Football Tactics Glory Celebration

Soccer is considered the most celebrated sport globally, and rightfully so.

Represented by numerous different tournaments around the globe, some supporters might even argue that the bright FIFA World Cup rivals the prominence of the Summer Olympics too – hard to deny that!

Regardless of your standpoint, we agree that soccer simulation games dominate the video gaming scenes every year. If you’re wondering which soccer game franchises are going big in 2022, here are our best bets so far:

  • FIFA 22
  • eFootball 22
  • Football Manager 2022
  • Football, Tactics & Glory
  • Rocket League
eFootball22

Believe it or not, all of these games are available on multiple video game platforms as well, so you can expect to play them on your favorite consoles too!

Interested to learn more about them? Read on…

read more: Best Sport Games

5 Best Soccer Games in 2022

You’ve seen our chosen picks for the best soccer simulation games this year, so why not go a step further by reading our quick reviews of each game?

Not all of them might fit your personal preferences. For example, do you want to play the manager, handling the job’s daily pressure, or would you rather score goals as the striker on the field instead?

Let us understand each game’s best features before making a purchase.

With that out of the way, let’s jump straight into the action!

FIFA 22

Kicking things off is none other than FIFA 22! The long-running trendsetter for soccer video games – dating back to 1993 – the FIFA franchise is a mammoth name for sports video games in general.

Each year, the success of every FIFA title is indisputable; FIFA 22 continues to boast a complete soccer simulation game that is fully licensed by almost all soccer organizations and clubs in the world! As a result, every player detail and team likenesses (jerseys, stadiums, etc.) are on point, only possible when supported by the appropriate licenses and partnerships.

Diving deep into the gameplay, you can control elite teams like Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Juventus, competing for silverware in their respective leagues, such as the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga.

Not stopping there, superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi all have individual animations and unbeatable stats to mirror their real-world counterparts!

In addition, the fluidity of every run, tackle, and dribble is also a notch above its competition, making it one of the best soccer experiences for you to enjoy at home on your PC.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
+ Major licenses for clubs and competitions
+ A massive community
+ Sleek gameplay and animations  
+ Clean presentation and UI
– Micro-transactions for Ultimate Team mode
– Weird AI decisions in Career mode

FIFA 22 is now available on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Stadia, and Nintendo Switch, starting at around $59.99 (console) and $30 (handheld), respectively.

eFootball 2022

The immediate rival to FIFA 22, eFootball 2022 – previously Pro Evolution Soccer – offers arguably the same package as its competitor, albeit with unique differences.

Utilizing Unreal Engine 4 to showcase better graphical fidelity and updates from its previous Fox Engine, eFootball is now sleeker and more beautiful than any previous entries in the franchise.

To match FIFA 22’s smooth, silky animations, eFootball tries to go one up by implementing personalized touches to in-game player faces and physiques, all the way to more pleasing skin textures.

At launch, eFootball had tons of issues that riled players up, but many of them have now been fixed and improved upon. For example, the AI reacts to your on-field actions accordingly, and reaction times have also been improved drastically to remove some of the buggy ‘idle’ animations that slow your players down from chasing the ball.

Right now, many fan-favorite game modes, such as Master League, have been removed, much to many players’ dismay.

Besides that, eFootball seems to push for its own Dream Team game mode identical to FIFA’s Ultimate Team. However, eFootball’s version even allows you to train your players to become better and stronger!

eFootball also suffers from another glaring issue similar to its predecessors –the lack of official team licenses and tournaments. The recent Update 1.0 has rectified most of that gripe, but you can still bump into awkward player names and teams, especially from different regional leagues outside of Europe’s best.

Although there are still many things left to be desired in eFootball, it still carries a lot of potential to throw FIFA off its pace, especially when the game continues to receive significant updates moving forward.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
+ Realistic players and solid in-game engine
+ Player growth and development
+ Potential mobile versions
+ Free-to-Play with reasonable micro-transactions
+ Slightly more dynamic AI
– Outdated and lackluster UI
– Missing so many classic game modes
– Lacking team licenses and official partnerships

eFootball 2022 is a free-to-play online soccer game available for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, with potential mobile releases set to be revealed soon.

