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The best Xbox football games

If you're looking to play the beautiful game on your shiny Series X|S, here are the best Xbox football games for you to practice your skill moves on.

Best Xbox football games: Player about to kick a football in FIFA 23

What are the best Xbox football games? Football – or ‘soccer’ for all you American readers – is the world’s most popular sport, and football games let you live out your dream as a pro player or a manager in the dugout. The emotions of football – joy, heartbreak, frustration, excitement – can all be felt in the best Xbox football games.

But which ones offer you the best experience out of the best football games? Well, we’ve put the latest and greatest games to the test, and we believe we have the top list of the best Xbox football games around.

The best Xbox football games are:

  • FIFA 23
  • FIFA 22
  • Football Manager 2023
  • eFootball
  • Rocket League

best Xbox football games: Jesus dribbles the ball in Arsenal kit in FIFA 23

1. FIFA 23

FIFA 23 is clear of all other football games on Xbox today. It offers something for everyone, whether you want to forge a career as a player or manager at your favourite club, bring together your Ultimate Team of global superstar players, start a club with friends online, or just compete against players from around the world. Developer EA SPORTS holds loads licences for all the top league competitions worldwide, and the game is packed with face scans of real footballers, making it the most authentic football game available.

FIFA has a great history on Xbox, too. Some of us are old enough to remember when FUT Icons were exclusive to Xbox, so if you wanted to juice your squad with Pelé on PlayStation, it was hard luck. These days, Icons are available for every player – even on Nintendo Switch. With the FUT transfer market now combined on consoles and crossplay in place, there’s no difference whether you play FIFA on Xbox or PS4/5.

The power of the Xbox Series X will get the most out of the latest FIFA. Players still rocking a last-gen console will not benefit from next-gen HyperMotion 2 technology, which makes the game look true-to-life, but all the usual annual updates will be there.

This edition of FIFA will be the last developed by EA SPORTS, as a rebrand to EA SPORTS FC is coming in time for the 23/24 football season.

You can find our FIFA 23 review here.

Best Xbox football games: Mbappe volleys the ball in FIFA 22

2. FIFA 22

Why is an older version of FIFA still one of the best football games for Xbox, you might ask?

If you simply want to kick a ball around with friends and aren’t fussed about having the latest kits and updates in game, FIFA 22 is a bargain buy. You can even edit transfers into clubs via the Customise option on the home menu. Career Mode and other offline game modes will be totally fine to play, and there is always a small online community playing, but finding an opponent will take longer than in FIFA 23. FIFA 22 was, at release, received well, getting a 78 on Metacritic, and was praised as a step forward for the sports sim with the power of next-gen consoles. You can read our FIFA 22 review here.

Last year’s FIFA can always be found for a bargain – especially if you’re still a fan of buying physical games. It’s also available for free to EA Play members via Xbox Game Pass.

Best Xbox football games: players in a purple kit motivate one another before heading out of the tunnel and onto the football pitch

3. Football Manager 2023

Every football fan has thought ‘I could manage my team better than them’ at one point or another, and Football Manager 2023 lets you give that a shot. The Football Manager games are synonymous with PC gaming, but a console version has popped up on Xbox. With Game Pass, Football Manager 2023 Xbox Edition is free to play, and that’s a great price for a game that you can lose hours to.

You are tasked with taking your club to glory. Set up your tactic, scout your opposition, run training and recruit staff; you’ll do everything a manager does from day to day, using thousands of data points to analyse. The transfer windows are serious fun in Football Manager, too, as agents start to hawk their talent and tempt you to put an offer in and your scouts find bargain talent that could be the next Messi. The opposite is also true, and you must try to keep your best players from moving on!

You’ll do everything except control the players in FM23 on Xbox. It’s a tacticians dream.

Best Xbox football games: Two players contest for the ball in midfield in efootball

4. eFootball 2023

eFootball is the free-to-play successor of the legendary Pro Evolution Soccer from Konami. At launch, the game became a meme for all of its launch bugs, including invisible footballers and pancake referees, but in March 2023 the game passed 600 million downloads on console, PC, and mobile. The game has gone down a service route, rather than an annual release, and relies on people skipping the grind for content with microtransactions to support it.

It doesn’t currently stand up to old rival FIFA in terms of depth or content, but gameplay is still the focus, and the match engine plays out a great simulation of football for a F2P title. The game is focussed mostly around MyClub, which mirrors FIFA Ultimate Team, and allows you to build a club full of the world’s best players and compete online. Konami has also snatched some licences away from EA SPORTS, in Serie A sides AS Roma, Napoli, Lazio, and Atalanta.

PES made its name with Master League, which is missing, and there’s no way of playing co-op games with friends currently, so eFootball doesn’t compare at the minute. For a free download on Xbox, it’s worth a go in our eyes, and we can only hope that the devs bring Master League back soon.

Best Xbox football games: A red car saves the ball from going in the goal in Rocket League

5. Rocket League

Rocket League might not strike you as a football game, but this simple concept has won hundreds of awards since its release in 2015, as football with rocket-powered cars. The objective seems so simple: 5 minutes, small cars, big ball and two goals. Matchups can be anything from 1v1 to 4v4, but the classic is 3v3, which feels the most balanced.

Once you’ve got to grips with the physics and high-octane arcade gameplay, Rocket League is a blast. It may take newbies a little while to master, but it isn’t a frustrating grind at all, and players are rewarded along the way with cosmetic unlockables to customise their car. Online gameplay has both casual and ranked, so you don’t worry about being steamrolled by veteran players – unless, of course, you want to conquer the Rocket League ranks. Rocket League is cross-platform and has cross-progression, so you can enjoy it on your Xbox or another platform, and all your inventory will follow.

It also has a thriving esports scene too, with millions of dollars up for grabs in the Rocket League Championship Series.

Now you know the best football games, why not fire up your Xbox for a match? If you’re looking for more recommendations, check out our best Xbox games guide, and our best co-op games guide if you’re playing with a teammate.