In my view, what makes Football Manager so unique to most games revolving around sport is the amount of user-created content. While series such as NBA 2K and EA Sports NHL allow for vast customisation options, PC modding still reigns supreme and, alongside an extensive editing tool, FM has a huge creator community.

One of the most popular forms of editing on the game comes in the form of databases. Custom and additional leagues, strange challenges and everything in between has led to some fascinating saves over the years. Now, as we approach the end of the FM20 lifecycle, here are my top 5 custom databases for you try before heading into FM21.

5. Manchester City Fail FFP Challenge by DrNotAsEvil


This is a serious challenge for those who enjoy an almost sadistic view of Financial Fair Play. This database is set in an alternate universe where Man City are in free-fall. Following a failed FFP breach, the entire board and all the directors resign as they are relegated to League Two. All the stars remain but it is your job to try and hold onto them and take them back to the big time in a similar fashion to Juventus following their match-fixing scandal.

You can download the database here.

4. All Players are Free Agents by tmfch


If you love a transfer window, prepare for the mother of all transfer windows with this custom database. Tmfch has made every single player in the game available on free; meaning nobody has a team and everybody is up for grabs. He describes it as similar to the draft mode but this is really just a free-for-all. I would recommend starting this challenge with a team with a massive wage bill… you’re going to need it.

You can download the database here.

3. The American Premier League by spencp99


I can’t be the only one who has never managed in the MLS. It’s something even the most competitive of FM players never dare to try. It’s confusing, messy and takes far too long to really establish yourself in the States. Thankfully, spencp99 has completely revitalised the entire structure of the American pyramid. Removing the MLS, the USA now adopts a 3 tier structure with full promotion and relegation as well as a development league below. There is a domestic cup for all teams, a Super Cup and a Checkatrade trophy-style cup for the development squads. Also, to really flex your muscles, you are in European competitions. American-style policies are in still in place to give you a more authentic feel too; money flows through the leagues massively, youth development is a huge priority and the cup competitions follow the golden goal rule. This is what European fans have wanted in the United States for decades and now you can do so.

You can download the database here.

2. Aswijan by ChilledMoose


I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s so impressive and vast that ChilledMoose even did her own introductory video on the database. In short, Aswijan is a custom country located just off the coast of Portugal. It is part of UEFA and has a rich footballing history. What makes Aswijan so unique is that it is divided into four unique geographical regions which have an impact on playing style. Every team has a unique set of players, staff and a full history. There are custom kits and player faces all designed by ChilledMoose. If you are looking for something really special and detailed, this is one of the most impressive custom databases ever produced and is well worth your time.

You can download and learn more about the database here.

1. The 2006/2007 Database by TheMadScientist


Now I will admit this was done with an element of bias. I will be starting my first series on this site using this database so that has perhaps edged it ahead of Aswijan. However, I can persuade you in a few simple words. Drogba. Henry. Kaka. Ronaldinho. Rooney. Alongside a young Messi and Ronaldo entering their primes, this database is stocked with stars from one of the most exciting eras in recent memory. Featuring the Premier League, Championship, Serie A, Serie B as well as the top leagues from Scotland, France, Spain and Brazil, this is an incredibly detailed database with thousands of players and I hope you will follow my new series coming out shortly.

You can download the database here.

So that’s the list of my favourite databases. Got any suggestions? Please leave a comment and send me or the page your successes on Instagram.