FIFA 17 vs PES 2017: Which should you buy?
Here’s a snippet from Max Parker’s FIFA 17 review:
“FIFA 17 is another strong iteration of the iconic series, and one that looks to lay the groundwork for future titles by switching to a new engine. The hyper-realistic graphics are great, with facial expressions finally helping players look more than ghosts.”
Click here to read the full FIFA 17 review
And here's a glimpse of the PES 2017 review from Brett Phipps:
"PES 2017 plays the best game of football I've ever experienced, offline. Online it continues to suffer with similar issues to last year's entry, albeit there are improvements across the board but nowhere near to the level I was hoping for. I've been able to enjoy some lag-free matches, but these tend to be the exceptions which prove the rule." – Brett Phipps
Click here to read our full PES 2017 review.
Now that both PES 2017 and FIFA 17 reviews are out in the wild, it’s time to finally decide on a winner. Will it be PES’ on-field brilliance or FIFA 17’s widespread overhaul? Let’s take a look and see which is the best game: FIFA or PES?
Watch: FIFA 17 vs PES 2017
FIFA 17 VS PES 2017 – GRAPHICS
EA has changed its graphics engine for FIFA 17 from Ignite to Frostbite, the same tech that powers the likes of Battlefield and Mirror's Edge. The improvements for the most part are subtle, but for the likes of stadium lighting, it’s significant.
The floodlights now emit a gorgeous bloom across the pitch at night with quality lens flare. Replays of the game now bringing realistic depth of field, too.
Some leading players have also been performance-captured to bring even better expression to the game, as well as tripling the number of animations. In the game, however, players look largely the same, albeit a year older.
Of course we also have managers in the game, although they don’t seem to have been given as much TLC as the players on the pitch. In situ they look great, but when the likes of Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp open their mouths, they have a weird goldfish effect and the illusion is broken.
PES transitioned to the FOX engine in 2016 and it offered a huge improvement, with players looking incredibly realistic. Konami has developed this further in 2017, with better lighting effects, animations and a revamp of stadia.
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PES 2017 offers a stunning game of football, with player detail incredible, especially with the officially licensed teams. In motion the game can look gorgeous.
However, PES lacks the detail of lighting visuals that FIFA offers with the new Frostbite Engine. It also doesn’t quite capture the atmosphere of the stadia, primarily because, again, few are official and can deliver a real, relatable experience.
PES 2017 is an absolutely gorgeous looking game, but we’re giving a very narrow win to FIFA here.
Winner: FIFA 17
FIFA 17 VS PES 2017 – LICENSES
FIFA 16 lost a couple of league licenses, most notably the Brazilian league. However, EA has always remained king of licenses, naturally, being the official FIFA game.
Konami, however, has made a very aggressive push to level the playing field in the license game. As well as the likes of Arsenal and Atletico Madrid and the entire Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, PES 2017 will feature FC Barcelona as the game's cover official stars thanks to an exclusive partnership between the club. Messi and friends are all over the game, as are Barca’s kits, stadium and club crest.
Konami also secured licenses with Liverpool FC and Borussia Dortmund. The iconic Anfield stadium and "You'll Never Walk Alone" chant feature in the game along with the Westfalenstadion. As well as visually being able to represent these teams, Konami has gone the extra mile to be able to tactically represent these teams, too. Players will be able to adopt team tactics like Gegenpress – popularised by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp – and Tiki-Taka, Barcelona’s iconic keep-ball style, in the game.
This is, of course, on top of Konami’s continued hold on the Champions and Europa League licenses.
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However, with every license Konami secures, it brings to light the absence of others. The likes of Man Red and Man Blue remain, and this will no doubt be a sticking point for some players, FIFA aficionados especially. However, to compensate for this, Konami has made it easier than ever to download Option Files from other players which include all the official kits created by the community with File Sharing.
The PES community creates incredible kits and badges of all the teams each and every year, and now it’s incredibly easy to download the files and add them to your game (on PS4 at least). TrustedReviews has done it and even written a guide for you to do the same. Click here to learn how to download and install all the official kits in PES 2017 with Option File Sharing. Well, as long as you have a PS4.
However, even with the great lengths Konami has gone to, FIFA is still the license king.
Winner: FIFA 17
FIFA 17 VS PES 2017 – ONLINE
Online proved an enormous flaw in PES 2016. The game of football we got to enjoy locally was massively spoiled when we tried playing people around the world, thanks to crippling lag, meaning a significant portion of the game was lost.
