FIFA 21 and PES 2021 are the latest versions of the famous soccer simulators, and this year they go head to head as one of the main rivals in the game world. Released on October 9 and September 15 respectively for PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One, and PC, the games had their development hindered by the coronavirus pandemic and received fewer changes than their previous versions.
While the launch of Electronic Arts gained new features in Career Mode, and gameplay improvements, in Konami’s game, the production is practically an updated patch – although much cheaper than the competitor. Below is a comparison of the two main electronic soccer games in the world.
FIFA 21 brought interesting news in gameplay. According to Electronic Arts, the game has a new “Agile Dribbling” mode. Made from research and capture of the movement of the best dribblers in the world, the feature is a way to maintain ball control, enabling new dribbling actions in more situations.
The positioning was also improved. The attention to this detail makes attackers pay more attention to the offside lines, etc. Another highlight pointed out by EA is the new Natural Collision System, which promises to make clashes, body shots, and split shots more real than in the previous version. Passes, blocks, response time, and headers were also improved.
FIFA’s rival has opted for much more subtle changes. With the game’s development eyes on the next generation of consoles, PES 2021 was released as a “Season Update”. According to Konami, regarding the gameplay, the most recent version of the game has only punctual improvements in dribbling, mastery, the precision of shots, and the style of play for each player. As the gameplay question is completely personal, both games can be enjoyable.
Both FIFA and PES have made little progress in terms of graphics compared to their predecessors. However, as with the gameplay, the improvement in the EA gameplay has been enhanced: the game has better lighting and players with more real aspects. However, the visuals are still less realistic than Konami’s competitors, and their virtual athletes still resemble drawings, which has long generated criticism of the game.
In PES 2021, the graphics are almost the same as in the 2020 version, being very difficult to notice any relevant difference between the two. Nevertheless, Konami has updated the look of several of the world’s top players. For those who prefer more realism, the game is still ahead of the rival.
FIFA 21 has no new game modes compared to the previous one. However, important features have been added to Career Mode, Ultimate Team, and Volta Football. The first one has received news such as the interactive match simulation, which allows the player to enter and leave matches to interfere with results, besides offering more development options for the athletes. The Career Mode also gained new game rhythms, training, calendar planning, and transfer options.
In Ultimate Team, new ways of playing and customizing teams were added, as well as improvements in management, so that more time is spent playing than managing the club. Volta Soccer, which honors the old FIFA Street, now has new fields, options for customization of uniforms, and game features.
As with the other issues, PES 2021 has practically no changes in game modes. The only disclosure made by Konami in this sense was the addition of three coaches in the Master League: Frank Lampard, Pep Guardiola, and Ryan Giggs, from this new edition, who can be chosen to lead a team on the edge of the field.
Even the holder of the mythical Master League, PES, when compared to its competitor from EA Games, still has game modes very much in the cast. FIFA, which even has a street soccer style with its mechanics, is more interesting and varied in this respect.
Licensed Clubs and Championships
Without a doubt, FIFA 21 is still the most relevant in terms of licensing: there are more than 30 leagues, 17 thousand players, and 700 teams with official representation. Besides the quantity, the game also stands out in the quality of its championships. The Premier League, La Liga, and the Bundesliga are exclusive to the game, and the Libertadores, South American, Champions League, and Europa League are also 100% official in the game.
To counterattack, PES 2021 continues with its differences for the public in Brazil. The game has the exclusive license of the Brazilian Championship Series A and B, with 39 of the 40 teams from the two main soccer divisions in the country officially in the game. In the most recent edition of the game, however, São Paulo and Palmeiras are no longer present in the game – Palmeiras appears as “São Paulo Barra Funda”, with uniform and generic players.
PES also lost the license of Inter Milan and Milan, although it kept Juventus as an exclusive team. The great names of Europe – Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United, and Arsenal – continue their partnership with the game, each having a special version of the game with a theme on the menu, digital uniform, theme for the console, iconic player, and more.
As in previous versions, FIFA remains available for a larger choice of consoles and platforms. Besides being available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (Steam and Origin), the game can also be played on Nintendo Switch.
In addition to the larger number of platforms and consoles, FIFA 21 will have a new feature: it will get updates for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The benefit, called “Dual Version” by EA, ensures that those who buy a copy of the game on PS4 or Xbox One will be guaranteed free access to the version of the game for the respective new generation console. With ultra-fast loading, improved lighting, rendering, and animations, the edition will be available as soon as the new platforms are released in November 2020. You can learn how to download it here.
Meanwhile, Konami has pointed out that PES 21 will only be available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam). According to the company, the PES development team is working on a completely innovative version for the next generation of consoles.
Prices and Availability
The standard version of FIFA 21 is costing $59.99 at PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam and Origin, and Nintendo eShop. The Champions Edition is priced starting at $79.99, while the Ultimate Edition is $99.99.
For being just a Season Update, PES 21 is much cheaper than its rival: the standard version of the game is coming out for $29.99 at PSN and Microsoft Store. On Steam, Konami’s game costs $34.99. The special PES 2021 club editions are priced at $34.99.
Although nothing revolutionary, FIFA 21 has several new features compared to the previous version. Updates in graphics and gameplay, as well as new features in game modes, are factors that leave you ahead of your competitor PES 2021, which has practically no difference from its predecessor. Even if the EA game comes at a very salty price, the player needs to remember that if they intend to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X and S, at least one game for the next generation will be guaranteed.
The difference between the two games, which was decreasing, seems to have increased again that year due to Konami’s stagnation. From now on, it will be necessary to wait to see what impact the next PES will have on the soccer simulator market, since, at least in 2020, the Electronic Arts game seems to have emerged as a winner.