Ever since it’s released in October 2001, we have witnessed the rise and fall of the once famed series, Pro Evolution Soccer – or as otherwise titled, World Soccer: Winning Eleven. But that has all changed with the release of Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, as the series has risen from the ashes to once again take the crown as best soccer simulator.
The best thing about the Pro Evolution Soccer is that everything feels as though it matters. Every touch to the ball, every direction you run – it all affects the game in a way that hasn’t been seen in a sports game before. With the refinement of the Real Touch system and advancement on the AI, PES 2017 is set well above the FIFA series.
While FIFA may have the flashy presentation and fancy licensed teams, its gameplay has severely lacked over the past several years as it seems that EA is focused more on the brand of FIFA and not so much the actual gameplay. Let’s be honest though, FIFA is EA’s cash cow and will be for many years to come – no matter how bad the game gets, it’s still going to sell as it’s under the FIFA brand.
If we were to take away official team licenses from both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, the decision between the better game would be a very simple one. As when everything is said and done, PES not only has stunning visuals and animations but it also offers the realism of its gameplay. With that being said, here are 15 reasons why Pro Evolution Soccer completely obliterates FIFA.
15 Graphics & Performance
Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) has always been known for its graphical realism and exceptional performance, and although the game isn’t powered by EA’s in-house Frostbite Engine – which is most likely a good thing – it does happen to be developed in the Fox Engine. That’s right, the same powerhouse engine that is responsible for the likes of the Metal Gear Solid series.
In recent years, the FIFA series has been producing poor graphics and rather robotic player animations. However, PES – with the help of the Fox Engine – has been able to provide some of the most stunningly realistic graphics and animations the sports genre has seen. Take for example the character models of Ronaldo and Neymar, as they look astoundingly realistic.
Let’s be honest though, after the blunder that was Mass Effect: Andromeda, it is safe to say that maybe EA’s Frostbite Engine isn’t all that it’s made out to be.
14 Better Strategic Play
The tactical variety available within PES 2017 is second to none – topping any other football simulator on the market today. Whether you’re employing a Gegenpress or simply swapping formations at half-time, you’ll find that the player AI is smart enough to follow the new plan.
The changes you make may feel minor, but once implemented, the plans completely change the feel of the game - you’ll even find new gaps that weren’t previously there and players that may just not be as useless as you once thought.
The best thing about Pro Evolution Soccer’s tactical system is that each plan feels and plays differently. It will quickly become apparent that everything in PES has a purpose and isn’t just there to look pretty.
13 The Most Authentic Football Experience
The Pro Evolution Soccer series has always been known for the authentic soccer experience that it gives its players.
One of the reasons that PES is able to uphold its authentic experience is thanks to its addition of True Ball Motion and the Real Touch system, as they allow the player to make remarkably real passes and shots on goal. Physics are also another standout feature that makes Pro Evolution Soccer such an authentic soccer simulator as its physics provide realistic momentum, balance and ball controls.
Just like real soccer, PES can’t be picked up and mastered in just one game, making it not only more challenging but also a much more rewarding experience.
12 Ball Handling Like No Other
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 has hit the nail on the head when it comes to ball control — be it a swift loft or quick tap, passing is always crisp, responsive and easy to use. This is all thanks to the Real Touch system that calculates the first touch based on player attributes.
The Real Ball Physics is another major feature that helps determine the speed and accuracy of the ball based on the player's rate and skills, and also the player's direction and angle at which they kicked the ball as it links to the natural, satisfying animation that follows.
You will find that matches are always different – from 3-2 nail biters to 0-0 draws, each match will be a pleasure to play.
11 Advanced AI
When playing a sports game, one of the most important features is AI – as more often than not, you’ll find that your opponents and teammates feel robotic and just plain useless.
That isn’t the case for Pro Evolution Soccer though. For the first time in any soccer game, the AI will learn how you play, listen to your strategy plans, follow your advanced instructions and even change tactics accordingly.
I know we’ve heard all this before – but this time it’s different as the AI actually works, it works so well that the standard of AI in sports games, is bound to change forever. When playing, the opposition will even double up and mark your favored players heavily. If you’re one that enjoys playing down the wing, don’t be surprised if you are forced to change your methods - as the AI will adapt to your playing style.
The more you focus on one area, the more adaptive the AI will be to your tactics.
10 Realistic & Natural Animations
Just because a game may play well, it doesn’t mean that the game looks good on screen. Luckily though, Pro Evolution Soccer not only looks great graphically, but its animations are nothing but superb.
You can definitely tell when a game developer has put a lot of hard work and effort into their game, as PES has been completely transformed in their latest instalment. The quality of the animations within the game are amazing; they are easily one of the most noticeable features of the game, as over 500 new animations have been added. You can instantly notice the new animations as each player is individually represented in detailed movements.
To completely seal the deal, not only does PES feel great, but Konami has committed to totally overhauling the player animations once again in PES 2018. Considering the fantastic job they did in PES 2017, it is safe to say that animations and movements are only going to feel even closer to the real thing.
It’s no secret that Pro Evolution Soccer has struggled over the years with obtaining the licenses for official teams, leagues, and stadiums. While that is all slowly beginning to change, PES has a mighty good solution that not only corrects the licensing issues, but also gives PES the upper hand when comparing with FIFA.
