Looking for the top rugby games to play on your PC? Sadly, they seem relatively rare, even though rugby or ruby union is a close-contact sport from England that dates to the 19th century. Unfortunately, it is primarily popular on consoles and played with gaming controllers and a big TV rather than a monitor and a mouse and keyboard. While PC players have a scarce choice in comparison, the sport still has a presence in gaming worth mentioning. That’s precisely what our goal is, to bring you a detailed list of the best rugby games for PC. Let’s begin.
1. Rugby 22
The newest game on this list, Rugby 22 from January 2022, takes the crown as the leading title among top rugby PC games. Also available for PlayStation and Xbox where it dominates, the game unsurprisingly requires a controller for playing. It supports single-player and multiplayer modes, both offline and online, and is only one in a long series of games released every few years. Therefore, it not only has licenses for more than 50 official teams in the United Rugby Championship, and other leagues, as well as national teams. You can play exhibitions or Career Mode where you take your team to victory.
Rugby Challenge 4, although released in 2021, rivals Rugby 22 in terms of gameplay and graphics. It boasts single-player and multiplayer modes and doesn’t require a controller to play, unlike the one above. Although the existence of VMProtect is great against cheating, it requires a constant Internet connection. However, you can play cross-platform with the Rugby Challenge 4 FanHub Account, and enjoy male and female rugby as an extensive player and kit creator. AI (artificial intelligence) is smart and challenging, and you can enjoy All-Star commentary in English and French. Finally, it sports 12 renowned competitions and several game modes.
Many players consider Rugby Champions the leader, especially for low-spec computers. However, we feel the ones above have superior graphics and better gameplay. That doesn’t take anything away from this title which is a rugby match simulation with an intricated ball passing system. Consequently, you’ll see the ball retention, turnover, cut-out, and offloads in realistic detail. Additionally, you can activate match replay and slow-motion mode to see punts, chips, bombs, and grubbers with precision. You can decide the game length (7 to 40 minutes) and 5 game difficulties and can play individual matches or use the 2019 Rugby tournament format.
Rugby League Live 4 is a popular example of rugby games for a PC that value players’ creativity. It comes with built-in animations, stadiums, 300+ NRL (National Rugby League) players, 100+ teams, and all rosters and jerseys up to 2017. However, they also let gamers use FanHub Creation Suite to create players, teams, logos, and stadiums and share them online for others to enjoy. Furthermore, the game features motion-captured animations of well-known moves, bringing realism. Finally, you can play Career Mode to go from a rookie to a big league superstar.
Rugby Challenge 3 is the middle-ground between beautiful graphics and streamlined gameplay. It was developed and published by Tru Blu Games and Wicked Witch, the publishers of Rugby League Live 4 and Challenge 4. Yet, it is cheaper and has lower system requirements—ideal for gamers on a budget. You can try the Be a Pro mode, i.e., a single-player career mode, or download or create a player using the Online Player Creator that even covers tattoos and accessories. Additionally, you may enjoy over 100 teams, over 50 stadiums, and all well-known competitions, for tournaments or quick matches.
Not every rugby player enjoys hard action, at least not all the time. That’s where Blackout Rugby Manager comes in to save the day. It is the most intricate rugby management simulation in our opinion. It contains everything you need to manage a solo rugby team from humble beginnings to stardom. Besides being free to play, it is a multiplayer game so you can compete with others. You control the finances, run over 20 sessions, strengthen the youth, and push professionals. Players get injured, you develop infrastructure and rent facilities, invest in skill trees, and even contract players and sponsors. A treat for all strategy and sports fans.
A thing about rugby many people enjoy is the speed, chaos, and violence. Ridiculous Rugby proves that the sport can be equally if not more fun as an arcade low-quality texture brawl. It’s a single-player and co-op/split-screen game that puts in a 3D rugby match inspired by 8-bit retro graphics. The game focuses on ragdoll physics that make it intense but funny when you jump, kick, tackle, or run with and against other players or AI.
Another example of great manager rugby games is National Rugby Manager, a PC game with a license for national leagues such as Pro D2 and Top 14 and French competitions. It excels at AI (artificial intelligence) design that provides realistic matches even though you’re playing offline. Other than that, you can do the usual. Pick a team and upgrade facilities and training quality (down to individual players), and customize your team, facilities, equipment, and budget. You can play in 2D or 3D, and use 360-degree camera rotation, zoom, and tilt.
Both titles we mentioned had a bigger emphasis on a rugby match on the screen. However, if you prefer to focus on a pure managerial activity without interruptions, Pro Rugby Manager 2015 lets you do so. It received negative reviews for some aspects, but that doesn’t change the fact it supports 54 teams and all renowned championships. You get to control the players, facilities, injury prevention and recovery, financials, sponsorships, contracts with youngsters and professionals, and scout talent, as well as manage your team to minute details.
What do you think about 2D rugby PC games that focus on blood spurting after a tackle or another injury? If you like the idea, Sensible Blood Rugby, a game made to look like the old 1990s classic arcades, will appeal to you. It lets you play with 16 teams and join international competitions alone or with up to 3 more players. Those players need joysticks, so keep that in mind. The game is based on the rugby seven rules, meaning passing backward is the only option. For added violence, you can tackle players even when you don’t have the ball.