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Soccer Game APP

March 5, 2019 / US

The Best 5 Soccer Game Apps of 2018


Are you the type of soccer fan who just can’t get enough of the beautiful game?

Then you’ll definitely want to check out this review of the Best Soccer Game apps of 2018 in the iOs and Google Play stores.

From legendary console spin-offs like FIFA and PES 2018, to fast-action heads-up arcade-style games like Soccer Stars, you’ll get the down and dirty on the five very best soccer game apps to pass the time on your Apple or Android device today.

For each of the games on our list, we’ll give you our take on several key factors:

  • Gameplay

  • Fun Factor

  • Features

That way you’ll know exactly which game (or games) you should install the next time you have some time to kill between Champions League matches.

Plus, we’ll also cover some of the best and worst reviews for each game from the app stores, so you don’t just have to take our word for it.

Now, as the EA sports tagline goes, “It’s all in the game!” So let’s not waste more time and dive right into our roundup review of the Top Soccer Game apps of 2018 for iOs and Android.

Soccer Stars Logo

#5 - Soccer Stars

Synopsis

Ok, so Soccer Stars is definitely the game on this list that least mimics the beautiful game IRL (in real life).

Truth be told, this game by the developers at Miniclip is really best described as an early 90’s arcade-style cross between soccer, shuffleboard, fusball and air hockey.

In our book, that equals fast action and easy fun!

And it’s that very same simplicity to the game action that’s made Soccer Stars an instant hit. It’s the perfect mobile game for when you just want to squeeze in a couple minutes of quick, mindless gameplay.

And with over 50,000.000 downloads and the ability to challenge players 1-on-1 or in tournaments online, you’ll never run out of competition.

Gameplay

soccerstarUI2
soccerstarUI1

A true pick-up-and-play game, the objective of Soccer Star is simple: use your game pieces to knock the soccer ball into the opponent’s goal.

And how that’s accomplished will feel like second-nature to veteran virtual pool players, as the ball is struck in a very similar fashion.  First you “pull back” on your chosen piece with one hand while taking aim with your other hand. Then you release and the soccer ball is shot in a straight line towards your target.

Bumper walls on the field’s sidelines, and opponents pieces in the ball’s parth, cause the ball to glide and bounce quickly across the field, just like the puck in air hockey.

Fun Factor

If you’re looking for an addictive old skool arcade style game that allows you to dive directly into the game action, this is it!

There are no players to develop, rosters to manage, and the game-play is simple and straightforward. Even a young child can pick-up Soccer Stars and start playing almost instantly.

But where this game really excels is in how it allows you to compete against other live players over the internet in various formats. So let’s dive into the game features that make Soccer Stars a top-rated mobile soccer game app.

Features

If you think this game may not have a lot of legs, rest assured Soccer Stars has various game modes that will more than make up for the lack of diversity in game play:

  • Classic Heads Up mode (1 on 1)

  • Special Events mode, where you compete to complete trick or penalty shots

  • Legends Cup mode, where you compete with other players to win games for your national team, with the highest scoring nation taking home the top prize (virtual currency)

  • Championships mode, a second, more-advanced level of tournament play only open to players who have managed to level up a few times

There’s even an offline “practice mode” and some mini games thrown in for some added fun.

And remember, all of these game modes involve competing against other live opponents over the internet, not some cheesy AI. You can even challenge your real friends if you connect on Facebook

No matter which game mode you play in, your goal is the same: “level-up” by completing skill tests or defeating your opponents and earning currency, then using those winnings to acquire various power-ups or competition entry fees.

(And yes, while you do have the option to purchase virtual currency, we don’t recommend it. See the next section below called Reviews to learn why)

Reviews

The lion’s share of reviews for Soccer Stars are positive, with the app having earned over a 4+ average star rating across the two app stores.

And fans of the game all seem to love it for the same reasons as this recent anonymous Google reviewer:

Soccer Stars App Review

Basically, it’s a whole heck of a lot of fun!

Faults

But Soccer Stars is also not without its faults.  At various times, users have reported:

  • Game play freezing, and your potential winnings being forfeited to your opponent

  • Being matched against a player who will only play defensively. (For example, aligning their pieces so they essentially block entire access to their goal.)

