The most popular sport worldwide also has the most popular sport video game franchise in the world. FIFA allows you to control and play as all your favorite teams, create your own player to play as, and make the ultimate team (play with current and past players on a fantasy team you make). The FIFA franchise has sold the most copies of any sports video game ever, with over two hundred and fifty million copies. It is one of the many sports video games that is annually released. While some years may feel similar to others there are fan favorites in the franchise like FIFA 10 which many players loved.
The Madden franchise is the most popular sports video game franchise in the United States. Which is named after the hall of fame coach for the Raider's John Madden. It has been coming out annually since 1990, and has sold 130 million copies in total. In Madden you can play as all 32 NFL teams along with a career mode and ultimate team (play with current and past players on a fantasy team you make). Madden is the only football game now, though it used to have rival football games like NFL 2K, NFL Street, and Tecmo Bowl. However, EA sports eventually came to an exclusive deal with the NFL being the only one with the rights to make a football game.
The NBA 2K franchise is the most popular basketball video game franchise in the world. In total they have sold 90 million copies of the game. Unlike Madden, NBA 2K doesn't have an exclusive deal with the NBA and so there are also other basketball games. Their biggest competitor is NBA Live, but they aren't close to actually challenging 2K. 2K is popular as you can play as basketball teams past and present, but also there is a My Team mode (play with current and past players on a fantasy team you make). Along with a career mode in which you can take the player you made and play against other players in the "neighborhood" in 2K.
FIFA is the most popular soccer game and the most popular sports video game in the world. However, because of soccer's worldwide popularity and huge market, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) has carved itself a solid following also. In total PES has sold 107 million copies making it the third most popular video game franchise in the world. PES, while not the top selling game, has been praised for its gameplay feeling more natural than FIFA releases in recent years. It also has multiple game modes like FIFA including Master League (manager mode), online gameplay, and a MyClub (similar to FIFA's ultimate team).
There are quite a few different racing video game franchises out there, but by far the most successful is the Gran Turismo franchise on the Playstation. In total the Gran Turismo franchise has sold 80 million copies since 1997, and is the highest selling franchise under the Playstation brand. The game is realistic and well made, allowing you to race with all different types of vehicles. Most of the vehicles you can play with are licensed reproductions of the real world automobiles. So if you are a big car person or just want to play a racing game for fun, Gran Turismo is the game to get.
MLB the Show is a highly popular baseball video game worldwide, and releases titles annually. For a time the MLB 2K series competed with it, but they stopped producing their series in 2013. Making the Show become the sole baseball simulation game available. The Show has multiple game modes including: Diamond Dynasty, (play with current and past players on a fantasy team you make) Franchise, Road to the Show (create your own player), and March to October. While The Show is only popular in the US like the other American sports, it is still a popular series with baseball fans.
WWE 2K is the most popular wrestling video game in the world having been annually released since 2000. In total the franchise has sold 60 million copies. Originally, the series was called WWE Smackdown and was one of the most popular games on the Playstation. However, the series has started to become less popular over the years even with its core fanbase still buying the game. The game has many modes like My Career, My Player, Universe, and Online matches vs other players. This is similar to many of the other major sports games who have the same type of game modes.
While the NHL isn't the most popular sport or video game franchise it has still been annually released by EA sports since the 1990s. It is the only major hockey game that is released, and still has a solid fanbase. The NHL games are similar to that of Madden and FIFA in that they have the same type of game modes. Having a franchise mode, Hockey Ultimate Team Mode, and the ability to play games against friends as any of the current hockey teams. So, if hockey is your favorite sport or you want to learn more about hockey, NHL is the game to buy.
If you were talking about the most popular sport video games of the early 2000s, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater would be towards the top of the list. In total the series has released 17 games since 1999 and sold 30 million copies. However, the game in recent years has waned in popularity similar to the WWE franchise, and had its last game released in 2018. There are still many people who will play some of the old games, and they are the pinnacle of skateboarding video games available. This game allows you to do crazy tricks and stunts that you could never do in real life.
The last entry on this list happens to be a game that hasn't had a new release in years. Yet because of its popularity in the early 2000s, it has sold the 9th most copies of all time at 25 million. The game first appeared in 1990, and first had Tiger Woods' name on it in 1999. It released annually up until 2013 and then had a flop with Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in 2015. After this the game hasn't had any new releases and EA has moved away from golf games. But the legacy of the game still remains showing that a golf video game could be popular and fun. Now 2K is releasing a new PGA game (PGA Tour 2k21) which could lead to the game coming back into popularity.