If you’re a football fan, it doesn’t matter when you watch it, read about it, talk about it or play computer games about it. Football isn’t just a hobby it’s a lifestyle. That’s why we’re always looking for the best football manager games, so we can keep living our life passion, even if there are no games to watch!
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the games industry with many developers creating football games of varying quality for most mediums.
Some games let you play as the team while others are more strategic and place you as the manager. It is these manager simulations that this list concentrates on. This list collates some of the best football manager games you can play right now on each system, PS4, Xbox, online, Android and iOS. So no matter what you use to play games, there’s something here that will work!
- Football Manager Games for PS4
- Football Manager Games for Xbox One
- Football Manager Games for PC and Mac
- Online Football Manager Games
- Football Manager Games for Android
- Football Manager Games for iOS
- Free Football Manager Games
Football Manager Games for PS4
There are only a couple of football manager games for the PS4. Despite how immensely popular PlayStation is and how popular football is, there are slim pickings here for the management side of the game.
1. Football Manager 2017
Football Manager 2017 was the final game in the series to be released for PS4. More recent games are only on PC and Mac and that’s a shame. The games were some of the most in-depth and detail-oriented management games ever made with football as the theme.
Gameplay was realistic, real world players were featured, it had over 2,500 clubs, thousands of players and placed you in the real management role. You handled transfers, team lineup, tactics, team talks and every element of a typical game. All you didn’t get to do was kick the ball!
Windows, Mac, Xbox and PS4.
2. Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 Premium Edition
While not a dedicated football manager game, PES 2018 does have a management mode. Called Master League, it places you in a management role and challenges you to run a team, come up with tactics, handle transfers, manage budgets and keep your team happy.
It’s not FM2017 by any stretch but as a combined football game and football management game, it does well. Elements covered seem fairly complete from setting up transfer policies to skills training, contract negotiation to spotting talent. It isn’t just a bolt-on game, it seems a fully fleshed out management simulator.
Windows, Mac, Xbox and PS4.
Football Manager Games for Xbox One
Just like with the PS4, Xbox owners don’t get much football management action either. There are the usual suspects for gameplay like FIFA and PES but no dedicated management simulators.
1. Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
I talked about Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 above so I won’t labour the point again here. The Xbox version offers the same management mode in Master League with the same features and graphical and gameplay prowess as the PS4 version. Well worth getting if you’re on Xbox.
2. FIFA 19
Many of the later games in the FIFA series have had a career mode where you play as a manager. FIFA 19 adds to that with the inclusion of the Champions League that also adds Legendary difficulty to the game. If you found previous versions too easy, that’s about to change!
FIFA 19 has steadily developed in realism, the number of players and clubs it includes and many gameplay features. The emphasis has always been on playing the game rather than managing the team but Career Mode is a credible attempt. I don’t think it is as deep or as engaging as PES but combined with excellent match play, it’s a decent option for Xbox.
Windows, Mac, Xbox and PS4.
Football Manager Games for PC and Mac
The PC is where football manager games come into their own. The increase processing power of a computer is much more suited to managing the millions of calculations these simulators demand. That said, there are only a couple of titles worth considering.
1. Football Manager 2019
The daddy of all football manager games has to be Football Manager 2019. Originally available across devices as Championship Manager before Eidos and Sega parted ways, the full version is only available on Mac and Windows. This is about as real as football management gets. It’s a detailed simulation that covers 116 leagues, 51 nations, over 2,000 clubs and several thousand players.
Football Manager has been around for years and like FIFA, PES and others, has evolved steadily over time with new features, better graphics, more realistic gameplay and more engaging content. If you’re looking for the ultimate football manager game, this could be it.
Windows and Mac.
2. Football Manager 2018
If you don’t mind playing with slightly out of date line ups, the predecessor, Football Manager 2018 is also an excellent game. You can manager a multitude of clubs and several thousand players from across 50 countries and use the default list of teams and players or use Steam Workshop to customise your game.
The same management options are present here, signing and releasing players, training, requesting stadium upgrades, dealing with contracts, managing strategy and managing the team during gameplay. The graphics are slightly inferior to Football Manager 2019 but not enough that will spoil the experience. As the new game is out now, this is usually available at a discount.
Windows and Mac
Online Football Manager Games
If you’re looking for an online football manager game, you’re in the right place. There are lots of options out there but only a few could be regarded as any good. Those listed here have been tried and not found wanting!
1. Manager League
Manager League is an online football manager simulator that delivers decent multiplayer gameplay. It looks and feels familiar if you have ever played Championship Manager or Football Manager 2019 as it uses similar layouts to those games. It’s more a traditional game than Club Manager.
The graphics and gameplay are decent for a browser game and managing your team is straightforward enough. There seems to be a screen for everything and the production quality is almost equal to more commercial games. It can be a challenge finding players who speak your language at certain times of day but other than that, this game is more than up to the task.
2. Club Manager
Club Manager is an online game played through your browser as you would expect. It has slightly cartoony graphics but they have been done well and don’t detract from the game experience. Gameplay is simplified but no less engaging and makes light work of the more detailed elements of this management game.
Gameplay is built around cards and you play them to your best advantage in upcoming matches. Those cards will feature players with strengths and weaknesses and can be combined into a winning team. It’s a different take on the spreadsheet management style of other games but is no less entertaining for it.
Windows, Android and iOS.
3. Top Eleven
Top Eleven is playable online and does a very good job of simulating what we all imagine a football manager goes through. It has been around since 2010 and has been steadily updated to improve the systems, graphics, navigation, gameplay and other game elements. It does use tokens and can be pay to play at times but is otherwise a fair game that delivers the goods.
