Best Golf Games Of All Time, Ranked – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Best Golf Games Of All Time, Ranked

The origins of golf can be traced back to Scotland during the 1400s. Since then, the sport of hitting balls into a series of holes using clubs has gained immense popularity worldwide. While video game golf may not be as popular as it was in the ’90s and 2000s, there have still been a few standout titles released sporadically in recent years.

Today’s featured video is the new story trailer for Shin Megami Tensei 5, which explores the factions and gameplay of the post-apocalyptic Tokyo setting. In the world of golf video games, some titles are known for their realistic experience, while others offer a more whimsical and fun approach. The name that comes to mind when thinking of golf is Tiger Woods, who has headlined many of the top golf video games. Surprisingly, another notable name in golfing video games is the platforming hero Mario.

As of June 28th, 2023, golf has been a prominent part of the sports genre in gaming for decades. It has offered a versatile experience, with both ultra-realistic and ultra-ridiculous games. Different control styles, such as 3-Click swing, analog stick swing, and motion controls, have all added their own unique benefits to the gameplay.

Let’s take a look at some of the best golf games that have stood out over the years. Starting with “Let’s Golf! 2,” this mobile-only title was released in 2010 and impressed players with its stunning visuals. It received high praise from critics, earning a Metascore of 91.

Next, we have “Mario Golf” on the Nintendo 64, released in 1999. Despite initial doubts about a Mario-themed golf game, it quickly won over players with its engaging gameplay. While the visuals may have aged, it remains a favorite for many players.

“Hot Shots Golf 3,” also known as “Everybody’s Golf 3,” offered an arcade alternative to the simulation-style golf games of its time. Released in 2001 in Japan and the following year in North America, it continues to be a fun game to play with friends.

For a unique and comedic golf experience, “What The Golf?” is a must-play. It deviates from the traditional golf game by offering surprising twists and hilarious physics. Players can even create their own levels with the game’s level editor.

“PBS Tour 2K21” stands out with its blend of realism and accessibility. Developed by HB Studios and published by 2K Sports, it features fictional and iconic real courses, providing a wide range of options for players.

The “Links” franchise, known for its PC exclusivity, had many excellent games. However, “Links 2003” was the standout title, offering realistic physics and extensive golfer customization.

In the iconic “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” series, “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10” on the Nintendo Wii takes the spotlight. It made excellent use of the Wii’s motion controls, providing an immersive golfing experience.


Another notable entry in the series is “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004,” which struck a perfect balance between fun and realism. Even today, it remains an enjoyable game to play.

Finally, “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005” improved upon its predecessor with features like My Legend Pursuit, where players can compete against legendary golfers and unlock prestigious courses.

These are just a few of the great golf games that have left their mark on the gaming industry. Whether you prefer a realistic or whimsical experience, there is a golf game out there for everyone to enjoy.

The roots of golf can be traced back to Scotland sometime in the 1400s. The goal of hitting balls into a series of holes using clubs has become an explosively popular sport worldwide since then. Video game golf is less popular today than it was in the ’90s and 2000s, but there have still been a handful of standout titles released sporadically over the years in recent times.

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Many of the following games are considered the best because they offer the most realistic experience. However, some golf games are more whimsical and are played purely for fun. Synonymous with golf, Tiger Woods has headlined many of the top golf video games, while the other most notable name in golfing video games is, bizarrely, the platforming hero Mario. Let’s see which games landed on the green and which sank in the bunker.

Updated on June 28th, 2023, by Jack Pursey: Golf has been a cornerstone of gaming’s sports genre for decades. This is largely due to the versatility of the sport in the gaming industry, as there have been many fantastic games that are ultra-realistic and just as many that are ultra-ridiculous. There have also been a variety of control styles that have worked well, with 3-Click swing, analog stick swing, and motion controls all offering their own benefits. To highlight some more of the best golf gamesthis list has been updated to include a few more entries.

10 Let’s Golf! 2

Lets Golf 2 menu image

Let’s Golf! 2 differentiates itself from the other entries on this list by being a mobile-only title. The game was released in 2010 and turned heads with its visuals, which were among the best available on mobile devices at the time.

The visuals were so impressive, in fact, that the game was featured in advertisements for the iPhone 4 to show off the smartphone’s capabilities. Let’s Golf! 2 was a huge hit with critics, exemplified by its whopping 91 Metascore.

