Just as Mario will always be more popular than Luigi, the FIFA franchise will always reign supreme over its footballing brother PES.
According to industry analyst Daniel Ahmed, UK sale figures suggest the gap between the two is only widening with FIFA 17 selling 1.1 million copies in its first week, while PES struggled to reach the 50,000 mark.
Despite arguably better gameplay, PES is the younger brother that will likely never catch up to FIFA in terms of popularity, and here are five reasons why:
As a staple of football video games for over two decades, FIFA like Mario has been played for so long that it now demands a degree of nostalgic induced loyalty.
Year on year gamers know with a degree of animosity and comforting familiarity, what the annual FIFA release is going to give them, yet we never fail to answer its call. We may begrudge a lack of change, yet when push comes to shove, just as any Nintendo fan would shiver at the prospect of Mario changing platform, many gamers love FIFA for remaining relatively the same and embracing what it is.
A wonderful blend of footballing simulation and footballing drama, FIFA walks the line between a stylish and a substantial football game with real grace.
Slowly but surely increasing the realism and technicality of the game on the pitch, FIFA always also has an eye on aspects other than how a game of football is played.
Whether it’s a welcomed graphics update that makes the beautiful game even more beautiful or an added layer of narrative like this year’s entry has taken to a new level thanks to The Journey, FIFA realises football isn’t just a game restricted to what happens on the field.
Representing what modern day football wants to be, the FIFA franchise prides itself on its accessibility and flexibility. Unlike PES, it’s a game that can be picked up and played instantly by rookies and veterans alike in the way they want to.
Because it isn’t a strict footballing simulation like PES is striving for, FIFA’s more arcade playability means it truly is a game for everyone.
As someone that sinks nearly 100 hours into a game each year, I can admit with some shame that I’m prone to a loss to a less seasoned player every now and then. While I’ll try to convince myself after each embarrassing loss that I let them win, the reality is that FIFA is so accessible that experience can often be usurped by the unpredictability of a fresh player and that’s a real credit to the game.
This dynamic is obviously not for everyone, with many hardcore gamers of the belief experience should equal consistent results. But from a more casual perspective, this unpredictability is exactly what makes FIFA so appealing, addictive and frustrating.
Requiring more skill and patience to play in order to better reflect the on field football experience, PES has quickly dispossessed FIFA in terms of complexity on the pitch. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing with most gamers these days either not willing or able to commit themselves to mastering PES’s less accessible controls with such a plethora of other games on the market. While sporting sims should be well respected, they will never sell as well as more casual games do due to the time and skill they demand.
Missing out on the licensing of FIFA, PES’s lack of authenticity, not to mention game modes and overall style also makes it a rather stale game to commit so many hours to mastering.
Love it or hate it, there can be no denying the impact Ultimate Team has had for FIFA.
The ability to craft a team from scratch, build it up and play with it competitively has captivated most FIFA fans and keeps thing interesting for a lot longer than the standard modes PES is stuck with could ever offer.
So while both PES and Luigi are keeping their sibling counterparts on their toes with their respective fresh face approaches to their craft, FIFA like Mario will likely be the first choice of most gamers for many years to come.
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