What are the best football games on PC in 2023? It can seem tough to scratch that footballing itch, especially when there are only a few mainstream games that usually spring to mind. Sure, Football Manager is the undisputed king of the football management genre, and if you’re interested in a more player-controlled affair, it’s hard to argue with FIFA’s excellent game-day presentation.
Whether it’s an under-the-radar studio, an indie title, or a mash-up of different sports, there’s a football game for every fan. In order to shine a light on these underappreciated classics, we’ve compiled the best PC games for football fans.
Here are the best football games in 2023:
There are few games that can capture the ebb and flow of a real match like FIFA 23, and with the PC engine finally catching up with the next generation of home consoles, it now looks the business too. Whether it’s crafting your Ultimate Team or building a legacy in career mode, FIFA 23 should scratch that football itch quite nicely.
FIFA 23 hasn’t changed much besides the upgrade to the in-game engine, and it does feel as though – as we note in our FIFA 23 review – the developer has one eye on next year with the series getting rebranded as EA Sports FC. Still, there are few footballing experiences as well-rounded as FIFA, so if you have a hankering for scoring some of the newly-implemented power shots, or figuring out just what lengthy players are, FIFA 23 is worth a shot. It’s worth noting EA has a new football game coming out in September, so check out our EA FC 24 release date guide to get caught up on the latest information.
Football meets real-time strategy and deck-based card battle games gameplay in this delightfully humourous Demigiant title. As existentially-troubled manager Rocco Galliano, you’re tasked with turning around the fortunes of the ailing Calchester Assembled Football Club.
Doing so won’t be easy though. Like Telltale games of old, player choice is a big part of Football Drama. You’ll regularly be in conversation with journalists, the club’s owner, criminal organizations, and even your house cat, and the decisions you make during these chats have positive or negative impacts on all aspects of your management journey. Get into a spat with the man who hired you, and you could be sacked within days of taking over. Do a deal with the mafia to throw a game and find the story leaked to the press, and you could have a baying mob of angry supporters at your door.
Football Drama’s turn-based match mechanics, coupled with the use of “shout cards” you earn based on your interactions, can swing results in or out of your favor, and add an intriguing layer to its FM-inspired match engine. Your team’s stamina and card usage are pivotal to winning matches, so strategically applying them in unison will be the difference between victory and defeat.
Games and the commentary can feel a bit repetitive after a while, and there are only seven endings you can unlock despite Football Drama’s huge branching narrative. With its unique blend of gameplay, droll humor, and literary-inspired plot, however, Demigiant’s title is one you should check out.
This isn’t your typical football game, but Rocket League is technically a soccer-based title thanks to its arcade-style football mixed with rocket-fuelled cars and vehicles.
There’s so much to like about Psyonix’s popular game. Its fluid, physics-driven mechanics are a joy and give rise to different, awesome, and sometimes hilariously bad goals and moments. Its 3-on-3 matches are always intense and results can swing one way or the other based on whether you’re having a good session or not, who you’re teamed up with, and often sheer luck about where the ball lands.
Its customization options allow you to build a vehicle that is distinctly you, and there are various game modes for you to try out until you find your perfect fit. Online casual and competitive matches, an offline Season Mode, basketball and hockey-esque extra modes, and Mutator options are just a few game types available to you, which helps if you want to mix things up and try something new.
Add all of that together with the Rocket League Season Pass – where you can earn rewards, climb up the world rankings, and get XP boosts – and this is a driving-based football title that could rival FM for your time. Check out our Rocket League review if you want to know more.
Kopanito All-Stars Soccer
Have you ever wanted to see a game with no referee and players imbued with superpowers? Kopanito All-Stars Soccer will be right up your street if so.
Merixgames’ football title has been out for a while, but its cartoonish charm and skill-based gameplay means that there’s plenty here to keep your interest. Regional tournaments and leagues, multiplayer support for up to five players, and four difficulty levels give you your money’s worth, and there’s even the option to turn your slick or amazing goals and celebrations into animated GIFs to send to your mates if you’re in bragging mode.
It’s the game’s superpower abilities that really make it shine, though. You can teleport away from opponents, fire a super-shot goalwards that knocks all players out of the way – goalkeeper included – and even use a magnet that pulls the ball alongside you. It’s wacky but rewarding, particularly if you become a master at the game’s control system, and you’ll feel satisfied when you finally beat the game’s hardest difficulty setting after weeks of honing your craft.
Football, Tactics & Glory
On the surface, this looks like an FM22 knock-off, but there’s more to Football, Tactics & Glory than that. Combining XCOM’s chess-like strategy with RPG elements, Creoteam’s original spin on the management sim genre provides a fun yet realistic take on player improvement and tactical game plans.
