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Football Manager Classic Review

As a football fan, once you start playing Football Manager on the PC it’s generally hard to stop. With each passing year the features become more rich and the realism grabs you to the point that you almost feel under as much pressure as a real life manager. One thing that’s always been true though is that you could walk away from the PC and step back into the real world. Well not any more because SEGA wants Football Manager to be on your mind wherever you go, so what did it do? Release it on the PS Vita.

Football Manager Classic does exactly what the title says. It gives you access to the core Football Manager experience. There is no online play or any of the other extra features which you have come to expect. Instead it focuses on the main single player experience and even throws in a cross-save feature to enable you to continue your game either on PC or on the move. What’s interesting about this cross-save feature is that it uses a slightly different skin from the more in-depth PC version, therefore when playing your save file on PC you’ll get the slightly watered down version which appears on the PS Vita, although that’s no bad thing.

Football Manager on Vita is identical to the Classic version on PC. Given that I normally play the full Football Manager mode, I've noticed that there are a few differences. For instance, when a match starts on the PC version you are able to give individual team talks, yet that doesn’t seem to be an option here. This also translates to the PC version when you continue your save file. The game has been slightly redesigned in order for it to feel more refined on the PS Vita, but what you have here is the same core experience which hooks you in so much on PC.

What this means is that you are able to choose from a huge number of teams to manage, while you can also have numerous leagues playing out in the background. You still have access to your inbox which constantly fills up with news; you still have to manage players contracts, manage training (or leave it to your assistant); set assignments for scouts; deal with the board and of course, find players and staff in the transfer market.

Football Manager Classic on Vita really is the experience that you’ll have come to expect from PC, but in your hands. Choosing your team and your league you’ll suddenly be the one responsible for success or failure. Will you find a bargain in the transfer market or rely on youth? Can you go on an impressive cup run and take your team to the top of the league? Will your team become kings of Europe or will you be fired after a shameful run of results? Whatever happens, you’ll be hooked.

Perhaps my favourite part of the action on Football Manager Classic for Vita is the matches. Pressing play and watching the match take place in front of your eyes is fantastic. There are a few of the more intricate features missing, however everything else feels perfect, so when the match kicks off you can still take an overview of the action and listen to or ignore your assistant’s advise on suggested changes, be that substitutes or tactical adjustments. There are certainly plenty of options at hand during the matches such as the ability to give instructions; change tactics; alter fluidity or mentality. There are also plenty of ways to view the match too, be it through the on pitch action, the stats or by checking out the overview which will give you access to a split view, formations or the scores from other matches taking place. Just as watching the match unfold on PC is exciting, the same goes here.

As you’d expect once the match is complete you are able to read all the reactions to your result and you can even share your result via social media, thanks to the integration of Facebook and Twitter.

It goes without saying that Football Manager Classic on PS Vita is a wonderful experience. It does have a few little niggles, for instance, it makes quite a bit of use of the touchscreen and since the writing is quite small it can be a bit fiddly to use on occasions. Saying that though, the game more than makes up for this by being feature packed and just as addictive as the PC version. I found it very impressive that I could save my game to the cloud and continue the same career on my PC. What could be better than that for a Football Manager fan? Then when I wanted to head out again, I simply downloaded the PC save onto my PS Vita.

Football Manager on PS Vita is a brilliant addition to Sony’s handheld and I am so happy that it now exists. Anyone who is a fan of the game will want to own this version, of that there is no doubt. This one is for the fans who crave Football Manager wherever they go and it’s pretty much perfect.

Words by Joe Anderson.
_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


+ Almost identical to PC version
+ As addictive as ever
+ Packed with information, teams and players


- Touchscreen can sometimes be tricky

Edited On 10 Apr, 2014

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