Review EA Sports PGA Tour (PS5) - Truly Stunning Sim Plays a Very Pretty Round of Virtual Golf
Fairway to heaven
It’s been almost eight years since EA Sports politely bowed out of the virtual golf arena with its half-hearted Rory McIlroy PGA Tour on the PS4, ending decades of dominance from the publisher – and inviting 2K Sports to take its place. But after a couple of commercially successful PGA Tour 2K titles, the Redwood City...
Review NHL 23 (PS5) – The Same as Last Year, with Small Changes
Stick it out
It’s the same thing every year, isn’t it? Annual sports titles get announced, highlight a few key features, and then hunker down for a few months, hoping any sort of pushback gets swept under the rug. It hits some series’ harder than others, Madden NFL being the most noteworthy franchise to endure a rough go of things. But some...
Review FIFA 23 (PS5) - Series Ends on a High, But Familiar Frustrations Remain
After an incredible 30-year run, FIFA 23 had to go out on a high – and to be fair, we reckon it just about has. Fans of EA Sports’ flagship football franchise will be familiar with the formula: this is more refinement than revolution, but FIFA 22 threaded through some of the best virtual soccer we’ve seen from the juggernaut...
Review Madden NFL 23 (PS5) - EA Sports Settles for Another Safe Five Yard Gain
The story goes that John Madden refused to sign off on EA Sports’ original football sim until it put 22 players on the field. The rest, of course, is history – and the Madden NFL franchise has been striving for realism ever since. That ambition comes in the form of a few buzzwords this year, including the distinctly marketing-led...
Review F1 22 (PS5) - Another Solid Sim Racer, But Room for Improvement
Fit for porpoise
In some ways, F1 22 feels like quite a different game compared to its predecessor, though that's not a huge surprise. The current season brought with it some serious regulation changes, not to mention a drastically altered car model, so Codemasters had its work cut out in order to echo all that in this year's racing sim. On the...
Review FIFA 22 (PS5) - Football Sim Makes Meaningful Strides on the Pitch
Republished on Wednesday 27th April 2022: We're bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of May's PlayStation Plus lineup. The original text follows. The biggest compliment you can pay FIFA 22 is that it feels like real football for once. EA Sports’ soccer simulator still has its fair share of quirks,...
Review EA Sports UFC 4 (PS4) - A Strong Sequel That Knows What Players Want
Stand and bang
Republished on Wednesday 26th January, 2022: We're bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of February 2022's PS Plus lineup. The original text follows. We suppose the biggest challenge that EA Sports has always faced with its line of officially branded UFC games is that players clearly prefer to box...
Review NHL 22 (PS5) - A New Shine Applied to a Familiar Experience
We've been here before
New console generations can prove rocky for sports franchises: performance issues, bugs, and a reduction in features are routinely guaranteed. Certainly, that's the fate that awaited EA's NHL series when it transitioned to the PlayStation 4 – after all, we still have nightmares about the abysmal NHL 15. Surprisingly, EA...
Review Madden NFL 22 (PS5) - Franchise Finally Gets Some TLC in Improved American Football Sim
Throw it in rotation
Prior to the release of the disappointing Madden NFL 21, publisher EA Sports made a promise to series stalwarts that it would improve Franchise in future entries. The lack of improvements to the popular campaign mode in last year’s entry was the straw that broke the camel’s back for many fans, and it triggered a series of...
Review F1 2021 (PS5) - Great Additions Make This the Best, and Most Accessible, F1 Sim
Put your pedal to the Vettel
As a general rule, annual sports games get just that little bit better with each passing year, and that's certainly true for Codemasters' Formula One series. The officially licensed sim racer has been gradually improving each summer, and with F1 2021, the studio has made some wonderful additions that make this year's...
Review Madden NFL 21 (PS5) - Three and Out for Tired Football Sim
The NFC East of sports sims
It’s hard to find any optimism in the Madden NFL 21 community, but a few football fans with a glass half-full of Gatorade had hoped that this year’s PlayStation 4 game was so disappointing because EA Sports was all-in on the next-gen upgrade. Now the PlayStation 5 version is readily available, we’re afraid to say...
Review FIFA 21 (PS5) - Now This Is a Next-Gen Upgrade
When EA Sports announced that FIFA 21 would be getting an upgrade on PS5 — which is free if you already own the PS4 version — we kept our expectations low. We enjoyed FIFA 21 on PS4, but the footie sim was really starting to show its age. Compared to other heavy hitting sports titles like MLB The Show 20 and NBA 2K21, it was rough...
