Nov 7, 2014, 9:53 AM
Coronavirus pandemic has meant that most of us are confined to our homes as the
world battles the outbreak. As we wait for the tough times to pass, with no
live football on offer, gaming has become an avenue for many.
Here we take a look at some of the best football games in recent times.
Playing football video games is one of the way in which a fan can experience the thrill of real-time football in any capacity. We take a look at some EA Sports – FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) games over the years and discuss the features some editions brought about.
The current generation of gamers and football fans love to crown FIFA 07 as one of the best. The nostalgia factor is high here, given the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and other favourites of that era were yet to reach their peak.
The game also featured legends such as Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs, Carles Puyol, Ricardo Kaka, Paul Scholes and other legends during their actual playing careers rather than the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) Icon cards that are available on FIFA 20.
It also had some historic highlight clips that could be unlocked by completing a few interesting challenges. The practice game mode where you could play against any number of players, aided with the liberty to practice set-pieces from any position made it special.
The Wii version of PES 2008 was a revelation that attracted mixed responses. You could point the Wii remote to the desired player and manoeuvre his movements with the on-screen cursor. This version was radically different from that of the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 etc.
While the tactical flexibility due to the drag-and-drop mechanism earned plaudits, the steep learning curve was criticised. PES also suffered from the familiar problem of unlicensed teams. While teams from the Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga, Eredivisie were licensed, all teams from the Bundesliga and a few from the Premier League weren’t. The users hence had to do with Manchester Red instead of Manchester United, Merseyside Blue instead of Everton and so on.
The slogan of FIFA 11 read “We are 11”. True to their words, EA allowed users to play as goalkeeper in regular games, career mode and online games. The virtual pro game mode allowed the user to play as one particular player with personalised objectives and an end-to-end camera angle.
This version is also famous for a massive jump into higher skill moves. Players such as Kaka, Ronaldinho, Messi and Ronaldo could perform advanced tricks to get past players. The passing system was enhanced and the 360 dribbling feature provided a smoother overall experience.
The career mode saw a new feature where the player could also play the role of a manager.
Coming to yet another fan favourite edition, FIFA 14 was met with positive responses and is still considered one of their best releases. The game was available on the newly released PlayStation 4 and came with a lot of upgrades in the gameplay.
Smarter artificial intelligence (AI) allowed more lifelike movements of the players. This was reflected in all aspects of the game – passing, dribbling, defending and so on. The game also saw the addition of some the trademark celebration of some players like Messi, Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
FIFA 14 is also famous for its entertaining track list.
Having spent most of the last decade trying to catch up with EA, Konami replied with a bang with PES 2017. Firstly, partnerships with major clubs like Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and River Plate allowed recreation of official, classic kits, stadium, player features with higher accuracy and so on.
The cover of Barcelona players like Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique celebrating at the Camp Nou with an Adidas ball in the foreground was bound to attract attention. The personalised feel for the fans of the partnered teams was surely a driving factor behind PES 2017’s success.
Also, the new and improved AI provided adaptive gameplay. The style of play would change during the game to suit the tactics and style of play of the user. It is widely believed that the PES’ gameplay has been superior to that of their rival in the last few years and this version was yet another example of the same.
FIFA 20 Menu
And now we come to the latest edition of FIFA from EA Sports. Bar VOLTA football or street football, there was not much of a difference from the previous editions, especially with the gameplay. However, certain game modes made the matches against AI interesting.
The Survival mode sees teams lose a random player after scoring a goal to level the playing field. This goes on until the team has seven players on the pitch, after which scoring a goal does not have any effect on the number of players in play.
The Magic Ball game mode provides the team in possession with dribbling, shooting, passing and pace power-ups and goal-multipliers. It’s hence not uncommon to come across scorelines such as 15-14 or 20-0 in this game mode.
In the King of the Hill game mode, the teams fight for possession in a randomly designated zone for a certain period until their goal multiplier – which can go from zero to three – fills up.
Headers and Volleys, Long Range, No Rule, First To are some other interesting kick-off game modes.
Online features included FUT, Pro Clubs and friendlies. FUT saw the inclusion of new legends icons such as Pep Guardiola, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka and so on for the first time.
The manager mode included interactive press conferences, transfer negotiations, and player conversations. There was also the option of starting off as a player and retiring to become manager of the club.