With today being the launch of EA’s FIFA 15 we thought it was only right to look back through the years at some of the greatest football games. FIFA 15 brings us emotional intelligence, authentic player visuals, man-to-man battles and all of the 20 premier league grounds have been 3D modelled to look like the real thing.
However, things haven’t always been so polished. In 1980 Atari released Pele’s Soccer, this game featured extremely basic graphics and realistic ball control, for its time.
There were then a few releases such as Football Manager 1982 (which we will touch on later), Soccer 1987 (the one with the dancing cheerleaders) and Kick Off 1989. But we had to wait until 1994 until Sensible Software released their hit classic Sensible Football. Every football and gaming fan from the 90’s played this game. Sensible had every player, league, tournament and team in the world totalling over 1,500 teams and 27,000 players. Although the controls were simple (directions and shoot) the game was one of the most addictive games of its era. It even got ranked as “the best game of all time” by Amiga Power.
In the same year, SEGA released Virtua Striker. This was the first 3D football game ever made and raised the bar with its fluid animation and stylish graphics.
Over the next few years we would see an influx of 3D football games, from your usual ‘score more goals than the opposition to win’ games such as Actua Soccer and International Superstar Soccer 64 to This is Football where they introduced a button where the player could dive (moving with the trend I suppose). However in 2002 game developer ‘point of view’ really mixed things up with their release Red Card – the aim of the game was to win (obviously) but how do you win? By smashing into other players legs with Roy Keane style tackles to end the opposition’s career… Nice, eh?
Now these massively popular games have been and gone, we come to the three big boys. The ones that don’t seem like they are going anywhere for the foreseeable future have to be; FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) and Football Manager (formally known as Championship Manager). Pro Evo got away with calling players like Ryan Giggs and Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Ryan Greggs and Von Mestelroum for years purely because the game play was miles better than anything around at the time. They didn’t want to pay for the licence of players and league names. Obviously deciding to dedicate those funds on actual development. FIFA were falling behind, they were concentrating on fancy skills, getting Robbie Williams to sing songs during the menu scene and boasting he plays for Port Vale in the game. This came to a-head in 2005 when PES was the football fans favourite game to play with friends. Since then, PES has decided to start investing in licences thus representing a replica of FIFA’s model. FIFA were then the ones who stood out from the crowd because of the marketing and advertising power EA has.
Championship Manager/Football Manager is different from any game that came before. You didn’t have in game controls to shoot or tackle. Instead you have to manage your players, club, board and fans expectations. This is the game that really got in people’s heads. The one that makes you just as angry when you are losing to just as delighted when you are winning. The one that made you hate players in real life because they turned up late for training in the game. However since online gaming has arisen it has fell behind as the player is not getting the same feeling beating the computer as much as beating a friend or total stranger online.
But, we couldn’t possibly talk about games without bringing up a few mobile classics, my personal top three favourites are as followed: Neon Play’s Flick Football, New Star Games’s New Star Soccer and of course Matmi’s Keepy Uppy game for Irish charity Blue September. Have a play of all three and of course, enjoy FIFA 15.
This article was penned by Matmi’s resident football hooligan Adam Britton (AKA our Digital Lead), check out his article ‘Is Tech Ruining Football or Making it Better?’ here.