Most Popular Games in the World 2023: Sports have been integral from birth until age. Sports are always entertaining for those who play and those who watch them. From football and basketball to tennis and golf, there’s a sport for every interest and skill level. With the rise of global media, these sports have become increasingly popular, with millions of people tuning in to watch some of the world’s most significant sporting events. This article will explore the ten Most Popular Games in the World 2023 list based on the number of participants, viewership, and overall popularity.
Most Popular Game in the World 2023
Other than entertaining people, sports have proved to build the economic status of a country and generate revenue. According to the survey done by Statia, sports have generated a revenue of around 83.1 billion dollars in the U.S. and are an essential contributor to shaping the economy in the 21st century. There have always been two ways to analyze the ranking of popular sports, one on the basis of people who are fond of playing that game and another based on viewers.
In this article, our ranking for the Most Popular Game in the World 2023 is based on the number of fans who watch that sport worldwide, the number of players playing that sport worldwide, and the sponsorships/endorsements that sports get.
Ranking of Most Popular Games in the World
Here you will find the 10 most popular games in the world that are ranked based on their popularity in decreasing order. We have also provided you with the relevant information about the mentioned sports. This includes how the sport is played, the number of players that can participate in that sport, when it was invented, when it was played first, etc.
#1 Football (Soccer)
Soccer, also known as football, is one of the most popular sports in the world. whether it is Asian countries, Europeans, or any other country. With an estimated 4 billion fans worldwide, football is played in almost every country, and the FIFA World Cup is the most-watched sporting event globally. This sport is played by approximately 270 million people globally, especially in Europe, South and Central America, and Africa. It is a game played by two teams in a rectangular field, where both the teams have to send a ball by passing each other to the opponent’s goalpost.
Soccer is played by more than 270 million people across the globe and has a world record of ~4.5 billion fans as recorded in 2018. It covers around 4% of the world population that follows football with keen interest.
- Fans: ~4.5 billions
- Year of invention: 1863
- Governing Body: (FIFA) Federation Internationale De Football Association
- First Olympics: (1900) men and 1996 (women)
- Famous Players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Pele, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff etc.
Since the British era, cricket has been an entertaining sport for everyone. People are quite familiar with cricket in every nation where the British Raj and the East India Company were in power. It has grown to be a popular sport in ~ 125 UK, Asia, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Africa countries. Cricket has a fan following of about 2.5 billion people and is the second-most-watched sport in the world. It is famous also because it is played by people of any age group majorly as ‘gully cricket’.
- Fans: ~2.5 billion
- Year of Invention: 1611
- Governing body: ICC International Cricket Council
- First Olympics: 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris.
- Famous Players: Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Chris Gayle, MS Dhoni, Don Bradman, David Warner, Shane Warne, Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram Brett Lee etc.
Hockey is played in two forms, field hockey and ice hockey. Ice hockey is popular in the US, Canada, and Europe, specifically North, with 2 billion followers. Field hockey is considered the National Game of India. It is played worldwide by many different countries like Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, India, England, Argentina, Spain, New Zealand, Malaysia etc. ~1.46 billion population play field hockey.
- Fans: ~ 2 billion (average)
- Year of Invention: 1773, First Field Hockey Association was formed in 1876.
- Governing Body: International Ice Hockey Federation, The Federation Internationale de Hockey.
- First Olympics: 1908, London
- Famous Players: Dhyan Chand, Luciana Aymar, Maarjte Paumen, Sohail Abbas, Wayne Gretsky, Mark Messier, Ric Charlesworth etc.
With approximately 1 billion fans following, tennis is ranked in 4th position. It has become popular over the years, resulting in people of all age groups and abilities enjoying this sport to the fullest. Many eye-catching brands like Audemars Piguet, Rolex, and TAG Heuer are those brands that pay tennis stars large sums of money in endorsement and sponsorship deals.
- Fans: 1 billion
- Year of Invention: 1873
- Governing body: International Tennis Federation (ITF)
- First Olympics: 1896, at the Games of the Olympiad in Athens
- Famous Players: Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams, Sania Mirza, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi etc.
Volleyball has ranked itself as the 5th most loved sport with approximately 900 million fans following. This game is famous and receives great attention globally in South American, Western European, Australian, and Asian countries. However, it is less watched on television as compared to other top-rated sports.
