Football Manager 23 Football Manager 23 PS5 Review PS5 Review Sports Interactive

Football Manager 23 Review (PS5) – The Iconic Football Sim Scores On PlayStation

Football Manager 23 PS5 Review. Sports Interactive’s life-destroying football sim finally signs for PlayStation. Find out if it’s a star striker or a bit of a Darwin Nunez in PlayStation Universe’s Football Manager 23 Review for PS5.

With the Big Two on the wane in their own ways, there’s a desperate need for something more substantial in the football game market on PS5, and though it’s taken its sweet time coming to PlayStation, Football Manager has finally arrived. Unsurprisingly, it’s an utterly engrossing experience.

Football Manager 23 Review (PS5) – The Iconic Football Sim Scores on PlayStation

Take Charge Of The Beautiful Game

The best sim experiences are effectively RPGs that react to everything you do or don’t do. Football Manager 23 is precisely that, and offers up a variety of intriguing starting points for your personal story. Want to start as your favorite club and write your name into their history books? How about taking non-league minnows to the heady heights of the Premier League and European football? Maybe you fancy creating a club full of your friends and family and seeing how they fare?


All feasible paths with their own twists and turns. Sure, you want the drama of a sports movie where the plucky underdogs take on the world, but football is just as likely to feed you an unhealthy dose of bleak cruelty so large that Lars von Trier would struggle to film it. Throw in the granular nature of dealing with a ‘party’ of players and staff that all have their own demands, fears, and egos and you have a volatile cocktail of drama that isn’t immediately noticeable for a game that largely involves looking at walls of dry, informative text.

And much like an RPG, stepping into the world of Football Manager for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. Hours and days can go by without tapping into the deeper machinations of these games, even with the more streamlined console experience. So, the ‘induction’ on offer is a welcome leg up in understanding the basics without being condescended to like so many tutorials. This period of introduction happens as you start your first managerial journey rather than as a separate experience, and learning on the job both in terms of the game’s many, many options and the controls keeps things flowing nicely and less likely to see you stuck in an early rut.

You really are in control of everything a manager is. Alongside the matchday planning and in-game tactics needed to do that most important of tasks -win football matches there’s a plethora of day-to-day management to be done. Training, scouting, dealing with individual player demands, facing the press, transfers, and much more need sorting, and the beauty of Football Manager 23 is that it doesn’t have to be overly complicated if you aren’t into tinkering that deep. Throughout the game are options to let someone else handle certain decisions by suggesting the best course of action.


So, if you’re getting a bit bored of handling contract negotiations, you can leave it to your staff to sort the best possible deal. Not sure about your best lineup for an upcoming game? You can auto-select the side, and in-match, suggestions are made regarding substitutions. No matter the level of involvement you want to have, Football Manager 23 makes sure you still feel like you are the one in charge and getting something out of the experience.

Match days feature highlights of key moments which really help to make the game feel like more than a bunch of glossy stats sheets. It’s all very simple, but it certainly does the trick in getting you engaged in the team’s actions. There will be favorites, pariahs, rivals, and personality clashes that anyone in passing would struggle to understand. But you know just why you lose your mind at that promising young winger you unearthed getting petulant at not starting every week. The git.

While there is great satisfaction in seeing your tactics and judgment having a real impact on the running of the club, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the game likes to get cute with you by engineering moments of crisis and drama. When half your first team squad gets injured in the space of a week or wins just don’t come when you were comfortably in control of a relegation fight, it can aggravate.


In the case of the latter, I had it happen to the point the last day of the season almost guaranteed my safety, such was the big swing in goal difference needed to send me down. Of course, I had a player sent off early on and in a season where I’d rarely lost a game by more than a couple of goals, I got hammered 9-1, which meant I ended up staying up by just ONE goal as my relegation rival had inexplicably beat a top 4 side 4-0. Nice drama, sure, but for once in Football Manager 23 my fate didn’t feel like it was in my hands at all.

Scripting is a common football game issue, and it really riles folks up. At least here it’s generally less obvious it actually exists. There’s just that little bit of doubt that the football Gods haven’t just intervened to get on your nerves.

That’s about as critical as I can get about Football Manager 23. It’s great to finally have it on PlayStation, and nothing about its intoxicating appeal has been diluted by the wait or the console versions streamlining.

Football Manager is now available for PS5 and PC.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

Football Manager 23 brings the iconic football sim to PS5 with all the engrossing charm and immersive obsession that made it such a hit elsewhere. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s absolutely worth the time sink for wannabe managers.