The Greatest Football Video Games that never were – The Football Coffee Break

The last 7 days certainly haven’t been without incident. Roman Abramovich became displeased with his latest plaything, Portsmouth and Rangers have been fighting to stay in existence and Arsenal are pretending to be as good as Tottenham (I’ll just let that settle on the palette Gunners fans.) Naturally, with all that in mind this week’s Coffee Break is a video games special…

There have been hundreds of football video games over the years ranging from blocky, slowmotion action (But enough about Emile Heskey… I’ve never actually made a joke about him before so i’m allowing myself one) to look-at-every-scar-on-Ribery’s-haunted-face realism. Many people scoff at the thought of computer based entertainment but surely it does more for mental stimulation than dribbling pie gravy down a size XXXL replica shirt whilst shouting at some athletes young enough to be your son? I’m not defending computer games because i’m a seasoned gamer trying to make up for my lack of any recognisable real-life ability, in fact I’m incredibly inept at them. The enjoyment they give me is purely nostalgic. Many fans like to dust off old programmes, others try and squeeze into an Italia 90 England replica shirt with no regard for their wife or girlfriend’s dignity as a scowling waiter sits them both down at the Tapas restaurant his grandfather founded 90 years ago. Me, I like indoor football with Qatar on FIFA 96. Football video games have always complimented my enjoyment of the real thing. Whether it’s rewriting history on Football Manager (Even if it usually ends up as a depressing homage to Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool reign), to avoid talking to someone who’s company you’ve been unwillingly burdened with or to simply sit back and seek amusement from Adidas Power Soccer’s stunning range of celebrations that included “flapping about like a raven in need of a pee” and “whole team lines up on all fours ala Human Centipede.”
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I’m not a massive fan of modern incarnations of FIFA or PES myself, I find they lack a certain charm and warmth that early (and often terrible) games had. Although they are undoubtably impressive in their own right, i’m a sucker for the fun element generated by godawful graphics and horrible sound effects that saw slide tackles met with grunts. FIFA and PES stand as the only real options to gamers today so I started thinking; could there be a niche in the market for some slightly more innovative titles? With more talking points this season than an inquest into why Adrian Chiles is still on television, what would the world of football simulation look like if companies cashed in on every one of them with a game? (Who’s for a game of Ryan Giggs’ Super Injunction Challenge?) Click on my little video thingy below to see the greatest football video games that never were…
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ENJOY
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