Each year thereâ€™s a huge debate surrounding which is the best football game. For pretty much the last decade or so, this battle of the ball has almost exclusively been contested between FIFA and PES. Such is their duopoly of the football gaming scene, nobody else has bothered entering the fray and thatâ€™s a huge shame.
Turning away from the arcade-style action of those two games for a moment, there is even a dearth of quality football management simulations these days. The annual release of Football Manager dominates that particular scene, almost exclusively and without any genuine competition. There is just so much depth and detail, no other developer has been able to get anywhere close.
Other football games do exist, of course. Browse through Steam for PC downloads or Google Play for mobile devices andÂ there are plenty out there. The problem is that many are from small independent developers, unable to match either the quality or the content of the AAA studios. However, it wasnâ€™t always that way. Back in the 1990â€™s, football gaming enjoyed a golden age.
When footy games were simply great
Graphically speaking, isometric gameplay was quite the novelty when FIFA International Soccer was released, towards the end of 1993. With an almost 3D perspective of the action, it was the game which paved the way for an entire FIFA series, as graphical realism became increasingly popular. Just a few years earlier and up until then, top-down or birds-eye perspectives were the norm.
Hard to master but arguably one of the truest emulations of football, Kick Off and Kick Off 2 by Anco Software were brilliant top-down games. The physics were a solid representation of the sport, with no glued-to-the-feet ball control. Timing was everything playing those games, using a joystick with just one button for shooting, tackling, heading, everything.
Using the birds-eye perspective and with more focus on fun than realism, Sensible Soccer burst onto the scene in 1992. An instant hit, this combined fast-paced action with an â€œaftertouchâ€ feature, allowing players to perform amazing curling shots, crosses, and through balls. In 1994, Sensible World of Soccer added a simple management interface, adding a whole new layer to the game.
How to take Sensible Soccer for a spin
Such is the nostalgia for the Sensible Soccer series of the 1990â€™s, it was even revived for the Sensible Soccer Euro Cup Slot, which isÂ available to play at many of the leading UK online casinos. Slot games are definitely a huge draw, as you can see that there are manyÂ free spins no deposit UK 2020 offers, with casinos like LeoVegas offering no-deposit spins as standard for new users.
Despite the original Sensible Soccer games coming out almost 30 years ago, thousands of people are still playing them today. The 1996/1997 version of Sensible World of Soccer is available at GOG, usually for around a fiver or less when they have sales. The game also works perfectly on modern PC operating systems, including Windows 10 and Linux. Whatâ€™s more, thereâ€™s a plethora of mods for the retail version.
Just by doing a simple Google search, itâ€™s incredible how many mods are available for such an old game, yet the community surrounding SWOS is amongst the most dedicated out there. Mods include everything from support for modern controllers, to entire team and player database updates for the latest transfer windows. If you want some proper football gaming, forget about FIFA or PES, and get stuck into SWOS instead.