Rent before you buy!
I was one of the lucky ones who actually read some developer interaction posts on EA's own forums and realised a few weeks prior to release there were some GLARING emissions (There are a lot). This led me to rent and I'm glad that I did.
Career mode was very important to me as a mainly offline player and short is the best way to put it. The play through lasts about 10 hours and having played through it once, it's unlikely you'd get the urge to do it again if it weren't for the achievements.
Online modes are great (If that's your bag) but 'exploits' seem to be ruining the gaming for many if not all online players. That's when they can get a match (I heard stories of some players waiting 30-45 minutes for an opponent).
Basically, I would advise a rental. You need an online pass to play multiplayer and use features such as fighter share (The Create-A-Fighter mode is severly lacking also). Conveniently, you can use a 7 day free trial to cover the rental period.
Offline players may want to miss this title completely!