  • Being matched against a player of a much higher skill level than you (this happens pretty regularly but also helps you become a better player faster).

  • And allegedly, competitors somehow hacking the app so that their shots automatically score even when the game’s physics suggest they shouldn’t.

To be fair, our team didn’t run into any of these issues when reviewing the game. But that may be because we didn’t play the game that long. And not just because we had four more games to review for this article. We also knew giving this game too much of our time could quickly become a serious time suck!

Our Two Cents

Definitely download this game if you love pick-up-and-play style games against other real live opponents. But thanks to reported cheaters on the app, don’t take the game too seriously or use real money!

score hero

#4 - Score! Hero

Synopsis

Brought to you by the developers at First Touch Games, Score! Hero is a first person soccer game with well over 100 million downloads and over 600 levels of gameplay. But unlike the console-classics on this list (FIFA and PES 2018), it’s much easier to master!

Your first step will be to pick your avatar and national team, and from there you’ll jump straight into the action as a junior level player trying out for the national squad.

Once you master the basics, your “hero” will progress from juniors, attract the attention of better and better clubs, and ultimately reach the top levels of world competition soccer.  

With unique challenges, slick 3D graphics, plenty of awesome replays, and an engaging story...in our opinion, you can’t go wrong with this game.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Score! Hero can best be described as a mash-up between Candy Crush Saga and FIFA, which in our minds is about as good as it gets.

In order to advance through the game, your character will need to complete a series of progressively harder challenges — such as arcing the ball into the top corner of the net — in his quest to level up.

And just like Candy Crush, each level is completed with a score between 1 and 3 stars, with the option to redo the challenge to max out your stars and earn new powers faster.

But that also means that just like Candy Crush, should you happen to fail your challenge, you’ll have to start it all over again….which can be heartbreaking once you’ve advanced to the more challenging levels which take more time and effort to complete.

But don’t worry, the entire first series of challenges, called a season in this game, is dedicated to learning how to use the controller to direct your character, pinpoint your shots and pass with finesse. So you’ll be deep into Score! Hero in no time!

Fun Factor

If you’re looking for a game that mimics soccer in real life but is also easy to play and doesn’t require countless hours to progress through, you’ll love Score! Hero.

The game starts deceptively simple, allowing you to quickly acquire skills on the field and with the same addictive fast-action quality of Candy Crush. But what really makes this game tons of fun is how you control your Hero.

Unlike the “flick-and-kick” maneuvering in Soccer Stars that will have your ball zapping across the the field in a perfectly straight line with lightning speed, Score! Hero allows for some additional finesse.

To pass or shoot the ball, you’ll be drawing the path you want the ball to take across your screen, which means you can arc shots perfectly into the corner of the net with just a little bit of practice.

And because each challenge is quick, a 2-minute game session is serious fun.

Features

Given that the developers of Score! Hero obviously set out to make a soccer version of Candy Crush, with all the same gimmicks, it’s not surprising that the best and worst features of this game are very similar to CCS..

Let’s start off with what make this game great:

  • The series of highly-addictive and progressively harder challenges you need to complete to advance through the game.

  • The super-fun, slot-machine style music and replays that occur each time you successfully complete a challenge (especially with 3-stars).

  • And the ability to challenge your real world friends if you connect the app with your Facebook account.

But just like CCS, this game also has a few flaws.

Namely, the need to sit through tedious ads and being locked out of the game for hours on end should you run out of lives and not want to pay for more.

But hey, these developers gotta make money somehow, so while it’s an inconvenience, it’s not a deal-breaker by any means.

Reviews

With an average 4.5+ star review across the Android and iOS app stores, over 5 millions user reviews, and an Editor’s Choice designation (Android), there’s no question that Score! Hero is among the very best soccer game apps of 2018 for your mobile device.

But what oh what do the users say?

Well, not surprisingly that depends who you ask!

As of the time of writing this article, quite a few users across both the iOS and Android app store are griping about some issues with the latest update of this game (late Oct 2018). Those include:

  • Game action lagging

  • Passing and shooting with accuracy being harder

  • And goalies now being able to make superhuman leaps to defend your shots

But to be fair, we didn’t experience any of these issues. So perhaps the developers listened and responded quickly. Or perhaps because we’re nowhere near level 600, like many reviewers who admit the game is highly addictive.

