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Sensible Soccer

sensible soccer

Old football games are a dime a dozen, but when you think about an old football game series the chances are that sensible soccer will be right at the top of your list. In this guide, we will explore the game in a bit more detail.


The original sensible soccer was released in 1992 on the Amiga and Atari ST. The series spanned over five games and eventually (when the Amiga and Atari became absolute) moved onto the Xbox and PC for what appears to be their final game in 2007.

Developers: Sensible Software

Designers: Stoo Cambridge and Jon Hare


Sensible Soccer has a high 'cult' following. These gamers seem to enjoy the simplicity in the graphics and the Gameplay, and this is why the game still retails copies today. Another popular feature of the game is that it can be played by two players, which is why it is the game of choice for various retro game nights around the world.

Another feature that players loved about this game was the amount of leagues you could play in and manage. There were 20 leagues in total, which, at the time was quite an accomplishment. From these 20 leagues, you could choose from 1000's of different clubs and tens of thousands of players.


In a poll (conducted by Amiga) the sensible soccer game topped the all time top 100 list for games on the platform, which was quite an achievement when you consider that other popular games like the Simpsons, Lemmings and Wing Commander were also available on this console. The game received an astonishing 96% in the magazine, the highest score it ever issued.

Mega (the Sega Megadrive magazine) gave the game its number one spot in its top 50 games of all time.

At a game developer conference, a panel of 'those in the know' detailed some of the finest ever games that had been released on any console. Sensible soccer finished in the top 10 in this list, which was believed to be its best accomplishment.


Sensible Soccer set the trend when it was released in 1992, and made every other game on the market look a bit amateur. This is mostly down to the new features of the game:

  • Sensible Soccer was one of the first games to use the bird's eye 2D view for its match play.
  • It was the first game where you did not have to take control of the ball before you passed it on, this allowed for a much faster game play.
  • The game was the first to introduce imitations of real life players.
  • The feature that most people seemed to enjoy was the added pace. Previous to this game, everything seemed to be a bit slow and complicated, and Sensible Soccer was the first game that set the trend for future games like Pro Evolution and FIFA.


Before Pro Evo and FIFA took over the market, there was only one game at the top of everybody's Christmas list and that was sensible soccer. The original will forever be known as the Liverpool FC of the gaming world and this is why it still sells copies today.

Game Analysis


For the time, the games' graphics were not too bad. The 2D overhead view took on the 'regular' 2D side view at the time and came out victorious, which was a very big accomplishment to say the least.

Controls and Play

Without a doubt when a game receives such high accolades from critics it has to be one of the most playable games on the market, and this is the case with Sensible Soccer. As mentioned, the addition of features like the ability to pass the ball without needing to control it sped the game up, and at the time this was a needed feature, as other games felt rather laboured. This made the game much more playable than its rivals, and is the main reason why the game became so well loved.

Unique Concept

When you take into account all the additions and the fact that you could play in 20 leagues, the game boasted a lot more than its competitors; however, in terms of originality the game still had similar traits as many of the games before it. For example, it had the same league formats and cup competitions; therefore, in terms of Gameplay there was nothing different.

Game Detail

Databases of this size were unheard of in 1992 and sensible soccer was the first to offer so many playable leagues and competitions. Its depth remains one of the reasons why the game still sells thousands of copies around the world currently.


I am sure there are a couple of fanatics who picked this game up in 1992 and have played it consistently for 19 years. Due to the amount of competitions and leagues, this game does not routine after just a couple of matches, which gives it great longevity.


While the game is old in terms of the amount of years it has been out, it is by no means a retro game like space invaders. This means that you can still find editions of the game retailing for well under 10. On the other hand, unless you have an existing Amiga system then you may have to shell out in the region of 100 to buy the console.


Developers at FIFA, SEGA and Konami have clearly used large elements of Sensible Soccer for their games. While these may feel like they have long disappeared, without this game who knows where football simulations such as Fifa and Pro Evolution would be today? One thing is for sure, Sensible Soccer is a game that will continue to be viewed in the eyes of many as the godfather of football simulations.

Find out about more classic games here.