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FIFA 15 review



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  • FIFA 15
  • FIFA 15
  • FIFA 15
  • FIFA 15
  • FIFA 15


Our Score:



  • Excellent graphics
  • More dynamic on the pitch
  • Minor tweaks to brilliant game modes
  • Superb commentary


  • End-to-end play can get ridiculous
  • Some silly bugs

Available on Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, 3DS, Wii

Some games roll around each year with the inevitability of Christmas or the X Factor. Another year, another Call of Duty, an Assassin's Creed, another FIFA. Yet this year isn't just like any other for the world's favourite console football game. Most obviously, it's the first where EA Canada has really got to grips with the PS4 and Xbox One, resulting in a mass of changes to the graphics and animation engines. Some are merely cosmetic, and some so subtle as to be almost unnoticeable, but many have a genuine impact on the gameplay.

Less obviously, FIFA seems to have moved away from the focus on ball control and the defensive game of FIFA 13 and FIFA 14, and towards a more dynamic, aggressive and - frankly - exciting style of play. If you played the last two FIFAs tired of getting mired in the midfield, bored witless by the slow, methodical pace, then you'll probably find this year’s FIFA the best since the glory days of FIFA 12. It's still a game built by people hell-bent on reflecting every aspect of the beautiful game, but this time they’ve remembered that FIFA can also be fun.


Structurally, it's pretty much identical to FIFA 14. The single-player campaign remains dominated by Career mode, where you can take either a player or a manager through several seasons, hoping to take your team to league and tournament success, or build a fantastic national and international career.

It's still basically a combination of the old Be a Pro and Be a Manager modes, where you roll through the season playing matches, dodging or accepting loan and transfer requests and getting the odd rollicking for your behaviour on the pitch, and as before, you can choose whether to play matches from the viewpoint of just the one player or play with the whole team. The latter will be most people's choice, but playing in just the one position can be interesting, really making you think about where you need to be and what you need to do to make the most of every opportunity, while creating opportunities for others.


EA generally knows what it's doing with this stuff, and Career mode remains a very satisfying way to enjoy FIFA. Rooting not just for your team but for your specific player really grounds you in the action, and the sense of victory when that player scores is all the stronger. All the same, the real heart of this year's FIFA is - as with last year's - Ultimate Team.

Playable both online and offline, it manages to combine your standard-issue FIFA action with aspects of a management simulator and a collectible card game, and it’s hideously addictive stuff. This year EA has also made it more accessible, and just a little more immediately gratifying. The point isn't just collecting and adding great players to your team, but setting up synergies and links so that they're working in the right position with team-mates they feel some affinity for. That way, you build a team chemistry that turns a group of individual stars into one unstoppable goal-scoring and protecting machine. The intro makes this more explicit than before, with a very effective mini-tutorial.

Read more: Xbox One tips and tricks

FIFA 15 also introduces temporary loans, allowing you to bring in one or more great players for a string of matches early in the campaign. This lessens the time you spend mustering a bunch of lesser players, and in our case led to a storming eight-nil victory against Bolton Wanderers that pulled us in without delay. With FIFA 15, Ultimate Team isn't just for the more hardcore players; it's welcoming more casual players in.

Online, there's very little difference between FIFA 15 and FIFA 14. You can play competitively or cooperatively in seasons, join Ultimate Team tournaments or join a club and meet up for 11 vs 11 events. The action seems, on first impressions, to be smooth, with good matchmaking and plenty of scope to play how you want to play.


If there's a sense of 'if it ain't broke' about the structure and game modes, then it's more than made up for by the presentation. On one level, FIFA 15 pushes the Sky Sports-inspired look and feel about as far as it can go, with superb cutaways and replays, titles, close-ups and the rest that leave it closely resembling real TV coverage. The commentary from Martin Tyler and Adam Smith is astonishingly good, particularly in the premiership, though you wonder how well the references to Manchester United's troubles or world cup performances will date over the coming months.

