Review – Football Manager 2023

I don’t grab a yearly version of Football Manager for two reasons: the minute differences between versions (other than the roster, which you can edit, of course) and the amount of busy work you have to do before setting up a new version. These include patching licenses up with mods, removing things such as the feature that doesn’t allow you to play as the Japan and German national teams, and so on. FM is a time-consuming game which is nearly impossible to get away from once you boot it up for real. The same can be said about Football Manager 2023, of course. After spending nearly 2,000 hours on Football Manager 2020, I’m ready for yet another series of epic journeys taking teams from the bottom to Champions League glory. Speaking of…

Football Manager 2023 UCL

Imagine taking Hayes & Yeading United from the eighth division to Champions League glory and then seeing your lineup in the official UCL font and presentation.

The main addition in Football Manager 2023 is the licensed inclusion of the Champions League, as well as other UEFA competitions. If you’re a Football Manager veteran, you’d pay no attention to that. You’ve been adding the logo of the Champions League as a side mod ever since, like, FM08 or something. The difference lies on how Football Manager 2023 presents the Champions League in-game, complete with real-life licensed scoreboards and that one beautiful, utterly magnificent anthem being played before matches. That makes this game one of the only, if not the only, Football Manager where there’s a reason to actually wear headphones to listen to it while playing it.

As for the rest… well, yeah, it’s par for the course. There are just a handful of additions to the gameplay, even when compared to the three year span between FM20 and FM23, which I took. Sure, the UI is a lot more intuitive, and scouting is a breeze compared to the hellish landscape that was trying to search for a wunderkind in Football Manager 2020, but the differences are very subtle if you’re not into the franchise. The added influence of agents over your players is a bit more annoying than intended, though. The game also boasts the fact it has better match animations, but they still look inferior to what FIFA Manager 08 was doing fifteen years ago, with stiff and robotic animations.

Football Manager 2023 History

The brand new timeline has no purposeful gameplay effects, but it’s a great way to see your history within the club in a long-term save.

The differences being minute aren’t exactly a deal-breaker. It’s legitimately hard to improve upon a formula that has been polished to near perfection for Sports Interactive’s small, but die-hard loyal fanbase. Football Manager 2023 caters to its audience and gives zero craps if you’re not part of this minute niche. If you are part of this demographic, however, this will once again be a time-consuming, heart-wrenching, immersive, and engrossing experience, one you could easily spend spend hundreds of hours playing.


Graphics: 6.5

In terms of its UI, Football Manager 2023 does look a bit more crisp and intuitive than previous versions. Even though its matches look a bit more detailed, character animations still look too robotic.

Gameplay: 9.5

The added influence of agents over your players is a bit more annoying than intended. As for the rest, it’s still the same FM as before, with just slight improvements here and there.

Sound: 4.5

For the most part, still a purely muted game. But the inclusion of the Champions League anthem sure made me feel something else…

Fun Factor: 9.5

Football Manager 2023 caters to its audience and gives zero craps if you’re not part of this minute niche. If you’re part of it, it’s the most engrossing game ever, even though the addition of improvements is really minute. In fact, the main addition in this version is a music track…

Final Verdict: 8.5

Football Manager 2023 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Football Manager 2023 was provided by the publisher.