One of the worst things about being a Yellows fan is when football’s off the telly, or there aren’t any live matches. Although we’d never begrudge those hardworking Warrington players like Jack Dunn or Charlie Munro time off for some much needed RnR, for dedicated fans a dip in play can be slow and boring. Maybe that’s a tad overdramatic, but if you’re nodding your head in agreement it could be time to turn to the virtual world for an alternative footie fix.
Football-themed video games are pretty much as old as the gaming industry itself, and you probably have a few nostalgic memories of playing classics like Sensible Soccer and International Superstar Soccer on your NES console back in the day. Today’s football games, however, are a whole other beast and have plenty to offer “grown up” football fans, who take their support duties very seriously.
If you’re looking for something to get you through the times when there’s no footie to watch in person, check out our shortlist of the best modern football games to play below.
FIFA ‘18 (PC, Xbox, Playstation 4)
The FIFA video game franchise from heavy hitters EA Sports is the gaming equivalent of the Premier League. It’s expensive and prestigious, and is quite possible the most popular modern day football game around.
FIFA 20 may be the latest addition in the franchise, but FIFA ’18 is the definitive version to check out. It still ranks highly with fans and critics alike, and has even “been dubbed the best version yet” by entertainment sites and platforms. Top features include the Career mode, which puts you in charge of your favourite team both on and off the pitch, and the Journey mode which allows you to take control of the rise of an aspiring pro player, building him up to Premier League level.
New Star Manager (iOS and Android)
New Star Games
The ever-popular follow up to Simon Read’s Bafta winning New Star Soccer, this mobile app is even more compelling than its predecessor. Now available on both iOS and Android, the premise of the game is simple enough to play, but will keep footie fans entertained for hours.
Instead of controlling the fate of a single player, in Manager you’re placed in charge of a whole squad, so there’ll be plenty of executive decisions to make too. The interface is nice and simple with intuitive controls, so moving players and timing shots can be done with ease on a variety of mobile devices.
Pro Evolution Soccer ‘18 (PlayStation, Xbox, Windows, iOS, Android)
PES is comparable to FIFA in terms of popularity and game quality. Another long-standing franchise – PES ’18 is the 17th installment in the series – it’s a great all round game that pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. PES ‘18 marked a new phase for the franchise with some brand new gameplay, such as Real Touch+ for improved ball control and strategic dribbling, while the introduction of dedicated multiplayer modes (2v2 and 3v3) makes this edition stand out even here in 2020.
Football, Tactics & Glory (PC)
Football, Tactics & Glory is a 21st century game that harkens back to those retro games of the early nineties. Having only recently been granted a full release (it was only available via Steam Early Access for a while), this turn-based game is actually quite refreshing in a vertical packed with mega franchises. It offers the opportunity to apply some strategy to your gameplay, while basic managerial tasks will allow you to build up a skilled team.
Football Manager (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android)
It’s the definitive football management game that has spawned an entire gaming community. Sports Interactive’s Football Manager is certainly not lightweight, but if you’re looking for the ultimate football management experience then this is the only one you need. It’s a massive game, with every major league player in the world available for signing, and you’ll be tasked with dealing with situations that are all too common in the real life footballing world.
If you don’t have the time to dedicate to the complex full version then check out Football Manager Mobile. Make no mistake, hypercasual it isn’t, but the mobile app is significantly simpler than the PC version, and you’ll also be able to maintain a well-rounded life outside of gameplay!