On another level, the visuals are consistently impressive. Anyone who describes the players as absolutely lifelike should probably steer clear of Madame Tussauds, lest they think they're getting blanked by the real Tom Cruise, but they're certainly closer than they've ever been before. Hair now looks more realistic, the kit seems to hang from the body rather than form an integral part, and the various stadiums are magnificently detailed – at least in the Premier League.


The real killer, though, is all the details. The animation is so absurdly lifelike most of the time that the odd weird or unrealistic motion sticks out like a particularly sore thumb. Rain now seems to water-log the pitch, sending up spray as the players sprint around, and covering them in more layers of grime as the game goes on. You can, however, take talk of believable emotions with a pinch of salt - the players react well to goals, missed opportunities and referee decisions, but otherwise it comes down to some players looking mildly despondent when their team is 4-0 down. FIFA 15 unquestionably looks awesome, but not everything about it is a game changer.

The gameplay, however, is. Where FIFA 13 and 14 came touting all-new defensive and offensive systems or ball dynamics, FIFA 15 arrives saying little. Play it for a few hours, however, and you'll soon note how more fluid and dynamic the action feels. Attackers get more chances and defending is more difficult, so there's more end-to-end activity than you might have seen for quite a while. Players seem to turn and react faster without losing the ball, and it's easier than ever to get through to the box without relying on special tricks, though this remains a game that favours fast, accurate passing over ridiculous solo runs.

See also: Best Xbox One games

When your strikers get near the box, their biggest obstacle will be the revamped goalkeepers. Most of the time they're fast and devilishly hard to beat, charging out to grab the ball when necessary, while not abandoning the goal when not. They can be beaten, but they put up a lot more opposition than the frequently worthless defence.

For a while everything seems perfect, but the longer you play the more the honeymoon period wanes and the more doubts start to creep in. Why is it so hard to pin down an opposing striker while they run around your box? Why is it so hard to score with a smart set-piece, but so easy to score from many angles with a stupid, low-level daisy-cutter shot? Why does the AI sometimes act so weirdly, either failing to get in a space, ignoring your opponent's through balls or - in one memorable case - leaving two defenders and one opposing striker dancing weirdly in the corner of the pitch? Isn't some of this end-to-end stuff, and aren't some of these scorelines, just a bit ridiculous?

Maybe, but none of this stuff spoils the fun. And here's the thing with FIFA: every year it really gets two verdicts, the first arriving when the game comes out and we all play it, and the second, more lasting verdict coming months later when the game and the players have settled down. In some cases (see FIFA 14) a consensus emerges that this is not a vintage year. FIFA 15, though, leaves us feeling just a tad more confident. It's a good FIFA. With time, some fixes and some extra polish, it could be great.


It’s not perfect, but FIFA 15 is the most exciting FIFA for a couple of years. A drift away from realistic defence towards more aggressive forward play replaces stolid midfield battles with end-to-end drama, and we still get all the great modes – including a stronger career mode and Ultimate Team – that gave FIFA 14 strength in depth. Most of all we get exceptional graphics and presentation, which make FIFA 15 look even more like the real deal on TV. There are wrinkles to be ironed out here, but this is a promising base on which a new generation of FIFA can build.

Read more: Xbox One vs PS4

Overall Score



September 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

Cheers for the review, mostly agree. 9/10 imo as (Ron Burgundy voice) it's the best football game to date? Played this (Origin - PC) till early hours this morning, looking forward to playing many more :D

+ Really like the new UI - anyone new to the series will not be put off making tactical decisions due to convoluted menu systems.

+The graphics are absolutely stunning!

- AI not great at reading some textbook "plays"

Other: "Defending is difficult" is an understatement, BUT, this this isn't Necessarily a bad thing for everyone; just perhaps more stressful when you're 1-0 up after 85mins!