Or maybe these reviewers are just whining about the game becoming a little bit harder!

Because or every one of these negative reviews, there are just as many positive reviews like this one:

Score Hero! App Review

Our Two Cents

If you love Candy Crush Saga, you’ll love Score! Hero. Download it here now. And then be enslaved.

dream league soccer logo

#3 - Dream League Soccer 2018

Synopsis

First Touch Games’ flagship product, Dream League Soccer is set in a future where domestic team leagues are a thing of the past. With all players competing in a single international dream league, Dream League Soccer lets you take complete control of your team from the ground up — everything from club management, player recruitment, stadium building, and player transfers is on the table.

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Gameplay

Dream League Soccer breaks from the pack with its new and inventive tactical AI. Instead of facing the same boring and redundant AI game after game, First Touch Games went above and beyond to make sure that the AI is always capable of presenting a challenge to any player.

On top of a challenging AI, the game comes packaged with a wide range of new visuals, realistic animations, and solid 3D graphics.

The most brilliant thing about this game is that the player is in complete control from the very beginning. You start out with a team filled with random players, which you can then customize and train as the game progresses. Players fight their way through the crucible of different divisions:

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The most brilliant thing about this game is that the player is in complete control from the very beginning. You start out with a team filled with random players, which you can then customize and train as the game progresses. Players fight their way through the crucible of different divisions:

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As you might imagine, the goal is to hit Elite Division. Once you top the Elite Division, you’re able to compete at the highest level of matches. That means going toe-to-toe with teams in the International Cup and Allstars Cup. Once you beat those, it’s off to the First Touch Challenge (a team comprised of actual First Touch staff). The ultimate end-game objective is to win the Ultimate Challenge, where the player faces an exact copy of their own team (except controlled by an expert-level AI).

While Dream League Soccer offers players both a single and multiplayer mode, the online mode is truly where the game shines. Player-vs-player matches are fun, exciting, and fairly fluid (but not as good as PES 2018!).

Fun Factor

It’s a blast, and a lot of that fun comes from customization. No one really likes to play the same exact game time after time, so letting players customize their own team, aesthetics, logos, and names goes a long way to increase replayability.

Unlike other soccer games or more purist soccer management apps, Dream League Soccer takes place predominantly on the pitch. There’s a fair amount of management, but it’s all intuitive — choosing a team captain, buying new players on the transfer market, and paying to train your players is all simple. Don’t worry too much about mastering the controls: Training Mode allows you to practice your offensive and defensive plays without risking your stats against real opponents.

And, whatever happens, don’t fall to your rage! First Touch takes a pretty hard line when it comes to players force-exiting the app in order to avoid a loss, so take your beatings like a man and accept the fact that sometimes you do, in fact, lose.

Features

Dream League Soccer comes loaded with a wide range of features that make it one of the most popular soccer game apps available on the market today:

  • Customizable Dream Teams (Names, kits, logos, colors, players)

  • Excellent graphics and realistic animations

  • Train, improve, and manage your team with intuitive controls

  • Play against the AI or human opponents

  • Build and customize your own soccer stadium

Reviews

Trusting the hive mind that is the Internet can be a risky proposition, but it’s really, really hard to argue with over ten million reviews and an aggregate rating of 4.5 stars.

There’s a lot to be said for short and sweet:

Joseph Urey remarks, “Great football game! Keep the updates coming!”

The legendary Gaming Avocado himself graces Dream League Soccer with a longer review:

“This game is awesome just like FIFA! Nice and smooth gameplay and good graphics and real players. And the guy that is talking over the match she's all the players names that's surprising to me since it is just an Android and iOS game. anyways I'm not going to make it too long so thank you for making this game 😀 oh and I love the fighting animations!”

And lastly, Mitchell Sgabellone brings in a subtle dig aimed at the in-game coin system:

“I love this game! This formula is perfect for any sports game! My only problem is it's difficult to get alot of coins. I find it hard to heal my player, level up.my stadium and buy new players. If that could be fixed that would be awesome!”

