Top Critic Average
The lack of improvements in areas that have stagnated, most notably dealings with the media and team talks, is frustrating though. There are seeds of good ideas in the drift toward an RPG-like system of relationships and stats, but they're slim and seem half-conceived in some areas. In fact, where the game is improved it may well benefit in Touch (formerly Classic) mode more than in the full-fat simulation. And for the first time, I'm considering spending my time there, and in the entertaining new multiplayer draft mode. I probably won't stick with the multiplayer until Christmas, let alone next season, but at least it's something new to sink my teeth into before settling into the usual decades of toil.
Overall, Football Manager 2016 is definitely an improvement over last year's submission. It does a nice job of catering to those who want a faster-paced experience, whilst offering those who want to micro-manage every possible aspect of the game, a perfect sandbox with which to scratch that itch. Moreover, Sports Interactive has seemingly brought both experiences closer together, allowing an easier path for those playing Touch to promote themselves to the full experience at their leisure. The overall detail is astonishing and it will take far longer to get through a season. Gone are the days off finishing off a league in a night, but the satisfaction of reaching the summit of a league table after the arduous road preceding it, is that much greater. Aside from a couple of slight blemishes, with an under polished avatar system and a few presentation issues, Football Manager 2016 is without doubt a great accomplishment, which deserves anyone's attention. Just don't be surprised to watch your social life get relegated…
Football Manager 2016 may not be a huge overhaul over previous titles but the game feels a lot more accessible for anyone to pick up and play. Sports Interactive continues to show why Football Manager is the most dominant of sports management sim. 2016 isn't a game you can just switch off and leave behind. At moments during the day you'll be thinking of tactics to use, potential signings to bolster your defence, and who to drop. Most of all you'll be looking most forward to match day as you wait to see if your preparation is good enough or not. Football Manager 2016 isn't just a game, it becomes a major part of your life.
Football Manager 2016 feels a little thin initially, but as players dig deeper into the experience, they will find that it offers the best expression of the core mechanics that has defined the series for the past few years.
Football Manager 2016 is another successful entry into a series that is perhaps struggling to find new things to innovate. Changes to tactics, player interaction and the 3D match engine are much welcomed and definitely mark an improvement from last year's game. It will keep fans of the series more than happy (that is until 2017 rolls off the production line next year).
It's in these moments of fantasy that Football Manager 16 delivers like it does every year. Seeing your best laid plans come to fruition is wonderful. If you have enjoyed previous Football Manager games then you'll enjoy this. It's more of the same, which isn't a bad thing, but does mean people that bought Football Manager 15 might feel that the differences don't warrant investing in the new game.
Football Manager 2016 may not be heavy on new features, but its increased transparency and accessibility make it the most enjoyable and immediate entry in the series to date.
Football Manager 2016 is far from the most revolutionary entry in the series, but it's still an addictive game that'll have you signing away the next few months of your life.
This is a simulation experience that drills into far greater detail than and typical sports games do, offering a more strategic line of thinking and slower pacing. This makes the title slow to get into, but the end result is a rewarding experience that football fans should enjoy.
Solid. Dependable. This edition of Football Manager has set itself up not to concede, and to make occasional expressive forays into new territory. The scattering of innovations (hilarious character creator aside) are worthwhile, but some old, persistent quirks still rankle.