2K22 (2021) - 78
The fact that WWE 2K22 is the highest rated entry in the series is extra impressive given what came before it. 2K Sports took over the WWE gaming franchise during the mid-2010s and was well received but WWE 2K20 was a glitch-filled disaster that was widely panned.
The company took a year off and returned with WWE 2K22, which was a marked improvement. The graphics were prettier, the gameplay felt revamped, and it was seen as a step in the right direction. Fans are now eagerly anticipating WWE 2K23 to see if it gets even better.
7 The Bigs 2 (2009) - 80
While the mainline MLB franchise that 2K put out was ultimately bested by Sony's MLB The Show series, they found a way to shine with a spin-off. That was The Bigs, which is a forgotten baseball video game classic of sorts. It was a more fun, less realistic take on the game.
While the first installment was a success, The Bigs 2 was considered a bit better. It featured legendary players like Roberto Clemente and Reggie Jackson, modern stars, and over-the-top arcade-style antics. It was reminiscent of the MLB Slugfest series.
6 College Hoops 2K7 (2006) - 82
Fans have been clamoring for a new video game based on college sports but it hasn't happened in a long time. That's especially true with college basketball, which hasn't been the focal point of a game since the mid-2000s. In fact, after 2K Sports became the company name in 2005, it only released three college basketball games.
The one to score the highest was College Hoops 2K7, which featured JJ Redick, current host of a popular basketball podcast, on the cover. There were more than 300 teams to choose from, several notable coaches in the game, and some solid gameplay for everyone to enjoy.
5 MLB Power Pros (2007) - 83
Once again, this is a case of 2K putting out a baseball video game that wasn't a straight simulation of what is seen by watching the sport. This was published by 2K Sports but was developed by Power Pros Production and was part of a series that was exclusive to Japan to this point.
MLB Power Pros helped the franchise branch out and was considered a hit. From the uniquely designed characters to the easy pick-up-and-play gameplay mechanics, this was the perfect case of a game that was simply fun in the best way.
4 NHL 2K6 (2005) - 83
Similar to their run with the pro baseball and football franchises, 2K Sports didn't release all that many hockey games, last releasing one in 2014. Also like a lot of their releases, their best hockey game was one of their earliest.
NHL 2K6 was the first hockey simulation to be made for the Xbox 360 and was mostly well-received. The crease control system was a new gameplay element that critics appreciated and the $20 pricetag certainly didn't hurt either.
3 Top Spin 4 (2011) - 84
One spot that doesn't have enough video games based on it is tennis. The small setup of the game makes it ideal to be played by those at home and most of the entries in the Top Spin series were well received but it disappointingly ended in 2011.
It's even more upsetting that it was the end considering Top Spin 4 had the best reviews of the franchise. It included big names in the sport like Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal and though the 3D aspect was lackluster, the approachable gameplay was a success.
2 WWE Supercard (2014) - 85
It doesn't get talked about much but 2K's most successful venture into the world of wrestling is their Supercard game. In fact, Supercard is one of the best WWE games ever made according to the ratings on Metacritic.
The mobile game allows players to collect cards featuring the men and women of WWE and play them against friends or the computer. It's highly addictive and continues to be updated to this day with new cards and game modes to try, keeping things fresh even nearly a decade later.
1 MLB 2K5 World Series Edition (2005) - 88
Major League Baseball 2K5 received strong reviews, but the expansion World Series Edition, released during the postseason, scored a bit higher on Metacritic. It added just a little bit to an already successful game.
The GM mode was a nice touch that was gaining popularity during the era and the gameplay was a seemingly perfect blend of simulation and arcade styles. It allowed players to recreate the real sport and have a blast. Alas, 2K wasn't able to compete with the MLB The Show baseball games over time.