Matthew Bunton

September 28, 2014, 8:42 am

There seem to be serious lag issues with this game check out the customer reviews on Amazon.

Jacob Maher

September 29, 2014, 3:36 pm

I'd give it a 7.5/10.
-2.5/10 for the scripting/handicap and 10/10 for everything else.

Blessing Mokgoshi

November 14, 2014, 3:04 pm

i would have to give you some credit on the review...just managed to overall cover what I would be looking for if I should go out and buy this game. Honestly, I bought fifa14 when it came out on PC after reading reviews from Metacritic, IGN and PC gamer and so on, disregarded the user negative reviews tauting them uneducated...boy was I wrong. My experience of the game was far from awful, it was horrid and nightmarish. I remember me and my buddies were playing a tournament on my PC which was averaging well not averaging, playing at a steady 60 fps and we came to an unanimous conclusion with regard to the feedback we got from the game, which were four - 1. Graphics - even though it was not on Ignite, the game looked good...very improved...the lighting, shading, player modeling although many other players often appeared to look more generic. 2. Commentary - Previously we had given Fifa08 the honours and until with 14, 08 was still the supreme in terms of commentary because of the ability to 'remember' previous matches, previous players' clubs especially when playing against them and so on...something that could have been added on in fifa titles long long ago. But then that was just our united opinion . 3. Shooting...actually the actual shots...they were more satisfying...more gratifying...the fact that they took ages to be executed almost robbed 14 of this key positive point. 4. Celebrations - That alone was the only thing that implored me to try harder at getting the store where I bought my FIFA copy to give me my money back instead of EA Sports who refused to by ignoring my efforts. Other than that, FIFA 14 was hogwash, and was never worth hours spent on it...infact we spent a lot of periods moving from Fifa 08 and then to FIFA 11 lamenting the lack of the graphics fidelity, shooting and celebrations of the fifa 14 title.

Now coming to 15, is it still akin to 14 in these terms?

# Jerk you around - Give you control of the model...then take it away and make the model do something stupid then give back control and then abruptly take it away again then give it back then take it away...all that in the space of a few seconds...and that is EA Sports...it's in the game!

