Play PES 2018 Lite for free
© Konami

The best free football games to play right now

10 of the best ways to enjoy virtual football on the cheap.
Written by Fraser Gilbert
5 min readPublished on
While FIFA may be by far the biggest game around, but you don't have to spend £40 to enjoy virtual football. In fact, fans are spoilt for choice with loads of soccer games available across PC, console and handheld devices, many of them for free.
While some are inevitably more entertaining than others, there are plenty of gems that you can pick up without spending a penny. These 10 favourites offer potentially thousands of hours of enjoyment.

1. New Star Soccer

In New Star Soccer, it's your job to take a created character to the peak of world football by playing games, building skills and living the lifestyle of a professional footballer. The gameplay, which (on handheld devices) is focused on guiding passes and shots with precision, works in tandem with a text commentary system, and there are plenty of off-the-field activities to keep you busy, too. New Star Soccer has proved particularly popular on mobile and tablet in recent years, and the game underwent an impressive 3D graphics overhaul in 2016.

2. Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 LITE

If you're in two minds about whether to jump on the PES 2018 bandwagon, this is your best option. The free download, which is available on Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Steam, allows players to spend an unlimited amount of time with the game's myClub, PESLeague, Training and Exhibition modes, although the latter is restricted to just a handful of teams. You're getting a lot of content for free here, including online and offline matches across various cups and division structures, as well as the ability to try out the game's all-new co-op features.

3. Hattrick

Hattrick isn't a looker

Hattrick isn't a looker


This browser-based management game has been going for over two decades, and continues to boast a significantly large community of players. It's not for everyone – flashy visuals are nowhere to be seen – but, with its an absurdly in-depth and strategical gameplay engine, text sim fans will find themselves right at home with Hattrick. The ultimate goal is to build your club, manage resources and compete against other human managers online, and while the learning curve can prove steep, you'll find plenty of helpful guides for new players online.

4. Football Chairman

In a shift away from most management-based games, Football Chairman focuses on the task of running a club as opposed to solely coaching a squad. The game, which is exclusively available for iOS and Android, allows you to build your own club, hire and fire staff, handle transfers and much more, with the goal being to rise through the divisions and reach the pinnacle of English football. There is a paid version offering additional features such as the ability to take over existing clubs, but there's more than enough to enjoy in the free version.

5. Score! Hero

The premise of Score! Hero is simple – you're an up-and-coming footballer, and it's your job to create and score goals for your team. It only requires a few swipes of the screen to accomplish this per-level, but as the game progresses, so too does its difficulty. The game is available for Android and iOS devices and features an engaging story complete with impressive graphics, and each gameplay scenario can be conquered with various tactical approaches. The only downside is how your energy drains upon failure, forcing you to wait a short time (or pay/watch ads) before playing again.

6. FIFA Mobile

The mobile version (Android, iOS) of FIFA is far from a replica of its console counterpart, incorporating a range of unique features. Ultimate Team is the obvious attraction here, but the big difference is that you can actually train your players, making it possible to turn a low-level acquisition into a top-rated superstar in time. Another great feature is VS Attack, which allows players to compete online in bitesized scenarios across 90-second games, with the potential to earn promotions and prizes along the way.

7. Jumpers for Goalposts 5

Jumpers For Goalposts 5 is a popular Flash game

Jumpers For Goalposts 5 is a popular Flash game

© YouTube

Jumpers for Goalposts has long been known as one of the best football flash games on the web. It's ultimately very similar in nature to the aforementioned New Star Soccer, allowing players to live the life of a footballer, complete with off-the-field activities. The difference here is that instead of a focus on how you place the ball, it's all about timing, requiring you to time your clicks to send the ball in the right direction. It's tougher than it sounds, and surprisingly addictive.

8. Top Eleven 2018

Now in its eighth year, Top Eleven credits itself as being "the most popular online sports game in the world." Available for PC, mobile and tablet devices, the game allows you to build your own club and control everything from stadiums to transfers, as well as compete against players from across the world. The matches themselves are handled via a 2D engine which proves reminiscent of Football Manager, and you can even compete against cover star Jose Mourinho himself – just don't expect an easy challenge!

9. PES 2018 Mobile

If you don't own a console or powerful enough PC, or you simply want to take PES 2018 on the go, PES Mobile is worth a try. The game, which is available for Android and iOS devices, is surprisingly reminiscent of its console counterpart, allowing you to play with tailored gesture or classic controls across a variety of modes including myClub, Local League and UEFA Champions League events. There are a bunch of Legends up for grabs in the myClub mode, too, allowing you to acquire players such as Diego Maradona, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.

10. Championship Manager 01/02

You can play Championship Manager 01/02 for free

You can play Championship Manager 01/02 for free

© championshipmanager0102

Back in January of 2009, Eidos Interactive turned Championship Manager 01/02 into a legally free download. The game, which arguably served as the series' peak before it acquired the Football Manager title, holds up extremely well to this day, despite sporting a text-only match interface. The game's fanbase has remained consistent over the years, too, with regular updates, graphics and challenges still being produced over at 17 years after its initial release, Champ Man 01/02 remains one of the best management games out there.