So we’re at the season where the big guns release their newest iteration of their titles – keen gamers wait for the latest Pro Evolution Soccer or FIFA to hit the shelves ahead of Football Manager in November.
And for years the debate between Pro Evo (or PES) and FIFA players has rumbled on with gamers split on which title is the best.
But all of the hype recently has made me wonder which football games have impressed me most ……
5. FIFA Street
So maybe not the most obvious choice but it was different – while EA’s 2005 attempt at ditching the standard FIFA format won’t exactly live on with everyone as a success I did appreciate the attempt at ditching the convention.
FIFA Street gave players the chance to control over-muscled versions of their favourite players in a bid to out trick their nearest rivals on a number of street pitches – shocking!
Rather shockingly the series managed to last up until 2012 before being left aside by EA.
4. LMA Manager
This one is a bit of a cheat really because it’s a series but it was my first flurry into football management games – a move from controlling my digital players on the pitch to furiously screaming at the TV as they ignored by instructions.
Unlike it’s managerial brethren LMA Manager was a console-driven game – bringing a love of stats and tactics to the mainstream gaming scene – it basically paved the way to get into harder tactical games (Football Manager I’m looking at you!)
3. Football Manager 2008
Okay so choosing my favourite Football Manager game was a little bit like Sophie’s Choice but I can’t help but cast a nostalgic look on FM08.
The true era of the wonderkid in 2008 saw players such as Ikinfeev (the Russian goalkeeper) and current Aston Villa defender Micah Richards becoming global superstars.
Of course it’s always been the wonderkids to make Football Manager what it is!
2. FIFA 98: Road to World Cup
An absolute classic from the PSOne days FIFA 98 really was the pinnacle of diversity in terms of a football game – especially with the highly missed Five-a-side mode.
A young David Beckham donned the front cover while upon startup the 90s anthem of Song 2 by Blur blared out of your speakers as you decided which of the 172 nations to play as – the only time a FIFA game had included every nation until 2010!
If that wasn’t enough the special World Cup edition included its own editor mode and club teams – you really were spoilt for choice!
1. Pro Evolution Soccer 6
My all-time favourite football game has to go to PES6 – running through teams before unleashing an almighty shot as Brazilian wonderstriker Adriano has to rank as one of the most pleasing gaming feelings I’ve experienced.
Straddling the generations between the Xbox 360/PS3 and PS2 PES6 still had all the editing and option files that found a place in the hearts of so many fans but still offered a next-gen gaming experience.
With the addition of the French Ligue One – a series first – PES still offered the arcade feel of the Master League but included the addition of the 2006 World Cup teams – all in all it was a package any footballing gamer could dream of.
What was your top football game? Leave a comment below.