Faults

Like any app with millions of downloads, there’s going to be a certain number of faults that crop up regularly. Some of the more common complaints include mentions of lag from the most recent update (November 2018). While lag issues may crop up from time to time, it appears that most lag is due to dated user devices and not the software itself.

In terms of gameplay, users find fault in how First Touch attempts to balance elite-level players on your roster — even your cream of the crop players find themselves exhausted fairly early on.

Our Two Cents

Dream League Soccer is one of the most popular soccer game app franchises ever, and for good reason — it’s an immersive and smooth game that doubles as a complete package. Highly customizable and loaded with replay value, Dream League Soccer does a fantastic job of mixing intuitive soccer management with quality on-field gameplay.

Is it the absolute best soccer game for your mobile device? Probably not. Is it worth checking out? Yes.

You might fall in love!

FIFA 2018

#2 - FIFA 2018 

Synopsis

It’s FIFA.

You’re looking at over one hundred million downloads and a pedigree that trumps almost everyone else in the business.

FIFA 18 offers users a variety of game modes, ranging from a single-player story mode to competitive player-versus-player matches online. Think FIFA Ultimate Team, but with more story-driven content and single-player options.

In April of 2018, EA released a free expansion to coincide with the World Cup in Russia. This expansion includes a wide range of content, including all the teams and stadiums present in the actual World Cup.

Gameplay

In single-player mode, you follow the story of Alex Hunter. Fresh from his rise to the big leagues in FIFA 17, Hunter is looking to compete at the highest level of play with the best of the best.

If there’s one thing the FIFA franchise has always nailed, it’s graphics. Redone animations and celebrations adds a personal touch to every victory, and the range of stadiums and in-game commentary makes each match feel unique.

On top of the brilliant animations and voicework, FIFA 18 has positively astounding graphics - you’re looking at high-definition lighting effects, truly incredible player models, and smooth graphics that exudes a strong sense of quality.

Graphics aside, there’s a lot to be said for the quality of the gameplay itself. The in-game controls feel a little rough if you’re new to FIFA, but with a little practice you’ll be making legendary plays in short order.

Fun Factor

FIFA 17 broke the mold with an impressive story-driven campaign, and FIFA 18 follows the trend that its predecessor set. The campaign is fun (bear in mind, it’s rather short), but the game really explodes when it comes to online play. FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) is a playable version of fantasy soccer, which makes for truly excellent replayability and interesting player combinations

Features

FIFA 18 builds on the success of FIFA 17 with some of the following features:

  • Enjoy a story-driven campaign mode

  • Battle in Head-to-head PVP mode

  • Craft Ultimate Team with the new Chemistry System

  • Participate in League vs League Tournaments

Even better, FIFA 18 sits pretty on a completely new engine, optimized from the ground up to offer better performance on a range of mobile devices.

The Chemistry system is a new feature. Put simply, players from the same team, league, or nation get a boost. This feature helps you craft more effective realistic teams and increase immersion — a pretty nifty feature, if you ask us.

Reviews

Reviews are mostly positive, but there’s a fair few bugs skittering around the released version (November 2018) that detract a bit from the ratings.

Gabe Darrow remarks that “Improved gameplay with more realistic scenarios. Added ability to play head to head. Some of the controls/player movement has changed so much that it's hard to tell if I will get used to it and like it or will continue to be frustrated when it doesn't respond as expected. Overall impressive overhaul compared to the old version though.”

James Mahaffey states: “Really like the new format and gameplay. Only criticism is the control in pvp is a bit funny and not responsive. Fix the server issues! Keep getting disconnected and losing games!”

The recurring theme among the most recent reviews is that the new update is buggy, slow, and unresponsive — bear in mind, however, that EA usually takes a patch or two before their games are back up to snuff. With the cash cow that is FIFA, expect EA to resolve most of the issues shortly.

Faults

If there’s one fault with FIFA 18, it has to be the emphasis on in-game purchases. Screen after screen encourages users to spend money and better their teams — now, we all expect a certain number of customer conversion attempts, but EA has gone a little overboard here.

In terms of gameplay? Too many bugs, an emphasis on attacking, and poor controls in some aspects of the game (taking corners is rough).

