PLAY TIME: Crisp visuals, official licences and nuanced gameplay found in the app store.
PLAY TIME: Crisp visuals, official licences and nuanced gameplay found in the app store.

The top 5 soccer games for your smartphone

THERE are a daunting number of football games on iOS and Android devices, but each of the games below ranks among the best you'll find on app marketplaces (at least until someone finally gets around to remaking Sensible Soccer for handhelds).

New Star Soccer

Android/iOS, Free (In-App Purchases)

When Bafta-winning developer Simon Read faced flagging sales and significant amounts of debt in the pursuit of success with his PC football sim New Star Soccer, he turned to the mobile market as a last resort. This unique title now sits among the highest echelon of football games on any gaming device with millions signing up to simulate the lives of a professional footballer climbing up the leagues. With RPG-lite training schemes, relationship management and match day gameplay that gives you a chance to make the crucial plays count, New Star Soccer is a simple, addictive slice of armchair wish-fulfilment.

Football Manager 2014

Android/iOS

Eschewing the free-to-play model in favour of a reasonable admission price, Football Manager 2014 distils the basics of the intimidatingly expansive PC and Mac management sim for the mobile market. The touch controls can be a little fiddly during team selections, but the depth of managerial control in this sim really separates the Mourinhos from the Moyes's. Best played on a big screen tablet, specifically the iPad as the iOS exclusive cloud saves allow for cross-device play if you happen to own an iPhone as well.

Score! World Goals

Android/iOS, Free (In-App Purchases)

Score! World Goals brings an element of the puzzle genre to the field, asking players to recreate classic goals from the sport's storied history books. With decades worth of the finest finishes from world football, this is one for those who know their van Basten volleys from their Roberto Carlos screamers. The intuitive swipe gestures initially hide a level of complexity on higher difficulty levels that on the toughest settings require precision input to hit the sweet spot on a powerful strike or to thread the needle on a perfect through ball.

Fifa 14

Android/iOS/Windows, Free (In-App Purchases)

The alpha football franchise from the console market brings its crisp visuals, official licences and nuanced gameplay to the app store. While the more complex trick controls don't lend themselves well to smaller mobile screens and the commentary team make Phil Neville sound dynamic, if you can stomach the price of the in-app purchases (and the cost of a whopping 1.3GB of storage on your device) Fifa 14 is a faithful adaptation of EA's biggest cash cow.

Flick Kick Football Legends

Android/iOS, Free (In-App Purchases)

PikPok made their name with the original Flick Kick, but the endearing cel-shaded comic book style, expanded gameplay modes and competitive leagues in Flick Kick Football Legends make it far outshine its popular predecessor.

In spite of the extra content, it's still at its best when you're planting one of its patented flicked free kicks straight into the top corner.

A fun, fluid arcady footy game that's only hampered by an irritatingly strict energy meter that refills painfully slowly in real time.


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