1. GPS Navigation: where player models moved to where directed (attempted to anyway) using a predefined pattern, motion and 'precision'? Oblivious to inputed direction of the user? They move like cars...braking then stopping and then starting and then moving and the accelerating then overshooting and that oh so undeniable turning circle of a truck...good gawd....and you can even more than imagine the soft but impending voice of the GPS navigator going: "Calculating...calculating" as your player model moves in a circular motion with a berth of a meter to attend the ball that is to the left or right of him. Splendid work chaps...jolly good show.
2. Command versus Suggestion System: where the controlling user (You or me or both...using a system of +60 fps playing rig) seems to suggest an action of either a pass, a shot, movement left or right, a run...a tackle and also the lack of fouling - 08 used to be able to allow you to deliberately foul an opponent and pull him to the ground...and so on? Where after pressing the pass or shoot or any other previously abled button, the model seem to think about it first before agreeing and then executing much of which led to the loss of matches, opportunities, offside calls and so on...none of which was totally non-existent in 08...well not totally but barely? What i am saying is we seem to be suggesting actions rather than commanding the player models, is this still true in 15?
3. Ballophobia - This I happened to notice first in fifa 12, the horror and disgust of when a controlled player model brakes in front of the ball when the ball is not being contested and contrary to the actual control being subjected on the model to assume control of the ball. This includes assuming control or kicking the ball when it is spiraling in a particular direction, at a particular point, from a particular angle. This resulted in a lot of throw-ins conceded, a lot of corners where models will run 'act like they be running' after the ball and only engage the ball after it has crossed the out of bounds line. The leaving it until late before intercepting an aerial ball going out of bounds/play...all of this oblivious to the movement and engage commands made by the user on the player with the indicator. They literally run away from the bomb or we probably should not judge, there might be a ticking sound that we with controllers in our hands do not see.
4. Defending - Fifa12 saw us being introduced to a new feature called tactical defending, this meant that you no longer pressed the standing tackle button and thus see your controlled model running at the ball to take possession by 'stand' tackling and shoving, pushing and so on...the right word that I am not keen on using would be auto marking...instead you have to manually navigate your model into a position where when the standing tackling button is pressed, the model would dispossess the opponent and assume possession or fail excellently by looking like a cockroach killer in a soccer kit stomping the ground and being tripped by invisible little stadium pitch gnomes. First of all, because you are never given total control of the controlled model, that personally has failed because I would be frustrated by my supposedly controlled player model as he nears the opponent where he would automatically slow down and start waiving his hands about attempting to either search the accosted player, read his braille tattoos or tickle him and spend a good valuable 30 seconds following him round that way before I would change to another player model in complete frustration. Since then in Fifa 12, the tactical defending brought in the containing method of play as part of a defending where according to me, the train of thought in regard to the introduction of this was to allow for the containing of the player with the ball so that they could be tactically defended, but when using legacy which was a much more better and preferred personally way of defending, since Fifa12, that underwent a serious castration. as even the legacy defending In 14, we saw players...defenders moving out of position to follow attacking opposition players, going on a leg fetish rampage and blatantly ignoring the ball and going after the opposition models...knocking them down, tripping them, getting in front of them and blocking them whilst the ball rolled unattended toward another opposing player or toward a dangerous set-piece opportunity for the opposition...often so, you will witness defenders slowing down so that they interact with the ball from a bickering position instead of fighting to reach the ball first and then passing it or clearing it out of danger...holding the legacy defending button since fifa 12 has been a recipe for disaster we wonder if that still is the case in 15? Fifa 11 was true to defending as any player playing and using that system is or was. you could press it and release it when u notice that you player is opting to go 'kit number reading' (following) aimlessly and accompanying the opposition to score..you could navigate them into a better position where they would jostle, push and bump and you would see it and it was immediate and they always went for the ball and were not GPS guided and they would be always open to correction...as for 08, holding the button would result in a foul...a deliberate foul which ceased to exist since fifa12. I doubt if this has changed in 15 as well.
5. The Flora syndrome: This is something you happen to notice immediately after first starting to play fifa14, the immobility of the players about to receive the ball. You cant do jack. They would be stand there...planted...waiting for the ball to come to them, this would happen TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME...them morons would be planted. Moving to meet the ball or foil an interception is a fallacy and raises the serious question of 'control' especially with the device within the human user's upper limbs' functional ends (hands). QA Staff failure I suppose more than anything here. An exercise to try: In controller settings, choose Manual instead of the widely preached airballs option for the autoselect feature...and see how many times your controlled model will go after a an incoming aerial ball, I have tried a million times to manually move the player toward where the ball will be landing; fruitlessly. At times even moving the model with my indicator will prove null and void and only be awakened to me controlling him after the ball has bounced and when the AI sharing control of my assumed player model with me grants me only to take it again when I am in the proximity of an opponent to shape how I lose the game.
6. Hollywood:
Acting - the art of representing a character on a stage or before a camera by means of movement, gesture, and intonation.
What would constitute bad acting? bad acting would be constituted by ill representation of my wishes within the context of the the game of which I am the player of. Player models acting like they are seeing the ball, running toward the ball only to run over the ball, bump into the ball (this happens when mostly when a certain run animation sequences are not completed when the model reaches the ball) and then they stop track back and start jogging to go and bump into the ball again to the comic entertainment of audiences. In-fact, I have become aware of a certain group of gaming audience pundits of Fifa14 who would come to our tournaments just for the comic relief of models doing things that if looked at through that perspective, would put this title in the category of the Seinfelds of eSports. Lots of drama in the title, the trapping of the ball, the passing of the ball and then falling down, the heading of the rolling balls...and jumping and missing of the ball for just the dramatic effect of playing the game. Fifa 14 was made to be watched and not played because in most reviews you got the synonymous rephrasing of the words...'visually appealing' especially when they applaud and comment the trots before runs and the prancing about when the player is about to contain a striker...and so on. Does 15 have this wonderful qualities? Yes...please note the sarcasm in that question.

