For years, FIFA was the biggest name when it came to football video games. The franchise is the one of the biggest-selling series of its kind in history, selling millions of copies to fans over the years.
Yet, its sudden name switch to EA Sports FC has alienated some fans used to the design and style of their favourite sports game. It’s led to many seeking alternatives to the new franchise.
If you’re one of them, then look no further. Read on to find some excellent rivals to EA Sports FC that will keep you captivated for hours on end.
Ultimate Football League
Ultimate Football League (UFL) is perhaps the first game to truly challenge the longstanding FIFA monopoly.
The free-to-play title, developed by Strikerz Inc, boasts partnerships with notable clubs like West Ham and a player roster exceeding 5,000 likenesses, as well as stats from the FIFPro database.
This player-focused model, along with a sizeable pay packet, has attracted the likes Cristiano Ronaldo as football ambassadors in an attempt to boost UFL’s popularity among the gaming public.
It appears to be having an effect. A competitive online mode and a “fair-to-play” experience is proving popular among players disenchanted with some of FIFA’s long-standing problems. UFL, too, promises a move away from annual updates, saying “when it’s done, it’s done”.
As 2024 gets fully underway, UFL looks to be the number 1 contender to the FIFA/EA Sports crown.
You don’t have to pay for every online video game. Many creators offer demo versions that you can try before deciding to buy, a little like when you get to test-drive a new car. There are several great websites dedicated to pooling these free resources together so that you don’t have to trawl the web to locate each one.
It’s not just footy video games that benefit from this, either. You can also find free soccer-themed casino games on websites like Casino Universe which offer filters and sorting tools so that you can find the perfect free game to try out.
The great thing about these sites is you can have hours of fun without spending any money at all.
GOALS is an intriguing addition to the soccer gaming scene, but it has yet to announce a concrete release date.
An AAA free-to-play game with cross-play capabilities, multiplayer focus, and esports readiness, GOALS adopts a play-to-earn model, rewarding players with digital assets (NFTs) based on their in-game time and skill.
The community-centric approach is evident in GOALS’ engagement with players through platforms like Twitter and Discord. Its creators continually seek feedback to shape the game’s development and they also have former pro-FIFA players like Kurt Fenech and Twitch streamer Nick RTFM onboard.
Like with UFL, the aim is to address the issues that players have grown tired of in existing titles. Its co-founder has even gone as far as to create an eight-part manifesto outlining key principles, including fair cross-play and a commitment to creating a game that runs on lower-spec devices.
Despite several unknowns, including the release and its supported platforms, GOALS appears to be a legitimate contender. The optimism surrounding its potential contribution to increased competition in the market suggests that, if executed well, GOALS could be a welcomed addition among players. We’ll just have to wait and see!
eFootball 2024, the latest offering from Konami, leans heavily on gameplay improvements while stumbling in certain critical aspects.
Its increased responsiveness and revamped dribbling mechanics immediately stand out, offering a more enjoyable experience than its predecessor, the Pro Evo Soccer (PES) series. It’s also made use of AI to offer interesting gameplay elements, especially on higher difficulty levels, with teams like Brazil displaying individuality in their playing styles.
Changes to the color scheme, though a small victory, contribute to a more visually pleasing interface, but there are several drawbacks to look out for.
The lack of diverse game modes and repetitive events are a big downside, and the absence of Master League and Edit Mode, pivotal in PES’s success also leaves a void that needs addressing. The graphics show improvement in player models and faces, yet the mobile-game-like grass texture and restrictions in gameplay elements hinder its visual aspects.
Out of all the alternatives in this article, eFootball is the one that has the most work to do, but it has made promising strides recently, so perhaps its creators can build on that.
An EA Sports-free future?
The controversial branding switch away from the popular FIFA franchise is one of the biggest moves in gaming history, and it might well backfire for its inheritor EA Sports. Despite releasing a solid debut version in 2023, a wave of accomplished alternatives, as listed above, could mean that EA Sports is knocked off the top spot.
If this is does happen, then it’s likely to be just temporary. The funding and software behind soccer’s biggest video game is bound to take root sooner or later, meaning that an EA Sports-free future is very unlikely.