With the World Cup set to, ahem, kick off next week, millions of soccer fans are tuning in to see all the action happen, and if their favorite team can manage to win it all. Meanwhile, same soccer fans are ready to invest hours at a time on their favorite soccer video games, including Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer and EA Sports' officially licensed FIFA products. But what if you aren't necessarily in the mood for a simulation game?
Well, not to worry, as there are various other types of soccer games that you can take part in that don't involve playing by the rules. In fact, many of the titles that we mention below have more of an arcade flavor to them, where you'll utilize power-ups or other strengths to put the ball in the goal.
Super Mario Strikers (GameCube, Wii)
Mario and his allies (and enemies) take the field for this rousing arcade-style soccer game, where up to four people can partake in defensive plays and trying to score high-speed goals. While the original GameCube game set the precedent for the series, the Wii sequel Charged, did even better with it. It came complete with a ball-catching mini-game that made us of the Wii remote, and more stylish visuals that brought the hoppin' arena design to life. Now, how about a Wii U version, Nintendo?
Sega Soccer Slam (GameCube, Xbox)
Sega's take on the sport of soccer is easily one of the best out there, as you choose from a number of decorative teams and hit the field for some goal-scoring action. Each team comes with their own customized power-ups, which can provide a number of advantages, from freezing someone on the field to letting loose with a flaming soccer ball to the net. Throw in some great local multiplayer options and stylish visuals, and Sega Soccer Slam is still fun to play today.
Mega Man Soccer (SNES)
We're not sure what prompted Capcom to produce a soccer game featuring Mega Man characters, but, regardless, we're glad they did. Mega Man Soccer is a fun twist on the sport, where you choose from a number of Robot Masters and take to the field with some fast-paced side-scrolling soccer action. With the ability to use special attacks, you can easily cut your way to a goal-scoring opportunity, or pass it along to a teammate to get the ball in right under the goalie's nose. Although it doesn't quite stand the test of time as the other games on this list, Mega Man Soccer is still worth trying out.
FIFA Street series (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3)
For years, EA Sports was good at producing sports games that appealed to both simulation fans and arcade enthusiasts, and FIFA Street was one of those series that easily fit in. Focusing more on a general street theme and featuring a variety of tricks, Street flourished with smooth gameplay and beautiful visuals, especially with later editions in the series. It's only a matter of time before the company decides to return to the Street.
Nintendo World Cup (NES)
Finally, Nintendo's original soccer game, produced in accordance with Technos, managed to capture all the flair of the sport without going overboard on technical controls. As a result, it became a hit with the system's audience, with its sharp gameplay, humorous SD-style character visuals, and the ability to play with up to four people using the company's Four Score adapter. If that isn't worth kicking around with, we're not sure what is.