Love it or hate it, there is absolutely no way of avoiding the fact that there's another World Cup this month. And so with it comes an irrepressible desire to play as many football games as humanly possible, and thankfully there are plenty of options available. From EA Sports and Konami's big hitters to a 16-bit computer classic, we take a look at six games to kick off your summer.
Last year was officially the first time EA Sports' premier franchise leapfrogged PES
as the best footballing title, finally gaining the critical appraisal to match the sales figures and flash presentation. EA Canada has been hard at work improving the series year after year to deliver the most authentic football title we've ever seen. We'll also give an honorary shout-out to FIFA World Cup Africa 2010
, which is easily the best tournament release to date. Of course, we'd recommend FIFA 10
in the long run for your football kicks. You can read our full review of the game here
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010
The longtime favourite may have finally been bested by EA's finest, but PES
still offers the best alternative out there. While it feels less free-flowing and visually behind the times, it's still an incredibly solid, tactical game, with an ever-alluring Master League mode and a new card system that labels player talents such as deadly accurate passes or agility for easier recognition. For those who still prefer Konami's approach to the sport, 2010 offers the best version yet, and we can't wait to see the improvements they have lined up for this year
Football Manager 2010
What other studios can claim to have games cited as the reason for divorces across the world? Sports Interactive has been keeping punters glued to their monitors for years, and the Football Manager
series continues to grow from strength to strength. Although it's as deep as ever before, this latest edition adds a layer of simplicity to the menus that makes it more approachable to newcomers, as well as improvements to the 3D match engine to add more animation and polish. And if you must go outside, you can now play it on your iPhone
as well. You can read our full review of the game here
X2 Football 2010
While the above big names have a presence on mobile platforms, we recommend you also check out X2 Football 2010
. While the usual facets of virtual sticks and virtual buttons feature, it offers a slower and far more tactical approach that better suits the mobile style of play. It boasts better visuals and AI than the previous iteration in 2009, and despite lacking the licensing of EA or Konami's counterparts, there's a sweet sense of nostalgia to play as London or Manchester Red. You can read our full review of the game here
Sensible World Of Soccer
The Amiga classic has joined many other 16-bit titles by releasing Xbox Live remakes in recent years, and this is easily one of the better efforts. It's still as delightfully simple as it was a few decades ago, whittling down passing, tackling and shooting down to just a single button, making it simple to pick up and play. But underneath its simple visuals is one of the most utterly frantic multiplayer you'll come across, and although we'd recommend avoiding the broken online play, it acts as the perfect arcade substitute to the more simulation-oriented retail releases.
Buzz! World Football quiz / Avatar QuizCall - Africa 2010
Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have some viable trivia solutions to test your footballing knowledge. Buzz!
on both the PS3 and PSP has the World Football Quiz question pack for £3.19, but obviously you have to pick up the game first. On Xbox 360 Indie Games there's Avatar QuizCall – Africa 2010
for 80 Microsoft Points (65p) which also offers trivia for geography and other sports as well throwing footballing trivia your way.