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Why FIFA Is For Rage Quitters & PES For Connoisseurs

Why FIFA Is For Rage Quitters & PES For Connoisseurs

Every month in Play Magazine, we take a hot topic and look at the arguments for and against. The ongoing battle between FIFA and PES is the subject of debate this time. Last week, we’ve had Play’s resident FIFA fan Liam Warr on why FIFA is better than PES. Now we have the response from Play’s Paul Walker-Emig, who argues that PES is the king of football games.


Do you think England are in with a shout of winning the Euros if only Roy Hodgson would call up Harry Kane, or whatever other overrated English player is the current flavour of the month? Do you nod your head while Robbie Savage is talking, wondering why he’s the only one who will tell it like it is, rather than scrambling for the mute button lest the verbal excrement that escapes from his noise hole infect you with chronic idiocy? Do you admire John Terry? If you answered ‘yes’ to those questions, you, my friend, are a moron. Or, in other words, a FIFA fan.


I understand why you think FIFA is better than PES. It’s the same reason you find flashing lights and loud noises more entertaining than books, describe Marvel films as ‘classics’ and think that the Assassin’s Creed games are ‘swag’. It’s because you value style, hype and presentation over substance. Don’t get me wrong, PES 2016 looks great when it comes to player models and animations. But you see FIFA with its official kits and real team names, its Premier League-style presentation, and superior commentary and you assume it must be better. You convince yourself that it’s not all that superficial fluff, the huge advertising campaigns, and the fact that your mates all bought it that persuaded you to plump for FIFA, but the fact that it’s a better game. You’re either kidding yourself, or don’t understand football, because PES is the game for football purists. 


It might surprise you to hear that I by no means think FIFA is a bad game. I just don’t think it’s a great representation of the sport that I love. As I’ve said before in this mag, FIFA’s idea of football is one that’s drawn from a Sky Sports hype package for a Super Sunday clash. It wants every match to be a breakneck paced end-to-end thrill-fest with high scores and spectacular moments from superstar players. In chasing that goal, FIFA sacrifices too much. Take the midfield as an example. In contrast to the real game (by which I mean the sport that’s played on real pitches every Saturday. And PES), where the midfield battle is more often than not the most important factor in deciding a match, FIFA wants to let you transition through it as quickly as possible so that you spend more time in the final third, pulling off stepovers and 25-yard curlers. Not only does that forced McFootball approach to generating excitement quickly get stale, it’s not an accurate representation of the game. 


Here’s what makes PES so great: variety. You can have barn-burning, counter-attacking games in PES, but the point is that they emerge naturally and feel special because of that. Then there are those tough-fought affairs where neither team seems able to fashion a chance and a scrappy deflected goal is the decider. Or, those matches where you use a possession game to draw a well-drilled defence out of position to punish them with a good pass. Every game feels different and every goal unique. 


With FIFA, the most important thing is to master the game in the way FIFA wants you to, any other approach leading you to feel like you’re fighting against it. PES, on the other hand, rewards creativity, giving you an agency that makes it more satisfying and thrilling than FIFA has ever been. FIFA offers you a its own version of football based on getting the ball up front as quickly as possible and pulling off feats with superstar players. PES is a more team-focused title that makes the sport feel engaging, making every moment important and unique to you. Granted, it doesn’t match up to FIFA when it comes to modes, official kits and so on, but none of that matters when the on-the-pitch action is so superior. 


PES is the football game for those that value team play over the obsession with individual superstars. FIFA is the game for people who thought that Pirlo was rubbish because he never did rabonas and didn’t run about very much. PES is the game for football fans that don’t judge a player after one bad game. FIFA is for fans that send players angry tweets littered with spelling mistakes and bad grammar. PES is for players who sit back and think about why they lost a game. FIFA is for fans who throw their controller at the TV in a fit of rage.   


PES is the connoisseur’s football game. If you can’t see that, then you’re beyond help. Just look at Mario Balotelli: he likes FIFA and he can’t put on a vest by himself.

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  • Serchenko9

    100% agree, of course i like PES more than Fifa..

  • Chris Davies

    Since when are 8-6, 7-3, 5-4 (in a row) scorelines (online) realistic? If they’re “exciting”, does that excitement not wane after the 10th game in a row with more than four goals? Even against the CPU in the Master League, the “team spirit” element leads to some utterly ridiculous moments – try beating a Premier League team as a lower-league team in the ML, on any difficulty above (and including) “professional”. You’ll be 4-0 down by half-time unless you have perfect “team spirit”. Then, in the next game, you’ll win 4-0 against a team in your own league (and I have screenshots, videos etc. to back this up).

    There’s a lot of good in the game, but neither of this year’s big football titles are great by any stretch of the imagination. FIFA can send you to sleep, whereas the goalkeepers in PES couldn’t save a shot if the ball was made out of metal and their gloves out of magnets, but it’s for “connoisseurs”? REALLY?

    Not to mention that the game is called PES 2016, and it clearly states 2016 on the box art, and yet the squads on the disc were from the 14/15 season – and EVEN NOW aren’t up-to-date.

    For as long as people – especially games journalists – decide they want to be “games hipsters” and play/promote the game that happens to be not-FIFA, and give Konami a free pass on all this stuff, the game will never reach its full potential. If you like the game, great, but to say it’s for “connoisseurs” and gloss over everything that’s wrong with it – because Konami are the little guy in this situation and it’s cool to play the game nobody else plays (and feel sorry for them because EA snap up licenses and more famous commentators, like all FIFA players only care about that and are “morons” – which is a really professional and mature statement to make, well done) – is just not on.

  • Devon Alvarez

    I agree both titles have their flaws and all the people that rate these games are not giving their 100% honest opinion about the games they overrate the games im a huge pes fan but I have put this years title down and gone back to 2015 keepers are non existent in this game this year pes scripting is present more than ever I can tell everytime in going to concede a goal I picked a second division Spanish Club and met real Madrid in te cup I was down 4-0 at half time lost the game 7-0 guess how man shots real Madrid had 7 this years pes really let me down I am hoping for a patch in data pack 2 to fix at least the keepers the ref needs fixing also

  • Roberto

    Always a nice discussion pes vs fifa.. I’m a PES fan from the beginning.. Bought it this year as well, but the only game mode that makes PES better than FIFA is offline gameplay. Because online gameplay is also different….. For me it’s all about 2vs2 and this is just unplayable with PES online.. and I’m not even talking about the way to set up a 2vs2 online game. I saw 2vs2 PES 6 on youtube which has less lag than this crap.

    Myclub is ok, but I got Zlatan, Neymar and other great players from the beginning, so why would I bother to continue?!

    Why is master league not online? Why does Konami doesn’t provide something simple as a online database to search players (yes like FIFA’s FUT). To many questions or simple things that are not in the game.
    Why can I not decide to cancel an online game before the game starts because I see the connection sucks.. Would save me a lot of time where people in the end just disconnect.

    Gameplay is key, but not only in 1vs1 offline. Konami is far behind in providing a complete game. So this year I prefer a little less gameplay but more fun and options over a single player game with good gameplay.

    If you can’t see that, then you’re beyond help. 😉