FIFA 16 is our highest-placed sports title at #11 in our Game of the Year 2015 list.
In a year when Pro Evolution Soccer made great strides once again, it almost feels as though FIFA took a backseat in 2015. But that couldn’t be any further from the truth; FIFA 16 sold (and continues to sell) in incredibly high numbers, and that’s a testament to the consistently high-quality titles that EA have been turning out for years.
Despite this, 2014’s FIFA 15 came in for some criticism from a significant number of fans who were unhappy with its over-reliance on fast-paced and unrealistic gameplay, and that’s where the bulk of FIFA 16’s focus was centered, turning it into one of the most balanced soccer games of all time. FIFA 16 required the player to play realistically in order to succeed, which meant plenty of patience, build-up play, fooling opponents with clever trickery, and thinking tactically. The new FIFA trainer feature also provided an excellent tool for beginners to the series while occasionally offering useful tips for veterans, too.
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Another notable inclusion was the introduction of women to the game, and although they were only available for use in specific modes, it’s clear that EA put a great deal of effort into their inclusion, from individual player characteristics to replicating their unique style of play. New player likenesses, stadiums, and impressive commentary merged together to round off an outstanding presentation suite.
While Ultimate Team benefited from a brand new FUT Draft mode which allowed anyone to play with a team of stars for a limited number of matches, Career Mode featured the biggest overhaul this year. A heightened sense of immersion helped to draw players into the experience, while the addition of pre-season tournaments and a new in-depth, game-changing training system gave players the ability to turn players into pacey dribblers, slow-but-strong powerhouses, or anything in-between, depending on their requirements.
FIFA 16 is one of the best titles in the series’ history. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s the most realistic and balanced FIFA game to date, featuring an incredible presentation suite, a vast array of game modes, and the ever popular money-spinner that is Ultimate Team. For fans of soccer games, 2015 was a year to behold. FIFA 16 was the best of the best.