Review – Sociable Soccer 24

If you are a football fan and a gamer, you don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to the kind of game you can acquire to suit your electronic footballing needs. You have EA Sports FC (the franchise formerly known as FIFA), with its decent gameplay, but horrendous focus on microtransactions. You have Football Manager if you’re not into actually playing virtual football itself, being more of a tactician guy, like me. There’s also eFootball, if you’re a masochist. That’s pretty much it. Those aren’t exactly dark times, but we do need more variety. Enter Jon Hare, and his brand new title, Sociable Soccer 24.

Sociable Soccer 24 dribble

Dribble (or not) like it’s 1995 all over again.

You may be forgiven if you don’t know the name Jon Hare, though you totally should know who he is. He is the man behind one of the biggest sports cult hits of the 90s, the Sensible Soccer series. Granted, those were mostly linked to the Amiga and PCs, but given the fact people still play those games to this day, you have to understand that they did leave a mark. They weren’t exactly meant to be fully realistic in terms of gameplay, but were known for featuring one of the first fully-fledged career modes in football gaming history. The whole “take Woking from Conference to Champions League” schtick could be done way back in the mid-90s with these games.

Sociable Soccer 24 is a spiritual sequel to Sensible Soccer in this regard. The game is not exactly realistic, or even fully polished in terms of gameplay. To be really honest, it’s as simplistic as a Mario football game, with the exception of not giving you access to turtle shells to throw at the opposition. A game like International Superstar Soccer 98, released on the Nintendo 64, features more dribbling and passing options than this 2023 game, for instance, though I do understand this extreme simplicity is a deliberate decision. The game is easy to pick up and play. It’s as arcadey as a football-themed arcade game can be.

Sociable Soccer 24 stats

What the hell are these stats, Sociable Soccer 24??

At first I was wondering what the game’s focus really was. It didn’t particularly look the part, mostly resembling a slightly better-looking version of Football Manager‘s visual mode, but again, I get it: it’s meant to resemble an early arcade game. The gameplay is so stripped down of mechanics it almost wants to punish you for thinking like a modern football gamer. Then I realized, the focus of Sociable Soccer 24 is at the same place as other Sensible Soccer titles: single player league management.

Sociable Soccer 24 almost wants to be some sort of playable Football Manager due to its sheer ludicrous amount of playable clubs to choose from. There are clubs from literally every FIFA-affiliated country on Earth; if they are not available in league form, there will still be like three or four teams per country to choose from. This, by itself, is already amazing, but it comes at a cost: licensing.

Sociable Soccer 24 refs

Basically, every single Premier League referee working today.

None of the clubs included in Sociable Soccer 24 are licensed, nor do they feature realistic names, unless they are just literally named after a city, like Roma or Brighton. Furthermore, despite boasting a license from FIFPro (the football players’ union which handles their image rights for games like this one), not all clubs feature real players. The less-known the club, the less likely they will feature a real roster. German teams also feature fake player names, so don’t expect Harry Kane to show up.

Finally, there is an issue with how Sociable Soccer 24 handles player cards and stats. The damn thing is monstrously unbalanced. Players from smaller teams might have stats in the 20s or 30s, which is impossible to be found in either FIFA or Football Manager. It’s hard to make these players grow. Just a handful of clubs actually feature decent (and realistic) player stats, with even clubs like Brighton featuring most of their players in the low 60s, which is something usually reserved to League One or Two clubs in other football games. It nearly demotivates you to pick a smaller club and start from the bottom.


Just like in Football Manager, everyone is going to try to take Wrexham to the Premier League.

Sociable Soccer 24 impresses with its ludicrous amount of playable clubs to choose from, but I think that’s basically where the novelty ends. At its core, it’s a fun little throwback to simpler electronic footballing days, but maybe it is TOO stripped down of features. Even other titles from the 90s featured more mechanics and customization options. Is this the ideal alternative to the stale FIFA, the atrocious eFootball or the tactics-only Football Manager? Well, you can have carefree, arcade-like fun with it for a while, but it won’t become the next addictive sports game out in the market.


Graphics: 6.0

It runs pretty well, but the visuals are simplistic. It feels like you’re playing a slightly better-looking version of Football Manager‘s visual mode.

Gameplay: 7.0

Expect 90s levels of simplicity in the gameplay. The controls are simple to learn, and the mechanics are very basic, being intentionally shallow. There is a huge emphasis on team-building, backed by the ludicrous team roster.

Sound: 5.5

It covers the basics and nothing else. There is a trap soundtrack on the menus and there is an uninspired, Manchester City levels of quiet, crowd chant during gameplay.

Fun Factor: 7.0

The roster is immense, but a ton of teams feature unlicensed players, despite the game having FIFPRO’s backing. It’s a neat nod to football games from the late 90s, but its novelty wore off quickly.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Sociable Soccer 24 is available now on PC and Xbox Series X|S.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Sociable Soccer 24 was provided by the publisher.