Video game

10 Football Video Games the Streets Won’t Forget – Versus

If you’re anything like us, the vast majority of you are all stuck inside and desperate to kick ball right now. The next best to do during this period of self-isolation is taking yourself into a realm that goes way beyond your Power League prowess – the world of football games.

Down the years, we have spent a hell of a lot of time perfecting our craft on the various titles and iterations of football-themed games. Many of you have will have played Football Manager until your addictiveness rating registered as “need to change underwear”, and many more will have thrown your controller into wall after conceding a last minute winner in game 30 of the FUT Weekend League. The beautiful game, in gaming format, has come pretty close to giving us the highs and lows that the real thing does on a weekly basis.

There have been hundreds of football games over the years – so many, in fact, that narrowing down our selection to a mere 10 titles seems negligible. Arguments on the popular formats still rumble on as regularly as Ronaldo vs Messi Twitter debates, so while this list is set to cause plenty of debate, we also hope it’ll get the nostalgia flowing too.

Here’s our list of the 10 football games the streets will never forget. If you can dust any of these down while you’re in isolation, do it.

Year: 2005
Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube

The O.G. FIFA Street was unlike any football game that had gone before. Equipped with the a fully licensed archive and legendary ballers such as Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry scoring game-breakers against prime Fabian Barthez and Gianlugi Buffon, this game was nothing short of absolutely elite. Soundtracked by D&B and Jungle and a commentator screaming “easy my selecta” while you humiliate the opposition with skill combos with the iconic T90 ball in a 4-on-4 street format, the original FIFA Street was undoubtedly one of the best football games of all time.

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Year: 2013
Platform: PC / Mac, PSP, iOS

Football Manager 2013 was when the now-household series really came into it’s own as an insanely detailed management simulation. Sports Interactive levelled up big time in this iteration, with press conferences made more intense, players seemingly hanging on your every word in the changing room and opposing AI managers more in tune with your own tactics all sending most people’s “Addictiveness Rating” to “Turning you underwear inside out and save on washing”.

Year: 2001
Platform: PC / Mac, Xbox

Cherno Samba. Maxim Tsigalko. Mark Kerr. All names that won’t ring a single bell for a newer generation of football fans, but are absolutely household names for anyone who played Championship Manager 01/02. CM01/02 was arguably the first game of its kind to achieve cult status, turning players into complete insomniacs with its attention to detail and sheer addictiveness. Still rated as the best management game of all-time, it was recently made available to download and play for free.

Year: 1996
Platform: PlayStation, Mega Drive, Super Nintendo

While most FIFA titles of the late 90s trailed in quality next to Konami’s International Superstar Soccer, FIFA 97 retains a place at the top table because it gave us the chance to play six-a-side for the first time. The game’s indoor mode let ballers bounce the ball off the walls – eliminating throw ins and free kicks – making for innovative fast-paced gameplay. This was FIFA Street before FIFA Street.

Year: 2006
Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox 360

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 was one of Komani’s most-loved games ever and will always be remembered most fondly for Adriano’s iconic 99-rated shot power. Despite licensing issues which meant we were stuck with the likes of Merseyside Red (Liverpool) and Lancashire (Blackburn), the game was at the peak of its powers in 2006. From balling out with England’s golden boys like prime Rooney and Gerrard to taking Castolo and Ximelez to Master League glory, PES 6 will never be forgotten by football fans.

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Year: 1992
Platform: Amiga, Xbox 360 (re-release)

End-to-end football viewed from above the pitch, the game is a straight-up 90’s-era classic. ‘Sensible’ changed the whole format of football games when it launched on the Commodore Amiga in 1992 – including a library of contemporary players for the first time ever – and even in the remastered versions in 2008 and into the present decade, the uncomplicated game still stood the test of time. Legendary status.

Year: 2001
Platform: PlayStation, Xbox

This Is Football first dropped PlayStation in 1999 but it made a huge step up with a next-generation debut on PlayStation 2 a couple of years later. At a time when so many football games struggled to make an impression, TiF – with diving, two-footed challenges and prime Rio Ferdinand on the cover – mixed it with FIFA and PES in terms of popularity for a few years. Nothing has tried to take on the big boys this well since.

Year: 2002
Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube

Red Card was a revelation in the football game sphere. As its name suggests, instead of battling it out for domestic league glory, the game’s kicks came from breaking the rules. Charge up your power bar to unleash super slow-mo goal kicks, crunching slide tackles and even full-blown on-pitch punches, with unlockable teams including dolphins, a SWAT team, and eleven samurai. Utter madness.

Year: 2005
Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube

For everyone born in the early 90s, FIFA 06 is one of the most iconic games of all time. Featuring a soundtrack which will forever be etched in the minds of football fans – with indie icons Hard Fi, Bloc Party and The Doves all featuring on a absolutely GOAT soundtrack – 06 also saw Rooney and Ronaldinho bless the cover for the first time ever. The above “Retro Memorable Goals” video on the game will send your nostalgia into overdrive.

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Year: 2004
Platform: PlayStation 2, Xbox

Club Football wasn’t exactly the best football game of all time, but it was definitely one of the most memorable. The premise of the series was that each version of the game focused on a specific club with their official replica stadium, shirt and players. For example, if you bought the ‘Liverpool’ edition of the game you could only play as the Reds…but it would be in more detail than any other video game. It also allowed players to create themselves in-game as players for their dream club, pointing towards the future with FIFA’s Be-a-Pro and Pro Clubs modes that arrived a decade later.


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