Its fully customizable player faces let you give your stars some personality – in comparison to FM22’s plasticine-esque regen faces – while its mod support allows you to add in real-life leagues and tournaments to keep things fresh. Add in a helping of Twitch integration, whereby viewers can interact with streamers, and your fans can play as big a role in your management journey as you.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to FM22’s in-depth mechanics – or a realistic footballing alternative to Blood Bowl – Football, Tactics, & Glory is a solid PC football game.
Behold the Kickmen
Imagine a football game that was developed by someone who had no idea what football was about. If you thought of something along the lines of Behold the Kickmen, you’d be right.
A frenetic soccer sim, Behold the Kickmen reinvents football by, well, inventing something else entirely. With gameplay mechanics that include ‘more kicking’ and ‘doing goals’, this tongue-in-cheek affair takes an amusing swipe at football fanaticism.
There’s a silly story mode to keep you engaged, while you can enable a mode in the options that turns the game into a dystopian bloodsport if things are getting a bit too serious for your liking. Its lack of multiplayer is a shame as it would be funny to batter your mates into oblivion, especially in bloodsport mode. For non-football fans who want to take the mickey by playing a soccer game, though, Behold the Kickmen, is a cheap, fun indie title.
Table football, or Foosball as it’s commonly known, is fun, so if you like that then you’ll like this surprisingly effective PC port, Totoball.
Developed by Artur Rezende, Totoball is a carbon copy of the physical game we’ve all played and loved, whether that’s in common rooms and bars across the world. Like its real-life counterpart, Totoball’s mechanics are very simple – so much so that there are only two keys you need to use to play it.
Sure, you could venture out into the real world and play table football properly. For those days when you don’t feel like leaving the house, however, Totoball is an easy game to pass the time with.
Super Arcade Football
Remember when football games were top-down 2D affairs? Super Arcade Football replicates that aesthetic. Harking back to the days of Sensible Soccer and Italia ‘90, OutoftheBit’s retro-inspired title will have you wanting to dust off your old consoles to take a trip down memory lane.
It’s faster-paced than its predecessors and is graphically superior, but all the gameplay mechanic hallmarks are here. Different types of pitch – from dry to muddy to icy – are available to play on, simple controls such as pass, shoot, and move are all you need, and there is up to four-player support if you want a friend or three to join you.
Chuck in some funny match modifiers, including bigger goals and bouncy walls, and an online mode, and Super Arcade Football is a treat for those of you who grew up during the SNES and Mega Drive era.
Pixel Cup Soccer – Ultimate Edition
Pixel Cup is a love letter to isometric football games, like Sensible Soccer, with a little injection of modern technology. Local multiplayer is supported, and there are a variety of different competitions to dig into at your leisure. There’s even support for women’s football here, with the Women’s World Cup and Pixel Cup available to play – something that very few football games, FM included, have supported.
If Super Arcade Football doesn’t bring on the nostalgia rush you were hoping for, this might just push you over the edge. With a career mode, and even a playable Qatar World Cup, Pixel Cup Soccer may look simplistic, but it packs a lot under the hood.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2021
You can’t mention FIFA without talking about its fiercest rival, Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer series. PES 2021 doesn’t feature any upgrades from the previous year, instead, the devs focused on building eFootball 2022. Unfortunately, eFootball 2022 wasn’t the game fans were expecting as it quickly became the worst-reviewed title on Steam, with the 2023 version not doing much better.
Don’t worry, the modding community has saved the day once again. Using PES 2021 as a base, players have stuck to last year’s game as fans add in custom kits and teams. For solo players, Master League is one of the best single-player modes in any football game. In the Master League mode, players control a football club over the course of several seasons. Not only will you have to deal with transfers, but creating unique training programs for the development of your players is crucial, especially for clubs without a large budget.
Football Manager 23
We know we’ve spent much of this list trying to offer alternatives to it, but we feel it’s important to include Football Manager on the off chance there are football game fans out there who haven’t been sucked in by its addictive one-more-turn gameplay.
One of those rare series that just seems to go from strength to strength with each new iteration, Football Manager is the ultimate footballing RPG, letting you take a down-on-their-luck club like Blackpool or Bolton all the way to the premier league in a way that doesn’t seem totally unbelievable. You scout star talent, organize individual training programs, agonize over wages, and try to find the right words to buoy your team after going in at half-time 2-0 down – while you don’t get to control the action you’ll find yourself celebrating and barking orders from the touchline just like a real coach.
If you’re already knee-deep into your FM23 career, we’ve got the best Football Manager 23 wonderkids and teams to manage, if you’re up for a different challenge. Check out our Football Manager 23 review if you want to know more. Just like every annualized sports game, Football Manager 24’s release date is on the way – check out our guide to discover the latest.
If handball being bad confuses you, and you don’t know where to start with the offside rule, we have the best sports games here, and if you would rather be the puppet master than the puppet, we have the best management games right here.