FIFA 23 isn't far away, but it's fair to say that the most recent outing from EA Sports won't be unchallenged this year.
There's no better time to be a football fan and a gamer, with a bunch of exciting new titles releasing in the next few months/years.
From free-to-play outings to games that can challenge FIFA's core audience, there's some stiff competition at the top of the market.
FIFA 23 will likely remain at the pinnacle of football gaming, with EA Sports' offering boasting the biggest and best license packages and overall gameplay.
That being said, FIFA is now in a battle with its own success, constantly needing to adapt in order to please its ever-growing audience.
FIFA has - to its credit - evolved impressively over the past few years, but with news games arriving and promising fresh takes, EA Sports may need to show their creative chops more than ever.
The first in our free-to-play list, GOALS is a brand new game set to offer something completely different in the football gaming market.
GOALS will feature a market similar to that found in FIFA Ultimate Team, with the difference being that all items will totally belong to the player.
The game’s official website states the following:
“Every asset will be fully owned by the player and can be traded freely on an open marketplace. The choice will be easy when comparing GOALS to other football games: experience better gameplay and get rewarded for your time. Play-AND-earn.”
It isn’t just the game’s free-to-play model that is set to challenge FIFA, Goals also has ambitions to dominate the eSports/competitive gaming field too.
Formerly Pro Evolution Soccer, eFootball has finally woken up after a horrendously slow start.
Since making the switch to a free-to-play model, eFootball has wobbled and jolted its way down the tight rope.
Thankfully, the arrival of a major update saw vast improvements made across the board with Dream Team - an Ultimate Team style mode - arriving in the game.
Konami has always had a greater grasp on the realistic aspects of football gameplay, and that's where efootball can truly challenge FIFA 23's crown.
After a tough start, further updates and improvements are only going to solidify eFootball's place as a true challenger.
UFL is a game with a lot of potential, already boasting an impressive portfolio of licenses and ambassadors.
From West Ham United to Rangers, Zinchenko to Ronaldo, this is another free-to-play game with eyes on the biggest prize.
With plenty still to be revealed, this game - developed by Strikerz - promises to do away with FIFA's 'pay to win' model, instead adopting an approach that excludes the use of Loot Boxes.
Whilst it remains to be seen if this game has the longevity of others, we're certain that is has enough potential to challenge FIFA 23.
Football Manager 2023
From an unestablished player to one at the very heart of the football gaming community, Football Manager is a game loved by many.
Whilst its simulation experience may not be for everyone, we know that there is a crossover between FIFA and FM players.
With FM being a game that is deeply rooted in its passionate community, ideas and suggestions are often taken on board, giving fans the chance to truly feel as if they're having an input into their favourite game.
Whilst it won't be taking away those players that enjoy having a controller in their hand, Football Manager's ever-increasing level is sure to force FIFA to up its game.
EA Sports FC
The recently announced split between EA Sports and FIFA saw the birth of a new game, EA Sports FC.
EA Sports' new franchise - following the end of FIFA as we know it - this brand new game will mix elements of classic FIFA with brand new innovations, with the developer promising to develop its license portfolio and offer a richer experience for the player.
With FIFA yet to name the developer that will take the franchise forward from FIFA 23 onwards, the irony is that EA Sports will now be working on challenging their own release.
Competition is vitally important, and each of these upcoming games should provide their own unique take on the beautiful game.
There is no promise of quality or longevity, but we can all conclude that there may never be a more exciting time to be a football gamer.