Top Critic Average
An epic ode to the joy of football, but with room remaining for improvement.
For all that FIFA promises something for every football fan, from the casual observer to the full-kit fanatic, I still find myself wishing that EA Sports would spend a little more time focusing on the basics. You could probably create the perfect football game by letting Konami handle everything on the pitch, with EA Sports responsible for everything off it. But FIFA plays well enough that the gains elsewhere – in terms of licensing, authenticity, and big-match atmosphere – more than compensate for those shortcomings. For my money, PES is still ahead where it counts most, but The Journey gives FIFA something unique and rewarding. If you can afford it, this year it might just be worth getting both.
Despite a delightful new story mode, FIFA 17 falls short where it matters - on the pitch.
Not the transformative experience offered by this year's PES, but still unmatched in the genre for atmosphere, licenses, and finer details.
The Journey is an almost unqualified success, but in terms of on-pitch action FIFA 17 is comfortably outclassed by PES 2017.
Whether you’re interested in the new story mode or not, the bevy of modes and slightly improved gameplay means FIFA 17 has something for everyone
FIFA 17 feels like a reintroduction to what makes this series great
FIFA's new story mode grabs the headlines, but its gameplay still makes the difference.
FIFA 17 bounces back nicely after a down year without sacrificing any of its primary strengths. The Journey is a well-produced campaign mode that complements the existing feature set nicely, and the move to Frostbite appears to have gone off without a hitch. It's not really accurate to say FIFA is back since it never really left, but it is fair to say that it has momentum again, and that speaks well of its future as we head into the back half of this generation.
Overall, FIFA 17 performs well and keeps the trophy for football greatness, but it can certainly do better. But with the exclusive licensing and creative game modes, it's tough to beat. However, Pro Evolution Soccer is making great strides in competing against EA's series this year. We'll have to see if FIFA can continue its stay at the top for years to come.