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Review

FIFA 14 Review

  • Game release: September 24, 2013
  • Reviewed: September 23, 2013
  • PS3

FIFA 14 is an exercise in subtle refinements and clever tweaks that transforms the familiar into something that feels fresh, exciting, and always engaging.

There's a change of pace about FIFA 14 that can be a little jarring at first. Those long-used run-and-gun attacks up the center of the pitch so beloved by FIFA players are met here with a steely wall of defence and a disheartening counterattack. This is a slower, more considered take on football that rewards careful buildup play and thoughtful strategy over brash tactics, and boy is it all the better for it. A slew of clever changes to the physics--some visible in the eerily realistic-looking animation and some working their magic behind the scenes--and clever control tweaks set this year's game apart from its predecessors. And in typical FIFA style, it's all wrapped up in some wonderfully compelling game modes and the glossiest of presentations.

This doesn't mean you can carve a mazelike path around the pitch without consequence, though. For every twist and turn you make, your players visibly shift their weight around and throw their arms out to keep balance. Overdo it, and the ball, which is no longer magically glued to a player's feet, drifts wide or too far out in front, giving defenders the perfect opportunity to swoop in and steal it. Naturally, some players are better at keeping control of the ball than others, depending on their stats. Figuring out who's the best man for the job and doling out the right strategy to the players is all part of the fun, and it's made easy thanks to a comprehensive and easy-to-use set of management tools that you can dive into before and during matches.

The best players are better equipped to perform showboating skill moves too, which are easier to pull off since you no longer have to hold down a modifier button. With just a few waggles of the right stick, you can indulge in all manner of body feints, stepovers, and sideways rolls, which--when combined with the looser dribbling and slick animation--look spectacular. The ability to actively shield the ball helps things along, giving you a little more time to plan an attack and giving your player those crucial seconds needed to line up a shot. It works well offensively too; some well-timed shielding lets you throw your player's weight around and turn on sixpence, and allows you to brute force defenders away from the ball.

What this all adds up to is a game that looks and feels more like a real game of football than ever before. AI performs more intelligently, boxing in players on the attack and performing runs in just the right places to create some real shooting chances, even if they're offside a little more often than you might like. And when you do get the chance to try to stick one in the back of the net, the ball dips, arcs, and moves with the kind of unpredictability you'd expect from a small round object being whipped through the air at pace. It's a wonderful thing to see in motion, and when you finally make your way to the box and score after a string of deft touches and considerate passing, it feels like you earned it. There's still an element of FIFA's heavy-handed automation at work here, but with FIFA 14 slowing down the pace and making you work harder for a goal, the automation is far less of an issue than in last year's game.

Off the pitch, things are largely the same, with modes like Head to Head Seasons, Ultimate Team, Online Friendlies, Virtual Pro, and Manager to play through, but they remain the most comprehensive and compelling you'll find in a football game. Real-world statistics ensure that every team is kept up to date before the start of every match, while the excellent EA Sports Football Club keeps track of any points earned and ties them to a real-world team for a ranking on a global league table.

A slick new interface that mimics that of the Xbox 360 dashboard not only looks far better than its predecessor, but also keeps the action flowing smoothly in Career mode thanks to a simpler layout and navigation that lets you access all the core functions with just a few flicks of the analogue stick.

Career mode has received some much-needed tweaks, including the option to disable the first summer transfer window, finally giving you the chance to maintain a real-world squad up until the January transfer window. A Global Transfer Network has been introduced too, which masks a player's overall rating (OVR), so you've absolutely got to use scouts to find the best youth players. A tile on the Career mode page keeps you up to date on scouting progress, letting you choose to move forward with in-depth scouting, after which the OVR is finally revealed and you can decide who to purchase. This is far more engaging than simply hitting up the search box and looking for players with the highest OVRs, and it means you've got to put a great deal more thought into your purchases.

Fun skill minigames, swift loading times, and some excellent commentary (complete with rambling pre-match banter) put the finishing touches on what is a fantastic football experience. And, like previous FIFA games, FIFA 14 is beautifully presented. Animations are smooth, and famous players, kits, and stadiums are faithfully re-created with great attention to detail.

You could argue that perhaps it all looks a little too perfect, and a little bit of grit here and there, along with some players who don't look like they've lost all feeling in their upper bodies, would go a long way towards making the game look even better, though it's still leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

Despite the lack of a defining new feature to attach itself to, FIFA 14 is far more than the sum of its parts.