9 Mario Golf (N64)

Mario teeing off in Mario Golf (N64)

mario golf on the Nintendo 64 was released in 1999 and was the first entry in the mario golf series. Nintendo’s mascot character is well known for his sporting ventures today, though Mario gathering his friends and enemies for some friendly competition was still a relatively new concept in the late ’90s, so many people were doubtful that a Mario golf game would be a success.

Fan concerns were soon alleviated, however, when they finally got their hands on the game. It’s hard to deny that mario golf‘s visuals have aged poorly, though the gameplay has held up tremendously well, to the point where it’s still the go-to golf game for many players.

8 Hot Shots Golf 3

Character taking shot in Hot Shots Golf 3

Hot Shots Golf 3 (also known as Everybody’s Golf 3) was developed by Clap Hanz and was first released in 2001 in Japan before arriving in North America the following year. The game offered an arcade alternative to the simulation-style Tiger Woods PGA Tour series, which was thriving in the early 2000s.

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Like mario golf on the N64, players shouldn’t let Hot Shots Golf 3‘s released date put them off trying the game today, as it’s still great fun to play with friends.

7 What The Golf?

What The Golf?

For golf enthusiasts and people who just care for the sport alike, What The Golf? is a must-play! It’s not a typical golf game, as What The Golf? will surprise players at every hole. The ridiculous physics in the game provides a hilarious experience; expect to hit plenty of objects that are not golf balls.

For the record, this is not for players looking for the usual golfing experience. It follows the premise that “everything is golf” and aims to offer a silly, comedic experience. Players can also build levels with the game’s level editor, adding a great layer of content to the PC, Switch, and Apple Arcade game.

6 PGA Tour 2K21

pga tour 2k21

Finally, there is a recent golf game that lived up to its expectations. As the name suggests, PGA Tour 2K21 was published by 2K Sports. Development was handled by HB Studios, a Canadian company that has worked on games for numerous different sports over the years, including Cricket, Rugby, and Football.

PGA Tour 2K21 features many fantastic fictional courses, as well as some iconic real courses, such as East Lake Golf Club and Riviera Country Club. PGA Tour 2K21 stands out with its great mix of realism and accessibility, with plenty of options for players to toggle to suit their needs and preferences.


Avid golf gamers likely remember the Links franchise. The golf series was predominantly a PC exclusive, excluding the final game in the franchise, Links 2004which was exclusively released on the original Xbox. There were many excellent Links games, but the franchise’s best was the PC-exclusive Links 2003.

The game was developed by Microsoft and offered some of the most realistic available at the time, with the game’s physics being a particular standout. The level of golfer customization seen in Link 2003 was also a highlight.

4 Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (Wii Version)

Sunset Golf

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is the first, but certainly not the last game on this list from the iconic Tiger Woods PGA Tour series. The game was released on all major consoles at the time, but it’s the Nintendo Wii version specifically that makes this list.

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Following the ridiculous amount of fun that players had with the revolutionary golf game in Wii Sportpeople were desperate to play more golf with the Wii’s motion controls. Of all the many golf games that were released on the Nintendo Wii, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 was the best. The game made excellent use of the Wii MotionPlus, which helped elevate the game above anything else on the console.

Toadstool Tour Cover

Released for the Nintendo GameCube, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour is widely considered to be the best mario golf game. Mario Golf: World Tour could be viewed as superior because of the downloadable content that adds additional courses and characters, and Mario 64 has tremendous nostalgia value; however, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour has a superior range of motion for golfers and a more intuitive feel that gives it a decisive edge.

Furthermore, the game features some incredible courses that are a joy to look at and make the game a delight to play even today.

2 Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004

A character preparing a shot in PGA Tour 2004

The PGA Tour gaming franchise began in 1990, but the world’s most famous golfer didn’t have his name inserted into the title until Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour Golf. Shortly after this, the franchise had an incredible run of games, with every yearly entry from Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002 to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 impressing fans and critics.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 nailed a fantastic balance of fun and realism, which is what the majority of golf video games desperately try to achieve. Despite the game’s age, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 is still great fun to play today, which is a testament to how well the game was developed.

1 Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005

Tiger Woods

One of EA Sports’ crowning achievements is that they – albeit only narrowly – managed to improve upon one of the greatest sports games of all time, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004with the very next game in the series.

The game’s standout feature was My Legend Pursuit, which let players compete against various legendary golfers on some of the world’s best courses, with the tantalizing reward of unlocking them on offer. For having one of the most robust golfer lineups and for being feature-rich, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 wins the green jacket.

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