The Championship Manager series of games started in 1992 and has since become one of the biggest selling game franchises of all time. The game has seen a total of 14 different versions released across PC, Amiga, Atari and later X-box platforms.
The idea of the game is simple: take control of your favourite soccer team, whether it is Real Madrid or Rotherham, and manage them to glory. The game allows the player to manage the football team as they see fit, buying and selling players, choosing what formation and tactics to use and handling the media as they see fit.
Despite having no flashy graphics and being nothing more than a database of numbers, it is the most addictive game ever created according to its fans. The database of players and clubs is phenomenal, the latest incarnation containing leagues for 26 countries and over 100,000 players, all very much based on their real world counterparts.
Each player is represented by around 30 different stats, rated on a 1-20 scale. These include everything from passing ability to injury proneness. SI games, the creators of Championship Manager, maintain a large base of scouts worldwide to make sure the stats are accurate.
One particular anecdote goes that one version of the game contained a young player that in later years becomes one of the best players in the games. The club who the player was signed to eventually had to put out a press release after they got calls from all the big clubs around the world, enquiring about the player. Apparently the player was not for sale. He did not exist.