Top 10 Favorite Soccer Video Games of All Time

fifa 13 Top 10 Favorite Soccer Video Games of All Time

Soccer video games are a big part of a lot of people’s lives nowadays and they definitely have been a big part of mine. I have been playing football video games since I was eight years old, so I thought I’d share with you my top 10 favorites of all time. Bear in mind these are purely the top 10 out of the ones I have played.

10. Mario Strikers Charged – Wii, 2007

This game was the sequel to Super Mario Strikers which was on the Nintendo Gamecube, everyone loved the classic Mario games and most people enjoy football so put them together and you get a fantastically fun game like this. This was by no means a true football simulation but was fun to play with your friends or online, offering a wide range of customisation options for your teams whilst fully revamping the graphics from the original. There were also added new arenas, side-kicks and challenges to keep you entertained for hours.

9. International Superstar Soccer Pro 98 (ISS Pro 98) – PS1, 1998

One of the first football games that I owned and when I played it on the PS1, I could not come off it. The ability to play in a single match, exhibition mode or in a full season against the computer or your friends was thrilling at the time. The only reason why it is below FIFA 99 in my list is because the names of the players weren’t authentic and you had to spend an hour editing them if you wanted them to be correct. Definitely one of my favorites of all time. The gameplay was phenomenal for a PS1 game.

8. This Is Football 2003 (UK) or World Tour Soccer 2003 (North America) – PS2, 2003

This is an extremely random entry as this really brought the fun and laughter to football games whilst still having quite solid football gameplay. Although it had Kieron Dyer on the front cover, I always remember this game for its craziness and humour. For instance, there was an option to make the game incorporate farm or clown sounds which made me laugh in my early teens. The craziness and quickness of the gameplay was another thing which made this game stand out. Although it was never going to be a ‘FIFA’ or a ‘Pro Evo’, This is Football was an extremely entertaining alternative.

7. Pro Evolution Soccer 5 (UK) or World Soccer: Winning Eleven 9 (North America) – PS2, 2005

I was a massive fan of the ‘Pro Evo’ series on PS2 and it really rivaled FIFA for me at the time due to its fantastic and ultra-realistic gameplay. It’s a shame the recent Pro Evolution Soccer’s haven’t been up to the same standard. Pro Evolution Soccer 5 was the last one of the series that I really enjoyed. This particular game included 3 licensed leagues which was a first for ‘Pro Evo’ and it introduced online play into the game for the very first time. I spent hours on end playing the Master League on this game, a worthy entrant into my top 10.

6. FIFA 08 – PS3, 2007

The FIFA series has always been my favorite series, whether I have owned a PS1, PS2, PS3 or Xbox 360. But when I first bought my PS3 in 2008, this game blew me away. FIFA 07 had been realized on the Xbox a year earlier but I didn’t own one so I can’t really comment on that game. All I know is the first ‘next generation’ FIFA game I bought was FIFA 08 and I could not stop playing it. The game included ‘Be a Pro’ mode for the first time and 30 licensed leagues. The superior graphics to its predecessor really astounded me and the series only grew from this point onwards.

5. FIFA Street – PS2, 2005

Although the FIFA street series isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and after the first version of the spin-off wasn’t mine either, I believe this game was very entertaining. It combined arcade action with a blend of freestyle football and it really worked unlike its sequels which I thought went a bit over the top. This game wasn’t too unrealistic; in fact it was extremely enjoyable. You started off with limited skill moves and gradually through gaining reputation you could eventually take on the world’s best. It was a great idea by EA at the time and one that worked in this particular version.

4. Championship Manager 01/02 – PC, 2001

Management games aren’t everyone’s forte but they are definitely mine, I love the detail level the games have combined with the strategic aspect of being a football manager. The managerial series’ on PC really run FIFA close for me. The classic Championship Manager 01/02 is definitely one of my favourites. This is a lot of people’s first management games and it really was a cracker. Although it doesn’t have the same detail of which the current Football Manager games have, it was well and truly a game ahead of its time. It had details of over 100,000 players and 26 leagues which was remarkable at the time, it was the pinnacle of management games which could make you waste days on end playing it.

3. FIFA 99 – PS1, 1998

The improvement this version of FIFA had from FIFA 98 was remarkable. Graphically, it improved drastically with the inclusion of basic player faces and different heights for the first time. It also allowed you to create your own tournament for the first time and although the kits weren’t licensed it was certainly a massive step up from EA. It also featured a mode called ‘European Dream League’ which was where the top 20 teams in the world could battle it out against each other. I spent hours on this and ISS Pro 98 when I first got a PS1.

2. Football Manager 2010 – PC, 2010

I have enjoyed all of the recent Football Manager games on PC but the reason this one is on is due to the fact it revolutionized the series with the improved graphics on the 3D pitch engine. There was also the ability to shout touchline instructions for the first time during a game which made the simulation of being a manager very realistic. The ability to add leagues to your database via the upgraded editor also made it a stand-out in the series. The current FM games may be a lot more realistic but this version truly modernised football management games in my opinion.

1. FIFA 13 – Xbox 360, 2012

Well, we’ve made it to the number one. What can you say about the current FIFA? It is truly the best footballing simulation the world has ever seen. Its competitor Pro Evolution Soccer has been blown out the water by the recent FIFAs due to the realism they possess. FIFA 13 captures the unpredictability and drama of real life football the best it is possible to do. There will always be moments on a video game where you think, ‘That would never happen in real life’ but this game gets as close to real life as you can get. The revamped player impact engine and first touch controls give it an even more authentic feel. If you played this game a decade ago then you would have been amazed and it therefore takes it rightful place as my favorite football game of all time.

