Football, or Soccer as Americans call it, is the most popular sport in the World by a country mile. With an estimated 3 billion fans, almost half the world is in love with the ‘Beautiful Game’ in one way or another.
With these numbers, there are bound to be a ton of soccer video games out there. From arcade-y games like Pixel Cup Soccer to weird soccer and racing hybrids like Rocket League, to the genre’s mainstays like FIFA and eFootball, the best soccer video games offer a variety across the genre. So join us and find out what are the best soccer video games in 2023.
Starting off our list of best soccer video games is an unexpected choice: Football Drama. In this humorous Demigiant title, the worlds of football, real-time strategy, and deck-based card battles collide. You take on the role of Rocco Galliano, an existentially-troubled manager tasked with reviving the struggling club Calchester United.
However, turning the club’s fortunes around won’t be a walk in the park. Similar to classic Telltale games, player choices play a significant role in Football Drama. You’ll engage in conversations with journalists, the club’s owner, criminal organizations, and even your house cat. The decisions you make during these interactions have wide-ranging impacts on your management journey. A disagreement with your employer could lead to your swift termination, while making a deal with the mafia might result in a leaked story and an angry mob of supporters at your doorstep.
Football Drama incorporates turn-based match mechanics and the use of “shout cards” earned through interactions. These elements can sway match results in your favor or against you, adding an intriguing layer to its Football Manager-inspired match engine. The strategic utilization of your team’s stamina and card usage becomes crucial for securing victories.
While the game and commentary can become repetitive over time, Football Drama boasts a vast branching narrative, offering seven unlockable endings. With its unique combination of gameplay elements, witty humor, and literature-inspired plot, Demigiant’s title is definitely worth exploring.
This might not exactly be a traditional soccer game but it’s definitely got a place among the best soccer video games. Rocket League was a cultural phenomenon when it came out, bringing even non-football fans to the table. what could even be cooler than mixing, cars, soccer and acrobatics together, right?!
Psyonix’s popular game offers numerous appealing features. Its mechanics, driven by fluid physics, bring about a sense of joy and result in various incredible and occasionally comically disastrous goals and moments. The intense 3-on-3 matches can swing in either direction based on your session’s quality, your teammates, and often sheer luck regarding the ball’s placement.
The game provides extensive customization options, allowing you to create a vehicle that reflects your unique style. Additionally, there are multiple game modes to explore until you discover your perfect match. From online casual and competitive matches to an offline Season Mode, basketball and hockey-inspired extra modes, and Mutator options, there is a diverse range of gameplay experiences to try, enabling you to mix things up and venture into new territory.
With the inclusion of the Rocket League Season Pass, which offers rewards, the opportunity to climb the world rankings, and XP boosts, this driving-based football title can rival Football Manager in terms of capturing your attention.
Kopanito All-Stars Soccer
If you’ve ever desired a game where superpowered players compete without referees, then Kopanito All-Stars Soccer is the perfect choice for you.
Merixgames’ football title has been available for a while, but its charming cartoonish style and gameplay based on skill ensure that there’s plenty to captivate your interest. With regional tournaments and leagues, multiplayer support for up to five players, and four difficulty levels, you’ll get your money’s worth. Additionally, there’s an option to convert your impressive goals and celebrations into animated GIFs, allowing you to show off to your friends.
However, it’s the game’s superpower abilities that truly make it shine. You can teleport away from opponents, unleash a super-shot that knocks all players, including the goalkeeper, out of the way, and even utilize a magnet to attract the ball alongside you. It may be unconventional, but the rewards are satisfying, especially if you become a master of the game’s control system. After weeks of refining your skills, defeating the game’s most challenging difficulty setting will provide a sense of accomplishment.
Football, Tactics & Glory
At first glance, Football, Tactics & Glory may seem like a replica of FM22, but there’s much more to it than that. Creoteam’s unique twist on the management simulation genre combines XCOM’s chess-like strategy with RPG elements, offering an enjoyable and realistic approach to player improvement and tactical gameplans.
