Top 5 Football (Soccer) Games You’ve Probably Never Played But Should

Christian Cawley 25-07-2014

By the time you read this, the World Cup in Brazil has happened. You’ll have a few weeks of emptiness before the football season in Europe and America gets underway – but what can you do until then?


If you feel as though you’ve played the latest, high-profile titles to death, there are alternatives for the armchair pro tired of FIFA, PES, Football Manager, and the rest.

We’ve compiled a list of superb football (soccer) games for Windows that you’ve probably never played but definitely should.

Awesome Soccer World

In my opinion the greatest football game ever was Kick Off 2 on the Commodore Amiga, released back in 1990. It is difficult to express just how great the game was, a development of the already brilliant Kick Off that somehow brought the tension and spirit of football to life through a joystick in a way no other game has managed since (although there have been some that came close).

Sadly, Kick Off 2 was the pinnacle of its development team’s ambitions in the soccer/football arena. Few games have come close to matching its brilliant although indie title Awesome Soccer and its follow-up Awesome Soccer World came close in 2010, getting a very favourable review from me while writing for a different website.

You can still purchase Awesome Soccer World for just $7.99 (£4.80) from


Stickman Soccer

You can see what all the fuss is about in this video.

Described as “pure soccer fun”, Stickman Soccer offers basic player graphics and intense arcade football without resorting to the nonsensical combo moves found in FIFA and PES.

With smooth animation, simple controls and action replay tools, Stickman Soccer also features a wealth of options, with the latest update including the World Cup and other competitions, new teams, a pro mode, a choice of 11 vs 11 or 4 vs 4 games, support for MOGA controllers and much more. On a personal note, Stickman Soccer has been my arcade football game of choice for the past few months.

The latest version is Stickman Soccer 2014, available now in Google Play and iTunes.


Championship Manager 2010

Back in 2010, the developers of Championship Manager released a pay-what-you-want version, requiring interested players to pay at least 1p plus a £2.50 ($5.50) processing fee.

The game’s good name was built on the back of the development team who went on to greater things under Sega’s Football Manager franchise in 2005, leading Eidos to replace Sports Interactive with BGS.

Early attempts by BGS to deal with the competition were poor, but Championship Manager 2010 – and the mobile games based on it for iOS and Android – are really good management sim options.

If Football Manager 2014 Football Manager 2014: A Worthy Addition To The Long-Running Series Football Manager 2014 is out now – but what does this latest addition to the long-running soccer management simulation and statistics game bring to the table? Is silverware within reach if you upgrade? Read More doesn’t get your tactical bones twitching, Championship Manager is now available for just £4.99 (no longer pay-what-you-want) from the Square Enix website. The latest version, Championship Manager 2014, is free on Android and iOS [No Longer Available].



If you’re looking for something a bit more in-depth and bemoaning the lack of online MMO management sims, this browser-based game is one of many online football management titles (although there are others) with a busy online community of real life opponents signed up, ready to block your attempts to guide a team to victory!

This free online game offers a detailed 3D match engine and a raft of team and tactical management features, which you can see below.

Head to to get started – hockey fans are also catered for!

Sensible Soccer 2006

The (to-date) final incarnation of the Sensible Soccer series was released on Windows, Xbox and PS2 back in 2006 and took the famous top-down view of the original run of games and replaced it with a FIFA-esque 3D approach.


Although derided by hardcore fans of the earlier games, this is one heck of a good arcade football game, one that you can still add to your basket on for just $9.99 (£6). If you missed it the first time around – and a lot of people did, despite great reviews – it is certainly worth tracking it down and installing if you want a fast, multiplayer arcade soccer game.

Forget The Big Hitters, Stick With The Lower Leagues!

FIFA, PES and Football Manager might well be the big names in the world of arcade soccer and management games, but they’re not for everyone. The games listed above have all been released in the past 10 years and offer good alternatives.

There are others, of course, from choosing retro titles on old platforms to getting to grips with Sensible World of Soccer, which was cruelly pulled from Xbox Live Arcade back in 2007.

