The beautiful game has long-established itself as the world’s number one sport. Over the years many rivals have enjoyed their moment in the sun, but none has had the staying power of the game invented when a bunch of English public-schoolboys decided it would be a lark to start kicking an inflated pig’s bladder around on a field. While football has gone to strength to strength in terms of viewing figures around the globe, the appeal of the sport has not always translated easily to all areas of popular culture. What’s the last good soccer-themed movie you saw? ‘Escape to Victory’ from 1981? (And let’s face it, that’s not exactly a classic of the genre). Let’s not even talk about good football-related books, look no further than Steve Bruce’s literary output to put an end to that conversation.
However, one area where football has transitioned well to other forms of entertainment is in the field of gaming. Video games like FIFA and PES have helped to introduce the game to a whole new audience in places like the US where football had previously struggled to get a foothold. And when it comes to online slots gaming, soccer is one of the most successful sporting themes around. There are always duds out there, of course, but we have picked out three of the best soccer slots on the market. These games combine good graphics, exciting game-play and not to mention a good chance of making a profit, which is what you might call the hat-trick of any good online slot game’s requirements. Here are our top three scorers:
The Champions (Pragmatic Play)
Released to coincide with the 2018 World Cup, ‘The Champions’ allows you to play as any of the participating nations in that competition. Choosing France instead of Panama won’t increase your chances of winning, but it will let you enjoy the famous blue, white and red colour scheme. There are a couple of nice features which lifts this soccer slot to a higher division. The first is that you can move a target around the screen and if a football lands in the space you choose the multiplier of all wins increases by 1. You can keep going up to a possible multiplier of x20 if you are wearing your virtual shooting boots. There is also a penalty shootout bonus game where you can win up to 100 times your bet if you score five from five. Plus, who doesn’t love a penalty shootout?
Bicicleta (Yggdrasil Gaming)
The word ‘bicicleta’ is sometimes used to describe what we would call a step-over or even a ‘rainbow’ kick, but its closest translation in English is the acrobatic bicycle kick. That piece of skill comes into play during the bonus rounds, which are triggered either by finding 3 or more footballs on the reels or else the trophy which can randomly appear. During the free spin rounds, any of the four-player symbols which lands on the reels can transform into a sticky wild symbol. They just need to convert an overhead kick to do so, and if the ball finishes in the net then the symbol changes into a wild which remains in place for the remainder of your free spins. If you know anything about slot games you will know that this can lead to some pretty generous wins coming your way.
Football Champions Cup (NetEnt)
This game was released in time for the 2016 European Championships but has been updated to include teams from all over the world to give it a World Cup vibe. Again it’s the bonus features that make this game a contender for the title of the best soccer slot game. As in The Champions, this game features a penalty shootout comp. However, Football Champions Cup takes it up a notch as you play alternately as both penalty-taker and keeper. The former wins you cash amounts by scoring, while each save you make as the goalie further multiplies your winnings. There is also a second – and even more lucrative – bonus game which puts your team into a playoff bracket. Advance by collecting special ‘goal’ wilds and knock out opponents to progress further in the competition. The further you go, the more winnings you will earn and if your team wins the whole thing then prepare to celebrate a monster pay-out!
Among the host of other football slot games out there, it is worth giving an honourable mention to titles like Football Fans, Football Stars and the entertaining Ultimate Dream Team. However, in our book, you won’t have to look much further than our trio of soccer slots to find the best options out there for lovers of the beautiful game. Check them out for yourself – either the demo or real money versions – at a good online casino, to find out why they are our choices for top of the slots.