FIFA 16 – EA’s Best Effort To Date

While all of the other FIFA 16 reviews were coming out over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending my time playing the game and making sure that I got a proper feel of it before writing my piece.

I don’t think that I would be doing the game justice if I was to play it for a few hours and then say what’s good and bad about it, I felt like it would be better for me to really go at it.


Anyway, having done that, I can now safely say that this is the greatest FIFA game ever made. I mean, in my head FIFA ’98 will always be my favourite because it was my first, but in terms of actual gaming, this year’s edition is off the charts.

Never before has a FIFA seemed so realistic. I know realism is something that’s quite hard to quantify, but the way that the players move, connect and, yes, ‘think’ is genuinely amazing.

The game engine has been adapted in a way so that the opposition is smarter and you have to think much harder about your next play. It’s much more about the battle in the middle of the park, and having speedsters no longer guarantees you victory.

Time a pass wrong and it will be intercepted. Give the defender a bit too much of a look in and he will win the ball off you. Allow a strong player to battle a quick one, and speed doesn’t always win. Also, hit a shot poorly and it’ll dribble into the arms with about as much ferocity as a lamb’s sneeze.

FIFA Through The Ages – 1993-2016

Basically, and I mentioned this after playing the demo, EA have made it a lot easier to be rubbish. I had to take a step down on the playing levels from FIFA 15 when I first started as I got to grips with it, and I think that that is a testimony to the game.

However I do have the same qualm as last year in the fact that, if I’m playing Barcelona on World Class I don’t mind them being amazing, if MK Dons are just as good though, there’s a problem.

I don’t know about you guys, but I love breaking down the wings and whipping in a tasty early ball or a driven low cross, yet on the most recent editions of FIFA, trying both of these things was about as much use as a trying to put out a house fire with a water pistol.

This year, however, the crossing system seems to have been amended, and low crosses can now be met by sliding forwards and early whipped ones can give your striker the jump on the defender. You’ll score more goals from crosses on FIFA 16 than any of the previous games, I can promise you that.

Also, again on the topic of passing, is one of the most useful additions this year, the driven ground pass. By holding RB/RT when making a normal pass, the player will drive the ball hard at his teammate with his laces.

This sort of pass is a bit of poisoned chalice because, yes, it can avoid any oncoming opposition players, but it also becomes more difficult to receive and control. It’s not to be used in all situations, and can go badly wrong, but if you master it, it will help hit the opposition nicely on the transition.

Lastly with regards to game play, and something that excites me a lot, is that slide tackles are now more effective than ever. As an English fella that grew up playing Sunday League in Sheffield, there aren’t many things that I enjoy more than a good slide tackle.

In FIFA 16 you can really put them to good use if you time them properly, sliding in, winning the ball and hitting the opposition on the break. A new feature is that you can also pull out of a challenge once you’ve committed, meaning that the player can get up quicker and maybe not rule himself out of the play completely. Very handy.

I’m a big fan that the female national teams are on the game too. It’s great for budding young female footy players who want to play as legends like Abby Wambach, and it’s nice that EA have focused on having different female characteristics too and not just duplicated the blokes game but with girls.


I spend most of my time on FIFA playing Career Mode. I always start with Sheffield Wednesday and begin building a young squad that, one day, will be capable of conquering world football. Also, because of my ties in South Africa, I turn down every international job offer until Bafana Bafana come calling. 😉

This season the most exciting part of Career Mode is that you can now train your players up on certain characteristics. Once a week you can select five drills that you can either do yourself and get higher marks or simulate to save time, and depending on the results the chosen players will develop.

Get ‘Em Young – The Very BEST Young Players On FIFA 16

I won the league with Wednesday in my first season and signed Rivaldo Coetzee, potentially the highest-rated South African on the game, and took him from 67 to 72 in just that one campaign. On previous games you could only see player growth by letting them play, this year you can do it yourself.

I think the fact that I used up my 10-hour free trial before the game was released and am already into my second season with Wednesday (we’re in the Premier League now ;)) says a lot about how much I’ve enjoyed playing this game.

I did wonder what they would be able to do this year to make it truly better, but all of EA’s little tweaks really seem to have made a difference. It’s a masterpiece.

Finally, and I’m saving the best for last, is this huge news…

EA, I thank you.

*Unless you aim wrong, but that’s your stupid fault.

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