Look back, look ahead

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That's the best there is, but how about the best there has been? More football games have appeared in the past year or so than ever before, so here's your chance to catch up with them:

Sensible World of Soccer was one of the most anxiously awaited games ever, as it finally accomplished the one task that all gamers had been waiting for - the creation of a game that allows the player to buy and sell players, then play the matches. The original Sensible Soccer had the most addictive gameplay ever, with all manoeuvres easily carried out, and Sensible World of Soccer maintains this.

Championship Manager 97/98 gave the Championship Manager series a true distinction from its competitors. Whereas, in the past, the player could only play in one country's league, 97/98 allowed you to play in two or more at a time.

Ultimate Soccer Manager 98 was the only game that could compete with CM97/98. The player has the chance to bribe other clubs to lose, place bets, bung other managers to sell who you need, and it also lets you watch the matches.

Getting back to on-field action, International Superstar Soccer 64 was a true milestone in football games. The launch of the N64 seemed to have been all hype until the release of ISS64. This had arcade-quality graphics, and it was so addictive you could be playing it well into the early hours.

But hang on. International Superstar Soccer 98 is scheduled to arrive around December, and it promises to surpass its predecessor by a long way. The graphics are said to be better, and the action faster.

Also coming soon is Sensible Soccer 98 and Sensible Soccer 2000. These both look set to revolutionise Sensible Soccer with new 3D graphics, something none of us expected.

Gremlin are releasing Premier Manager 98 on the Playstation - at last a decent management game on a console. It will use the same graphics engine as Actua Soccer 2 in the matches, and retains the style of all the preceding Premier Manager games in the management side.

Finally, Championship Manager 3 will appear on the PC later in 1998. It is going to resemble CM2, but should vastly upgrade it. It's hyped as a real scorcher. So, start writing those letters to Santa, or you might miss out.

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