Pro Evolution Soccer has a customization system that works wonders, as it gives players the option to completely customize player’s looks, uniform kits, leagues, and stadiums. So if you are desperate to be playing as Manchester United or Chelsea on the PC or PS4, simply download player created kits off the internet and install them in just a few simple steps. Alternatively, players can completely customize the teams and players manually by using the in-game customization feature.
8 Fast Paced Gameplay
Over the past several years, we have witnessed the downfall of the Pro Evolution Soccer series. Still, over the past two instalments there has been a light at the end of the tunnel as we have slowly seen the game improving and returning to its roots.
One of the best things about the Pro Evolution Soccer series is just how fluid and fast-paced the gameplay is - opposed to the rather sluggish and slow paced FIFA. While fast paced sporting games are often criticized, many don’t realize that the issue isn’t with the pace itself, but rather the game’s mechanics being underdeveloped and not fully fleshed out.
However, the fast-paced nature of PES 2017 is absolutely perfect as Konami has ensured that every gameplay mechanic flows with the pace to create of one the most thrilling soccer simulations on the market.
Pro Evolution Soccer has struggled over the past few years with obtaining the right to license some of your favorite clubs, but that has all changed in PES 2017 as Konami – the developer of the series – has made it very clear that they aren’t ready to give up the famed soccer series just yet.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 has been a complete game changer for the soccer genre, as many fans have returned to series. Konami has gone out of their way to make claim to some of the biggest teams in the sport – Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, and Liverpool. They have even announced that they have some huge plans in store this year’s installment of the series.
You better watch yourself FIFA, because Pro Evolution Soccer is coming to steal your teams.
6 A Gripping Singleplayer Experience
Arguably one of Pro Evolution Soccer’s most popular and successful modes is the Master League – where players are tasked with creating and managing a team. The Master League – especially when combined with PES’s outstanding gameplay – is a brilliantly addictive time-sink.
The Master League was even updated in the 2017 instalment to include a number of highly requested features which includes having separate budgets for transfers and wages to make the process of handling finances much simpler. It also allowed players to select the option of a short six-month loan before signing on long-term.
Not to mention, Konami still owns the official license to the Champions League and Europa League – which FIFA fans undoubtedly envy.
Despite FIFA having the upper hand – given their budget, it should come as no surprise – PES still manages to outshine FIFA in terms of narrative, manager customization, and of course the Champions League and Europa League.
5 The Game To Play With Your Friends
Getting a group of friends together for a night filled with gaming is always going to be a good time. But, choosing the correct game is always a tough decision as the wrong choice can either make or break the party experience.
That’s why Pro Evolution Soccer – namely the 2017 instalment – is the best decision when it comes to selecting a soccer game as it not only offers more suspense filled matches, but also a more technical and unpredictable game. You’ll find that each match will be filled with laughter and should you mix up the teams each round, no game will ever feel the same.
While FIFA may be the more popular option, its gameplay is far too predictable and favors those with more experience – making PES the easy choice when it comes to game night.
4 It Does Much More With A Smaller Budget
It’s quite obvious that Pro Evolution Soccer doesn’t have the same budget capabilities as the official game of the sport – FIFA – but it does happen to deliver much more a smaller budget. At current, PES is able to achieve some of the most realistic graphics and gameplay features ever seen within a sports game.
With its realistic ball control and authentic feel, one can quickly begin to imagine what the game would be like if they were given a much more substantial budget like their opponent – FIFA. The amount of refinement the developers could achieve would be almost indescribable, and I think we can all agree that it would put it miles ahead of any other game in the sports genre.
3 The Cheaper Option
The worst part about gaming is that it isn’t a cheap hobby, especially around the holiday season – which is generally when almost all of your most anticipated games of the year seem to arrive. While Pro Evolution Soccer is no different - as it arrives around the same time every year - it does happen to hold one major advantage against its rival, FIFA.
The major advantage that PES holds over FIFA is pricing, as Pro Evolution Soccer is usually priced at lower RRP – let’s also not forget that it is usually priced significantly lower when it’s on sale.
While many may argue that a mere $10 to $20 cheaper isn’t a deal breaker, it is when funds are low and non-gaming parents are looking for a game for their children.
2 Improved Referees & Goalkeepers
We all want to have that dream team – a team that not only works well together, but also outperforms everyone else on the field. Sometimes, soccer just doesn’t work that way – especially when it comes to goalkeepers and referees. You’ll find that more often than not, you’ll be paired with referee’s that often miss clear fouls and goalkeepers that quickly get rendered useless by attackers.
Luckily though, Pro Evolution Soccer doesn’t make fans put up with this nonsense as PES 2017 brings referees that accurately pick up fouls and card correctly. Goalkeepers will also react quickly to shots on goal and don’t shy away from attackers. You will also find that goalkeepers will even move more freely around the box, depending on the tactics you have chosen.
1 A More Passionate & Friendly Community
We have all seen those FIFA freak-out videos on YouTube - the ones where their screaming and yelling profanity over losing a match online or not receiving the best players when opening packs. While the videos may be funny, they eventually get old and very annoying. I think FIFA can be best described as the Call of Duty of the soccer genre – full of young children and overreacting YouTubers that are trying way too hard to be funny. The FIFA community has turned toxic, which as a result has dampened the playing experience for many.
You’ll be glad to know that isn’t the case for Pro Evolution Soccer, as the series has always been targeted towards a much more mature and professional audience that play for the realism and authentic gameplay and not the brand names and overly famous teams.