Ball games

A Global Phenomenon

Ball games have been a part of our culture for generations. Whether it's football, soccer, baseball or basketball, they have always been there to occupy and entertain us. Today, ball games are the most popular spectator games on the planet. Major games of the biggest ball sports draw millions of viewers around the world and are big business for the teams, broadcast networks and advertisers.

All for the Ball

The ball itself is one of humanity’s most successful inventions. Although there are plenty of spheres in nature—soccer was originally played with animal skulls or pig’s bladders—designers have refined the balls we use for our sports, honing their production to a very high standard. Modern balls are consistent in their shape, travel and bounce, and give the player satisfying feedback with every touch.

The ball has come to symbolize the idea of play across the world, instantly understood by people of all cultures. Give any group of kids a ball, anywhere in the world and chances are they’ll quickly start playing some sort of game, whether they know the rules or not.

For so simple a design, the ball is the focus of huge areas of human culture. The possibilities for ball games are endless, so it’s no wonder that we have so many sports in the world, nor that the vast majority of them are ball games, each with their own complex rules and rich traditions.

What all ball games have in common is the way they focus all the players’ skill and luck—and all the fans’ hopes and dreams—on that one small object at the heart of the game: the ball. For fans watching a close game, a ball in motion can become the center of their universe for the long seconds it takes to finish flying through the air.

Ball Sports and Ball Games

Naturally, ball games were some of the first sources of inspiration that game developers turned to in creating the first video games.

In fact, the very first video game was a ball game. Tennis For Two—arguably the world’s first video game—was a ball game created as far back as 1958! It was a highly playable tennis simulator that used an oscilloscope for a display and an early, analog computer that could calculate ballistics. It was a very rudimentary video game by today’s standards, but it proved remarkably popular among those who got to play it.

Almost 20 years later, Pong kick-started gaming culture with its addictive reimagining of ping-pong. Although it was the first arcade ball game to meet with real success, it wasn’t the first simulation of ping pong that had found its way onto a gaming machine. In fact, Pong was based on an earlier table tennis simulator that had been available on the world’s first home games console.

Pong probably owes much of its success to the nature of ping pong as a sport. Like table tennis, the Pong controls were simple and could be operated with one hand. The game was also highly sociable. You needed two players as you do for real table tennis. This meant that people in the bars with early pong machines met new friends—sometimes even future husbands or wives—over games of pong. And they didn’t need to put down their drinks to do it!

The built-in features of ball games—competition, familiar rules, social play and relative simplicity—make them an easy and always-popular choice for game developers to adapt. As a result, ball games of some description are still released every day.

Like their real-life ball game counterparts, ball-based video games are easy to pick up, surprisingly tough to master and are never short of fans.

Not Just Sports

Of course, not every ball game is based on a real-world sport. Many, perhaps most, these days play more like platform games or puzzles than sports simulators. Such games may be completely abstract, or portray versions of a sport that wouldn’t be feasible on Earth. Others may take a real-world sport as a base but give it imaginative or surreal twists to create a game that plays something like a sport you know, but looks totally different.

The physics of a ball make it the perfect central focus for any video game. Its movement gives a player an intuitive grasp of any virtual world without the need for wordy tutorials. As soon as you see the ball bounce for the first time, you get it.

Ball Games on GamePix

Ball games lend themselves particularly well to the kind of quick-fire gaming experiences we provide here on GamePix.

As well as the very best snooker, pool, soccer and tennis games that everybody loves, we have a wide selection of games of chance, platformers, puzzler games with tricky mazes and much more. There really is a ball game here to cater to every taste. Like all our games, our free online ball games work straight from your browser, so there’s nothing to install, update or pay, no matter how many games you want to try your hand at.

And because they’re browser games, you can play them on whatever device you have with you—if it can display a web page, it can play one of our ball games. You can play anywhere, anytime and you’ll never run out of options for fun.

So what are you waiting for? Choose a game and dive right in!


What are examples of ball games?

Some examples of ball games are baseball, cricket, golf, pool, badminton, football and dodgeball. There are free browser games based on every type of ball game here on GamePix, so give one a go.

What are fun games to play with a ball?

Any ball game can be a lot of fun! Whether it’s a physical ball sport like basketball, or a browser ball game like the ones we have here on GamePix, ball games have entertained people for hundreds of years, and can entertain you forever.

What are the most popular ball?

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