Game Review | Football Manager 2016

Football Manager isn’t just any old game – it’s a whole other life, a place where you exist as some deific figure, able to change the fate of both the young and old. Will you decide to give an international cap to a 39 year old defender in the Conference? Will you give a debut to your ‘promising’ 15 year old winger? You’re born into a world where you hold the power, where teams can be plucked from obscurity and brought to glory.

It even starts to filter into real life, too. Often I’ve been filled with rage at real-life players, when I remembered how on FM they scored an own-goal in the last minute of the North London Derby, or because their attitude was affecting my young regens. And when the press talk about an exciting young prospect, I can boast to my friends that ‘he played as a trequartista in my Shamrock Rovers team in 2027’. Every year brings about new wonderkids, who often go on to be some of the best players in the world – like Neymar on FM11 – and some who don’t (cough cough Freddy Adu).

So FM16, like all other Football Manager games, will not be something you can enter into lightly – it’s an all or nothing game. Will you buy a shirt with your favourite regen’s name on the back? Will you devote hours to scouring the globe for the best players? You hold the power.

What has changed?

Football Manager is without a doubt one of the most detailed games created – and every year, it gets more and more realistic. Here are some of the new features which make it even better than FM15…


For the first time, Football Manager 2016 gives you the ability to create your own team – not only can you name them, create a kit and edit the squad, but you can even create your own players. We, of course, created Zavvi FC – with Darth Vader up front as a poacher, able to ‘force’ his way through any defence, and with Groot as a solid DM, not letting anyone past him. Our Disney/Marvel super-squad proved the one to beat, and Vader’s performance in the Community Shield left Emperor Mourinho’s position as Dark Lord of the Chelsea team in a perilous position.

Expanded Press Interaction

*Assertive* I don’t want to talk about individual features. *Passionate* Ok, you’ve convinced me – as much as we have loved previous FM press interaction, it can occasionally become stale. With this expanded interaction, there are so many more ways to deal with the press – with more conversations, answers and contextual questions. Even better, unemployed managers can now talk to the press, and advertise their availability to the world.

Prozone Match Analysis

With help from a leading stats provider, Prozone, FM16 has seen in-game match analysis change hugely –adding lots of helpful features. No longer do you need to rely on old tactics to try and change a game – pinpoint exactly what is going wrong, and make the change immediately, as well as the following individual performances of your players, and understand why they’ve been given the ratings they have.

Fantasy Draft

Like the create-a-club feature, you can create your ‘dream team’ of players, and take on your friends. You start with a fixed budget and build the team you want, with the tactics you desire, and can then go head-to-head in a mini-league. We’ve all wanted to prove we’re better managers than our friends; with this, and you all using dream teams, don’t let them claim that the ‘teams are unfair’.

Manager on the touchline

Ever wanted to see yourself on screen, reacting to goals, shouting at players and eating a half-time pie? Well, now you can do two of those three things! You can create a customisable character and join in the action, barking orders to your team – just don’t choose to wear Arsene Wenger’s coat.

The emphasis of the change seems to be about making the game more customisable, giving you even more power. However, these are just a few of the massive range of improvements and features added to the game – with more including multi-match highlights, a set-piece creator, more realistic injuries, a smarter layout, a new financial module, better team talks and much more. It’s clear to see that the football-loving team at FM have yet again brought you the most realistic football game around, full of features which will keep you hooked until this time next year.