Football Manager: Ranking every edition of the game from worst to best

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We all love a binge session on Football Manager, don't we?

Hours upon hours can be lost on the management game, trying to take your club to the next level, but what's the best FM ever to be released?

Football Manager started out as Championship Manager in 1992, but has been known by its current title since the 2005 edition, providing a unique and alternative football gaming experience to FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer. 

With Football Manager 2021 set for release in November, the last 16 editions have provided plenty of material to establish which is the worst, and which is the best. 

So without further ado, here's our official rankings of the Football Manager games from 2005 to 2020.

16. Football Manager 2015

Despite positive reviews, the poor match engine and erratic player behaviour presented consistent problems to users. Additionally, procedures such as scouting and press conferences were drawn out and slowed the game. 

15. Football Manager 2017

A new presentation method delivering clear and concise information was one of the neater aspects of Football Manager 2017. It improved a core function of the game, but the repetitive nature of player conversations marred the game. 

14. Football Manager 2011

The advances made in the match engine and added tactical depth made Football Manager 2011 an enticing game, but still with much to go, with game navigation being frustrating at times. 

13. Football Manager 2020

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If Football Manager hadn't already taken you with its format of management and data, Football Manager 2020 won't be the one. Of course, it has the graphics and quality you'd expect from a game released so recently, but it's just not quite what you'd expect. 

12. Football Manager 2006

Unrealistic gameplay, including astounding goalkeepers and poor longshots, inhibited the quality of Football Manager 2006, which saw little improvement from its predecessors. 

11. Football Manager 2009

The new 3D match engine and an enhanced role for your assistant was a definite improvement in the gameplay experience. It also highlighted the flaws in previous versions of the game.

10. Football Manager 2013

The sleek redesign significantly improved the overall aesthetic of the game, making matchdays easier to manage and the game simpler. Classic also allowed for a faster game, often resulting in more matches and evident improvement. 

9. Football Manager 2018

The crucial addition in Football Manager 2018 was Dynamics, which finally shed light on how and why player happiness shifted. The team hierarchy gave you an insight to the leaders in the side and allowed gamers to fully come to terms with their squad.

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8. Football Manager 2019

The new format ensures the player has a refreshing take on controlling tactics than ever before. It's underscored in the division of a team's playstyle into three phases: in possession, in transition, and out of possession

7. Football Manager 2008

Afforded a wide breadth of control, Football Manager 2008 knows exactly what it's trying to do as a game. It became much more user-friendly through its interface and advisor system.

6. Football Manager 2005

It was a big leap when Football Manager made its debut in 2005, and the changes were intimidating to those familiar with Championship Manager. But the game endeared itself to fans with its update, particularly with the media aspect. 

5. Football Manager 2010

The refinements across the board, notably in the overview screen and assistant manager sections, provided an exciting development in the franchise. It made the game approachable to those not too fussed with the extravagant depth Football Manager is known for. 

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4. Football Manager 2016

With limited changes from 2015, Football Manager 2016 did well to improve the game experience. Team Instruction changes meant you had more game control, as do suggestions for substitutions and player roles. 

3. Football Manager 2007

Football Manager 2007 took a big plunge and sacrificed plenty of visuals to allow for tools which help in analysis and entertainment. It's much cleaner than before, signifying a turning point in the franchise. 

2. Football Manager 2014

Football Manager 2014 began to force your hand as manager by preventing passive play, meaning you have to constantly adapt your team. Individual instructions become key, and cohesion is all-important. 

1. Football Manager 2012

Improvements in the transfer market, a tutorial system, new depth in team talks, and variations in the delegation of roles ensure that Football Manager 2012 was an entirely upgraded experience from ever before, and yet to be matched. 

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