Despite the lack of a defining new feature to attach itself to, FIFA 14 is far more than the sum of its parts. It's a fundamentally different experience to last year's game, and an entertaining one at that, moving the series ever closer to the realism it so proudly strives for. The only competition FIFA has this year is itself. With a next-gen version just on the horizon, complete with a brand-new engine, you may be thinking about sitting this one out until then. But to do so would mean missing out on what is a fabulous football game, one that feels fresh yet familiar and that pushes even FIFA veterans into new, exciting, and engrossing ways of playing.

The Good
Slower pace and physics tweaks reward considered attacks
Much improved AI performs slick runs and boxes in attackers
New menus look great and are far better organized
Smooth animations make the game look more lifelike than ever before
OVR finally masked to encourage player scouting
The Bad
Visuals still look a little too clean
Single-player modes beginning to age, despite some much-needed tweaks
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for FIFA 14

About the Author

/ Staff

Mark is based in the UK, where soccer is known as "football", and from where he's been reviewing FIFA and PES for the last three years.

Discussion

614 comments
Cpt_Cosmonaut
Cpt_Cosmonaut

TOO SLOW GAMEPLAY, I HATE IT.I would give it a 7. I've been buying fifa since I was a kid and if someone told me that in 2013 it would still play like this I would have told them they lie. Why can't FIFA make a huge change, drastic changes, that would earn them a review score of a 10?

iceman_f117
iceman_f117

Hello friends, really seems to me very good the FIFA 14, especially the movements of the players, they seem very real, in this video you can see how the graphics have changed in the game in the last 10 years! It's amazing... 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNv2Ccq3SAc

zebomoby
zebomoby

I love the pc graphics on this game.

0-NGN-0
0-NGN-0

best fifa so far in my opinion (on xbox anyways) i like the fact its harder, i like the fact you have to pass more and play more real style footballl instead of just sprint and  use skill moves like in previous fifa's, you really feel the difference between a good player and a bad player in this fifa, i also like the fact you HAVE to scout players now to see how good they really are (like you would have ot in real life as a manager). sure the modes are the same as before but the actual gameplay feels a lot different to previous fifa's. in a good way, the only people complaining i think are the ones who dont like change to the gameplay and just want to use skill moves all the time to score goals and dont like the harder gameplay style. 9/10 for me

mannic909
mannic909

Dont know if anyone else has this issue but the game hangs and there's a lot of lag in ps3....especially in career mode

altairdarius
altairdarius

come on 8.0 it's not for great. it's more like oh ok you can buy it !?

Cokeszaro9
Cokeszaro9

Hey I would like to know, how to i sign players in career mode? it only gives me the option to enquire about a player, I receive a email from the club telling me he will cost 20M e.g. and after that nothing i cant make a bid or anything please assist if you can   

sgmullins
sgmullins

It's strange , fifa 14 get's great reviews from the top game reviewing sites, and yet from the actual user reviews(YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE THAT ACTUALLY BUY THE GAME) they mostly say FIFA is the same shit game that they have played for the last 3 years.

So who is right ?, i say it's about time the likes of gamespot and ign stop taking backhanders from you know who just so they give fifa great reviews so it sells and makes you know who a shit load of cash.

Instead give genuine scores what you believe is right, have these sites got any dignity at all. It's all about money nowadays.

Gamespot is shocking nowadays, their going from bad to worse. In honesty i'm not surprised being the type of persons employed there now. I don't believe the majority are even interested in gaming. 

alenth
alenth

Fifa, the same game as the last year with minigames= Best score

PES, a game that changes a lot of things this year including engine, gameplay, etc  = bad score.

Sigh.... casuals.

blindnocturno
blindnocturno

It sucks , and i´ve been playing fifa since the begining of the series most probably going to sell it.... waste of money and time...in my opinion its even worst than fifa 13... but that´s just my opinion....



noandno
noandno

They actually still support the PS2? Yay!

cap350
cap350

This game blows

its hard to score now, horrible ball control, slow tempo to the game, everything gone slow , hard to score and or even give good solid passes. Most of the game is played in mid field like a pin ball going back and forth, its a mess

This is a downgrade from fifa 2013, and fifa 2013 was the best football game ever.

