FIFA 23 and PES, or rather, eFootball nowadays, dominate the football game landscape alongside Football Manager, but if you’re getting tired with all the annual footie sims, and want to hark back to a simple time of Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, and a flat-texture stadium crowd, rejoice, as a 90s classic is being revamped for Steam.
Actua Soccer 2, a distant ancestor to FIFA 23 and PES in the lineage of 3D football games, originally launched in 1997 courtesy of Britain’s own Gremlin Interactive – which interestingly also published Body Harvest, the N64 semi open-world shooter from a little-known studio that would eventually become Rockstar Games.
Part of the Actua series that dominated sports games during the 90s, alongside Actua Golf, Actua Tennis, and even Actua Pool, Actua Soccer 2 brings the 97/98 international season to what was then vivid life. 25 years later, it’s a massive dose of nostalgia, as sharp, polygonal models of Beckham, Teddy Sheringham, and David Seaman jog onto the pitch surrounded by advertisement hoardings for Umbro and Lucozade.
But this isn’t just a direct port. Publisher Pixel Games has added saving and loading options, support for modern controllers, and a range of image scaling and texture smoothing improvements. It’s a slightly modernised take on an old classic, that maintains all the original gameplay but makes it more accessible for the present day. If you want to delve back into 90s football and relive your gaming past – or maybe just play a footie sim that takes less micro-management and menu navigation than FIFA or PES – Actua Soccer 2 launches on Steam October 10.
You might also want to try out some of the other PC classics that are still worth playing, or perhaps some of the best sports games. Alternatively, if FIFA 23 is still your bag, check out our FIFA 23 chemistry guide to maximise your team’s goal-scoring potential.