Football Manager 2022

Football Manager 2022 is the real masterpiece for true soccer fans out there!

Unlike the previous two (2) games on this list, FM 2022 is a realistic soccer simulation putting you in the shoes of a club’s manager, guiding your own team of players towards glory or league promotion.

But: You don’t actually control the players in FM 22! Instead, it’s all about being the father figure of your own squad of misfits or superstars, simultaneously managing boardroom and fan expectations.

That might seem a bit boring at first glance, but the array of tools and features at your disposal is mind-blowing and rich that you could be playing the game for hours on end without even knowing it. For one, FM 22’s teams and competition licenses are far superior to others on this list, even covering South Korea’s second-tier league, K League 2.

There is so much to do in FM 22 you might even be overwhelmed initially. But, take it slow, and you’ll see the depth of possibilities awaiting you here. As a manager, you can adapt extremely detailed squad strategies and tactics or customize one according to your preferred style.

Individual players also have specific traits and behaviors both on and off the field, testing your man-management skills unlike any other.

In fact, this alone becomes a factor in whether certain elite players like Mohamed Salah and Kylian Mbappe can fit into your methodologies, creating another layer to your decision-making processes.

Additionally, the scouting network is spectacular, letting you find hidden gems from distant regions like Brazil or China under the noses of rival teams (pending working permits are a thing in FM!).

You can even give immediate instructions to particular players or the whole team during matches, reading the game’s flow to counter the opposing team’s strategies.

When it comes to presentation, FM 22 keeps it neat and tidy; its UI is a bit compact but easy to maneuver around. The in-game matches are the true gems here; you can change the visual representation of your games from simple circular player names to authentic 3D players on the field, depending on your hardware.

You shouldn’t call yourself a hardcore soccer fan if you don’t have FM 22 installed on your PC or gaming console yet.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
+ Genuine experience in managing a soccer team
+ In-depth tools for squad management and analysis
+ Authentic player names and profiles depicting real-world individuals
+ Complete licenses for many teams and competitions
+ Plenty of settings to play around with
– Steep learning curve
– No AI difficulty setting
– Matches can be a chore to view unless simulated or fast-forwarded (makes the game a bit more RNG)

FM 22 costs around $39.99 – $54.99 for PC and consoles, while there is also a mobile version that is sold at $9.99.

Football, Tactics & Glory

Next up is Football, Tactics & Glory (FTG), developed by Ukrainian video game studio, Creoteam.

Relatively unknown, the game is an underappreciated title that really deserves a lot more attention for its innovative gameplay and creative team management.

In a nutshell, FTG is basically a lightweight rendition of FM 22 but drops you inside in-game matches for you to actually control the players.

There is a catch, though; FTG matches are played in a grid-based tile set depicting the entire soccer field, and you take turns deciding your players’ subsequent action, XCOM-style.

Lofted Pass in FTG – very cute graphics

From an outside perspective, the concept sounds ridiculous. However, it can be pretty enjoyable once you play it and becomes addictive pretty fast! There are interwoven layers of tactical gameplay attached to it, with some of your best players having achieved skills and versatile roles to play with the team.

Unlike regular soccer matches, though, there is no time limit in FTG. Instead, a game ends upon reaching a maximum number of actions depending on your chosen settings. This can be a double-edged sword; choosing a low maximum action count results in quicker matches but tighter decision-making. On the other hand, a higher match action ceiling allows more scoring opportunities but drags the game longer.

This new gameplay design is what truly makes or breaks the game. Some players hate this new mechanic, while others within the community love it for bringing something fresh to the table.

Ideally, it is all about giving the game a chance, given the amount of detail and the love the developers poured into it. However, in FTG, off-field interactions like team management, tactics, and player development are also toned down to ensure the game’s more friendly and laid-back nature.

