Credit: EA sports

Football debate

Football Manager or FIFA – which one to play

Since the dawn of time, football fans have been asking one question: Football Manager vs FIFA, which is better?

Well, lucky for those football fans, we here at Jaxon feel like we have the answer to that question. Let’s begin with what the two games are at their core.

What is FIFA?

FIFA is an annual release football game made by EA Sports. The series began in the 90s with FIFA International Soccer and will end in 2023 with FIFA 23 being the final game in the series. After that point, it will be replaced with EA Sports FC.

Most popular on consoles, the player controls the 11 players on the pitch with an arcade-style control scheme. It has a huge online community, with modes such as Ultimate Team and Pro Clubs dominating that sphere.

There is also the option to play against the AI at a variety of difficulty settings. There is also a dedicated offline game mode known as Career Mode, where the player becomes the manager of a football club.

Fifa Pro Clubs
EA Sports

What is Football Manager?

The name may suggest that Football Manager is somewhat similar to FIFA’s Career Mode. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Let’s be clear on something: when it comes to simply being a ‘manager’ in the debate of Football Manager vs FIFA, FM wins without contest. The game is far more in-depth, has a much bigger database, and is tactically more flexible. Unlike FIFA, you simulate games, you don’t actually play as the players.

Attributes in Football Manager are out of 20, versus the 99 they go up to in FIFA. Players with attributes above 16 are considered excellent in that specific element of the game.

Football Manager is primarily played on PC but is also available on Xbox and Switch. If you want to read more about FM’s availability, you can read about it here.

Football Manager Vector Logo
Sports Interactive

Offline game modes

We’re aware this article is titled Football Manager vs FIFA, but in terms of offline game modes, FIFA is barely worth mentioning.

Career mode has been lackluster for years. EA added cutscenes a few years back, but frankly, they’re just really boring and become annoying fast. Besides this, FIFA is also extremely unrealistic. It takes very little to sign all the best wonderkids in the game and by the end of your first season, have a squad capable of becoming world beaters.

You can’t really blame EA for not giving a donkeys about Career Mode though. It’s not like it makes them any money, is it?

Fifa Career Mode
EA Sports

FM on the other hand is dominated by its single-player experience. With over a thousand scouts worldwide, Sports Interactive have a ridiculous dedication to creating the most realistic simulation they can.

One of the aspects Football Manager clearly wins out vs FIFA is its transfers. Unlike FIFA, where you could sign Barcelona’s Gavi for a meek 5 million, on Football Manager, a player of that caliber is more likely to set you back a cool 90 million. It stings, but ultimately, realism is better.

Football Manager also exceeds in its training and scouting departments. The refinements you can make in Football Manager’s scouting vs FIFA’s rather poor Global Transfer Network are laughable. 

Football Manager’s database is so vast as well that you will also get a true experience of youth promotion in your saves. The newgens in Football Manager also provide variety to every save, whereas FIFA’s regens allow you to sign exact replacements of players the moment they retire.

Football Manager 2022
Football Manager

Online gamemodes

On the topic of Football Manager vs FIFA, this might be the only area where FIFA succeeds. Well, at least if you have access to one of your parent’s credit cards. 

FIFA’s premier online mode is Ultimate Team. In Ultimate Team you buy ‘packs’ of player cards that allow you to use the players in your team. In recent years, EA has gotten rather silly with these cards. There used to just be In-Forms and Team of the Year cards, but now we have One-to-Watch cards,  Icon cards, Ultimate Scream cards… anything to make money, we suppose.

There’s also Pro Clubs, which admittedly, is rather good. Pro Clubs allows you and your friends to create players and a club, and play in divisions. You match against other players’ clubs and try to get to division one. 

Fifa Game
EA Sports

Football Manager allows you to play online saves with your friends, which are also very fun. It’s the same game as the single-player game, just slightly slower because of the multiple players. Bid for the same players as your friends. Bid for your friend’s players to unsettle them. It’s great.

Football Manager also has Draft Mode, which is something FIFA doesn’t have. It might also set it apart from FIFA in the Football Manager versus FIFA debate. Draft mode allows you to play a draft in the style of ‘Fantasy Premier League’. You get a set budget and have to create a team capable of beating the one your friends create in a turn-based system. 

Draft mode can be done with a variety of budgets. You can also set challenges for which players you sign. Our favorite is ‘Golden Oldies’, in which you only sign players over the age of 30.

Football Manager
Sports Interactive

Football Manager vs FIFA

Ultimately, when it comes to Football Manager vs FIFA, the decision is up to you. If you’re after a slow, refined, methodical game that focuses heavily on realism, Football Manager is for you.

However, if you want a fast-paced arcade game and happen to have access to a credit card you don’t pay for, you might just prefer FIFA.

Are you an FM player?

Are you an FM player and you’re struggling to find wonderkids for good prices? Here is our list of cheap wonderkids. Maybe you’re struggling with a save idea? Here’s a list of Fallen Giants and Rags to Riches saves for you then too.

Sam McKenzie covers a variety of competitive first-person shooters, with an emphasis on Valorant and Counter-Strike esports. He also has a passion for football in both the real and virtual worlds, and contributes his expertise in FIFA esports.