Fifa you suck this year

frosyjack3
frosyjack3

I got this today (ps3) and tried to manage a lower league team but was so pissed off and fed up when searching for loan/free agent players as it only gave their name and age , no player rating or wage options are there so basically the search useless , fifa 13 was 100 times better in this respect

19Gam3NErD91
19Gam3NErD91

 I thought it hadn't changed much until I played the demo. it feels A WHOLE LOT different compared to the last game. players run and dribble much more smoothly and naturally, the physics just feel more realistic and the interface looks more beautiful and functional, though the AI (especially on attacks) and the graphics hasn't improved much and there aren't more tactical options available (like pes's combination plays), which i think is long overdue for this franchise. I was a bit disappointed with the AI and tactical options but overall I think it's a much better, more fun game than 13 and I felt 13 hadn't changed much over 12.

paranjapesameer
paranjapesameer

I remember playing FIFA '98 and scoring goals by tackling just as the GK is about to kick the ball. :D

But seriously, FIFA 14 doesn't have enough improvements over 13 to make it all that different. Maybe EA has put more work into the next-gen versions.

wolverdave
wolverdave

Big improvement on fifa 13. .. subtle changes making big differences. . Individual players feel more like there real world counterparts. . Better players feel better. .. biggest plus as far as I can see NO SCRIPTING

anonymousicko
anonymousicko

New fresh experience?! It's the same game with VERY minor updates(kits, new interface), even the mini-games are the SAME shows how lazy EA is. You can't even see the differences between FIFA 13 & FIFA 14, even if you put them side by side. 

And yet these reviewers said pokemon games are the same game over and over while they play new COD and FIFA yearly and saying they felt fresh. Such an insecure casual gamer

Zabu2
Zabu2

Sounds like an AD rather than a review.

mau123450
mau123450

Please Gamespot webmaster change the description or FIFA 14 in the PS VITA New releases it says

FIFA 14

VITA

  • Release Date: Sep 24, 2013
  • Genre: Hockey

I know its a cold, icy soccer game but its not hockey! 

overthemoon2030
overthemoon2030

i'm playing this game on my ps3 .... amazing game >>> thanks very much EA !

Horndawgie
Horndawgie

Well I managed to get 13 and 14 playing pretty close by turning down game speed to slow in 13 and turning off AI aids, but there is a little more physicality in 14- more tussle for the ball and blocking with the body. Turn down or off the aids and the ball plays very loose off the body, looser than 13. It's more organic feeling and harder to get scoring chances. 

Overall it's slightly better than 13 now that I have spent some time tweaking. Worth 60 bucks? IMO no, but wait for the next gen version to upgrade the visuals and then it will be worth 60 bucks.

swedensior
swedensior

GS reviews are boring with the new scoring system...

mau123450
mau123450

Why? because I Preferred FIfa 13 over Fifa 14? you were not even born when the boom of  videogame industry started. Anyone that had a commodore or the ATARI console will know what Im talking about.. PES 14 awesome game!

Warmuro
Warmuro

PES 6 = Epic

PES 2008 = Fail

PES 2014 = Epic Fail


nobaic
nobaic

I don't think I understand what some people argue about. You are argue that one is more a simulation than the other, but then say that the games biggest flaw is that its too much of a simulation and not enough fun. That doesn't make sense.

The best argument is that Fifa is the same thing every year. It's a soccer game. What do you want it to be? It's not like from year to year the sport itself changes. There's only so much you can do to a sports game other than roster, stadium, and uniform updates. The same thing always gets bashed about Madden. It's also towards the end of these consoles, why would companies put time, effort, and money into games for these systems when the new technology is much more exciting for them to work with?

crazynotstupid
crazynotstupid

@sgmullins If you are willing to ignore the critics you might as well ignore fan reviews because neither is fact. What is fact however is the sales figure. Check it out and maybe compare it to other football games like PES. Then you will get the true picture. You may say that the reviews are responsible for the higher sales but ultimately a very small percentage of players ever visit these websites and marketing can't make up for a poor product.

Its the same criticism NFS has been suffering from for years - that it doesn't resemble the real thing or that one game doesn't offer significant improvements over the previous. But its still the mots popular racing game going around, much more popular than the "real" simulation games. 

I believe in the market. If it sells then its that damn good.


NinjaGaz
NinjaGaz

@sgmullins You're reviewing the game from the perspective of someone that most likely has FIFA 11, 12 & 13. You'll buy every one and hope for something new, but how far can the core game really change? You want to mark it down because you've played it all before and you may come to the conclusion that it's not worth buying. For that reason, I tend to only buy FIFA games once every few editions.

However, Gamespot has to keep in mind the game itself - which, actually, is most likely a great game. Packed full of features, greater realism, easy to get into difficult to master, numerous online gameplay modes, etc. I'd bet that someone who hadn't played FIFA in the last few years would give this game a 9.

I think Gamespot should be marking down a game if there isn't a great deal of difference since the last one (Which it seems the did), but it also has to take the game as it is - do you honestly believe it's actually worth a 5 or 6? It's up to the gamer him/herself to decide whether they want more of the same (FIFA and CoD are great examples) and, if you've over-played the older versions, chances are you won't feel like it was worth the money.

