PES finally finds the balance between stout sim and accessible arcade, but a poor port cast shadow on an otherwise great game.
PES's legacy problems remain, but the football itself has never been better.
Pro Evolution Soccer is finally back to its best, in what is undoubtedly one of the greatest sports games of all-time.
A few minor issues aside, once again, Konami has delivered when it comes to the gameplay. Not only is PES 2016 a high point for the series, it's the best football game I've ever played.
If you like soccer, football, or whatever you want to call it, you need to get this game
[T]here's little worth in assessing soccer sims by the weight of their game modes, or indeed, the breadth of their official licences. All that truly matters is what unfolds in those virtual ninety minutes, either against a friend, an online stranger, or the computer. On that test alone, PES 2016 represents the best game in the series since the PlayStation 2 era.
For Pro Evolution Soccer, its 20th anniversary brings in 2016 with a bang. The improvements and expanded gameplay comes as a bit of a surprise. Konami is showing that their push to the top of football greatness is fully in effect. It is safe to say PES 2016 is one of the best sports releases to the genre in recent years.
An utterly essential purchase. PES 2016 is the best there is, and the best there's been in a very long time.
None of these problems keep PES 2016 from being the greatest football game of all time. The question is no longer whether PES can catch FIFA, and in truth hasn't been for a while. Instead, it's the other way around, and may well be for years.
Konami has made the years-long derby with EA interesting again, posing a stunning comeback with its latest effort.
PES 2016 offers a smart, strategic, thrilling and unpredicatable game of football.
It's become a cliche to herald each edition of the Fifa rival as a return to form – but with added skill and aggression and a Euro 2016 tie-in, it's hard not to this time
PES 2016, while not being perfect, feels true to its title - it's an evolution. Master League has been revamped and fine-tuned into an excellent mode that only suffers thanks to the lack of licenses, MyClub is growing well and differs enough from Ultimate Team, and the gameplay feels refined and balanced enough to make every game a challenge but not a chore. Thanks to all of these factors, PES 2016 currently feels like it's in a league of its own.
While not for everyone, PES 2016 is actually a very well done game. I learned a good amount, but am by no means an expert. I was able to get a good feel for the game and was able handle some matches on the easier difficulty. This is still very much a soccer fan's game, and while it has the tutorials, the game is not very beginner-friendly. At the same time, what it does, it does very well and looks great while doing it. Any fan of the sport should definitely check it out.
The Pro Evolution Soccer series has been steadily improving over the past few years, and with PES 2016 it seems the dev team has finally cracked that winning football formula, despite some rough edges.
An open, responsive football title with a lot of individual player freedom, but one that also has dodgy keepers, absent fouls, and the usual iffy online environment. The PC community may bring it up to scratch, but at release it's an ugly port that does a disservice to the game within.
The football is sublime in PES 2016. There are small improvements made to other areas of the game, and some are still needed, but on the pitch the series is in title-winning form once again.
Pro Evo is still struggling to match FIFA on match atmosphere, presentation, accessibility and commentary – all areas where Konami could and should be doing better. Yet it's a fantastic football game once you hit the pitch, with brilliant close-up graphics, superb animation, convincing ball physics and player interactions and a fantastic feel for the ebb and flow of the match.
Ultimately, though, PES 2016 does its best where it counts, which is the action on the pitch. Players who prefer the style and familiarity of FIFA along with all its bells and whistles still may not prefer PES' different feel. For folks who crave more dialed down mechanics, more responsive controls and something that feels less arcadey, however, Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 takes the crown on consoles this year.
PES 2016 lives up to the hype and is a wonderful tribute to 20 years of hard work from Konami and PES Productions.