Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Mobile (not exactly the same type of game)
We played on: PlayStation 4
Soccer, or football as it’s called in the parts of the world not known as North America, is easily the most popular sport on the planet. It’s one of the few truly global sports, a sport where the term “World Champions” actually means something. And similar to the sport that it portrays, every year, FIFA is one of the most universally purchased and popular sports games in the world—for good reason.
The best thing about playing FIFA is that it’s designed to be as intuitive as possible. You don’t need to fully understand the different positions on the soccer field. You don’t need to worry about coaching your players or picking plays, or any of the other things that typically bog down sports games. You can drop directly into a game, quickly learn how to pass, shoot, and tackle, then be on your way to having a good time. Although it does take some pretty quick reaction times to get into the rhythm of passing and taking shots on the goal, it’s fun even if you barely understand what’s going on.
For those that have been playing FIFA for years, there’s nothing to worry about. It offers many of the same features and thrills as years past, with some minor enhancements here and there. However, what that means for those looking for a good reason to get the new game is that there really aren’t many new things this year.
One of the biggest new features is the inclusion of around a dozen women’s league teams, which is a great addition that should have existed much sooner, but it’s a shallow inclusion that feels like a watered down version of what it could have been. Part of me thinks an entirely separate Women’s World Cup series should be created, or at least built out more in the base game.
And when compared to other sports franchises on the market such as Madden NFL or the NBA 2K series, it can sometimes feel like there is a lack of options. For example, in NBA 2K16, there is a robust and detailed story mode that was written and directed by Spike Lee. In Madden NFL 16, you create your own player and take them through an RPG-sports game hybrid game mode. And in Fight Night Champion, a boxing game, you not only have a fully developed story mode that unravels much like a Rocky movie, but you also have a standard career mode as well.
Even though FIFA lacks the bells and whistles of other sports games, the underlying foundation that exists in FIFA 16 is so strong it’s worth recommending on its legacy alone. The funny thing about FIFA games is that its fans typically buy each installment regardless. So if your kid is a big fan of soccer, or even FIFA games specifically, then they won’t be disappointed with FIFA 16.