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FIFA 21 vs PES 2021: Which is the best football sim?

The annual epic struggle between FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer is set to begin again soon – but which football sim will reign supreme? We’ve collated all the important information and the latest rumours, to help you make an informed choice. So, who wins in our showdown of FIFA 21 vs PES 2021? 

There is an unusual twist to this year’s football-sim duel. FIFA fans have reportedly threatened to boycott the franchise, following Konami’s popular announcement that PES 2021 will essentially arrive as a large ‘season update’ at a cheaper price, rather than a traditional full sequel.

FIFA 21 vs PES 2021 Graphics – Which one looks the best?

The PES 2021 reveal trailer (below) shows off the game’s graphics through some classic moments. The likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Oliver Khan all feature – with great moments past and present.

However, the fact that PES 2021 is essentially an update, rather than a full game, means that FIFA 21 will have an opportunity to take the lead – at least when it comes to graphics and visual performance. But will EA take the opportunity?

Related: Everything we know about PS5

Meanwhile, EA Sports gave gamers a sneak peak at FIFA 21 in a new gameplay trailer. The trailer also shows off upcoming American Football title, Madden 21.

We can’t tell exactly how the two games will compare visually yet, but FIFA 21 is looking to have a slight edge. The reduced price of PES 2021 is likely to balance that out for fans though.

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe takes centre stage on the football side of the trailer alongside a plethora of Premier League stars. Take a look at the trailer below.

Related: All the latest on Xbox Series X

FIFA 21 vs PES 2021 Licenses – Who has the better teams?

One of the most important battlegrounds between these franchises is the fight over licenses. Licensing agreements – allowing the games to feature teams’ crests, shirts, players and more – give the games a feeling of authenticity.

In recent years Konami has lost its rights to feature the Champions League, one of football’s most prestigious tournaments. However, they have bagged some huge teams, like PSG and Barcelona.

Notably, Konami bagged the exclusive rights to feature Juventus in PES 2020. That was a huge move, given the club’s signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. As a result, FIFA 20 features a team called ‘Piemonte Calcio’ in Juventus’ place and FIFA 21 will do the same. That obviously takes a sheen of authenticity away from the game if you’re a fan of the Italian Series A.

Elsewhere though, FIFA is generally better equipped than PES when it comes to licenses. This is likely to be the case again, if only marginally, but we’ll have to wait for the full release to tell for sure.

FIFA 21 vs PES 2021 modes – Which has the best content?

A leak has already revealed how in-game player cards are likely to appear in FIFA 21, but that won’t have any great effect on the game. More interestingly, a similar leak revealed some new elements of career mode.

Remarkably, the leak suggests that FIFA 21 career mode could be available as a mobile game. There isn’t too much to go on yet, but we can definitely see this move making sense for EA. Even if that only allows gamers to adjust tactics, do transfers and change formations while they’re out and about, linking up with their console or PC game later.

Take a look at the video below, containing all the information on these FIFA 21 leaks.

Related: PS5 vs Xbox Series X

We’re expecting the usual line-up of game modes though, with career mode, Pro Clubs, Ultimate Team and the all-new Volta game mode all set to return.

Similarly, PES 2021 will come with the same selection of game modes as the previous iteration of the game, largely due to the fact that it’s an upgrade, rather than a full new release. This isn’t confirmed yet though and a new game mode could be in the works.

FIFA 21 vs PES 2021 gameplay – Which mechanics reign supreme?

With FIFA 21 arriving as a full release and PES 2021 arriving as a season update, we’re expecting that EA will have more opportunities to upgrade FIFA’s game mechanics than Konami will have to change PES 2021’s. We’ll have to wait and see though, this is far from certain until the full release.

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