Football Manager 2024 (PC) Review

By Chris Leebody 24.03.2024

Review for Football Manager 2024 on PC

Football Manager 2024 marks the 20th title in Sports Interactive's love letter to football and indeed embarks what the developers have described as the 'last of its kind'. In an update to fans back in June revealing the future of the series, FM2024 was described as taking the best of the last two decades before and everything the team had learned, all condensed into one neat package. It was no mean feat to improve on FM23 which ended up as the most played in the series' history with a milestone of 5 million players and saw the series reach new audiences through Game Pass for Xbox and PC. Despite being a homage to the popular series, FM24 also comes with its own set of improvements including the 3D match engine, a more realistic transfer system and very conveniently the ability to transfer a save from the FM23 edition.

There are very few games out there that can capture a long, drawn-out emotional rollercoaster in the way FM24 can. Yes, there are plenty of competitive shooters, racers and even football games that give it in short sharp bursts, but few manage to drag that out over the course of a long brutal football season.

The promise of expectation in the pre-season days as the team takes shape, finding those hidden gems to transform a team from average to magical, picking the right tactic, keeping the existing players happy and all the while managing the finances of a club…

Then, the middle season slump, the injuries piling up, the cup shocks. And finally, on the other side of the coin, the glorious underdog victories, the development of talents into superstars, and rising up the footballing ladder from minnows to kings.

Everyone inevitably has their own variation of the rollercoaster that is Football Manager over the last 20 years and the latest iteration once again doesn't disappoint in that regard. Emotion, drama and satisfaction are all delivered in abundance.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2024 on PC

FM25 is going to have a new look to the match engine according to Sports Interactive but that doesn't mean the place where the action takes place this year hasn't seen improvement.

Changes to the match engine are typical on an annual basis for the series and no one is ever going to claim FM24 is elite class in that regard, but it's also not a journeyman striker on that front. The AI generally is much better at more accurately representing a style of play through the match engine and it is noticeable.

Playing possession-based football like Pep Guardiola means the match engine can represent the positions of players as they move more fluidly, and importantly their positions out of possession in a much more visually accurate way. On the flip side, a team may be configured to frequently play long passes up to a tall striker. This strategy is more prevalent due to enhancements in the match engine, which accurately represent this style of play on the screen.

Combined with improved player motion, ball physics and a host of new animations, this is as lifelike a representation of the beautiful game that Football Manager has delivered. It's important as well. Slogging away through more than 38 games a season in most leagues would get boring if every team were portrayed in the same manner. How the improved system interprets a greater diversity of play styles in the match engine is important.

Are there times at which strange things can still happen on the pitch? Absolutely. The system is far from perfect and Sports Interactive themselves would probably be happy to admit that hence the move to entirely revamp this aspect for next year's title.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2024 on PC

Any fan of the series knows while the on-field is important, the off-field is arguably where these titles emerge top of the table among their competitors. There isn't much that is new to divulge about the general UI and menu presentation. The licensed J-League in Japan is a neat addition and gives veterans of the series a new environment to test their skills.

The clean UI fans have been used to for the past few years is more than functional, albeit it would be great if at this stage there was a bit more personality added into the mix to keep up with improvements the Sports Interactive team made after last year capturing the UEFA European competition rights and utilising their branding for certain matches.
The sight of leading a team from the lower leagues to the Champions League final and actually getting the licensed music and scoreboards is a real joy and it would be great to have that level of detail elsewhere, without the need for additional fan-made mods.

Another aspect which has gotten a bit stale over the years is the interaction with the media - such an important facet of modern football management. FM24 continues along a similar theme from the last few years with just a sprinkling of new context specific responses thrown in.

In the end, the monotony of it with press conferences scheduled both before and after games often leads to delegating the task to an AI staff member to forgo the tedium. It would be great to see a rethink of the system for FM25. How Sports Interactive could improve it is definitely a challenge, but it surely isn't one they can't overcome.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2024 on PC

Any football fan will have watched with interest as the Saudi Arabian financial power catapulted the transfer system into even greater importance in the world. Therefore, it makes complete sense and was a lucky break that FM24 once again steps up, with an improvement to the AI's decision making when it comes to executing more realistic choices and making the emotion of transfers as exciting as ever.

Sports Interactive promised in their marketing that player transfer values will correspond more closely to real life and that AI will make decisions on signing players based on their bespoke needs. Largely this is borne out much better this year, at least from a few dozen hours of experience.

There is increasing assistance from staff members in identifying gaps to build the best squad, and financial information is tweaked, so it becomes clearer how signing or selling players impacts on the club's overall running.

Realistic player management has also been stepped up with new ways to incentivise performances. Players can be given individual targets which then feed into contract negotiations, or potential signings can be coaxed into joining through future promises. Some of these features were bare bones in previous entries but their fleshing out in FM24 is a positive step among a package of additions which all align well.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2024 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

FM24 by its very nature is more of the same and that isn't in itself a criticism. Indeed, Sports Interactive would likely argue this final love letter to 20 years of the series is the culmination and last hurrah of what they have been building up to over the last number of years. Fans returning to the series will either find the presentation a comfort blanket or more of the same, depending on their point of view. Changes to the ageing match engine breathe new life into watching the spectacle play out while the emphasis on the greater power of agents in wheeling and dealing in the transfer market adds a layer of complexity that spices things up. There are also overhauls to set pieces and increased focus on player's individual targets and development. Despite all that though, it does feel like the natural stepping off point of the series to go in a slightly different direction before things get stale and it therefore isn't surprising that FM25 promises a 'new chapter'. It will be exciting to watch where the series goes in the coming years.


Sports Interactive







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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