For quite a while only two have been contending for the attention of football video game enthusiasts, namely EA Sports with FIFA (which this year becomes EA Sports FC) and Konami with eFootball (the former Pro Evolution Soccer) . At one time, in any case, they were certainly not the only ones: Many iconic football games have been released on PS1 and PS2!
Bucking the trend of soccer games that were all the rage at the time, in 1997 Namco came to the arcade with Free Greata video game that allowed you to control a single player, rather than the entire team. Not an entirely new idea, having already been explored before by other titles (including the Italian I Play 3D Soccer by Simulmondo for Atari, Amiga and Commodore 64), but which only Libero Grande has managed to make known to a truly vast.
Success in the arcade paved the way for thearrival of Libero Grande on PlayStation, which took place in 1998. Players could impersonate a single champion of their choice from a roster of several dozen football players (in varying numbers according to the versions of the game). All strictly fake with names inspired by real championssuch as the Italian Antonio Del Pacino (Alessandro Del Piero), the French Zenon Zadkine (Zinedine Zidane), the Japanese Naoki Hidaka (Hidetoshi Nakata), the Brazilian Raimundo (Ronaldo) and the Argentine Gaston Balmaceda (Gabriel Batistuta)
Libero Grande has done school. While failing to turn into a long-lived and successful series – the subsequent Libero Grande International sold so little as to decree the end of the franchise – laid the foundations for modalities that are still very famous todaysuch as Become a Legend of PES/eFootball and Player Career of FIFA/EA Sports FC.
This is Football
The younger ones among you probably don’t know that there was a time when too Sony made football video gamesobviously exclusive to PlayStation: we are obviously talking about This is Football.
The series was born in 1999 on the first PlayStation under the care of SCE Studios Soho (a team that later merged into London Studio after the merger with Psygnosis Camden Studio in 2002), and continued with annual releases fino a This is Football 2005released instead on PlayStation 2. After that year Sony produced only two episodes for PSP under the American name of the series (World Tour Soccer) and the managerial spin-off This Is Football Management, released on PSP, PS3 and PS Vita in 2010.
With This is Football, Sony has tried to fit in halfway between the more arcade gameplay of FIFA and the more simulative one of PES, also managing to satisfy the licensing side thanks to the agreement with FIFPro (there were however several blunders, such as Stum in Milan). Despite the efforts, the series has never managed to establish itself, ending up being abandoned by Sony, but in any case not forgotten by those who preferred it to the other contenders in those years.
…and many others!
Many football games have appeared on PlayStation and PlayStation 2, all characterized by mixed fortunes and never really able to oppose the dominance of EA Sports and Konami, yet unforgettable in their own way.
We can think of, for example, the Actua Soccer for PlayStation 1, which presented themselves as a valid alternative to the gameplay of FIFA; the extremely exaggerated and anything but simulative Sega Soccer Slam per PlayStation 2; Virtua Pro Football for PS2 with its rock-paper-scissors system in 1v1s; David Beckham Soccer by Rage Software for PS1 and PS2, one of the few games entirely dedicated to a single player, unfortunately characterized by a rather poor quality. All without counting titles never arrived in Europe such as Super Shot Soccer by Tecmo and Captain Tsubasa J: Get in the Tomorrow by Bandai, just to name a few.
Can you think of any others? Then share your memories in the comments, we can’t wait to read them!