Unlike FM22’s generic regen faces, Football, Tactics & Glory allows you to fully customize your player faces, adding a touch of personality to your stars. The game also supports mods, enabling you to incorporate real-life leagues and tournaments to keep the experience fresh. Additionally, the integration with Twitch allows viewers to interact with streamers, giving fans a significant role in your managerial journey.
If you’re seeking a more affordable alternative to FM22’s intricate mechanics or a football game that offers a realistic experience outside the traditional realm, Football, Tactics & Glory stands as a solid choice on PC.
Score! Hero 2023
Published in 2015, Score Hero continues to maintain its anticipation unlike any other game. This football game offers a unique experience where players control a personalized hero/player within a team. The game holds official associations with renowned leagues such as La Liga, the Junior League, the Eredivisie, and the Bundesliga.
The gameplay mechanics of Score Hero are relatively straightforward. Players start by selecting a player and guiding them throughout their career. There is even the opportunity to switch teams and aim for a spot in the national squad. Triumph in this game is achieved through puzzle-style strategic gameplay, adding an additional layer of challenge and engagement.
Behold the Kickmen
If you can imagine a football game created by someone with little knowledge of the sport, you’ll get a good idea of what Behold the Kickmen is all about. This frenetic soccer simulation takes a humorous approach by reinventing football into something entirely different. Its gameplay mechanics revolve around concepts like ‘more kicking’ and ‘doing goals’, offering a tongue-in-cheek take on football fanaticism.
To keep players engaged, Behold the Kickmen features a silly story mode, adding an extra layer of amusement. Additionally, there’s an option to enable a mode that transforms the game into a dystopian bloodsport, providing a comedic twist when things get too serious. While the lack of multiplayer may be disappointing for some who would enjoy competing against friends, especially in bloodsport mode, Behold the Kickmen remains a cheap and enjoyable indie title, particularly appealing to non-football fans looking to have some lighthearted fun with a soccer game.
If you enjoy the fun of table football, commonly known as Foosball, then you’ll find Totoball, a surprisingly effective PC port, equally enjoyable.
Developed by Artur Rezende, Totoball faithfully replicates the beloved physical game that has entertained people in common rooms and bars worldwide. Just like its real-life counterpart, Totoball features straightforward mechanics, requiring only two keys to play.
While you could certainly venture out and play table football in the real world, Totoball offers a convenient option for those days when you prefer to stay at home. It’s an easy game to pass the time with and enjoy the essence of table football without leaving the comfort of your own house.
Pixel Cup Soccer – Ultimate Edition
Most people don’t imagine the best soccer video games in 2023 to be in pixels, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Pixel Cup Soccer is a modernized homage to classic isometric football games such as Sensible Soccer. It combines the nostalgic charm of those games with modern technology. The game supports local multiplayer, allowing you to enjoy matches with friends, and offers a variety of competitions to delve into at your own pace. Notably, Pixel Cup Soccer even includes support for women’s football, featuring the Women’s World Cup and Pixel Cup, a feature that is rarely seen in football games, including FM.
If Super Arcade Football didn’t quite give you the nostalgic rush you were hoping for, Pixel Cup Soccer might just be the game to push you over the edge. Despite its simplistic appearance, the game offers a career mode and even lets you play in the Qatar World Cup, showcasing that there is more depth to the game than meets the eye.
Super Arcade Football
Super Arcade Football brings back the nostalgia of top-down 2D football games from the past. Inspired by classics like Sensible Soccer and Italia ’90, this retro-style game developed by OutoftheBit will make you feel like dusting off your old consoles for a trip down memory lane.
While Super Arcade Football features a faster pace and improved graphics compared to its predecessors, it retains all the hallmark gameplay mechanics. You can play on different types of pitches, ranging from dry to muddy to icy, and the controls are simple with options to pass, shoot, and move. Additionally, the game supports up to four players, allowing you to invite friends to join the fun.