Review NHL 21 - The Best Iteration of the Generation
Bardown? More like bar up
Sports games bring with them a certain expectation from fans. The titles get churned out every year, with relatively little difference, except maybe a few new ways to try and pry some extra money out of your hands with microtransactions. But you keep coming back because if you love a particular sport, there aren't any...
Review FIFA 21 - A Step Up from FIFA 20, But Must Do Better on PS5
In the real world, Premier League football stadiums have no crowds thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In FIFA 21, these same stadiums are packed — packed with the exact same awkwardly animated, ugly crowds that have been a part of FIFA for over half a decade. We're not sure which is worse, especially when these virtual fans...
Review Madden NFL 21 - Football Brings All the Boys to the Yard
Madden NFL 21 finds itself in a particularly peculiar position this year. The football simulation’s launching less than three months prior to the PlayStation 5, and while there will be a free upgrade to the next-gen console, it really shows. Despite bundling in a potential series cornerstone in the Yard, this is a relatively low-effort...
Review NHL 20 - A Slightly Improved Version of the Same Game
Video game misconduct
Sports games have a tendency to change incrementally year-to-year. This applies to the bigger sports franchises, let alone the smaller ones, which is what NHL 20 falls under. NHL 19 was an absolute disaster of a product, underwhelming in almost every way possible, so it's with optimism that we say this is a step forward, though...
Review FIFA 20 - Seriously Shoddy Career Mode Almost Results in an Own Goal
Wide of the post
FIFA 20 has three core modes of play: Ultimate Team, Career Mode, and the all-new Volta. However, only one of these modes stands strong as a rock solid time sink -- care to guess which one? If you said anything but Ultimate Team, then you haven't been paying attention. Once again, EA Sports bolsters the mode that makes FIFA one of...
Review Madden NFL 20 - Personality Traits Add X-Factor to Annual Update
King of the fling
What makes an NFL superstar stand out? For the Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback Cam Newton, it’s his ability to scramble out of the pocket, picking up essential yards for his team without needing to fling the pigskin or hand the ball off. Meanwhile, the New York Giants’ Rookie of the Year running back Saquon Barkley...
Review FIFA 19 - Well Drilled... Unlike Jose Mourinho's Man Utd Team
Good touch for a big lad
Spend just a few minutes with FIFA 19 and you'll wonder if EA has just re-released FIFA 18 with Champions League licensing. At first it can feel very familiar – more so than usual – but give it a couple of hours and you'll start picking up on all the little things, all the subtle improvements that EA Sports has carefully...
Review NHL 19 - Ice Hockey Deserves Much Better
The NHL series is a weird one. Years ago, when 2K had its own NHL series, there was a competition for attention between the two franchises that drove both series’ forward as time went by. But without the competition that NBA Live deals with or the massive install base of Madden, NHL usually comes off as the series that is generally...
Play of the game
Six months since the Philadelphia Eagles snatched Super Bowl LII from Tom Brady’s greedy clutches, a new season of the NFL beckons, with a fresh crop of rookies all eager to ply their trade in one of the league’s 32 teams. EA Sports, as has been the case for decades now, has also returned with a new entry in its annual Madden...
Chat crap get banged
You’ll need a strong stomach, but EA Sports UFC 3 simply feels good. Dana White’s snowballing brand of mixed martial arts is not known for pulling its punches, and the third instalment in EA Sports’ series hits similarly hard, with wince-inducing haymakers breaking noses like they’re breadsticks. Industry leading...
Bang in form
Surprise surprise, FIFA 18 is another rock solid entry in EA's footie sim series. Why wouldn't it be? It feels like the developer pretty much nailed its formula years ago, and ever since, it's just tweaked and added things little by little with each annual instalment. This year's title is no different. It looks better, it plays better,...
Yes, the football season may have just started in the UK, but across the pond, something different is going on: the football season is about to start. Not the one with feet or balls, mind you, but one even more complicated and technical, a sport in which “PA Max Protect” actually means something. To a new player, the prospect of...
Signing of the summer
Another year, another FIFA review, although this time around, there's actually a reasonable amount of new stuff to talk about without having dig deep into the finer - and frankly quite boring - technicalities of tweaked gameplay mechanics. Taken as a whole, FIFA 17 is the biggest step forward that the sports series has seen in...