7. Jedi ability: AI controlled players are just Jedis. The is a force about them that redirects your controlled player when they come in with attempts to take the ball. This force repels and also attracts your models at will, putting them out of position as such enabling your opposition to do as he wishes in your 18th area. And sporadically you would have a player in your team reaching Sith mode and coming from nowhere running to double leg tackle the Jedi and free the ball from the forceful ones...more often than most out into the outfield or onto another Jedi's feet and then the circle would go on.

8. WTF!: This happens where you will have your controlled players turning into tennis players. They will be oblivious to the ball and the going ons about them to the detriment of your efforts to at least let them be elementary school soccer players who will all want to chase the ball and get a touch of it. These sons of pixels will run, turn their heads at 90 degrees to the body 'watching' the ball, jump the circular thing, side-step beside it, jump it again and hop around it to trap it with such high potency of drama that he leaves it there to collide with a team mate a few yards away. Anticipatory football ceases to exist because if the controlled player did not computer covering the empty space between the running player down the pitch, the user anticipated through ball will be just watched as it rolls past toward the running attacker with the number 7 on the jersey and then goal.

Now I ask, are any of these beside the presentation much spoken about in 15 and the ignite engine, still present or corrected in EA Sports' new FIFA title?


February 22, 2015, 2:25 pm

I tested new FIFA only from the point of view be a PRO mode where it supposed to be a simulation of one player career . I never cared really about controlling whole team.

Level of difficulty indicates how much your own team mates will help enemy.

decide about everything, example: if you play with stronger team your
own team mates start to have low accuracy, missing passes, you can do
nothing to intercept the ball, your players missing in 100% situations...

Basically if you will not intercept the ball no
one will... when playing as a forward you have to be also defender and

Enemy teams, doesnt matter how poor still can make 60-70
passes without interrupt.... your team mates loosing ball after 2-3

When you want your team mates to press more, run faster
they..... just start hitting each other.... really... have you ever
seen it in real match?

Enemy teams of morons from second league can make several first touch passes with 100% accuracy and amazing speed....(I played half-pro football myself and never seen it on any level except top tier teams)

time you touch enemy player is a foul...and most of the time yellow
card... when enemy players push you, use body to put you to the ground
or do slide tackles there are never fouls...

Referee will never
finish a game(half/full time) when enemy has a ball... but in the same
time he can finish half time when you have one-to-one situation....

In second half when you loosing scripts decide that your team mates can pass accurately nor hit...

Your goalkeeper doesnt know apparently that all balls within 5 meters supposed to end in his hands....

ball is tripped and roll on the ground between players only enemy
players run for it....your own team mates just stay and look silly.....

The same when there is a bar or post hit.... only enemy players runs for a ball.....

Camera is broken , when you get throw in you cant really see where to throw a ball, the same with penalty when enemy does it you cant see your won goalkeeper...also there are some random fast moves/shakes of camera sometimes...close ups are too fast so you really cant see whats going on and you loosing distance feel from other players around....

When somehow your defender will trip a ball/ intercept instantly he kick it on throw in or corner even if situation was safe....

Whenever you pass forward to attackers when being near enemy goal they are standing on the offside most of the time....

Whenever you pass in to the tunnel to winger/attacker he attempts first touch shot miles form target of course...

These and much more retarded actions makes this game another fail attempt to
create serious football simulation of one player career...... most of the time its just frustration watching your team mates trying to pretend to play a football and after few seasons like that you just giving up...I wish finally after repeating the same mistakes finally EA sports devs will watch real football game before creating another fail...

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