Jolly_Loki
Jolly_Loki

@alenth  "casuals"

This is were you completely invalidated each and every argument you presented.

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

@alenth I find it amazing how a lot of positives got left out to justify a negative score. Also this game has not been scored higher than FIFA as far as I can remember so I find it amazing that the score drops because the gameplay resembles FIFA now. PES 2012-2014 has been changed to be like FIFA but now its a bad thing. Too many inconsistencies.

dsd27
dsd27

@cap350 this game is much better ebcause its not fast and unreal like fifa 13 that seems to be a car racing game

Horndawgie
Horndawgie

@mau123450 Well I have been playing since Pong first came to pizza places in '74-'75, which makes me an O.G., and I think PES is not at all that great. Hell, I find it hilarious that the purists love this game and the AI has huge gaffes. That's hardly a true sim. Not only that but they get pissed off if you call it 'soccer' but the title is Pro Evolution Soccer. Hilarious.

I bought FIFA 14 but probably will return it, as it's not enough difference from 13 for my tastes. Maybe for soccer maniacs...oops sorry I mean football, but for me it's not worth 60 bucks. Maybe the next gen version will be worth the eye candy enhancements but not this version.

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

@Warmuro PES Started sucking once FIFA 11 came out and thats the truth.

adrianjarca
adrianjarca

@nobaic It does make sense. Simulation and realism are is fun only up to a certain point. If you overdo it  the feeling of being in control of the game.character/etc disappears and it starts becoming a chore.

This is what Konami did this year. They wanted to make the game as much of simulator as possible and in order to do that they had to take away the control from the player and give it to the A.I. Needless to say the A.I cannot make the same decisions as a human and the game ends up being more frustrating than it needs to.

walian21
walian21

@DaWarthog @alenth great points. PES 2014, feels a lot like FIFA and it is still better than FIFA. Yet, gamespot gives it 6 and IGN 8.4. IGN is more credible.

cap350
cap350

@dsd27 @cap350 this game is boring as hell, and ball control sucks

the faster the game the more exciting it is, this game makes me fall asleep

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

@Horndawgie What u mean theres not enough difference. Im just buying it for a referee who doesnt sleep anymore like in Fifa13 and I was tired of stupid physics system where players would tremble over eachother thats enough for me.

mau123450
mau123450

@Horndawgie One of the best soccer games Ive played was "International Super star soccer" (SNES) really didnt care about franchise but you could differentiate El "Pibe" Valderrama in the Colombian team. Im from Perú in the whole world we know it as "football", "Fútbol" "Futebol" Soccer was an american invention, it should have stayed as Winning Eleven.

walian21
walian21

@HuSSaR83 @Warmuro excuse me, but PES never really sucked. If so, it was always a step ahead of FIFA in gameplay. Even the worst PES version, was better than FIFA.

domdomkursun
domdomkursun

@negativeions @cap350  @negativeions @cap350 you british kids,stop talkin about real football.ı guess you haven't touched a ball before.a slower game doesn't mean it's more real.real football is played fast.in fifa 14,players take a little step but it becomes so hard to turn back.does it really happen in the football?fifa 14 is a total shit,all they want is to suck your money for a worse game then the previous one.

negativeions
negativeions

@cap350 
you have obviously never seen or played a football match in your life. Your opinion is invalid.

mau123450
mau123450

@gflegui @mau123450 @Horndawgie Hehehe I know it was a nostalgic moment. What I will never forget was the first time Ive played Pes in Ps2!  from playing it on a Ps1. seeing the flare effects, etc. So I hoped that the next gen consoles (PS4 - Xbox1) will give that hype of superiority in any sense. It is really different to play Pes in a Ps3 and a Ps2. So the question is how different it would be? 

gflegui
gflegui

@mau123450 @Horndawgie really that game was one of the best you ever played.. it's the one that you always score if you shot from any corner... just to check that we are talking about the same game. I do remember having a great time, but to be honest, bringing that as an example of a football game is the same as trying to say that wolfenstein 3D is one of the best FPS. It was at the time, buy now is the past... let it go bro!

FIFA 14 More Info

  • Released
    • 3DS
    • Android
    • + 10 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation 2
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • PSP
    • Wii
    • Windows Mobile
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Fueled by EA SPORTS IGNITE, FIFA 14 will feel alive with players who think, move, and behave like world-class footballers, and dynamic stadiums that come to life.
    7.4
    Average User RatingOut of 489 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate FIFA 14
    Developed by:
    EA Romania, EA Mobile, EA Canada
    Published by:
    EA Sports, Electronic Arts
    Genres:
    Soccer, Simulation, Team-Based, Sports
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    All Platforms