The Future of Football Gaming

Jude Bellingham EA FC, eFootball, Football Manager

Jude Bellingham EA FC, eFootball, Football Manager

For many years, the world of football gaming has been shaped around FIFA, the ever-present franchise that stood tall for nearly 30 years.

FIFA 23 was the end of that long love affair, as EA and FIFA went their separate ways.

FIFA are yet to make their move, but EA has birthed a new game in the form of EA Sports FC, a near-identical twin.

Whilst EA will once again take the limelight, the future of football gaming won't singularly be shaped by them, with franchises stepping up and many others about to be introduced.

The Future of Football Gaming

EA Sports FC, or EA FC, was born on the same day that FIFA and EA went their separate ways.

The game is a continuation of the FIFA franchise in everything but name, with Gianni Infantino running off into the distance and promising to crush EA when the time is right.

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END OF AN ERA - EA and FIFA split in 2022

Whilst that spectre lingers in the background, three major sporting titles are positing themselves to occupy key areas of the market.

EA FC stands tall as the standard bearer, Football Manager positions itself to become the most immersive experience on the market, and eFootball cements its spot as the best free-to-play game around.

How does that all shape up? For some, it's easier than others.

EA Sports FC

EA FC is the game that will remain top of the football gaming mountain for some time, with EA's tech, clout and existing users easily trumping all other sports games around.

Whilst certain subsections of the game's community may be disgruntled, EA continues to grow and retain its player base.

We've already started to see why, with EA FC representing a fresh start for the developer and offering them a chance to innovate in ways we've not seen before.

EA FC 24 Haaland
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JOIN THE CLUB - EA FC 24 releases this year

So far, we've seen new HyperMotion tech on show, greater integration of female players and the rich development of all major modes.

Incremental improvements are made each and every year, but EA continues to thrive at the top.

This fact is unlikely to change, as the developer behemoth continues to flex its muscle and develop a sports game that sits atop the throne.

If you're anti-EA FC, your only hope is for FIFA to partner with a major developer and introduce a new rival into the sphere, but there's no sign of such a prospect... yet.

Football Manager

Football Manager, or FM for short, is the ultimate immersive experience that falls down in one key area, you can't control the players.

Instead of giving full autonomy over your players' every action, FM is a game that focuses on the immersive elements and behind-the-scenes factors that come into play when building a successful football team.

For some time, Football Manager has offered the single most immersive gaming experience around, plunging you straight into the shiny shoes of football's most stress-filled individual, the manager.

Announced recently, Football Manager 2024 will be SI's most complete offering of the FM series before major changes are made for FM25.

Football Manager
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FRESH START - FM is looking for new and exciting ways to evolve

What does this mean? Well, it basically means that Football Manager 2025 will look to bring FM into the 21st century, introducing a brand new game engine that will squash any arguments around its graphics offering.

FM25 will also see a whole new database introduced for women's players, with the positive sign being that each and every developer looks to be doing more to offer greater integration and representation of the ever-growing women's game.

Whilst we hope that Football Manager 2025 doesn't change the formula too much, this bold step forward from SI is certain to reap major rewards as they look to bank a whole new wave of players.


Konami's eFootball may seem like a strange title to feature on this list, but it's a game that has slipped under the radar for some time.

Free-to-play, eFootball replaced PES a few years back and has had something of a turbulent start.

A totally failed launch saw this game canned by many, but it's an underrated gem that offers something different to EA FC/FIFA.

eFootball, just as PES always did, focuses on reflecting the true-to-life elements of football in the form of steady, authentic gameplay.

eFootball Barcelona
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STANDING OUT - eFootball remains an underrated gem

The arcade-like elements of FIFA and EA FC are absent in eFootball, instead offering a more rounded experience for the player.

Of course, the positive grind to a halt when looking at other key areas but the signs of improvement are promising.

Master League, Konami's answer to Career Mode, is set to arrive during 2023 and Become A Legend has also been rumoured to return.

Whilst it will never be as successful as EA FC, eFootball is a great alternative that shows signs of offering a knock-out experience for those who can't afford the high price point or are simply looking for something different.

New Challengers

It may come as a surprise, but the games mentioned above aren't the only players on the market, with new challengers also set to arrive in the coming months and years.

We know games such as UFL and GOALS are in development and a host of other new titles will also aim to make a play in the future.

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NEW HOME - FIFA and 2K could form a close bond

We've teased it above, but we'd also be surprised if FIFA doesn't look to re-enter the market with a FIFA challenger, potentially partnering with another major developer.

2K Games is the one that many have been hoping for, as FIFA looks for a way to re-assert itself at the top of the market.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but it's firm 'watch this space' as the future of football gaming begins to take shape.

A Bright Future

We can conclude from all the above that the future of football gaming is exciting.

From EA FC to Football Manager, there is a plethora of exciting games that are constantly looking to evolve to the needs of its players.

EA FC 24 feels like the start of the next chapter for sports games, as EA look to set a new standard for the rest of the chasing pack.

Football Manager 2025 will be much the same, with each and every football game looking to further improve on what came before.

The beautiful game is always evolving and the same can be said for the community around it. Gaming is another spoke on that wheel, and its impact is set to be stronger than ever as we step into an exciting future for all involved.

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