When it comes to defining the magical formula behind the best Xbox games, it’s hard to put your finger on what precise combination of factors makes for a standout star. Some of the most popular titles draw on fantastical flights of fancy to tell a compelling story, whilst others are inspired by real-life situations and scenarios.  

Those that fall into the latter category frequently utilise sports as a source of inspiration. There are games that cover everything from soccer through to hockey, golf, basketball, and even wrestling. But which of these take the top spot when it comes to the best games of 2019?

Pro Evolution Soccer 2019

One sport that seems to translate especially well to the world of Xbox is soccer, so it’s no surprise that there have been dozens of different takes on the concept. One of the most satisfying of these is Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, which gives players the option to switch between several different modes besides the standard exhibition match and tournament-winner-takes-all approaches. Incredibly complex with regards to its attention to detail and authenticity, the gameplay is exceptionally strong and the graphics are second to none. If you’re looking for a pick that offers unparalleled realism and a genuinely immersive experience, you can’t go wrong with PES2019.   

NHL 19

Another option for those looking to add to their sporting collection is NHL 19. Offering an array of gameplay modes, including career and GM, it brings the action of the real-life sport right into the heart of your home. The way it’s animated is exceptionally clever, in that it looks and feels as though you’re watching a TV broadcast, and yet you have complete control over what’s happening onscreen. What’s more, you can personalise the game according to your preferences, thanks to the various difficulty settings and gameplay options that are incorporated.

The title has even leveraged the popularity of eSports to launch the NHL Gaming World Championship, with many bookmakers offering odds on the outcome of virtual tournaments. You’ll find the experience only reinforces how realistic this superb simulation is.

NBA 2K19

When it comes to basketball games, the NBA 2K series has long reigned supreme, and this latest incarnation does nothing to buck that trend. Easily the best offering of its kind, it plays insanely well, with intuitive controls that allow you to dive right in and have fun from the get go. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t personalise it according to your preferences, and there are plenty of options for fine tuning included. The perfect pick for those who appreciate realistic simulations, this is one game that will make you forget real life and believe that you’re right there in the middle of the action.   

Tell us, which of these games would you want to try first?