With amusing match modifiers like bigger goals and bouncy walls, as well as an online mode, Super Arcade Football is a delightful treat for those who grew up playing football games during the SNES and Mega Drive era.
Dream League Soccer
Dream League Soccer 2023 offers an immersive football simulation experience that truly brings the action to life. With its fantastic gameplay, the game sets a new standard for realism with full-3D motion-captured kicks, tackles, celebrations, and goalie saves. It’s worth noting that all previous installments of Dream League Soccer have been removed from the Google Play Store, making Dream League Soccer 2023 the only available option from this developer.
DLS delivers highly realistic animations and operates at an impressive 606 frames per second, making it a must-play football game. Take on the challenge of winning trophies and conquering various competitions, including the All-Stars Cup, Champions League, Global Challenge Cup, and many others.
FIFA’s rival and one of the best soccer video games of all time is Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). The game has undergone various name changes over the years but the feel of the gameplay has been a constant. When discussing FIFA, it’s impossible not to mention its fiercest rival, Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer series. PES 2021 didn’t introduce any upgrades compared to the previous year, as the developers shifted their focus towards building eFootball 2022. Unfortunately, eFootball 2022 fell short of fans’ expectations and quickly became the worst-reviewed title on Steam, with the 2023 version not faring much better.
However, thanks to the modding community, there is still hope. Fans have continued to stick with PES 2021 as a base game while incorporating custom kits and teams through modding. For solo players, the Master League mode stands out as one of the finest single-player experiences in any football game. In Master League, you assume control of a football club and navigate multiple seasons. Managing transfers and implementing tailored training programs for player development becomes vital, especially for clubs with limited budgets.
Football Manager 23
While we’ve been focused on providing alternatives throughout this list, it would be remiss not to include Football Manager, as there may still be football game enthusiasts who haven’t succumbed to its addictive one-more-turn gameplay.
Football Manager is one of those exceptional series that continues to excel with each new release. It stands as the ultimate footballing RPG, allowing you to guide a struggling club like Blackpool or Bolton from obscurity to the premier league in a way that feels remarkably believable.
You immerse yourself in scouting promising talent, devising individual training programs, meticulously managing wages, and delivering motivational speeches to rally your team when they’re trailing 2-0 at halftime. While you don’t have direct control over the on-field action, you’ll find yourself celebrating and issuing commands from the touchline, just like a real coach.
And here at last we have the grand-daddy of all soccer games, EA’s FIFA. While Konami’s PES offered some competition, there is no doubt that FIFA has over the years been the best of soccer video games. That is not to say that the franchise has not had some stinkers in the past, but as it stands FIFA is in a great place.
Few games can replicate the dynamic nature of a real football match quite like FIFA 23, and now that the PC engine has caught up with the latest generation of home consoles, the game also boasts impressive visuals. Whether you’re focused on building your Ultimate Team or forging a successful career in the game’s career mode, FIFA 23 offers a satisfying football experience.
FIFA has really no competition when it comes to soccer games!
While FIFA 23 doesn’t introduce many significant changes apart from the upgraded in-game engine, as highlighted in our FIFA 23 review, it does appear that the developer is already looking ahead to the future with the series set to be rebranded as EA Sports FC. Nevertheless, FIFA remains one of the most comprehensive football experiences available, so if you’re eager to score some powerful shots or unravel the mysteries of the newly implemented features, FIFA 23 is definitely worth a try.
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Totoball is a PC port that faithfully replicates the fun and excitement of table football, also known as Foosball. Developed by Artur Rezende, it captures the essence of the physical game we all know and love. With its simple mechanics and easy-to-use controls, Totoball offers an enjoyable way to pass the time, especially on days when you don’t feel like leaving the house. So, if you’re a fan of Foosball looking for a virtual alternative, Totoball is definitely worth checking out.
Super Arcade Football takes inspiration from classic top-down 2D football games like Sensible Soccer and Italia ’90, providing a nostalgic experience for players. While it retains the simplicity of gameplay mechanics with intuitive controls, it offers a faster pace and improved graphics.