FIFA 13 Vs Pro Evo 2013: Which Football Game Should You Get?

There are two great football games on the market this week. Most fans will only buy one. It's a tough call.

Alone amongst major sporting series, the battle between FIFA and Pro Evo is actually a pretty fair fight. Both games present compelling arguments as to which is the better football game, depending on who you are and what you're looking to get out of your game.

Given this unique situation, I thought rather than reviewing both games individually and simply preach to the converted, I'd throw them in the ring and see how they trade blows.

Below, I'll be listing each thing I think one game does better than the other. If something isn't mentioned, assume it's roughly equivalent. Hopefully you can pick through it all and, knowing what you prefer in your football game, choose the one that's right for you.

WHAT FIFA DOES BETTER

Licenses - Perhaps a little unfair, given this is a business decision, but it's still a significant feather in FIFA's cap. FIFA 13 lets you play in the Barclay's Premier League as Arsenal. In Pro Evo, you play in the English League as North London. Sure, Konami balance this out with some licensed tournaments, like the Champion's League, but the number of official leagues FIFA 13 boasts more than outweighs this.

Animation & Handling - Where Pro Evo 2013's players still move and receive the ball like they've been carved by Geppetto, FIFA 13's players have a fluidity and grace unmatched in all of sports gaming. It's one of the first things you notice when switching between the games (as I have all week), and given the importance of movement and touch is also one of the most critical.

Online Play - It's not even a contest. FIFA 13 has so many online modes tucked away in its EA Sports FC, from seasons to one-offs to challenges, that you can see why millions of people buy this game solely for the multiplayer. My favourite are the new games tied to real-world events, where you can pick any team and play one of their recent (or upcoming) fixtures with the actual squads, injuries and even player form carrying over from reality into FIFA 13.

Commentary - Again, no contest. There's plenty of recycled content in there, but in terms of fluidity, relevance and overall entertainment value, FIFA shouts all over Pro Evo's embarrassingly bare-bones efforts. A nice added touch this year are constant crosses to sideline reporters and audible updates from concurrent games.

Tutorial - My God. Where did this come from. Pro Evo used to have the upper hand here, with its training mode, but FIFA has swept in and given us not just the best tutorial in sports, but maybe the best tutorial system in all of gaming. How? You get little mini-game challenges to play while an actual game is loading. Yes, instead of staring at a loading screen (or blindly shooting as in previous FIFAs), you can continually learn things and improve your game, every time, and not just to learn, but you're playing for points. It's genius.

WHAT PRO EVO DOES BETTER

Role-Playing - Both games have the expected "be a pro" mode, where you assume the role of a single player on a team, but where FIFA's is still frustratingly ambivalent, Pro Evo's would be a viable purchase as a standalone game. I'm serious. The challenge of rising through the ranks is scaled just right, you're given constant feedback on your progress, there's the ability to assign custom training regimes, and you even have chats with your agent once a week. There's so much depth there it's easy to forget the rest of the game even exists.

Space - I don't know whether Pro Evo's field is bigger or its players smaller, but Konami's game more accurately portrays the amount of space you have to move on a football field. FIFA always feels a little cramped for my liking, while Pro Evo feels like I've got plenty of space to move and pass (and bigger goals to aim at as well).

It's Smarter - FIFA may look sharper with its fancy effects and official kits, but Pro Evo's AI still plays the smarter game of football, especially in the attacking third of the pitch. The computer's players make better attacking runs and are more patient defenders, leading to more calculated and realistic affairs than FIFA's emphasis on speed and attacking play.

Human Beings - They may not animate as smoothly as FIFA's players, but the men populating Konami's game look a lot more like professional footballers than EA's often disproportionate cartoon blimp people.

WHICH ONE I PREFER

Like I said, hopefully you can pick through that and sort out which of the two is more suited to you. If for some godforsaken reason you need me to act as a tie-breaker, though, I'm going to go with FIFA. Just.

Konami deserve a drink or three for the work they've done on Pro Evo this year. After a succession of lacklustre games this console generation, the series was probably one or two years from oblivion, but wholesale improvements across the board, particularly in areas more serious football fans will tinker with, mean it's once again a credible competitor. Indeed for many, aforementioned serious fans in particular, it'll be the superior product.

But for me, it still doesn't have the mustard to get past FIFA. EA's product is simply too slick, too smooth and overall too well-rounded to not come out on top. It's got by far the stronger online component, its production values and licenses make it a more "authentic" broadcast experience and while it's not without its problems on the pitch, it still plays a great, flowing game of football.

Good news for EA, then, but in the grand scheme of things better news for Konami and, more importantly, you, the consumer. Stronger competition between these games is exactly what the genre needs to drive innovation and keep each series on its toes, so with Pro Evo quite literally back in the game, we'll hopefully be in for some great football titles in the nex few years.

