Our top ten Football Manager games ranked

fm24 progress never stops out 6th november

Football Manager is a game we all love, which is likely why you’re here reading this article. Many of our readers are diehard fans of the game and, like myself, will probably have played every single edition released.

Football Manager Edition When was it released (EU)
Football Manager 2005 4th November 2004
Football Manager 2006 21st October 2005
Football Manager 2007 18th October 2006
Football Manager 2008 18th October 2007
Football Manager 2009 14th November 2008
Football Manager 2010 30th October 2009
Football Manager 2011 5th November 2010
Football Manager 2012 21st October 2011
Football Manager 2013 2nd November 2012
Football Manager 2014 30th October 2013
Football Manager 2015 7th November 2014
Football Manager 2016 13th November 2015
Football Manager 2017 4th November 2016
Football Manager 2018 10th November 2017
Football Manager 2019 2nd November 2018
Football Manager 2020 18th November 2019
Football Manager 2021 24th November 2020
Football Manager 2022 8th November 2021
Football Manager 2023 8th November 2022
Football Manager 2024 6th November 2023

Life is about opinions, and here is mine on my top ten favourite games in the FM series:

10. Football Manager 2009

fm 2009 arsenal editionThe 2009 version of the game saw a new 3D match engine introduced to the series, which is something that was welcome and only enhanced the gameplay, as it made the game more visually appealing.

One feature that was maybe ahead of its time in Football Manager was the ability for your avatar to be a male or female.

This edition also saw the introduction of press conferences.

An Arsenal brand version of the game was also released.

9. Football Manager 2013

fm 2013The 2013 edition saw design changes to the game, which made it run faster and obviously increased the enjoyment of playing the game.

The redesign also included a classic mode for those who wanted to play FM but didn’t have the time to play the full version with all the bells and whistles.

FM13 also saw the introduction of pre-set challenges, where you could test your managerial acumen over a short period of time, more often than not half a season.

This wasn’t a mode I particularly utilised, but it was a feature that many found entertaining and useful if they were bored of the original gameplay format.

According to the pre-release info, there were 900 new features in this version. Like myself, the gaming reviewers generally liked this version of the game. The critic from Metacritic gave the game an 86/100, which was a record for a football game at the time.

8. Football Manager 2018

fm 2018

While Football Manager 2018 may not have been ground-breaking, it did introduce dynamics. This feature was game-changing, as dynamics gave us players an insight into what was going on in their player’s heads.

This obviously helped us understand our teams better. The hierarchy system meant that you could see who were the most influential players within your squad.

Suddenly, you knew why players were angry with you or underperforming and which players had the power within the dressing room to help or hinder your chances of success. This has been a very useful tool for me, for sure.

7. Football Manager 2019

fm 2019FM19 saw a change in the tactical system, so we got a better understanding of how our team was set up. The game introduced three phases, in possession, in transition and out of possession.

These changed the way players set up tactics, as these three phases became vital to the success or failure of your team, as they gave you greater control of your tactical set-up.

One new feature for this edition was the introduction of VAR, which, like in real life, was greeted with mixed emotions. Unfortunately, for me, far too many goals are ruled out by VAR on FM. Despite the introduction of this divisive new feature, FM19 is still among my top ten FM games.

6. Football Manager 2008

fm 2008Football Manager 2008 is where SI attempted and succeeded in making the game more user-friendly, as they tweaked the UI (user interface). The changes made for a more enjoyable game all around.

This edition of the series introduced a new advisor system, which almost acted like an assistant manager, giving the player hints and tips. The game also saw a new finance system, which was more in-depth.

The game went platinum in the UK after selling over 300,000 copies. Its score on Metacritic of 86/100 was the joint-highest of any football game, a score that FM13 matched, of course.

5. Football Manager 2005

fm 2005This was an iconic FM game, as it was the first that was released after the split from original publisher Eidos, therefore the first under the new name ‘Football Manager’.

The game just built on the undoubted success of the final Championship Manager and took the game a step further.

With reportedly more control for Sports Interactive, the game took a slightly different path from the Champ Man series. The game involved improved transfers, game engine and even mind games etc.

However, with the essence of the old editions still present, the game was a big hit among fans and critics.

Football Manager’s first edition was.

4. Football Manager 2010

fm 2010The game saw a polish of the diamond, with tweaks in the game as a whole. The most noticeable changes were to assistant managers and the overview screen, which made the game less daunting to new or casual FM players.

Improvements were also made to the 3D animations, with adverse weather conditions becoming more apparent. One new feature that not many may have used was an improved database editor, where you could add new leagues to your game, a handy feature for some players.

The game was not revolutionary for many, but it was certainly a decent update from FM09.

3. Football Manager 2007

fm 2007This edition of the series was a much fresher version of Football Manager, which was created with a new user interface. The game also raised the bar when it came to analysis and entertainment.

The analysis system gives managers far more data to judge their team and individual players. In some ways, the game was a step forward in the series.

2. Football Manager 2014

fm 2014

FM14 was a game-changer when it came to the tactical side of the game. It meant that it was very difficult to produce ‘Plug and Play’ tactics. You had to tweak and adapt your team to pick up results.

This proved a challenge for many players while being frustrating for some other players who were less tactically aware. This edition was regarded as more realistic.

The game also introduced a new updated transfer system, with a more realistic market akin to real life.

The interaction between you as a manager and other players, managers and the board were also improved.

It is reported that FM14 sold over one million copies, which is not unusual for FM but still illustrates the success of the game.

1. Football Manager 2012

fm 2012For me, FM12 was my favourite game in the series. The transfer market was improved significantly, as was the tutorial system, the team talks, various roles and other tasks that can be delegated.

The improved scouting system was one of the most significant upgrades, helping managers view potential signings and opposition teams better.

What was your favourite Football Manager game?