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The best bowling games on Xbox

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Fancy knocking down some pins without leaving the comfort of your sofa? In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best bowling games on Xbox. All playable on Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S, the games on this list will allow you to enjoy a game of bowling alone or with friends.

Sadly, bowling games are far and few between. There are only a handful of dedicated bowling games out there, and most are… only okay at best. A few other games have a bowling mode or minigame available, though, so thankfully there are enough options to satiate any desire to bowl.

The best thing about these bowling games on Xbox? They all allow you to wear your own shoes. Or even no shoes at all!

1. Brunswick Pro Bowling

With a name like Brunswick behind it – a leader in the bowling industry – you know Brunswick Pro Bowling is going to be serious business. There’s a career mode to take party in, along with rival challenges where you’ll face off against your biggest competitors.

Whatever mode you play, Brunswick Pro Bowling promises “real ball and pin physics”. You might not be physically throwing a bowling ball down an alley, but the reaction of the ball when it makes contact with the pins is about as realistic as you’re going to get it.

You can make the experience more arcadey if you want, though. Power-Up balls, like the Bomb Ball which gives you an automatic strike, can be used if you want to make the game even more fun.

2. PBA Pro Bowling

Like Brunswick Pro Bowling, PBA Pro Bowling also tries to take itself seriously. Officially licensed by the Professional Bowlers Association, it’s a realistic bowling simulation that sees you compete in tournaments, jump in for one quick game, or practice your skill. It’s beautifully presented: the game’s bowling alleys in particular look realistic. You even have a crowd cheering you on as you play.

PBA Pro Bowling even features real-life pros from the bowling league, and the career mode has dozens of venues to play in and over 100 tournaments. Player animations have been motion-captured for added realism, and there’s even professional commentary over your games. If you like a realistic experience, this is without a doubt one of the best bowling games on Xbox.

3. Party Arcade

Party Arcade isn’t just a bowling game: it features several games in one. There’s air hockey, billiards, ping pong, darts, skill ball and more. But, of course, our favourite of the compilation is undoubtedly puck bowling. Yep, puck bowling. It might not use a ball, but Party Arcade’s puck bowling is one of the best bowling games you can play on Xbox. Why? It’s just so much fun.

Sliding a puck into a set of pins feels rather different than throwing a bowling ball, but it’s just as exhilarating. You still have to consider the puck’s speed and trajectory, though it behaves slightly differently from a standard ball. And that’s what makes it so enjoyable. By playing, you’ll earn tickets which can be used to unlock various cosmetics for the game.

And if you get bored of puck bowling, there’s plenty more to sink your teeth into in Party Arcade.

4. Carnival Games

Like Party Arcade, Carnival Games is made up of multiple minigames, but this time they’re all carnival themed. There are 20 games in total, such as basketball, hockey and target shooting, but it’s Carnival Games’ bowling game that we’re interested in. Honestly, Cosmic Bowling is one of the best bowling games we’ve played on Xbox. Of all the games on this list, it’s the most cartoony, and perhaps the most fun.

The clue’s in the name: Cosmic Bowling means everything is soaked in neon, with bold, bright strobe lighting illuminating the bowling alley. But that cartoony style doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously; Carnival Games’ bowling still requires you to carefully line up your shots, set your power and aim for the strike. Competing against friends is a heck of a lot of fun — and the other 19 games in the collection are purely a bonus!

5. Tekken 7: Ultimate Tekken Bowl

Tekken Bowl Header

Wait a minute: Tekken 7 is one of the best bowling games on Xbox? It sounds absurd, but it’s true: thanks to Tekken 7’s Ultimate Tekken Bowl expansion, this fighting game becomes a bowling game. And it’s a huge amount of fun.

You’ll not find the complexities of some of the more realistic bowling games here, but if seeing Heihachi throw a spare is a particular flex of yours, this is the only place you’re going to get it. You can even have Heihachi-shaped pins if you like, because why not?

You can play by yourself against a computer-controller opponent, or play in local multiplayer. Of course, you need Tekken 7 and the DLC to play, so it’s not the cheapest way to play a game of bowling on Xbox. But if you already have Tekken 7, it’s an excellent option.

6. Crazy Strike Bowling EX

Crazy Strike Bowling EX puts an anime spin on a classic game of bowling, and it’s a whole lot more fun because of it. Don’t expect a great deal of depth and realism, but if you like your bowling games to be a little zany, then this is the one for you. In our Crazy Strike Bowling EX review, we praised the game’s character designs, and their weird and wonderful costumes. We also got a huge kick out of the game’s wealth of power-ups that make the experience as madcap as possible.

In ‘Crazy Exhibition’ mode, you can lay down obstacles in your opponents’ lane, boost your own abilities with power-ups, and make use of each character’s unique special move. There’s a lot of fun to be had here. If you’re looking for a true test of skill, this isn’t it, but if fun is what you’re after, Crazy Strike Bowling EX is one of the best bowling games on Xbox.

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