Ever since its inception in 1993, FIFA has become one of the most successful — if not the most successful — sports video game series of all time, selling more than a 100 million copies worldwide. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world without a doubt, and in some ways, FIFA has actually contributed to this growing popularity, especially in the United States. The gameplay has been tweaked in every edition, leading to the competitive and addictive matches that elicit the sort of response for a gamer that one might expect from an actual soccer match.
But since EA is at the helm of FIFA, you can expect players to have a lot of complaints regarding the latest iterations of the series that have been mechanically churned out for a while now. FIFA 17 brought some welcome changes (and others, not so much) to the series, but there's still a lot of ground to be covered before gamers are ultimately satisfied with their purchase... not that it matters, since FIFA 18 will sell like hot cakes when it's released, no matter what. Here are 15 improvements EA needs to make in FIFA 18.
15 Fix The Corners
The screenshot posted above is a pretty accurate description as to why the new corner system in FIFA 17 is absolutely awful. The corners are way too loopy and imprecise this time around (in fact, most of the new set pieces aren't all that great). The marker is absolutely useless, and it sometimes feels like the ball will land in a completely random location.
A switch back to the previous system of corners would be a boon to all FIFA players. Previous FIFA games also had the option to set up your corner set pieces, although that could be abused so that a goal would pretty much be guaranteed from a corner. Perhaps a more refined version of this system would breathe some much required fresh air to the corners.
14 Balance Out Ultimate Team
Ultimate Team is one of the biggest draws of FIFA, which is quite convenient since it's also one of the easiest ways to milk as many microtransactions as possible from gullible players. While there's no doubt that FUT is a fun distraction, there are just too many things about it that are absolutely shady.
The entire process of buying players is a sham, since it'll take multiple purchases to get good players to begin with. Getting a player you'll actually want is a rare occurrence, leading to the dreaded cycle of microtransactions that EA is all too known for. Perhaps EA should spend less time on making FUT such a reliable cash cow and focus on the other game modes of FIFA.
Speaking of which...
13 Add A FIFA Street Game Mode
This might be a bit too hopeful to ask, but if we're to go by EA's press conference, then there's a slight chance that EA might actually be trying to gain some much needed public goodwill. If that's the case, then adding a 5-a-side mode or — something that will probably never come true — a FIFA Street game mode would be amazing.
FIFA Street was one of the most ludicrously fun sports games ever, letting you pull off the most ridiculous moves one can do with a soccer ball. If possible, adding this mode to FIFA and using the Frostbite engine to its full effect will lead to an absolutely stellar game mode that should provide hours upon hours of entertainment.
Speaking of the Frostbite engine...
12 Improved Graphics
This is one aspect of the game we're sure EA will devote their attention to. If there's one thing EA is known for, it's prettying up their games to look good on the surface. Thankfully, FIFA has pretty rock-solid gameplay, so at least we won't have to worry about the actual meat of the game.
The shift to the Frostbite engine has done wonders to augment the game's graphics, allowing for a level of shading, detailing, lighting, and various other graphical nuances that make the game look absolutely amazing. One can only wonder how FIFA 18 will build on this promising bedrock.
11 More Licenses
The fact that FIFA doesn't have the UEFA license has been a source of huge disappointment for hardcore fans of the series. Retaining the license of the top leagues in the world and not being able to play in the UEFA Champions or Europa League is a shame. Don't get me wrong, PES is a great game... but there's only so many times you can play with Man Red and London Blue before rolling your eyes at the silliness of it all.
UEFA isn't the only license FIFA should try and acquire. Recently formed super leagues — in China and India for example — should also be added due to the amount of star power present in both leagues. All this adds to the authenticity of the game.
10 Re-Introduce Lounge Mode
Couch multiplayer is one of the biggest draws of FIFA, which is why it's quite surprising that there aren't more options that facilitate this addictive experience. This wasn't the case in FIFA 11, when EA introduced a new mode called 'Lounge Mode' that put a new twist to the traditional matches of FIFA.
Players would now be the subject of random effects that could either be positive or negative in nature. This could range from a goal handicap, to a one-star penalty, or even unlimited stamina. There's a petition demanding the return of this mode in FIFA 18 that has garnered some signatures, so obviously, EA will probably not even bother with adding this mode in the game.
9 Rating Players Fairly
FIFA has a pretty questionable tendency of overrating players who are more popular than talented, and underrated players who are the complete opposite. Perhaps this is the reason why Rooney still gets a rating that's way, way higher than it should be... simply because he's still one of the most marketable soccer players in the game.
Hopefully, EA can take a page out of Sega's book and actually spend some time scouting players who aren't that well-known and rating them fairly in the game. Similarly, they should ignore a player's mainstream appeal and rate them based on their skill, not just how recognizable their face is.