What we want to know, of course, is which football games you enjoy playing. Do FIFA and PES cut it for you? Is Football Manager trying too hard these days? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. John Goal
    November 14, 2018 at 9:21 pm
  2. Dimitris Norton 86
    July 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Nice article for all the footy fans :) Although I disagree with the author's number 1 option (in my opinion Sensible World Of Soccer 96-97 is the best soccer game ever made) all the games are quite good, I tried all of them. Especially Stickman Soccer is so very addictive!
    But there are so many other SOCCER GREATS that gamers/soccer fans could play in their free time. I am mentioning only some that are coming to my mind right now : World Cup USA '94 (Snes, Megadrive, VERY UNDERRATED footy unfortunately), Premier Soccer (Mame, THE BEST "INSERT COIN" FOOTY, LOST GEM), World Cup Soccer (Megadrive), Fever Pitch Soccer/Head On Soccer (Megadrive, Jaguar, Snes), Grand Striker (Mame), Total Soccer 2000/Steven Gerrard's Total Soccer (Gba, Gbc), Dino Dini's Soccer (Megadrive, Snes-especially played horizontally in Snes-), Emlyn Hughes International Soccer (Amiga), International Superstar Soccer (Megadrive, Snes, the predecesor of PES), World League Soccer (Snes), Super Soccer (Snes), The F.A. Premier League Stars 2001 (Gbc), Ultimate Soccer (Sega Master System, Megadrive, Game Gear), Worldwide Soccer (Sega Saturn, Dreamcast), Super Sidekicks (Neo Geo, all series except the first one), Lothar Matthaus Super Soccer (Snes), Microprose Soccer (Amiga),
    Kick Off 3 (Megadrive, Snes, different than the classic Kick Off series but still great)...
    You can play them in emulators or online in many retro gaming sites.
    Try them and you won't regret it !! ;)

    • Christian Cawley
      July 19, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks for your suggestions, Dimitris!

  3. Gazdaman
    January 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    You should look up Active Soccer. It's the closest thing to Kick Off / Sensi in years that is actually good
    A new version, Active Soccer 2 is coming out in early 2015 which has much more content than the first one.
    Active Soccer is available for IOS, Google Play and PC.
    Active Soccer 2 will be available on the same platforms and more.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Good advide, Gazdaman, somehow this has passed me by. The fact that Chris Huelsbeck worked on the soundtrack is just a bonus.

  4. jsantos
    December 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    After trying different soccer games., I'd choose Total Soccer, for sure.It's a Kick Off based game, with top down view

    ,fast pace and a great ball control. Today it's abandonware but i'm still playing it since 2003.
    Follow these links to find out how awesome it is. Below are the full portable versions and a basic guide :

    • Christian Cawley
      January 11, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Good suggestion, thanks jsantos!

  5. Steve
    July 25, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    International Super Star Soccer for SNES was my favorite!

  6. Chris
    July 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    1st Division Manager for the Amiga released around 1992 was my first foray into management sims and I loved it!
    Well that's not quite true I played a txt based football manager game on an old ibm but haven't been able to find that since and would love to try that again! Ah nostalgia...

  7. Maff
    July 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I still play SWOS these days, nothing comes close to the Amiga version (1 fire button for everything), currently played through an emulator on my Ouya, occasionally play Kick Off 2 Final Whistle or the follow-up, Goal!

    Not a fan of any football game since then, all are too complicated and require to many buttons

    • Christian C
      July 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Funny you should mention Kick Off 2... there's a post coming soon about that, too!

  8. Chinmay S
    July 25, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    All the above games look horrible. I will stick with Fifa 14.

    • Christian C
      July 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Well, some of them are free, so it probably wouldn't hurt to try...

  9. Dave P
    July 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I want Sensible World Of Soccer. I'd pay good money to play that on my PS4. The 2006 remake looks stupid.

    • Christian C
      July 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      The 2006 release was really tough, too.