- Fans: ~900 million
- Year of Invention: 1895
- Governing body: (FIVB) International Volleyball Federation
- First Olympics: 1964, at Tokyo Games
- Famous Players: Giba, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Karch Kiraly, Sheilla Castro, Lorenzo Bernardi etc.
#6 Table Tennis
Table tennis is a game played by two or four players standing across the table. This game is played with a table tennis racket and a lightweight ball. The popularity of this game is among 850 million people spread over Asia, Europe, Africa, and America. It is an indoor sport and is generally played in schools, social clubs, and sports centers.
- Fans: ~850 million
- Year of Invention: 1890 in England
- Governing body: International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)
- First Olympics: 1988, Seoul games
- Famous Players: Sharath Kamal Achanta, Manika Batra, Jan-Ove Waldner, Mouma Das, Xu Xin, Poulomi Ghatak, Wang Liqin.
Baseball is liked by nearly 500 million people majorly in the US, Japan, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. It is a Club-and-ball sport where nine players are alternately involved in fur and fielding. After hitting the ball, the offense is supposed to move clockwise with a sequence of four. A run is scored if the runner makes a way around bases and back to home plate.
- Fans: Nearly 500 million
- Year of Invention: 1839
- Governing body: USA Baseball
- First Olympics: 1904, Summer Olympics in St. Louis Games.
- Famous Players: Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Ernie Banks, Roy Campanella, Roberto Clemente, Yogi Berra etc.
The eighth most-loved sport in the world is basketball with fans following between 450-500 million. It is followed majorly in the US, Canada, China, and the Phillippines. It is a fast-paced sport, where the players are supposed to pass the ball through a circle of 18 inches attached to the net but only with one condition, no other body part other than the hand will be used to support the ball. If a player is successful in passing the ball through the ring without a pass, the team scores a point.
- Fans: 450-500 million
- Year of invention: 1891, at International Young Men’s Christian Association
- Governing body: (NBA) National Basketball Association
- First Olympics: 1936, in Berlin
- Famous Players: Michael Jordan, Luis Scola, Drazen Petrovic, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain etc.
A club sport that has nearly 450 million followers is the ninth most popular sport in the world. The name Golf is derived from the Dutch word “kolve” or “kolf” which itself means club. It is played with a golf stick and a golf ball by one player one at a time by sticking the ball into a series of holes. This sport is known for its graceful, precise movements, distance, speed, and force knowledge.
- Fans: ~ 450 million
- Year of Invention: 15th century in Scotland
- Governing body: International Golf Federation
- First Olympics: 1900, Golf Tournament, Paris
- Famous Players: Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, John Rahm, Collin Morikawa, etc
In the top 10 list of the most popular sports, rugby is tenth, with around 405 million followers. It is considered a platoon sport that involves close combat. Most popular in nations like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. It closely relates to American rugby. The only difference between the two sports is that in American football the players protect themselves by wearing helmets and padding and the difference in the number of players playing at a time. In rugby, 15 players play the game while only 11 players are allowed to play at a time in American football.
- Fans: ~ 405 million
- Year of Invention: 1823
- Governing body: World Rugby
- First Olympics: 1900, Paris
- Famous Players: Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Michael Jones, Brian O’Driscoll, David Campese, Jonah Lomu etc.
Overview of 10 Most Popular Games in the World
|#6||Table Tennis||~850 million|
Closing statement on most popular sports
Sports have been a great motivation for everyone in the world of any age group. It has left a joyous and wonderful effect on human beings. Other than time and money, people are invested emotionally in sports. When the world was surrounded by violence, sports brought smiles to people’s faces and made them close to each other.
It taught us the importance of physical fitness, discipline, and teamwork. Now that you are aware of the teachings and 10 most popular games in the world, it’s time for you to decide which game you are fond of and think about how you want to be part of that game, as a spectator or as a player. I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular sport in the world?
Soccer/football is considered the most popular sport in the world.
Who invented volleyball?
William G. Morgan 1895 invented the game of volleyball.
Who invented baseball?
US Army Officer Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, New York in 1839.
Who won the first Olympic volleyball?
The opening edition of the volleyball Olympic tournament in 1964, was won by the host nation Japan.