Celebrations in Football, Tactics & Glory

A particular weakness of the game revolves around missing team and player licenses, which might put you off a little. To Creoteam’s credit, though, it is understandable that the developers had to make the most of their budgetary constraints, more so when official partnerships might cost millions of dollars which might not be worth the investment for a casual, indie soccer game.

That said, the developers actually acknowledge this and, in turn, allow dedicated modding support for the steadfast community to help in patching up the holes. On Steam Workshop, you can find many top-rated mods that incorporate full-fledged players and teams into the game, with the likes of the German Bundesliga and French Ligue 1 both available!

With FIFA and eFootball continuously dominating the headlines every year – arguably dishing out the same content annually – isn’t it time for you to try out something new instead?

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
+ Easy to learn
+ Fresh and enjoyable concept
+ Hands-on player development
+ Streamlined team management experience + Awesome modding community
– Slow gameplay
– RNG elements
– Unlicensed teams and players

Football, Tactics & Glory is available for PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, starting from $24.99, available for as low as $10 during a sale.

Rocket League

Last is the popular car-soccer game, Rocket League, created by American developers, Psyonix in 2015.

A direct sequel to the studio’s 2008 project Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, Rocket League might not be the first to use vehicular soccer as a game concept.

Still, it does so by implementing all the proper mechanics and approaches learned from its predecessor.

Gameplay is swift, fast, and tight. Directly from kick-off, everyone is free to run for the ball.

Unlike regular soccer, though, the ball doesn’t stick to your feet (ehhh … tires!). Instead, you can only bump the ball around inside an arena, and dribbling is mostly a skill that only experienced players can pull off via timed side maneuvers or sparing boosts.

But honestly, that is where most of the fun comes into play! Apart from competitive games, Rocket League lets you go crazy, hitting other players’ cars while trying to push the ball over the line of the opposition’s goal.

As a result, you can enjoy embarrassing, fantastic, outrageous, incredible, and memorable moments, all in just one match!

Rocket League screenshot

In Competitive mode, the landscape shifts into a more intense environment. This is both good and bad; players who have mastered their game skills can test their grit against others, but inexperienced players are mostly shunned or badmouthed whenever they make the slightest mistakes in the arena.

Not every Rocket League player is like that, but bad behavior is still a recurring problem.

Nevertheless, if you can pay no heed to such behaviors, the overall experience is still an exciting one.

On another note, though, Rocket League does have fantastic customization options for you to make use of.

You can literally change everything about your car’s aesthetic, including the wheels and rocket boosts. I also like the explosive goal celebrations in Rocket League, especially the two massive dragons flying around after you score a goal!

Rocket League with Super Mario cars

Another great thing about Rocket League is its frequent seasonal updates that continue to introduce new content into the game. You can even find magnificent bundles on sale, like the recent Batmobile that cropped up to promote The Batman movie in February 2022.

The game receives so much love from fans. However, you need to play it to truly understand all the buzz and hype.

By the way, Rocket League is on mobile, too, with the recent release of Rocket League: Sideswipe in 2021. With numerous changes made to accommodate mobile controls and hardware, the overall enjoyment is still there to be had.

This is clearly shown by the rave reviews that the game receives from fans and critics alike.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
+ Exhilarating gameplay
+ Tons of customization options
+ A vast global community
+ Frequent updates
+ Free-to-Play and not P2W (cosmetics only)
+ Cross-platform support
– Boring AI for offline play
– Micro-transactions can be pricey
– Not beginner-friendly (car controls, toxic players, etc.)

As of September 2020, Rocket League is free on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

Summary

There are not many AAA soccer games and any of these 5 great titles could easily have popped up inside your head.

Lastly, one more upcoming soccer game is also worth mentioning, expected to be released later this year. The prospect of a new soccer simulation game that could shake up the tense rivalry between FIFA and eFootball is exciting:

UFL – expected 2022

If UFL manages to be as awesome as the trailer indicates, then we soccer fans would definitely welcome a new entry with wide, open arms, wouldn’t you agree?

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