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Review: Football Manager 2015

Football Manager 2015 intrigues and confuses me. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it’s exactly what it sounds like. I cant think of a better example of a game that is described so perfectly by its title. The only thing that may need clarification is the type of football in question, due to your geographical location. If you’re Australian or American, yes, this is a game where you manage every little detail of a soccer team on its way to (possible) victory.

Having very little knowledge of the sport, the learning curve is steeper than a footballs something something… ok, so obviously when I started playing Football Manager 2015, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Impressively though, I began to not only understand more about the sport as I progressed, but also started to appreciate and respect the amount of effort that goes into managing a successful team. It surprised me how something I had just assumed was a very niche style of game was not only informative but quickly addictive. The more I played, the better I got and the more I started to see the outcome (or possibly aftermath) of my decisions before each game.

Still, for a good long while there, I was like this…


Football Manager isn’t just about coaching during each match, it goes so much deeper than that. At first, I was intimidated at the idea of choosing players for each game, but setting a roster is just the beginning. Dealing with inevitable injures, reprimanding players and negotiating trades are all decisions that will have an outcome in each game and determine your teams success.

Over time I began to understand my role… but unfortunately, this didn’t translate to me enjoying the game. I can appreciated its polish, but this isn’t a game for everyone. If the idea of micromanaging a football team for the duration of a season appeals to you, Football Manager 2015 is a great fit. If that sounds like a nightmare, despite the accessibility of the game, you mightn’t enjoy it. Hard to believe, I know. For the casual observer, most of FM 2015 looks like a spreadsheet simulator until a match actually starts. There is a lot of text usually followed by a multiple choice question you have to answer. I know that sounds tedious — and at first I would have agreed — but once you get into the game it’s not the chore you might expect.


During each match, you take on the role of the coach, dictating how your players act on the field. If you make a decision that’s not working against the team you’re playing, you can switch it up at any time. You won’t be playing out a full game, but rather directing important sections; the calls you making during the match and everything you do beforehand determine how it all plays out. A few games into my season I was in a lot of trouble but the new understanding of the repercussions from my choices made clawing back from the brink of the most embarrassing season ever a real possibility. It was tough but I made my way back —  by winning a few a matches rather than attempting to become the most well-paid laughing stock in the league — into a much more respectable position on the ladder.

If Football Manager 2015 is already on your radar, you’ll likely already know more about than I do. If this is the first you’re hearing about it and you’re now interested, give it a whirl; you might be pleasantly surprised… but whether or not that will translate to you delving into the game for hours on end is really determined by how much you like football and micromanaging. When done right Football Manager 2015 can be very rewarding, but at the end of the day this certainly isn’t most people’s cup of tea.

Football Manager 2015 was reviewed using a promotional copy of the game on PC, as provided by the publisher.

Football Manager 2015

The good

  • Comprehensive.
  • Easy to control.
  • Hours of playtime.

The bad

  • Not for everyone.. or most people.
  • Steep learning curve.

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About the author

Shane Wall

I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe. A game geek turned audio engineer/musician. Shane's life is a delicate balance of video games, music and science fiction.