FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer are two video game franchises that have been competing against each other since the 90’s. Both are football simulators, but they have many differences, even though they belong to the same video game genre.
Both franchises release a new version yearly (without counting with the FIFA Street spin-offs). FIFA 21 was released on October 6th, 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, while PES 2021 hasn’t been really released, although PES 2020 had a season update on September 15th, 2020. It is available for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android and iOS.
Okay, But Which One Should I Buy?
First of all, you must keep in mind that PES 2021 is an update of PES 2020. It is the same game, but with a season update. Having that in mind, if you already have PES 2020, then you pretty much already have PES 2021. If so, perhaps you might even have your question answered, already. If you have PES 2021, why should you buy FIFA 21? This is, unless you have a PlayStation 5. In that case, PES will only get into the new generation market with PES 2022.
Also, if you are into mobile gaming, FIFA is not focused on that area as of November 2020, so you either get PES 2021 or an emulator for older consoles that gives you access to older FIFA versions (FIFA 15 for a PSP emulator or FIFA 2007 for a Game Boy Advance emulator, for example).
If you are not included in any of the situations mentioned above and if you don’t know which one you should buy, in that case you have a way more complex dilemma. Let’s compare both games on a couple factors, in specific:
This is purely subjective, since both games have good gameplay but are rather different. FIFA is the one who got the most news when it comes to that. “Agile Dribbling” is probably the most interesting new feature that it has to offer, enabling new methods to dribble on different occasions. Not to talk about the IA, that is now smarter when it comes to positioning and offside lines, for example.
Now, when it comes to PES: there are not many updates. After all, it is the same game as last year’s edition. Despite that, we still have some subtle improvements when it comes to dribbling or unique styles of playing of certain players.
There is very little progress when it comes to graphics. Given that, PES has the upper hand (again, we are purely talking about the PS4 version). It is more realistic, with excellent lighting and with more good-looking aspects, while FIFA, although excellent as well, is not the best videogame when it comes to graphics, behind most other titles outside of this rivalry.
FIFA is factually above PES when it comes to licencing. 30 leagues, 700 teams and 17 thousand players. Plus, it has more championships. If you want more playable leagues, FIFA is only surpassed by Football Manager.
PES wins this one. The regular edition costs $29.99, while the club edition costs 34.99$. Meanwhile, the PS4 version of FIFA21 costs 59.99$, on both versions.
FIFA hasn’t much news when it comes to game modes. Despite that, Career mode, Ultimate Team and Volta Football did have some significant updates. Specially Career mode, which now has new match-rhythms, not to talk about the training and transfers options. You still have Volta Football, a tribute to the spin-off FIFA Street, introduced in FIFA 20.
Meanwhile, PES hasn’t changed much. They still have the Master League, which has been around for more than a decade, but FIFA has more variety.
Having all of this in mind, PES and FIFA are very balanced. This dilemma ends up in subjectivity. Given that, you must analyse all of the factors yourself in order to know which one fits your personal preferences the most. Of course, I will reiterate, if you have a PS5, FIFA is the only way to go; if you have a mobile, PES is the only way to go; if you have PES2020, you pretty much have PES2021.
Lastly, if you have a PlayStation 3, keep in mind that both games were discontinued after the 2018 version. You can make unofficial updates for both games, though. A couple minutes of Google searching will do that job for you. Hope we’ve helped you out and choose wisely!