FIFA 16 Review – The Beautiful Game

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Setting The Benchmark

FIFA’s presentation department has always been one of its strongest features, and FIFA 16 continues down this avenue with a stunning representation of the beautiful game. There are many improvements this year including new stadium designs, new player likenesses, and more.

FIFA 16 continues down this avenue with a stunning representation of the beautiful game.

Stadiums, in particular, are almost indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts, and the crowds that populate them still look fairly detailed, if a little absent-minded. Player animations are varied and realistic, although the transition between each animation is still awkward and jarring. New weather options include random variable weather, and new foggy conditions are particularly impressive.

Commentators have been vastly improved once again, and they’re able to generate a remarkable and unmatched level of immersion. A new Bundesliga broadcast package has been included to add an extra level of authenticity, and new crowd chants offer more variety, adding to the game’s excellent audio from last year. Hearing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” around the ground before an away match at Liverpool continues to send shivers down my spine.

Depth In Numbers

FIFA 16 ships with a vast range of modes as usual, with one particularly notable inclusion to the list – the addition of women’s football. Yes, women are in FIFA 16, and although they’re only available in a select number of modes, there are twelve women’s international teams that benefit from new specific player animations. Women play a little differently to the men, enjoying more time with the ball and greater space to work the field. Fans of the women’s game will be impressed with the effort that has gone into their inclusion.

Fans of the women’s game will be impressed with the effort that has gone into their inclusion.

There are many improvements to Career Mode this year, including an enhanced transfer system and new youth team scouting options. While new pre-season tournaments are a fun way to make a little money in the off-season, the new training system is a big upgrade from what we’ve seen in the past, allowing you to target specific attributes for each player. You can take part in these sessions, too. The potential of molding a young player into a wunderkind or transforming an average squad player into a key member of your team is an added layer of depth.

The presentation has been improved significantly in Career Mode, too. Every game feels important, and that’s mainly due to the mode’s commentary improvements and in-game graphics. Commentary, in particular, is stunning, with both of them regularly referring to my recent performances, scores, transfers, and more. No other sports game has even come close to this level of immersion before.

Another big addition this year is FUT Draft, which serves as an extension to the highly popular Ultimate Team mode. In FUT Draft, players are tasked with selecting from a group of five potential players for each position in the team, with the idea of forming a skilled group of players while maintaining a high level of team chemistry.

it’s a fun addition that gives players a taste of what it’s like to play with the best players that Ultimate Team has to offer.

From there, winning four consecutive games in a row will reward the winner with a significant prize. FUT Draft tokens are fairly costly to purchase so it’s not something you’ll be playing all the time, but it’s a fun addition that gives players a taste of what it’s like to play with the best players that Ultimate Team has to offer.

Skill Games have been improved in FIFA 16 with new challenges, and the usual suite of features are here too, including fan favorites such as Online Seasons and Pro Clubs. Pro Clubs, in particular, is very reminiscent of what we saw last year, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m a little tired of battling it out with overpowered virtual pros that take away from the game’s focus on balance. There’s also new Live Competitions for an extra level of competitiveness, and these will be added and removed over time.


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FIFA 16 is an excellent game, and its focus on balance across the pitch makes it one of the most accurate representations of the sport that has ever been created. AI issues still drag the experience down and cause frustration, but the majority of football fans will really enjoy their time with FIFA 16, and there are enough in-depth modes to keep players interested throughout the next year. EA have worked hard on new features such as FUT Draft and the inclusion of women to the game, and it’s presentation features continue to set the benchmark for all other sports games to follow. FIFA 16 isn’t just a simple upgrade; it’s a return to a realistic simulation of the beautiful game. I’m excited for the future of the series, which is on the cusp of reaching its peak once again.

A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.