FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer: A Gamer's Quandary

With Electronic Arts (EA) set to release FIFA 21 on October 9, 2020, and Konami yet to announce the release date for PES 2021, gamers the world over are prepping for another round of debates about graphics, gameplay, engines, and licensing, among other topics.

What are your thoughts on the current versions of both games?

I’ve been playing FIFA consistently since FIFA 12, and while they’ve had superior graphics, I think my Japanese brothers at Konami are beginning to catch up, if they haven’t already.

FIFA stepped up things with the frostbite engine, but somehow, I still prefer the FOX engine in PES.

I like the end to end gameplay, and EA overcomplicated things with FIFA 20.

FiIFA for me, I played PES 20 recently and I hated it.

Yeeeba! maradona lo omo …emi ke , on a roger miller levels…gba be, oluomo Fifa certified. …used be a PES fan way back in the day when Molues still graced our graceless roads…then i hated FIFA …up until early 2000 when i just left PES like a bad habit and its FIFA all the way …

My thoughts are that EA has gotten lazy, and asides few gameplay tweaks here and there (minus VOLTA, The Journey and UCL) there has barely been any significant improvement in FIFA games over the past 5 years. You could be playing FIFA 16 today and it would be difficult to spot the difference with a quick glance at the screen.

Gameplay wise, EA has turned FIFA into a formulaic mess, giving the edge to players who pick and play by a certain style. They attempted to fix it in 20 but screwed up defending mechanics in the process. They just don’t seem to know what they’re doing :unamused:

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy FIFA 20. It’s much less arcade-like and rewards skill over formula, but they still have a long way to go in balancing the gameplay.

Konami on the other hand have been the underdogs since the turn of PS3 and XBOX 360 era. They seem to just focus on all the wrong things, and the team licensing definitely isn’t helping. I remember seeing The whole eFootball PES 2020 rebrand trailer last year and giving a big ol’ facepalm. Like what the hell is even that!?

Now all that being said, and ignoring Konami’s handicapped marketing, I believe PES 2020 is a genuinely good and enjoyable game. Seriously, you should try it. It will take some getting used to as it’s much more tactical and requires more thinking than FIFA, but it is just as rewarding, if not more. The close up graphics are way ahead imo (thanks to FOX engine) even if they manage to make it look similar to PES 6 from afar - I don’t know how, but PES looks significantly worse once the game starts - and the game overall just feels like it has more depth to it.

So, my take on FIFA 20 vs PES 2020(I’m not down for that eFootball crap)

I enjoy both, but FIFA a bit more mainly because the experience is just more polished. The UI, commentary, kick-off modes and match view.

Looking forward to their next releases.

I feel like sharing a bit of history, from my perspective.

I’ve been playing football games since at least 1996, when FIFA was, well… FIFA and PES was still International Superstar Soccer (before metamorphosing into Winning Eleven and then PES).

In the earlier days, EA Sports (FIFA) was always playing catch-up to Konami (ISS, W11, PES). Konami had the better gameplay and more features. ISS, and later Winning Eleven, were game centre favourites. You’d be hard-pressed to see any EA games at game centres. My first of experience of FIFA, I believe was FIFA 98 or 96. I either played it a friend’s house or I was loaned it.

The first copy of FIFA I owned was FIFA 2000 on PC. This was supposed to be the best version (graphics and everything was just better than on console versions) but as much as I enjoyed it, I always had Winning Eleven envy. Gameplay was much better, skill and tactics mattered and the players moved more realistically. On FIFA, players moved like a kid was dragging them on a table.

The only thing FIFA had better was realistic commentary, variety of customisation options, and all the licensing goodness. After FIFA 2002, I took a break from FIFA.

But everything changed when FIFA 2005 came out. EA did a massive overhaul of the gameplay engine. And all the things I envied on PES had been implemented on FIFA. Better movement, and massive gameplay improvement. And the players looked and moved like their real-life versions.

I still played PES once in a while with friends at school or at game centres, but FIFA became my favourite. Since then, I feel like PES has been playing catch-up. I’ve never bothered to go into the details of what happened but I suspect massive poaching and recruitment by EA.

I stopped playing games for a while after 2006/2007. But since I got back, I’ve only had the chance to play FIFA 19. I have no experience with any new iterations of PES but the general sentiment I continue to see online is that FIFA is much preferred.

FIFA all the way for me.