Date: 29th August 2018 at 9:29am
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The best football games on the market

 The football season seems to come around sooner and sooner each year, gradually taking up more and more of August. The 2018-19 season has been brought even more sharply into focus by the summer’s World Cup in Russia. With barely time for a quick break lazing on some exotic beach, all of the players have had to re-join their teams for pre-season training and preparation.

Inevitably, the new season brings out a glut of new products for fans to buy with whatever hard-earned money they have left over after investing in tickets for the games ahead. A new strip is an essential, if costly, way to show their support and the new season also sees a huge uplift in sales of football-related video games that give fans the chance to act out their own big pitch fantasies on the small screen.

Many of the big titles have exciting launches just around the corner and there have never been quite so many games to choose from. But most people agree that there are some clear winners in the selection and we’re going to take a look at five of the very best.

FIFA 19

Let’s start with the biggest and best of them all. The launch of each season’s edition of FIFA is always keenly anticipated with much speculation about what it will include. Due for release in late September, the 2019 version promises to offer all the thrills and excitement that have built its reputation. The launch has already benefited from many nuggets of information released by EA Sports with the biggest being that, for the first time ever, it’s going to include Champions League action. Accompanying this, there will also be Europa League, Serie A and Coppa Italia matches to play.

Realistic game play has always been a big feature of the FIFA series and rumour has it that this is about to get even better with more dynamic movement as well as enhanced ability to change tactics mid-match. Plus, we already know that in the Messi/Ronaldo rivalry it’s the latter who’s been chosen as the cover star.

Pro Evolution Soccer

FIFA’s No 1 rival, Pro Evolution Soccer, sees its 18th instalment being launched in late August 2019. It has Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho as its cover star with David Beckham appearing on the special edition version.

For all the differences between the games there are also many similarities and over the years PES has seen greatly improved gameplay with more reactive action on screen and new player features in the 2019 version are set to include edge turns, no look passing, control loops, and control over both dipping and rising shots.

The gaining of the Champions League licensing for FIFA 19 means that PES now has to include a tournament called the International Champions Cup instead. Plus, in good news for Scottish fans, the latest version also includes both Celtic and Rangers, so the classic Old Firm derby is a new fixture to be enjoyed.

Football-themed slots

For fans who fancy turning a love of football into hard cash, then there is a good selection of slots that feature the beautiful game. Rose Slots, the UK slots company, offer a couple of different online slots, they both feature on the site with the intention of attracting football fans and increasing their target market. One of the best is Champion’s Goal. This is a classic online slot which captures all the thrills of live football plus it has a top prize of an amazing £200,000. The blue team is pitted against the reds and both could win big prizes. There are plenty of extra features like free spins and extra bonuses to increase your chances and it’s all played out against a lively soundtrack and a crowd that comes to life when you win.

Another great online slot that captures all of the excitement of the beautiful game is Bicicleta, named after that most exciting of moves, the bicycle kick. The setting is a packed stadium with cheering fans and the great thing about this game is that it’s perfect for playing on your mobile.

Dream League Soccer

A more traditional game that’s been specifically designed to be played on Android or Apple devices, Dream League soccer also has the added advantage that it’s free to download, although it does also feature some optional in-game purchases.

As the title suggests, the object is to put a dream team together and to watch them, hopefully, advance up through the game’s six leagues from the Academy right up to the Elite Division. If you manage to win the Elite Division you can then enter the International Cup and the Allstars Cup. Winning these then leads to the Ultimate Challenge playing against actual staff from Dream League Soccer’s developers, First Touch Games.

One of the most popular features of the game is the online multi-player mode that lets you compete in real time against others who are also intent on climbing the leagues.

Football Manager

If the ins and outs of running a football team are the most appealing aspects to you and you fancy yourself as a bit of a Mourinho or Guardiola, then maybe this is the game for you. It’s now in its 13th year and with each version it has added more and more features to make it a realistic simulation of running a football team.

As manager you are involved in every aspect from transfers to team selection and even to handling tricky press conferences. Over time more and more emphasis has been placed on managing team morale and in the current version it even takes political events like Brexit and 2017’s campaign for Catalonian independence into account.

This all makes for a complex and nuanced game which gives more than just a slight insight into why top-flight managers really do earn those seven figure salaries.

So, all of the games we’ve looked at here have plenty to appeal to gamers as well as to hard core football fans. As to which of this year’s new releases are going to be the top of the league, only time will tell. But players are certain to have a very entertaining time finding out.