NOTE: FIFA 13 played on PS3, Pro Evo 2013 on Xbox 360. If you've got any more specific questions, leave them below and I'll do my best to answer them!

Comments

    Pfft... until the day these games allow me to play w/ the utter realism of fake diving (u know the one where a guy gets tapped on the toe and falls down like a ton of bricks slapped him in the face) then its not good enough!

      exactly.. diving in winning eleven has been ard for years

    Totally agree on Luke's final point, is the competition between the two titles that creates innovation and promotes quality. The competition also forces the two to create distinctive features to stand-out from each other.

    I haven't bought a Fifa game since 03, which I enjoyed immensely. I think its time to buy in again.

    Hmm. For the last 2 versions of FIFA I've only bothered with the be-a-pro game. Really enjoyable. Now if PES does it *better* then I might jump ship for that.

    97-05....ISS and Pro Evo, no question.
    06-10....FIFA by a mile.
    11-12.....Neither
    13......Meh.

      How can you be so jaded with football after the finish to the Premier League last year? Electrifying! :)

      I've bought Pro Evo but will probably buy Fifa as well. Sucker that I am.

      And ftr Fifa 06 is almost the WORST iteration of the entire series.

        Premier League means little when my team is stuck playing second and third tier football. My name is Wednesday, as in Sheffield Wednesday. Remember us? We were relegated in 2000 and havent been back since. And 06 was fantastic! It was the first of FIFA's greats from which 07 and 08 improved upon.

          FIFA road to world cup 98 was an impulse buy back in the day. There was a button to kick opposition players, and another to shove them over. If you scored a lenient or blind ref you could kick 9 balls of sh*t out of a downed opponent. So satisfying. It was up there with the original Pro Evo in terms of play ability.

          Fair enough. You're a good man for sticking with them. Enjoy whichever game you end getting (if any)!

    At this point in time anything with "13" tacked on the end is pretty much ignored.

    Since the early 90's to around 2002 it was all FIFA. From there until roughly 2009/ 2010 I have favoured PES. Since FIFA10, EA reclaimed the crown as the most fluent game of football available to me.

    I don't warrant a full price purchase on a yearly iteration regardless of the improvements or added features. There is a big focus on online play which I have only momentarily dabbled in. Online games are always unplayable due to the lag which is typical of most EA Sports titles in my experience.

    I'll get FIFA13 when the price drops.

    If you are playing on Console then go for Fifa 13 but if you play on your PC then go for PES 13 where you get a lot of third party additions which give PES games a super makeover, its like putting PES on Nitro giving it the extra edge it needs. Plus UCL mode is an amazing experience & authentic to the core.

    i think the best one was 06... i think it was...
    there was one, where it was undocumented, but you could press "e" and you could punch, kick or elbow or hurt the opposition, sometimes, they would come off injured, and that was that, other times, you would get carded...

    I actually get a kick out of editing team strips (what i do on Pro Evo) but if you need official kits, buy Pro Evo for PC and wait for the people on forums to release their kit mods so that you can have Arsenal in their current (or classic) strips.

    Nothing beats Pro Evo's Master League game mode

      This.
      This is why i still love Pro Evo more than FIFA

    Unlicensed teams is not really a negative for me for PES. On PC/PS3 it only takes 5 minutes to correct all the fakes teams/names/leagues using community made option files. PES is so much more difficult and satisfying to play with manual passing and manual shooting.

      Hear hear- This is the same thing we say every year, but people still bang on about the licensing on FIFA.

    I just bought FIFA13, WELLLL!!!! I called my girlfriend and made her rush to the store and buy it for me while im at work because of this forum, it better be awesome....

    pes is just insanely better all the time. passing, ball control and off the ball runs are so much more realistic than fifa

    Be playing soccer games for 20 years. Best soccer games ever made iss 64 FIFA 99 pro ev 5 pro ev 6 FIFA 12 I loved pro ev loved it to bits but now FIFA is my choice. Must say though FIFA has taken alot from pro ev

      ISS 64 -- my favourite soccer game of all time. Good taste man!

      Didn't anyone play virtua striker in the arcade back in the 90s? one of the best arcade games ever made

    Gotta say I'm actually on the side of Winning Eleven with the commentary, maybe its cos I always pick up the Asian version but the Japanese commentary is the stuff of legends for me.. Any sport commentary will eventually get tiresome after a while, so a commentary in a language I don't speak is brilliant because it irritates less when I don't grasp the repetition of the same few phrases over and over again.. Give me a shoot-ooo, czar counterrr or my favourites nedo-vedo (Nedved to you and me) and dune-berry (Ljundberg) any time any day

    can anyone tellmeif pes13 allows a human player take control of a cpu team during say a 1 player tournament mode? its a feature which konami have annoyingly taken away for ps3 releases...you were always able to do it on ps2!!!

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