Can't Wait for the World Cup? Here Are 5 Great Soccer Games to Warm Up With

Here is a list of five soccer games you won't want to miss out on while waiting for the World Cup!

Commonly referred to as "the beautiful game,” soccer (or football in some countries) can offer a never-ending supply of emotions, mystery, surprise, and excitement -- sometimes all at once. Here are five excellent soccer games that will help get you excited for 2018’s World Cup.

1. Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2016

PES is just one of those immersive football series that makes you want to lock yourself in the room and throw away the key. Although PES 2016 has spent considerable time in FIFA’s giant shadow, PES 2016 is incredibly underrated and fun.

For example, FIFA is often criticized for retaining the same game engine year in and year out, and that’s where PES separates itself from the crowd. Not only does it include some fascinating and heart-pumping interactions between players and referees, but there is also little predictability.

In other words, this game will keep you guessing -- who will win tackles, who will land crosses, or whether shots will reach their intended destination. After all, the game should be more reminiscent of real-life soccer than a massively rigged game.

In fact, the 2016 version went on to be nominated for "Best Sports/Racing Game" at the 2016 BAFTAS, just as FIFA was. Despite losing to the excellent Rocket League, PES 2016 is full of some exciting and unpredictable footy games.

2. FIFA 16

Considered the nemesis of PES 2016, FIFA 16 is cleverly named after the association behind global football, Le Fédération Internationale de Football Association. With a strong name like that and a longstanding history of excellent commitment to FIFA fans, the 2016 version of the game quickly became something of a cult hit.

FIFA gamers are known to purchase every single new release, sometimes even queuing just as much as for a Black Friday event. Or, you could say that FIFA is the Apple of footy.

Whatever you choose to compare it with, it’s a fact that EA Sports has sold over 100 million copies of this game to soccer lovers all around the globe. While FIFA 12 will forever hold a warm spot for gamers, FIFA 2016 still has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Despite not being ranked a classic that should be remembered for generations, it is an excellent option for wasting away your weekends. It features slick graphics and interactive animations, and it’s always satisfying to see the evolution of the game from one year to the other.

Another great feature of FIFA 16 is the introduction of Ultimate Tournament modes, which let you create a team of superstars -- unless you already have the next game on our list.

More specifically, this article will shy away from football betting or stadium games. Instead, we’re talking computer graphics, and skills relating to your PS4 or PCs. From the classic days of DOS to our now action-packed virtual reality games, here are five excellent soccer plays that will warm up your excitement levels for 2018’s World Cup.

3. Football Manager 2016

Do you like a good challenge, or do you get easily distracted and bored by just tossing the ball from one player to the other? Well, then you’re in the right place.

If you are looking to answer the question of whether you’re a Special One or a Wally with a Brolly, Football Manager 2016 can show you the intense and immersive world of trying to win championships during the worst times of the league.

This game, like others on the list, is proud to get significant upgrades and features year after year, and it offers a more top-down camera angle than FIFA's on-the-pitch action. Organization, team spirit, the capacity for making quick and nitty-gritty decisions -- these are some qualities that you’ll need to possess before pushing your team towards victory and success.

Don’t also forget about the most "fun" parts: dealing with the press, in-team squabbling between players, devastating injuries that set team progress back, and more potential frustrations. While the game is interactive, it’s also hard and not for the weak-minded.

Having achieved critical acclaim, it made the list due to the combination of in-depth management options with user-friendliness and accessibility. Do you have what it takes?

4. FIFA 17

FIFA 17 brings different elements of interest. Unlike PES, last year’s FIFA game slowly yet surely shied away from conventional gameplay mechanics, instead focusing on the optimization of clever story plots.

That's right, in FIFA 17, you can become part of “The Journey” -- the tale of how a fictional character called Alex Hunter makes his gritty way through the Premier League. It’s a display of dreams, sweat, broken spirits, and commitment, as the story follows Alex and former striker Jim Hunter working together and achieving football success. Despite this, there isn’t much that’s changed; if the story is not your cup of tea, you can skip it altogether, going back to the classic footy games. Even better: You also get a taste of improved pacing, although most players will continue to appear lethargic at times. All in all, FIFA 17 breaks the barriers of conventional football games, giving us an innovative alternative to the much loved PES.

5. FootLOL

While tossing the ball around and competing against your friends is all good fun, FootLOL breaks any conceptions you might have regarding soccer games. To better put things into perspective, the game shows the amusing side of throwing sheep, cows, and other animals at your opponents and referee.

And so if you prefer a footy game that comes dressed in humor galore, don’t let this one pass. The game begins with a round of training before throwing you into the deep end, and you can choose to battle against either your friends or a smart AI. Equipped with over 60 levels of potential mayhem, FootLOL is the optimal antidote to the conventional badge-kissing seriousness of games like PES or FIFA.

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Hopefully these soccer games will scratch that footy itch until the World Cup is here! Be sure to stick with GameSkinny for more game news, reviews, tips, guides, and more!

Published Apr. 2nd 2018

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