Attacking is usually the flashiest part of the game, and Electronic Arts went above and beyond to make passing, attacking, and scoring the highlight of the game. You’re faced with a game where passing and attacking feels a little too surgical — the controls are so good that passing becomes almost seamless. Once you get a handle on the controls, it’s seemingly effortless to nail passes between your players.

And if you’re running an offensive powerhouse like Ronaldo or Messi, it’s almost unfair.

Likewise, defending against aggressive play can be frustrating. You’re not powerless, but the advantage is always with the attacker.

Our Two Cents

FIFA 18 is like a highlight reel of beautifully animated attacking plays. It’s good (really good), and the multitude of online options including FIFA Ultimate Team is just too good to pass up. The single-player campaign is definitely worth exploring, and the game’s overall fit and finish is incredible.

Overall, it’s an excellent addition to the FIFA franchise, and fans of the game are strongly advised to spend the time to check out FIFA 18. You’re looking at hours and hours of replayability with the quality you’ve come to expect.  

pes2018

#1 - PES 2018

Synopsis

Sitting in the number spot is Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2018. Designed and produced by Japanese entertainment conglomerate Konami, PES 2018 is the ultimate solution for players looking for the single best soccer simulator out there.

You can’t really discuss this titan of mobile gaming without direct comparisons to EA’s FIFA. Sadly, licensing issues plague the Japanese offering, so you’re largely unable to craft actual team names. Then again, PES 2018 is more of a soccer battleground than FIFA, so the trade-off there is not terrible.

PES 2018 and FIFA are at the pinnacle of mobile soccer games, but target completely different types of players. Whereas FIFA is more of a complete package (loaded with team names and trademarks all over the place), PES 2018 is much more a fighting game-esque approach to competitive soccer mobile gaming.

Gameplay

Gameplay is where PES 2018 shines, and it shines bright. Compared to EA’s counterpart, PES 2018 has incredibly smooth controls, responsive commands, and exceptional fluidity. Passing, dribbling, and shooting all feels like something out of a dream — PES 2018  is simply the best when it comes to simulating real soccer gameplay.

In terms of game modes, PES 2018 includes a new and impressive way to play: Random Selection Mode (RES). Borrowed and modified from its inception in Pro Evo 6, RES allows you and a friend to craft individual teams — but your squad is purely random. To make things exciting, there are a set of trade rounds where you and your friend attempt to steal the best players possible. It’s a fascinating and endlessly entertaining way to draft squads, and it makes for excellent replayability.

And, unlike FIFA 18, attacking isn’t the end-all of everything soccer. Defensive plays are actually possible, and your crafted teams actually play like real teams. It’s great.

Fun Factor

PES 2018 is all about what happens on the pitch, and it shows. The game is, hands-down, the single best soccer simulator on the market today. It’s not as flashy as FIFA — the menus are flat, the animations are a little less polished, and the graphics are simply not as good. On top of that, FIFA’s soccer management systems are deeper, and you feel more involved in the world of soccer than you do with PES 2018.

But PES 2018 has what FIFA doesn’t — excellent on-pitch gameplay. And if you want to play soccer on your mobile device, isn’t that what you want? PES 2018 is infinitely more pleasing and entertaining when it comes to how the soccer match plays.

PES 2018 plays like a real soccer match and not like a highlight reel of amazing plays. The game has slowed down since PES 2017 — instead of superhumans, players feel like athletes. Turning, running, passing, and kicking is responsive and smooth, but at the same time honest. Whereas FIFA 18 will have Messi or Ronaldo tearing up the pitch with relatively minimal effort, PES 2018 requires the player to work a lot harder and a lot longer to achieve similar results.

As a result, the game is a lot more rewarding — every action means something.

We love it.

Features

PES 2018 isn’t as loaded with deep soccer management features like FIFA, but don’t think of it as lacking. Check out some of the features below:

  • Realistic motion, player tactics, and soccer simulations

  • Utilize legendary soccer players like Beckham and Zico

  • Destroy opponents in head-to-head matches, played either online or against local players

  • Enjoy entertaining game types like Random Selection Mode

Reviews

With over two million reviews, PES 2018 sits comfortably with an aggregate rating of 4.4 stars.