While the experience is definitely more stable in PES 2017, it’s still not good enough to offer a smooth and seamless multiplayer experience. It’s a real shame as the game is so excellent to play, but is still a little hampered online.
FIFA 17 so far deals better with online than PES, with a mostly lag-free experience. Opponents are found quickly and as long as you're facing someone with a stable internet connection then you'll do fine. The connection to the server seems stable too, whereas we often found it logged us out constantly in FIFA 16.
Winner: FIFA 17
FIFA 17 VS PES 2017 – MODES
One of the huge new introductions in FIFA 17 this year is its new story mode – The Journey. Players will follow the career of Alex Hunter – a young hopeful looking to make his way from the academy to England international footballer.
The Journey is good and bad, but it’s fun to play through and it adds something extra depth to the often boring career mode. It features well made cut-scenes, decent voice acting and a variety of challenges.
However, this doesn’t replace Manager or Player Career modes; they’ll still both be in the game. Ultimate Team of course is still present, but not much is different this year. There is a new FUT Champions, but essentially it’s the same as last year, but with FUT being the most popular mode in the entire game, we don’t think that’ll matter much.
PES 2017 sees many of its modes given a minor facelift. Become a Legend is still the same as it was in 2016 while Master League has seen minor tweaks, with a more realistic transfer window and the inclusion of transfer deadline day. MyClub has also had minor tweaks and improvements but not many back-of-the-box standouts. Other than that, there’s not much new, and that’s a bit of a disappointment.
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Konami still holds the Champions and Europa League licenses, which is a huge scoop and players can still take part in their favourite European tournaments.
Although not much has changed in either games’ core modes, the introduction of The Journey and the sheer amount of modes available in FIFA 17, plus the behemoth that is Ultimate Team means FIFA takes the crown here.
Winner: FIFA 17
FIFA 17 VS PES 2017 – GAMEPLAY
This is the big one. While FIFA has pretty much steamrolled the competition thus far, this is where it all counts.
Both EA and Konami have made significant changes to gameplay this year. EA has focused on four key areas this year: set pieces, AI, physical interplay and attacking techniques.
For set pieces, you can now manipulate exactly how the kicker approaches the ball. Everything from where he stands to take the kick to the run-up and even the camera angle for free kicks has been adjusted.
For corners, a new reticle will pop up on the penalty spot with which you can aim your delivery more accurately. Unfortunately the whole system proves a little clunky and convoluted and doesn’t add much to gameplay.
The physical play overhaul is a much more positive one and sees the rise to prominence of football’s giants. Stronger players are capable of barging smaller ones off the ball to win back possession, but also can fend defenders off and keep hold of the ball. The physicality of the sport is definitely something you need to be prepared for in FIFA 17.
Overall, FIFA is a slow and considered affair, reliant on steady build-up play and accurate passing to break down defences. At times it may feel like it lacks the thrills and spills, but the complex command inputs work to give complete control to the player.
However, this can also serve to the game’s detriment, especially when compared to PES 2017, which beautifully offers simplicity in control while also delivering a fast and thrilling game of football.
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On the pitch, PES 2017 is simply unrivalled. The fast-paced action means end-to-end action is commonplace and exhilarating. The ease of which you can control players and pull off amazing pieces of skill and interplay means PES is a joy on the pitch.
While FIFA 17 is better than FIFA 16, PES 2017 is undoubtedly the best game of football there has ever been.
Winner: PES 2017
FIFA 17 VS PES 2017 – VERDICT
While FIFA 17 has beaten PES 2017 3-1 in our categories, it’s not as clear-cut as the score may seem. While FIFA wins out in modes, licenses and graphics (albeit very narrowly), the fact that gameplay is such a strong win for PES mean this year it’s such a close call.
It honestly comes down to personal taste: If gameplay on the pitch is all that matters to you, then you’re probably best served buying PES 2017. If variety of modes and ways to play the game matters, then FIFA 17 is by far the stronger game.
Although online stability is too soon to call, PES 2017 is known to suffer with issues and FIFA has had issues in the past but it's started off well this time. We'll have to check back once lots of people have started playing to see if it will stay that way.
Both have their strengths and weakness, and where one is weak, the other is strong. It is a very close race, and you can’t really go wrong with either game this year, as both are excellent.
Winner: PES 2017 for the football and FIFA 17 for pretty much everything else