The Three Best Rugby Union Video Games


While many other sports are the basis for numerous successful video games, there is a real lack of rugby-themed video games out there.

In fact, there are currently only sixteen video games based on rugby union, and few of them have been received well.

Take International Rugby Challenge as an example. The 1993 game for Mega Drive and Commodore Amiga made history among the gaming community when the UK magazine Amiga Power gave the game a dismal score of just 2%; noting that it had many flaws, including spelling mistakes, players running over the ball instead of picking it up, and the clock not stopping when the game is paused.

Thankfully, a few rugby union video games are fun to play. Here is our selection of the three best.

Rugby Challenge 3

It is not only rugby video games that are scarce. There are very few rugby slot games available too. However, you can still play online casino games with various sporting themes, such as tennis, football, and basketball slots. Out of the few rugby union video games that are available, Rugby Challenge 3 is one of the best. The third game in the Rugby Challenge series from game developers Wicked Witch Software was originally launched on Xbox and PlayStation in 2016 and later released for Microsoft Windows in the same year. It is notable for being the first game in the franchise to include a seven-a-side version of rugby union. It is also the first game in the series to have a license for including SANZAR teams. Rugby Challenge 3 contains several new features and game modes in comparison to its predecessors, including updated graphics for the next-generation consoles, a Pro Mode in which you can join as a rookie and work your way up over thirteen seasons, and a FanHub in which you can create, edit, and share players. Furthermore, the game features commentary from Justin Marshall and Grant Nisbett.

World Championship Rugby

The World Championship Rugby video game was developed after the Rugby World Cup of 2003. It was released in 2004 for PlayStation, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, and Mobile. In addition to featuring every team and game from the World Cup, World Championship Rugby also includes several other rugby tournaments, including the Six Nations and Tri-Nations. It is stuffed-full with great features, such as the “beat the all-stars” feature, a rather enticing survival game, and audio commentary from Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison. World Championship Rugby is a fast-paced game that manages to capture the thrills of a real-life rugby union game.

Jonah Lomu Rugby

There is only one rugby union video game that is just as good as the very best football video games. If you have yet to play Jonah Lomu Rugby, you do not know what you are missing. Released in 1997 for DOS, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation, Jonah Lomu Rugby puts you in control of the real-life national rugby union teams that competed in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. That includes the sixteen finalists as well as the other sixteen teams that participated in the qualifying rounds. When the game was released, a review in Sega Saturn Magazine stated it was “one of the most innovative and easy-to-use gameplay systems ever utilised in a sports game”. With the game’s realistic depiction of weather conditions, four-player support, audio commentary, on-screen menus, logical control system, and realistic graphics, it is easy to see why it was praised so much. In 2015, The Telegraph named Jonah Lomu Rugby as the greatest video game the sport of rugby has ever seen. Likewise, the Irish Independent simply stated it is “the best rugby game ever made”. We agree.

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