Golf video games: Top 20 of all time

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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1. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004

The game is loaded with fun, which is why Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 is the greatest golf game of all-time.

And here we are. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 is one of the most beloved golf video games ever, for good reason, and it takes the top spot on our list. The game is perfect. Although the game is a heavily arcade-style one, it’s revered among both arcade and simulation fans of golf video games.

Simply put, the game was loaded. With 19 courses, 15 PGA Tour golfers, plenty of mini-games and the birth of EA’s iconic Game Face feature, the fun was endless. The courses alone added a great deal of fun as it was the perfect blend of real and fantasy. Among the fantasy tracks included were Emerald Dragon, based in Japan, and the beautiful Penguin Falls, an icy, snowy golf wonderland.

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A full-blown 52-week PGA Tour schedule was also included in the game to add to the deep, rich content it had to offer. Although there were no true major championships yet, you could still win one of the four fictional majors (UK Championship based on The Open for example) to still feel the glory of winning a huge tournament.

The mini-games were also packed, with different target-type games you can enjoy to test your accuracy with the sticks. Among other modes included Battle Golf, in which whoever wins a hole can remove a club from the opponent’s bag, making the round difficult for the opposition.

There was even a Long Drive Challenge in which players can duke it out to see who can bomb the ball the farthest off the tee. With John Daly making his first appearance in the game, there was no doubt that he was a favorite player to use along with Tiger Woods himself.

Then we come to the career mode, called “World Tour Mode”, which takes you on a journey around the world to dominate the world’s best courses. On the way, you must defeat several players, both PGA Tour and fantasy golfers, as you build your legacy.

A mode like this was a game changer at the time, as it perfectly represented what it was titled in that you really were on a tour around the world playing for golf supremacy. It’s just one of the many things about this great game that help solidified itself as one of the greats.

When you play Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004, the gameplay amazes you. The modes are so many and the courses take you on an adventure. It’s the one game that allows you to experience everything that you look for in a great golf game.

It had gameplay, customization, visuals, a beautiful blend of courses, a great career mode and the best soundtrack ever assembled in a golf game. It’s a debate that will rage on among the golf-gaming community: which game is the best?

But with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 checking most of, if not all, of the boxes of what makes a great game, it’s hard to currently top. One day, we may see a game overtake the top spot, and with The Golf Club 2 and Everybody’s Golf  (also known as Hot Shots Golf) coming over the summer, golf gaming looks promising. For now, however, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 is the greatest golf video game of all time. Not only that, it’s one of the best sports games ever made.

Next: Top 30 golf courses in the world

So what do you think of the 20 greatest golf games of all time? Which ones are your favorite? Let us know in the comments section as we celebrate nearly 20 years of golf gaming greatness in this century.