Top 5 : Football Video games with smaller teams

Football games have become incredibly mainstream in recent years, often adonred with a cover feature the top footballing stars of the day. However, what about lower ranked football teams representation in computer games. Here we look at a sample of just five to get your obscure football gaming fix.

 

1: Sensible World of Soccer –¬†(Amiga, PC, *XBOX Live : 1994)

 

Sensible World of Soccer was an ambitious evolution from the 90’s Amiga classic top down game Sensible Soccer. The massive expansion to the playable database means that if St Vincent & The Grenadines vs. Soloman Islands in 1996 takes your fancy, here is your chance to experience it!

A key feature of this game is the wonderful career mode which allows up to 20 seasons of engaging gameplay, including your chance to take for favourite club side from perhaps Estonia to continental glory! The gameplay itself is a benchmark for the genre and is a perfect place to start for a quick minnows football fix!

 

2: Actua Soccer 3 –¬†(PC, PS1 : 1998)

 

Gremlin interactive were at the forefront on the move to 3D football sims in the mid 1990’s with their release of the Actua Soccer series. Though the gameplay was latterly usurped by EA Sports FIFA and Konami’s ISS Pro Evolution Soccer titles, the graphics hold up well for a mid 90’s title.

Much like Sensible Soccer’s evolution, the Actua Soccer 3 featured a massive expansion to the playable teams covering all English league clubs along with some non-league and Ladies sides. Added to this was a massive global selection of sides from all confederations, so if you want to face you low ranked European team against a Thai or New Zealand opponent, here you can.

 

3: Fifa 98 – (PSX, N64, SEGA etc. : 1997 (JP:1998)

 

Perhaps the most fondly remembered football game of this era, FIFA 98 set the template for what most football sims have become today. With great graphics for the time, fluid gameplay and even the fondly remembered indoor football feature, FIFA 98 is a game of almost total positives.

Of note to fans of football away from the giants of the game is that being a World Cup year game, it features a comprehensive “Road to World Cup” mode to include those teams involved in the qualifying stages, so you can take your low ranked teams from any confederation and begin the journey to World Cup qualification, and who knows, maybe with the main prize too.

 

4: FIFA World Cup 2014 – (PS3, XBOX 360 : 2014)

 

Following the trend set by FIFA 98 of comprehensive World Cup year games comes FIFA World Cup 2014. It features all 203 teams who participated in World Cup qualifying for the player to choose from. The only absentees are Bhutan, Brunei, Guam, Mauritania, Mauritius and South Sudan who did not enter qualification.

Being the most recent World Cup edition, this is the most recent football sim to feature on this list and as such comes with all the trappings players have come to expect from a modern football game. Excellent graphics, responsive gameplay, online gaming, so if you want a modern platform to try some of the lesser national sides in the world, this is the game for it

 

5: Football Manager 2017 – (PC, Mac, Linux : 2016)

 

A list of football video games without a reference to the world of football management sims would simply feel incomplete. As such, the latest incarnation of the global phenomenon Football Manager series is added to provide the most comprehensive and up to date team listings and player database for any lover of all levels of global football to delve into.

The game itself boats 2,500 world teams with over 500,000 players to choose from. Version improvements include improved AI,  magic spray from referees, sport scientists, data analysts and even topical Brexit scenarios for the 2017 edition. There is no more comprehensive game available today!

 


 

Honorable mentions –

This list does not necessarily reflect the best football simulations, but rather those with a wide selection of teams to choose from so that lesser sides are represented. As such games like Pro Evolution Soccer would certainly have featured with more comprehensive team listings.

Also this does not reflect traditional games like Subbuteo where one team could be Forfar Athletic, Malmo and San Marino all at once!

There are also unofficial mods that have been worked on such as this unreleased non-fifa mobile sim edited by those involved with Fernando De Noronha football, so there maybe more out there to discover 

 

 

If you have any thoughts on this list, feel free to comment or suggest games that you think would make a great addition to this list.

 

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