Electronic Arts’ FIFA series and Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer are the two giants of the footballing video game world these days, and there’s no denying the brilliance of both franchises. The problem is, with each annual release tweaking the gameplay and options slightly it becomes hard to pinpoint which offering is the best. In fact, if the games didn’t improve slightly each year, there would probably be no point in continuing the series. While the titles of today have the best graphics and mechanics, players often look back on the games that inspired it all and sparked what we know today. The 1990s was a golden age of early football titles, with Sensible World of Soccer perhaps being the biggest retro classic of all.

The 1990s were a much simpler time for football games. Consoles were still in the relatively early stages of their existence, and the visuals were nowhere near as refined and beautiful as they are today. Despite this, going back and playing the games of old can fill you with an immense feeling of nostalgia. You remember the jagged movement and the arcade feel, and also reminisce about players you used to love in your childhood.

Looking back at Sensible World of Soccer, it was packed full of legends of the game who were incredibly fun to play with. Alan Shearer was one of the best players, with great stats in every category. This meant that putting in goals with the Blackburn Rovers man was a breeze, and it could lead to some insanely high scoring games. And, at the time of release in 1994, Shearer’s future side, Newcastle United, were flying high in the Premier League after finishing the 1993-94 campaign in third. Times aren’t quite as rosy for the Magpies these days, however, and in the current campaign, they are at odds of 11/4 with moplay.co.uk to be relegated at the end of the season. Oh, how times change.

Sensible Software’s 1994 football offering took a lot of inspiration from its 1992 predecessor Sensible Soccer and improved on it. It had an arcade feel but also represented the wide world of football well by including over 1500 teams and 27,000 players.

Hard-core fans of SWOS love the game so much that they have continually patched it to include updates with modern teams and players. There are even some retro aficionados who organise regular meetups to have competitions. Amiga Power ranked the 90s title as the best game of all time, and it has also been credited with being one of the most influential titles ever made.

Sensible World of Soccer was so good that some football game lovers would like to see a modern reboot of it for current generation consoles. Others prefer to play the game as it was intended, and relive those classic 90s moments. Either way, there’s no denying that this is possibly the best football game in history.

[Banner image source: Source: Sensible World of Soccer via Facebook]