Those who are passionate about gaming or about sport will need no introduction to the biggest names in soccer games.
The console game FIFA 19 is a gaming heavyweight, with its rich graphics and its competitive elements making the series appealing to diehard and casual soccer fans alike. Meanwhile, the Football Manager series is by far the most dominant PC soccer game in the world, with the management simulation renowned for its vast databases and its commitment to realism.
Therefore, when most people consider what soccer game to play it is likely that these two names head the list. However, there are a few other soccer-inspired games that can offer an alternative perspective on the world’s favorite sport.
Pro Evolution Soccer
This simulation series from Konami was once a close rival of the FIFA franchise, but in recent years, its lack of licensing has driven more gamers to each new FIFA instalment. PES4 and PES6, released in 2004 and 2006 respectively, were stronger than their FIFA counterparts. PES’ Master League function was also charming, although players began to grow tired with the lack of authenticity. Meanwhile, FIFA’s official logos and kits were soon matched by intuitive gameplay.
The latest PES offering, PES2019, offers more licenses than ever before, including the exclusive rights to the Russian Premier League. While some players and teams lack authenticity, the gameplay is more realistic through individual traits that allow each player to feel uniquely special.
Top Strike Championship
It can sometimes seem like there are only two big categories of virtual soccer games, with games either operating like a simulation-based FIFA clone or an inferior version of Football Manager. However, there is a wide range of slots that adopt soccer as their theme to give a different sporting experience. This is not a huge surprise, given the eclectic inspirations of slots as well as the parallels between slots and sport in hunting for the win.
Casino Wings have identified PlayOJO as one of the leading online casino providers in the first few months of 2019, which is high praise coming from one of the best casino portals in the UK. PlayOJO have soared to the top of the rankings partly because of their wide range of slots, which include a soccer-based offering in Top Strike Championship. The slot uses classic footballing images to add an element of sporting drama. As with soccer, players are rewarded for making smart decisions – by making winning picks, players can progress to the Knockout Stage Bonus to go for the big prize.
Rocket League might have seemed like a bizarre concept at first, combining soccer rules with rocket-powered vehicles to create a spectacle like no other. Yet the game has grown in popularity to become a significant esport, with Rocket League players now standing alongside soccer stars as professional athletes.
Available on all of the leading platforms, the game adopts the key soccer concept of trying to outscore the opposing team. While there may be goals and there is a ball, that is where the resemblances with soccer largely end. Vehicles can soar through the air, or even destroy opponents in a manner akin to a demolition derby. That Rocket League has become so successful is testament to the global appeal of soccer, with its core rules refreshingly simplistic in comparison with other sports.
While FIFA and Football Manager may have a stranglehold on the soccer video game market because of their commitment to realism, those looking for some soccer-inspired escapism have plenty to choose from.