Gaming has become a worldwide phenomenon in the past decade or so. Even people who aren’t avid gamers have a console lying around to play the odd game. However, only a few games can boast about dominating all these sections of the gaming world.
We know about titles like Call of Duty and GTA V which even the most casual gamers always play. This appeal to all demographics results in these two becoming the most coveted franchises in the gaming world. But, another game sells like hotcakes every year without any hitch.
Football simulation title FIFA is another franchise that has been ruling the gaming world for several years. Like the games mentioned above, the football simulator is another title that almost every gamer plays. It sells big in all the global gaming markets and does it consistently.
One thing we see in common in all of these big franchise games is no matter the quality, they always do well. The same is the case with the FIFA series where the reception doesn’t hamper sales at all. Its big brand status and the global appeal that football makes it big bucks no matter how good or bad the game is.
The Terrible FIFA Games
Most of the players have liked nearly every FIFA title till FIFA 17 with both the audience and critical reception being positive. However, the franchise has gone downhill after that and it hasn’t been pretty. Every title in the football simulator post-2016 has been panned by fans for being a huge mess.
The trend started with FIFA 18 which at least got a mixed fan reception with not many glaring problems. But, it only got worse after that and all the successors got highly negative user scores. The next game, FIFA 19, got a 2.1 user score on Metacritic after its release in 2018 and was the start of this downward spiral of FIFA games.
FIFA 20 performed even worse somehow and its PlayStation 4 edition had a 1.3 user score, a record low for the series at that time. It was evident that the players were not liking the new changes in the game but the sales did not see this impact. FIFA 20 got 10 million players just a few weeks after its release and FIFA 19 sold more than 20 million copies.
Hence, the reception got even worse for FIFA 21 after minor changes were made to the game. It got a record low of 0.9 user score for the PS4 edition which depicted how angry fans were by how less the game was changing. But, 31 million people bought the game, breaking the sales record set by FIFA 18.
As the sales saw no impact, EA Sports didn’t have much reason to change the upcoming games. Therefore fans didn’t have much hope for major changes to new FIFA titles. But believe it or not, the game did improve a little bit when it made the jump to the next gen.
FIFA 22 on PlayStation 5 got a higher user score of 2.5 which was a huge improvement from previous years. The sales also held up as the game got 9 million players in the first week. Even though the 2021 edition saw positive changes, it was still not good enough.
Now, no one knows what ideas EA had in mind while making this year’s FIFA. Whether it was the appeal from fans or they finally understood that putting the same game out for several years isn’t sustainable. But, they have hit it out of the metaphorical ballpark with FIFA 23.
What Makes FIFA 23 Great
You can say that FIFA 23 also doesn’t have a great Metacritic user score, it is just 2.2. But, a lot of that is from the minority of players who are not fans of the new changes. I will give my view as an avid FIFA player and why most people like it.
The FIFA gameplay is notorious for a heavy emphasis on the pace of the players. In the FIFA community, a lot of players have termed it “pace abuse“. No matter how good your fundamentals of the game are, the pace of the players will always surpass them.
This feature has been a major reason the reception to the gameplay has been so negative recently. It is a departure from the mechanics that made games like FIFA 14 the best in the series. Over the years, the opinions of the fans have been split about this, with some getting used to it.
But overall it has been a very bad addition to the series which doesn’t reward players for their skills. This year, EA Sports has strayed away from this mechanic and the pace of players isn’t that major a factor. A lot of the emphasis is on passing in FIFA 23 which is a welcome addition.
Every great FIFA game has been based on passing prowess and not just running with Mbappe to score. How you find players and spaces with your passes and breaking lines is a major factor in FIFA 23 gameplay. You win games based on your ability to drag opposition players out of position and exploit passing channels.
However, pace abuse is not a thing of the past just yet. You can still use the OP pace of some players like Vinícius Júnior, Daniel James, and Adama Traore to your advantage. But the feature is much less prominent in FIFA 23.
How FIFA 23 Is Polarizing
As it has been a major gameplay mechanic in FIFA for years, some players aren’t happy pace abuse is gone. For everyone, their best FIFA is the one they were really good in and many are adapting this year due to the gameplay difference. So, seeing some mixed reviews for FIFA 23 shouldn’t be that surprising.
For the franchise, however, this overhaul in the gameplay is a great thing as it mirrors the beautiful game. Another major change in this year’s FIFA is the left stick dribbling. In the previous editions, you could easily dribble with the left stick but that isn’t so in FIFA 23.
EA Sports has nerfed this mechanic a lot so you can’t just spam skills whenever you like. Now, you have to learn and get better to do the unrealistic skills possible in the previous titles. A lot of fans don’t like it as it takes fun skills out of FIFA 23.
But, the game is much more realistic now that you can’t rainbow-flick yourself to the goal. Everyone has an opinion as it’s a major move away from the “arcade Esque style” we had before. In my personal opinion, it’s a brilliant addition that fulfills the fan request for a more realistic FIFA.
Having different opinions is what makes every entertainment industry work so well. The gaming industry is the same and players want different things from their favorite franchises. We saw it with the likes of The Last of Us Part 2 which polarized people to a huge extent.
At the end of the day, everybody has their own opinion and mine is that FIFA 23 is a great game. Fans have been clamoring for years to make a realistic FIFA and now we have the closest thing. It’s a change from the regular and all change divides opinion.
Players of the franchise have been looking for something different for a long time and FIFA 23 provides that. Of course, everyone can perceive changes in their way as some might like the previous editions. But, in my opinion, the changes made have made it much better and the biggest launch in the franchise.
In conclusion, FIFA 23 is different from last year’s title and makes changes to some key mechanics. For me, it’s really good that the series has gone in a different direction after years of monotony. Players can like or dislike this overhaul, but it’s the best FIFA in years in my personal opinion.
Numbers also back that up as FIFA 23 sold more than last year’s version. It topped the charts in several countries and set a new record for the franchise. So, maybe most players feel like me but you can judge that on your own.
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