Ranking the Best Soccer Games on PlayStation

May 16, 2024

People holding PlayStation 4 controllers

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Boasting stunning graphics and realistic gameplay, the best soccer games provide an immersive experience that will make you feel like you’re on the field with your favorite team. 

All games on this list have satisfied millions of fans worldwide who, at one time or another, have hopped on their PlayStation consoles to play soccer. Whether you agree or disagree with this ranking, the important thing is that it sparks plenty of fond memories. Let the arguments begin.

Best Soccer Games Ranked: Methodology 

Soccer, or football as it’s more commonly known, is the world’s most popular sport, engaging over 4 billion fans across the globe. Naturally, establishing a consistent and credible ranking methodology will be challenging. Everyone probably has one or two games they’ll swear were the best ever and might be expecting them to rank higher. 

That’s why in ranking the best football video games on the PS console, this list simply aggregates the top-rated games across multiple review sites. Using this approach can provide a more objective look at how each entry stacks against the other. It also allows you to appreciate the changes over the years — from gameplay and graphics to innovation. 

However, it’s important to note that while ranking the best soccer games offers a solid foundation for comparison, each entry’s true essence and impact go beyond numbers. The cultural footprints left by each game and their overall contribution to the global football community also bear weight. 

1. FIFA 14 

FIFA’s access to official licensing means it is unrivaled in terms of authenticity in football gaming. But that’s just one of many aspects of FIFA 14 that make it the best soccer game ever played on a PS console. Released in September 2013 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and Vita, the game had all the right features to deliver a truly enjoyable experience. 

To be clear, FIFA 14 doesn’t really have a big marquee feature. Instead, it consolidates all the innovations from previous installments along with small yet hugely impactful changes. Most notable is the more natural way players move and interact with each other and the ball. The shift in body weight when they suddenly change direction adds a more realistic sense of momentum as they build up speed. Improved player movement also resulted in better dribbling, making runs feel more thrilling and goals scored more gratifying. 

2. FIFA 12 

The introduction of tactical defending and precision dribbling are the standout features of FIFA 12. While doing a slide tackle in previous games was your go-to for regaining possession, defending on FIFA 12 is more nuanced and follows a more authentic gameplay. Unnecessarily sliding toward an opponent will leave your player in the wake of a speedy winger or striker as he sprints at your goalkeeper. 

Precision dribbling introduced more flair to your gaming experience. Tapping the L1 button while moving with the ball at your player’s feet gave you that extra burst of finesse past a defender. Oh, what fun times were there with this function, especially with naturally gifted dribblers like Andres Iniesta and Ronaldinho? 

3. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013

PES 2013 will likely make it onto any football lover’s best soccer games of all time. Cristiano Ronaldo deservedly graced the cover following his scintillating form at Real Madrid and budding professional rivalry with Lionel Messi. 

What makes PES 2013 truly stand out is the amazing on-field gameplay. Passing was smooth, player positioning resembled real-life settings and even the player reactions were superbly genuine. Overall, the immersive gaming experience kept the controller glued to your hands for hours. 

4. Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (2006)

Featuring the best Premier League defender, John Terry, on the cover, PES 6 was a truly defining installment in the entire franchise. It was one of those “you had to play it to really experience it” games that further widened the gap in the FIFA or PES debate. 

PES 6 was one of the best games of the PS 2 era, bringing all the greatest football stars to life on your screen. The intricately designed gameplay boasted advanced tactics and high-intensity moments that football lovers worldwide came to expect in subsequent releases. 

5. ISS Pro Evolution 

Before PES, there was International Superstar Soccer, which you’ll remember fondly if you owned a PS1 back in the day. ISS Pro Evolution was the 1999 installment of the beloved franchise, introducing a new level of depth and realism to the game. One of the game’s most exciting features was the introduction of the Master League mode, which allowed gamers to build their teams, negotiate player transfers and compete in a conventional football season. 

6. FIFA 21 

FIFA 21 Game Screen on PS4

As the Covid-19 pandemic halted footballing worldwide, avid gamers kept playing. FIFA 21 improved the somewhat lackluster gameplay of its predecessor with a number of small changes that enhanced the overall gaming experience. On-field passes and crosses flowed smoother and play movements on the ball were noticeably more lifelike. 

One of the best features was the realistic speed mirroring of in-game players compared to their real-life counterparts. For instance, when using speedsters like Kylian Mbappe and Leroy Sane, you would actually leave bedraggled defenders behind after dribbling past them. 

7. EA Sports FC 24

After selling more than 325 million copies over the past three decades, EA Sports and FIFA announced the decision to split after the publisher balked at paying a premium to obtain the famous FIFA branding. As a result, gamers expecting a FIFA 24 soccer game got EA FC 24 instead. The gameplay doesn’t sway much from its predecessors and is, in fact more enjoyable than the previous installments.

Worthy Inclusions 

  • FIFA 2010 (PlayStation 2 and 3)
  • FIFA 2018 (PlayStation 3 and 4)
  • PES 2008 (PlayStation 2, 3 and Portable)
  • PES 2017 (PlayStation 3 and 4)
  • FIFA 2016 (PlayStation 3 and 4)
  • PES 2020 (PlayStation 4)
  • Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions (PlayStation 4)
  • FIFA Street 3 (Playstation 3) 

The Best Soccer Games On PlayStation

Over the years, PS console gamers have been treated to a vast selection of soccer games and it’s almost impossible to say which one truly deserves top spot. However, this list does sufficient justice and hopefully inspires you to pick up the pad once more for a scintillating soccer match or two.

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Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.