The result is a very tidy game that delivers everything you want from a game like this. Detailed screens, the ability to control tactics, preparation, training, stadiums, levelling, drills and lots and lots of stats. It all boils down to a very compelling game that challenges you on multiple levels and will cause you to lose many hours of your life.
Football Manager Games for Android
Android has lots of football games available but not so many football manager games. There are a few and we have checked all of the highest rated ones to select the ones in this list. They are all worth a try.
1. Championship Manager 17
Championship Manager 17 is an offshoot of Football Manager 2019. When Square Enix took over the franchise back in 2013, they create various mobile games, Champ Man 15, Champ Man 16 and Championship Manager 17. This is the last game that Square Enix are releasing for the franchise, which is a shame.
Championship Manager 17 differs from a lot of other management games in that it’s more about the numbers than the game. There is a real emphasis on earning in-game currency and spreadsheet management than about formation, tactics and all that good stuff. The game plays well, looks very good and enables you to watch your team in action though which is why it is in this list.
2. Football Manager 2019 Touch
Football Manager 2019 Touch is the mobile version of Football Manager 2019. It has a similar look and feel to the desktop version but has been optimised for the small screen. There are 116 leagues, 51 nations, thousands of players and similar features to the main game too. There is also a very useful tutorial for it you’re new to the game as the learning curve is steep!
Graphics are good for mobile and make excellent use of screen sizes for the various tables and layouts needed to manage your football team. Game play is rendered well too with credible 3D graphics showing your tactics in action. At £19.99, it isn’t cheap but offers the same depth and engagement as the desktop version so is still good value.
3. Be the Manager 2019
Be the Manager 2019 is another very credible football manager game for Android. It uses real teams, managers and players and also allows you to manage TV rights, sponsorships, stadiums, training, tactics and the minutiae this type of game delivers.
Graphics are good and the game panels are perfectly suited for smaller screens. All information is easy to read, navigation is logical and everything is very well laid out. The only thing with the game is that there is so much data involved that screens can sometimes take a little while to load. Other than that, for a mobile game this has to be one of the better football management simulators!
Football Manager Games for iOS
iOS has a few football management games to choose from. They all stretch what they can from the iPhone or iPad to deliver an excellent experience for armchair managers.
1. Top Eleven Manager 2019
Top Eleven Manager 2019 is a very highly rated game that delivers on its promise. You can play as many recognisable teams and managers, control tactics, contracts, transfers and the usual stuff. Buying players is tied up in a token system which you earn during the season which manages the rate at which you can acquire new players. Trouble is, you can also buy tokens with real money so if you play against your friends, you could end up paying to win.
Aside from that issue, the game is clear, concise and easy to understand. You can upgrade team elements like your youth academy, buy a star or young player and go in any direction you want. It’s an engrossing game that is well worth checking out.
2. PES Club Manager
Pes Club Manager for iOS is a Konami game with very high standards. The game is steadily developed and improved with better systems and graphics, teams and players. The seasons seem short in this game but the overall career mode is a satisfying one, if a little forgiving. Perform well and nothing much happens, perform badly and nothing much happens. There doesn’t seem to be much penalty for losing and the top players are quite easy to access. It’s a tough balance to strike but this game seems very easy.
Aside from that, graphics are good, the screens are easy to navigate and to use and tactics are straightforward to implement. The game looks and feels realistic too
3. Top Football Manager
Top Football Manager is another strong football management game for iOS. It’s strength lies in how it depicts game play with its 3D graphics and top down perspective. The management styles are also well represented with transfers, training, contracts, formations and the like.
The navigation is logical and well laid out. There is a learning curve of course but it seems shallower than other games of this type. You can use scouts and agents and outbid other clubs for players and play against other people with multiplayer. It’s all there and all easily accessible from within the game.
Free Football Manager Games
Many of the games in this list are premium with some costing quite a lot of money for a game. Some of the mobile games are free but ad supported so they don’t really count. How about some completely free football manager games? Here are just a few.
1. Virtual Manager
Virtual Manager is a decent free game played in your browser. You will have to log in with a Google or Facebook account but the game itself costs nothing to play. There are some compromises in terms of graphics, game play, systems and detail but overall, the game provides enough to make it worthy of being in this list.
You join as a small-time team with very little money and have to work your way up the ranks until you’re in the big leagues. You control players, training, tactics, your stadium and many of the aspects of these other football management games. Pacing is good too, stretching each season out to be engaging but not so much that you get bored.
2. Pitch Side Manager
Pitch Side Manager is a free online football manager game that delivers a credible simulator for no money at all. There aren’t even any ads. The graphics are pretty good, navigation well laid out and production quality seems reasonably high for a free game. It has lots of details including post-match analysis, youth academies, stadium design and upgrades and lots more.
You don’t have to link your social media accounts to this game either. You begin as always with a small-time team and have to work through each season up the leagues. You earn money to buy players and manage contracts. There is a multiplayer element too if you want to play against real people.
3. Its A Goal
Its A Goal is our final free football manager game. It is browser-based like these others and is free to play. You don’t need social media here either. Register, create a team and away you go. You deal with fictional football teams and players but realistic stats. You control training, new players, transfers, use scouts and coaches and all the tools at your disposal to win the league.
Its A Goal isn’t as graphically pretty as some of these other games but as a management simulation it more than holds its own. There are stats for everything and numerous ways you can influence your team to improve the chances of winning. The publication of the league tables on the website just adds to that competitive edge!
Those are all what we think are the best football manager games you can play right now. Games for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, web and some free games thrown in. There is sure to be something here for every device and budget!