There aren’t too many options when it comes to soccer games for the SNES, but there are still plenty to be getting on with. Some aren’t really worth the time, though, so we’ve had a go at selecting the best SNES soccer game for you.
Read on for the 5 best soccer games to play on the SNES.
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5. Tony Meola’s Sidekicks Soccer
Developer: Sculptured Software
SNES release date: 1993
One of the lesser known soccer games, Tony Meola’s Sidekicks Soccer is a solid simulation game that is played from the player’s perspective.
There are a number of different European and Japanese club teams available, but it is mainly focussed around US soccer teams, which makes sense given that Tony Meola is a 100-capped US international veteran.
Among other things, the game allows you to change formations, pick your team, and set tactics for set pieces. Once your strategy is set, you can watch your team try to get the ball in the back of the net while some rather dramatic music plays in the background (you might want to turn the volume down actually…).
To many, the game can be disorientating, confusing, and not at all pleasant, especially in some modes where the pitch is constantly rotating. Yet, I like that Tony Meola’s Sidekicks Soccer tries to be something different than other games in the genre, and for that I think it can easily be considered as one of the best SNES soccer games around.
4. Super Soccer
Developer: Human Entertainment
SNES release date: 1991
A good portion of 16-bit enthusiasts will contend that Super Soccer is the best SNES soccer game around, and I’m not at all against that notion. It’s fun to play, and the sound and visuals are right on par for the era.
There is an Exhibition Mode, in which you take on other teams in a match or a shootout, and a Tournament Mode, which requires the player to take on all other teams in the game (and becomes inexplicably difficult when you come to face off against Ireland!).
I like the simplicity of Super Soccer – you run, pass, shoot, and tackle. If you’re lucky, you may even score the occasional goal, but if you’re like me, this won’t come from the penalty spot (I never did master the spot kick in Super Soccer).
3. Mega Man Soccer
Developer: Sun L
SNES release date: 1994
Mega Man Soccer is an insanely fun soccer game, and if it wasn’t for my absolute love of the following two games, I’d have no qualms about placing this as the best SNES soccer game of all time.
In Mega Man Soccer, there are different game modes including exhibition games, leagues, and tournaments. This is a game that anyone can enjoy, regardless of whether or not you’re a soccer fan. It has a simple but effective gameplay, and the added use of special powers brings a fresh twist to the more traditional soccer games for the SNES.
Add to that a very charming aesthetic and some easy listening music, and you’ve got yourself a grand old 16-bit sporting session.
2. International Superstar Soccer Deluxe
SNES release date: 1995
International Superstar Soccer Deluxe is a strong contender for the best SNES soccer game ever made. ISS emerged as the main contender to FIFA in early soccer games, and in the case of the 16-bit era, it completely outperformed it.
ISS Deluxe has it all, a good selection of teams, multiple game modes, and a fun practice mode for you to practice your attacks. Granted, it didn’t have licensed players, but for me that added to the charm. You could completely fall in love with the made up players for your chosen team – Gomez, Paradilla, Santos, etc. – there was someone special on every team.
The graphics outdid any other soccer game at the time, and the commentary added a level of vibrancy to an already lively gameplay that just made the game a delight to play.
No question, ISS Deluxe was way ahead of its time, and I think few would argue that it is easily one of the best soccer games for the SNES, and potentially of all time.
1. Sensible Soccer
Developer: Sensible Software
SNES release date: 1992
In my book, Sensible Soccer is one of the best soccer games of all time. Originating on the Amiga platform, it made its way to the SNES in 1992 with a bang.
First things first. If you value graphics, then you may not agree with Sensible Soccer being top of the list. If you value gameplay, though, there’s no question that we’re in agreement.
The introduction of ball physics to soccer video games was a genius move by Sensible Software and it made the gameplay really stand out from the others. Whipping a long ball across the field to your teammate, or curling one into the box feels very satisfying when you get a player sliding to get it into the back of the net. The instant replay that follows augments that satisfaction.
You can choose from national teams, club teams, or custom teams, but really they’re all pretty much the same. Simple and fun, Sensible Soccer is absolutely the best SNES soccer game ever made.
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To see some more SNES soccer games, check out the great YouTube video below by Virtual Gaming Library – VGL.