Hours, weeks, months and even years can be lost playing football management sims, trying to find bargain buys, building a team of wonderkids but which is the best???
Here is our pick of the Top 10 Football Managements Sims of All Time.
10. Ultimate Soccer Manager
The main competitor for Championship Manager in the mid-90’s, Ultimate Football Manager was so detailed that transfers and team selection almost became distractions.
Normal features like fax machine, Teletext were added to being able to negotiate advertising deals, improve your stadium as you move up the leagues, and even water the plants in your office.
You could even offer bungs to the opposition.
First released on the Amiga in 1996 after releasing a shareware version, the game was succesful for two years before development of a year 2000 version was scraped.
There is a facebook group of dedicated fans that continue to update the game, the latest update being the 2015-16 season.
9. Premier Manager
Released in 1992 on a number of platforms, Premier Manager lacked the detailed player attributes of Football Manager but its simplicity was its charm.
Unlike other football management games, you had to start from the bottom and work you way up from non-league obscurity to European glory.
Although it was too tempting to use the in-game cheat and dial 781560 on your phone so all the stats of your players would be raised to 99 and you would remain unbeaten. You could re-enter this number as many times as you wished.
8. LMA Manager
The first football management game to give us a 3D match engine, presented by former Liverpool centre back turned BBC pundit Alan Hansen.
Not as detailed as its competitors but available on a number of platforms.
A playable game that is perhaps more famous for its in-game bugs than its genius, LMA Manager ran from 1999 to 2007.
7. Football Manager 2005
After a split from publishers Eidos Championship Manager found a new home with Sega and re-branded as Football Manager.
A war started and many fans were asking which game would be the best? This new FM05 or Eidos’s own CM5?
As it was CM5 was a disaster, full of bugs that should never have been released. FM05 had its issues but it was playable.
This marked a new beginning for the football Manager series, going from strength to strength……. Championship Manager never recovered and has not been seen since the 2011 version.
6. Championship Manager Italia
Me and my brother used to love watching James Richardson bringing Serie A to our front room for an hour every Saturday on Channel 4.
Using the same engine as the original CM, to build the top two Italian leagues, you could play as Lazio with Paul Gascoigne or even better Ac Milan packed full of legends like Maldini, Baresi, Boban and Van Basten.
This was a golden age of Italian football.
5. Football Manager 2014
Football Manager stepped up its realism element for the 2014 edition, this was always a key factors in any game of its games.
The introduction of job interviews really helped this, now you could improve your reputation and talk about your player performance.
Also including enhanced AI to news reporting and youth development FM14 was almost the complete package.
4. Championship Manager
The daddy of them all, where it all began!!!
It didn’t have real names. It didn’t have graphics. There were four divisions with 80 teams.
When you played against teams in Europe, you played against ‘Player 2’ and ‘Player 11’.
But it was the greatest thing to ever happen to football management sims. Bettered over and over again in every aspect, but it created a whole new world……
3. Football Manager (1982)
No relation to Sports Interactive’s game, but a major influence upon its creation the Spectrum classic represents the birth of the management game.
It’s best remembered for its stick men who played out every goal, miss and save but at the time was considered just like Match Of The Day.
2. Sensible World Of Soccer
A controversial selection…… is it a management game???? We think so, yes you could play the games but you could also buy and sell players while selecting the team and tactics.
SWOS had everything that was great about Sensible Soccer but was boosted by the inclusion of 24,000 teams and 15,000 leagues.
It should have been the start of something great due to its playability and popularity but FIFA and PES came along and SWOS development ended in 1996.
Like Ultimate Soccer Manager dedicated fans keep the game alive with leagues, events, and patched versions updated to the current season.
1. Championship Manager 2001-02
Cherno Samba. Mark Kerr. Tonton Zola Moukouko are just three names who achieved stardom from the 2001-02 addition.
The most playable version of the Championship/Football Manager series that perfectly captured every high and low of being a real boss.
Hours were lost looking for bargains to sign, rejoicing when a player you bought for £250k won the player of the year and was sold to Real Madrid for £30 million.
Unlike the new versions of the game you only had to worry about finding players and picking the right team and tactics on match day.
Regarded by many as the best management game ever made, some fans keep it up to date with current squads…… but Mark Karr is not as good.
Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments section.
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