Gaurav Das puts it best with “This is THE BEST football game on mobile. A humble request to the devs to include leagues and seasons. All we play are tours in weekdays and challenges in weekends. Instead it'd be really loved to have league matches and maybe cup games in between, just like it happens for real... And then tours after a season ends.”

Many reviews touch on the differences between PES 2018 and FIFA 18 — the former most often seen as a real soccer game, the latter as more of a comprehensive soccer experience with an emphasis on in-game purchases.

Anson Varghese maintains that “One of the best football games I've played in a mobile phone. Much better than FIFA mobile who took away our hard earned players in the end of a season. Not just in ethics, the gameplay, graphics etc are better in PES 2018 than all the other football games available.”

That’s some pretty high praise.

Chihaziri Onwuachumba mentions: “Playing the event game online does really hangs and when an opponent goes offline I'm going to wait even if I'm losing. FIFA is better playing online. In FIFA, if you are offline your opponent continues to play that's what it's supposed to be [...] in FIFA mobile you use 1 energy per game in vs attack game. Sometimes the controls hangs.”

Connecting issues are unfortunately more common than they should be in a game of this caliber — it’s a recurring theme in some of the more recent reviews.

Faults

Of course, nothing is perfect. For all of its excellent gameplay, PES 2018 suffers from online matchmaking issues — it seems that hangups and lag aren’t terribly uncommon. The system appears to work flawlessly when connecting with local players, however.

Licensing is a perennial problem. Many licenses and trademarks are locked up tight with EA, so Konami is forced to use what it can get away with — FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, and national teams from countries such as Brazil, France, and Japan are on the table. It’s hard to fault Konami for this, as trademarks and licensing aren’t always the easiest things to deal with.

If we want to be picky, take a look at goalkeepers! For some reason, Konami hasn’t done the best job animating their actions or making them play like real players — a fairly big fault in an otherwise seamless soccer experience. We’re not too sure why the developers missed on out on this (last year’s version had similar problems), but it’s worth mentioning.

Graphics and presentation are another issue. Compared to FIFA, PES 2018 feels flat and less colorful. There’s a lack of aesthetic polish that FIFA really nailed — sounds are on the weak side, in-game commentary is random and poorly-implemented, and the overall design is just not as good as FIFA.

Lastly, Konami’s attempt at creating a PES-version of FIFA’s Ultimate Team (called MyClub) doesn’t do the game justice. MyClub, while not bad, is just not as good as FIFA’s Ultimate Team.

Now, we know this fault section seems a bit long and perhaps a little unfair — but when you’re the king of the hill, you’re bound to fall under some pretty harsh scrutiny. Even with the aforementioned issues, PES 2018 is still the best soccer game app of 2018.

Our Two Cents

Despite its lack of licensing, weaker aesthetic polish, and “flatter” presentation, PES 2018 is our top pick for a soccer game app.

It may not look the best, but it plays the best. And games are about playing.

The choice between FIFA and PES 2018 is a hard one, but for us, we have to side with the Japanese offering. FIFA comes across as more polished and pretty to look at, but it just doesn’t have the same level of realistic soccer play that PES 2018 prides itself on.

It’s all about getting on the pitch, and PES 2018 is all about the soccer.

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Our Guide to the Top 5 Apps

If you’re wondering where to go from here, it’s simple.

Start at the top and work your way down. PES 2018 has the best gameplay, hands-down, but maybe you value immersion a little more. In that case, opting for FIFA 18 isn’t a bad idea.

Or, if you’re really wanting to put your phone through its paces, you could even consider opting for both games. It might be a bit of a soccer overload, but it’s the most popular game in the world for a reason.

But, it’s worth mentioning that neither PES and FIFA are exactly casual games. If you’re looking for something a little more laidback, consider Score! Hero. It’s got great gameplay reminiscent of Candy Crush, and that’s a recipe for success if we’ve ever seen one. Likewise, the fast-paced and arcadey style of Soccer Stars might be more up your alley — it’s mindless, blood-pumping action.

No matter which one of these soccer game apps you choose, you can dive in headfirst knowing precisely what’s awaiting you!

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