ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

At long last, 2015 has its football giants. PES 2016 and FIFA 16 have been praised across the board and I'm sure many of us are deep into out Master Leagues or Career Modes. But there are still some that are straddling the fence. Which football sim has exactly what you're looking for? Would the move from FIFA 16 to PES 2016 be something you'd regret?

In terms of critical consensus, we've seen that PES 2016 has emerged as this year's winner. With a score of 88 on Metacritic against FIFA's 82, it's a small margin for sure. However, the general public have decimated it! FIFA 16 sits with a score of 4.2, while PES 2016 is enjoying a healthy 7.2. Yikes! Of course, Metacritic isn't always the definitive answer, but it is nice to see the underdog emerging on top in terms of praise!


Which Game is For You - PES 2016 or FIFA 16?!

So why is PES 2016 garnering all of this praise as opposed to FIFA 16? What is it doing that its competitor is failing to achieve? Let's take a look at the best aspects of both games in order to uncover what each franchise does better than the other. I'll try be as objective as possible, though I have changed from FIFA to PES this year - initially for political reasons.

First Up, PES 2016 & its new features:

  • A new collision system has been introduced in PES 2016, one which is far superior to earlier installments! The impacts are far more realistic and controllable.
  • New movements in the game allow for greater control in 1v1 situations as well as aerial duals and the like. The response time has been massively improved upon, making these moments more responsive and challenging for players.
  • AI has also been upgraded, with improvements to defense, goalkeeping, attacking, perception, and placement.
  • We also have players celebrations now, selfies and all!
  • New ball physics and a dynamic weather system also contribute to the package, bringing PES level with FIFA's past accomplishments.
PES 2016
PES 2016

Next up, we have FIFA 16 and its New Updates:

  • A total of 25 new feature changes have been introduced into the defensive mechanics of FIFA 16. Sliding tackles have vastly improved, with the length of the tackle finally being under control.
  • No touch dribbling has been introduced into the game, a feature which can see real control over skill be gifted to players.
  • AI has been revamped in order to tailor the sim into a much more realistic football game. Movements are slower and more deliberate and there's a much greater focus placed on midfield play.
  • Additional control over the ball has been introduced with new finishing moves, specific touches, as well as being able to use the outside or side of the boot to take a shot.

Which Football Sim Does it Better?

So with all of these new features in mind, who has emerged on top in each category in 2015? Let's quickly fly through some of the areas that PES 2016 and FIFA 16 are competing in:

  • Graphics - FIFA 16 wins, hands down. PES 2016 looks a lot better this year thanks to the FOX Engine - the same used for [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985) - but it still hasn't got the shine that FIFA 16 has, whether it be with player's faces or the dynamic weather system.
  • "Next-Gen" - We're always talking about games feeling "next-gen" on PS4 and XBOX One, well PES 2016 is certainly the game that feels as close to that as we've come! FIFA 16 doesn't feel like that big a leap from Fifa 15 in some capacity.
  • Defense - Both FIFA 16 and PES 2016 have really improved their midfield game. It's much harder to get a ball through a defense line in both franchises this year. I think both have matched one another admirably.
PES 2016
PES 2016
  • Goalkeeping - PES 2016 walks away with the goalkeeping award this year, as I've already ran into strange mistakes with FIFA 16's goalies. They're more responsive and indicative of their real-life counterparts.
  • Striking - Even though I think FIFA 16 has given us much more control over how we hit the ball, striking can really feel preset in EA's game. It feels like the game is asking me to score in a certain way, something that PES avoids.
  • Skill - In terms of showing off when in possession, FIFA 16 comes out on top. No touch dribbling as well as flicks and tricks are so enjoyable to pull off this year in particular!
  • AI - In general, both games demonstrate some masterful AI, whether it be predicting a cross, or a through ball, or knowing when to strike or hold back, both games are on par with one another in this department.
  • Rails - On rails. It's the one thing that we don't want to see in FIFA or PES. We want to feel like we're in control and not simply fitting into a preplanned situation that the computer has set. FIFA 16 sadly still feels like that, whereas the freedom that PES offers can never illicit this sensation.

Note that all of this information is cross-referenced with reviews from the likes of Kotaku, Eurogamer, Gamespot and more. If you guys have any info or opinions to offer on FIFA 16 or PES 2016, then please let us know in the comments below!


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