EUFA EURO 2020 has reached its final leg, with England and Italy meshing together for the final match this Sunday. And with that, what better way to glorify the grand final than to chip in our two cents from a gamer’s point of view? With heaps of video games that mould together to form some of the best physics, management and online tournaments, it really is no surprise that the whole world tunes in to gel with the collective.
Whether it’s the strategising elements that make you tick or the frontlines where every weaved pass rests on your conscience — football has a little something for everyone. And, you don’t even have to be a whizz-kid in the sport to find fame on the pitch, either. All you really need is a pad, a port — and a platform to hone your skills. So, without further ado — let’s talk video games, plain and simple. What’s the best on the market — and what should you be playing this week to celebrate EUFA EURO 2020?
5. Rocket League
Okay, so before we go diving into the stadium and the literal side of football, we thought we’d share a game that happens to be one of the best spins on the celebrated sport as a whole. Rocket League, for those who haven’t played it yet (though that seems incredibly unlikely given its popularity), is a fast-paced competitive title that weaves rocket-powered cars with football, clean and simple. The only real difference with Rocket League (other than having vehicles as the driving force for the premise) is that the ball is enormous, and the stadium allows its players to quite literally defy the rules of gravity. But besides that — there’s two goals, two teams, and one aim. Simple.
Rocket League, although not strictly following the traditional style of gameplay one would expect from football, is unique on so many levels, with enough addictive gameplay to keep you trucking away for weeks on end. And as far as online play goes, Rocket League hosts some truly remarkable tournaments every day, with an entire eSports community and chunky prize pool to back it. What more could you possibly want? Well, genuine football, I suppose. But we’ll get to that.
4. Football Cup 2021
Drawing away from rocket-powered cars, Football Cup 2021 hones in on something a little more relevant: football, plain as daylight. And what’s more, this fresh take on football also conveniently fits in your pocket, either on Switch or on mobile. So that’s always a plus. Of course, this ambitious little underdog doesn’t quite live up to the same level of greatness as other household names on the book — but it does boast plenty of captivating quirks that keep it split from the remainder of the pack — like the fact that it’s free, for example.
Football Cup 2021 gives you everything you could possibly want from a pocket-sized port of a celebrated sport. Gameplay-wise, it’s all there, and it’s fluid enough to keep you trick shotting your way to victory as you ascend the league and cement your place among the greatest teams to ever kick the dirt with studded boots. And let’s face it — that’s all we can really ask from a game that quite literally asks for nothing in return. It’s football, without the drivel to tarnish it. That’s all.
3. Football Manager 2021
If you’ve grown a little tired of the pitch and are wanting to hang up the boots for a while, then perhaps it’s time to switch up your career on the field. Of course, you can still be in the heart of the game, with front row tickets to all the action one could possibly want from the sport — only you’ll have more clipboards than crest-embroidered scarves to support your team. And if that is something you’re keen to sink your teeth into — then you’ll be pleased to know that Football Manager 2021 has the entire experience all compressed into one glorious package.
Similar to previous chapters in the Football Manager series, players can invest in the nooks and crannies of football with some of the most well-designed management systems ever produced for a video game. With the ability to control, evolve and lay the foundations for your team on a road to everlasting success, you too can harness attainment from behind the sidelines and iron tie. However, one mistake could very well cost you not only your future — but also the team that looks to you for guidance every step of the way, too. No pressure, though.
2. FIFA 21
FIFA has been a strong candidate in the sporting world for many years — if not one of the best. While EA themselves refrain from tampering with the best selling formula that amasses mouth-watering figures with each release, they do like to keep players second-guessing. And as for FIFA 21, players are regularly treated with a variety of updates, some of which range from new players to new boots. But that’s merely the frosting on the cake. The point is — FIFA is still very much riddled with content, despite its rather predictable pipeline of annual titles.
As well as boasting the usual career mode that allows you to rise through the ranks from rookie dribbler to an idolized striker, FIFA 21 also chips in another series of game modes; FIFA Ultimate Team being a prominent one that millions of players still congregate around to test their knowledge and skill. As well as that, VOLTA Football also plays a huge role in the latest instalment, with a neat storyline that draws the focus away from the stadium and onto the street, where a spool of challenges and nutmegs urge to be conquered. Yes, like FIFA Street — only bigger. And better.
1. eFootball PES 2021
While the feud between FIFA and PES has been ongoing for several years, one division does seem to surpass the other by leaps and bounds with each passing instalment. Of course, it’s arguable that PES 2021 is far more superior than the latest FIFA chapter, though, for the purpose of this list, the former definitely captures the spirit of the Euros — particularly with the EUFA EURO 2021 mode, which was introduced especially to celebrate the event.
Of course, PES 2021 does compress a lot more in its casing than the season update and official Euro mode. And as far as stellar football video games go — PES Productions definitely brings it home with the most realistic physics the community has ever grasped. Challenge-wise, it’s a couple of notches above FIFA and other rivals under the same category, though winning tougher matches does ultimately result in heavier rewards, of course. And that’s something PES 2021 never usually ever runs short on, to be honest.