There's one more thing EA can adopt from the Football Manager series...
8 More Customization Options Regarding Team Styles
FIFA allows you to choose from a variety of formations to suit your playing style (although most of the time you're better off with the default one). Still, there are only so many formations one can choose without having the ability to choose more varying styles that aren't just limited to basic pressing, counter-attacking, or anything of the sort.
Perhaps a more diverse range of styles like tiki-taka, gegenpressing, or maybe even the revolutionary Total Football would be appreciated immensely. EA could also let us choose the roles of certain players, instructing some defenders to play as ball-playing ones, or using a midfielder as a deep-lying playmaker to truly augment the game from a strategic point of view.
7 Fresher Commentary
Booting up a FIFA game and playing some matches for the first few times is always a treat. The matches are fun, the atmosphere is eerily similar to the real thing and the commentary is always on point. However, after a few games, the latter's quality takes a sharp nosedive — this is noticeable in pretty much every FIFA game when phrases start getting recycled.
The duo of Martin Tyler and Alan Smith provides stellar commentary, but it would be appreciated if EA made an effort to add a few more phrases to make the commentary seem fresh (even after multiple matches). One can only imagine the frustration of an Arsenal fan who'll want to throw the controller at the TV every single time they heard 'Santi Cazorla' in that same, monotone, boring voice.
6 More Options For Women Teams
FIFA 16 made a nice change from the norm by adding women teams for the first time in the series, which was a welcome change from the usual overload of testosterone that most players have become acclimated to. People were waiting with baited breath to see how many more women teams would be added in FIFA 17... only to be woefully disappointed when it turned out that it wasn't the case.
Perhaps EA will realize their mistake and decide to add — at the very least — a few more women clubs to diversify their roster. Women's soccer is becoming quite big, and it would be a shame if EA didn't reflect this monumental change in their game.
5 More Atmospheric Crowds
This is an area that EA is reportedly working on, so at least we can expect some improvements (no matter how minor they may be) to the next iteration of the series. The crowds in FIFA have come a long way from the static paper-cutouts in the earlier 3D FIFA titles, and their development throughout the series has been quite remarkable, to say the least.
It is said that in FIFA 18, crowds will be more dynamic and react accordingly, based on the regions one is playing at. So English crowds will have a distinctly different atmosphere compared to Spanish or Italian crowds. This might seem like a small and insignificant change, but FIFA is technically a soccer simulator, and these changes matter if one wants the perfect simulated experience.
4 Fix The Keeping
It seems that with every edition of FIFA that comes out, keepers become more and more inept. This is true for FIFA 17 as well, where a keeper will sometimes start diving ages after the ball has already soared past him into the net. To add insult to injury, there's a high likelihood that the keeper will dive in the wrong direction as well.
A worrying fact about FIFA 18 is that apparently players will be allowed to move more fluidly on the ball, letting gamers generate one-man counters and goals that seem highly unrealistic, to say the least. If the keepers aren't adjusted to be better-equipped to deal with this, then the fan backlash will be absolutely rabid.
3 Improve Penalties Or Bring Back Their Earlier Version
Penalties might not have been especially realistic in past version of FIFA, but they were still pretty serviceable. The system was simple, quick, effective and — most importantly — fair. On the other hand, the new version of penalties is the absolute worst, and needs a lot of work.
What used to be an almost sure-shot goal ended up becoming an absolute mess of half-baked ideas (some good, others... not so much). While the idea of allowing more freedom in penalties is welcome, it's the execution that completely ruins this mini-game. Perhaps a more improved version of this system would be better, although if that isn't the case, it might be better to just roll back and use the previous version of the penalties.
2 Re-Haul Career Mode
Career Mode has slowly devolved from an exciting new version of Football Manager , to a stale game mode that hasn't seen any new features since England last won the World Cup.
EA needs to understand that not everybody likes to constantly play FUT. Sometimes, a person would love to control the team of his choice in a fully fleshed-out career mode that includes tons of new features and nuances that would keep the player gripped for a long amount of time. It's a request that's long overdue, and EA should take note and fix the sparse Career Mode they've been recycling time and time again.
1 Make Journey Mode More Impactful
FIFA 17 introduced a new story mode where you controlled a youngster named Alex Hunter in his quest to seek football glory. This particular game mode is titled 'Journey Mode,' and while its inclusion was appreciated, there were some elements that required fine tuning.
One of the major complaints of The Journey was the lack of impact your decisions had in shaping Alex's story, along with a few other weird occurrences based on the team you chose. Perfecting these elements will take time, but if EA decides to put in the required effort, then The Journey Season 2 can truly become one of the biggest draws in FIFA 18.