There you have it, my top 10 favorite football video games of all time is complete. What are your favorites? Do you agree with mine? I’d like to hear, so let me know in the comments section below.

About Tim Simon

Freelance football writer and student from Manchester, England. Long time Premier League fan and expert who loves nothing more than a technically gifted left-footed playmaker. You can follow me on Twitter @TimSimon90 View all posts by Tim Simon →
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20 Responses to Top 10 Favorite Soccer Video Games of All Time

  1. Tony Butterworth says:

    FIFA 13, phhhfffff, it’s junk.

    You’re not old enough but Amiga soccer in the early 90′s was the original classic. I feel like all sports games got unnecessarily complex in the mid 2000′s. Madden 2002 for example was classic, now there are too many options.

    Of course I am getting old.

    • ChrisO says:

      Here, here. FIFA 13 is the best game at FREEZING.

    • martymar says:

      fifa 13 is indeed the best soccer game to date! anyone not already biased will tell you that. in the entertainment world sales are the number one indicator of the quality of a product. theres a reason fifa 13 HAD SUCH PHENOMENAL SALES SUCCESS! its the very best soccer game ever made in every aspect!

  2. Frill Artist says:

    Fair list but FIFA 13 is definitely not number one. Then again this is “favorite video games…” so that is subjective in and out of itself.

    Personally, it’s one of the worst FIFAs for me.

    • kevin says:

      Fifa 13 is one of the worst versions of the FIFA series. I guess free copies will make any site appreciate another EA mistake

      • Sammy says:

        Just out of curiosity, when you all mention FIFA 13, are you all referring to just the Xbox game, or also the iPad version?

        • kevin says:

          PS3 for me.

        • Frill Artist says:

          I’m referring to the Xbox version. Although, I can’t imagine the PS3 version being too far behind.

          Also, I don’t have a Vita but there was an outrage over it being the EXACT SAME thing as last year’s outing (FIFA 12). I think Harry Cee wrote an article on it here too.

      • The Gaffer says:

        Kevin, the author of the article didn’t receive free copies of any of the games.

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

        • kevin says:

          Fair enough and thank you for clarifying. If you do not mind answering, what about other staff at epltalk.com and the authors of the other articles praising FIFA 13?

          The reason I ask is because I have yet to read a negative review on this site about the game but every one I talk to and most other articles I read on other sites, discuss the shortcomings and failures of this game. EPL Talk, does not.

    • ChrisO says:

      Here, here. FIFA 13 is the best game at FREEZING and RESETTING YOUR PS3

  3. Sammy says:

    I didn’t play Football Manager 2010 but I tried the 2012 version and it was wonderful! So realistic and everything. Although I find it strange that even when I was doing horribly with one of my teams (bottom of league and always suffering huge defeats), my job security never even decreased. Not to mention getting the sack. So I really wonder if there was a technical glitch there or anything.

  4. Sammy says:

    Haven’t tried FIFA13 on Xbox or any of the recent FIFA Xbox games but I heard that they’re run, especially the career mode. Would love to play it one day, hopefully if I ever get a new Xbox. The iPad FIFa 13 (which I’m currently playing) just cant be that real.

  5. john marzan says:

    if you only have PS2, then Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is the best. you got jon “in the area” champion commentating and you got UEFA + Copa libertadores.

  6. Huw Roma says:

    I totally agree with ISS 98. I played that game so much I probably lost several years of my life. Along with the first Winning XI they released in the U.S. in 2003 and several PES, those are the best football games of all time. I must admit that FIFA 12 rates very highly too, easily beating any PES since 2010. But for utter realism and drama the early WXI’s were simply untouchable and I’ve been playing football games since 1986.

  7. seat filler says:

    International Soccer for C64

  8. Rob says:

    You can’t beat Pele’s soccer on the Atari!

  9. Christian says:

    Pretty good list there and yes it is subjective but I’m going to disagree with FIFA 13 being the best. It just had too many glitches & quirks (that hopefully they fixed in 14) for it to be the best of all time. Nintendo World Cup was such a breakthrough back in 1990 that even though it’s not up to todays standards of graphics and gameplay, it’s hard not to pick it as the best soccer game of all time. Football Manager 2010 for PC was pretty darn good as well. Overall I like you list though. I just did a top 5 soccer games of all time list on my site if anyone wants to check it out. Hope it’s ok to post a URL in the comment section.

    http://www.gameadrenaline.com/blog/top-5-soccer-video-games-of-all-time/

  10. Christian says:

    Football Manager 2010 is probably the best of the past 10 years. The original Nintendo World Cup was great too. Not sure about some of the FIFA games. Lots of problems on a few of those. Here’s our top soccer game list. It’s got a few of the same picks. http://www.gameadrenaline.com/blog/top-5-soccer-video-games-of-all-time/

  11. Jack Flack says:

    A fair list. Nicely done.

    Its inescapable that FIFA 13 is the best football game that any player can load up and play right now. However the bugs and imperfections, and more pertinently the admission of the producer that they’ve “not hit the limit of the current console generation’s capabilities” make it far from the best of all time.

    That title belongs to ISS 98. That’s when a truly magnificent series of games peaked. A series that transformed football games forever. EA had a behemoth of a games series, but took years – and inspiration from Konami – to nail it.

    That Sensible Soccer and Kick Off haven’t been listed is probably age related. But still, no credible list should have Street on there instead of the real classics.

    International Soccer on the C64, and later Emlyn Hughes soccer, were groundbreaking. The original C64 Football Manager too.

    None of the PES titles competed with ISS until long after ISS was discontinued. Meaning FIFA 2002 reigned until PES 5 came along.

    I’d be just as interested in ‘the worst’ list. Man Utd in Europe, Gary Lineker’s Superstar Soccer, Fifa 2003…

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