It is a battle that has raged since the dawn of time—by which we mean around 15 years, we have no concept of time—PES vs FIFA, which is the better game? There are players in both camps, some arguing that the lack of licenses on PES is what kills the game, while others saying that PES has a realism that FIFA can never match.

But what happens when you compare all of the aspects of these games, from the gameplay to the popularity and sales? Which one comes out on top?

PES Vs FIFA: Basics

FIFA has the licenses, while PES does not. This means that PES introduces somewhat obscure team names, trying to copy the real ones without actually doing so. This hurts the simulation aspect, but all in all it’s not a huge issue.

FIFA has by far the better online play, but both games now allow you to take on the role of a single player in an entire team and they also have good career modes and single player modes.

PES Vs FIFA: Graphics and Gameplay

We feel that the graphics have always been a step ahead with FIFA and the game has always been better. One of the things we have liked about PES is the close control. This is something that FIFA struggled with in the early days, but something that PES had under control. It always felt great to keep the ball close and to toy with your opponent, and you just couldn’t do this on FIFA.

On the flip side, there have been a lot of issues with power of PES. Several titles were very frustrating in regards to the long shooting and the power you could get, or rather couldn’t get, behind the ball. We have always preferred the crossing and heading on PES, but in recent years FIFA have been able to match them for this.

PES 18 Vs FIFA 18

There seems to be a substantial gulf between the latest two iterations of these games. FIFA has taken a giant leap into the world of realism while PES seems to be producing copies of the games that have gone before. PES are usually the ones that offer more advancements and more changes, with FIFA usually sticking with “same-old, same-old”, but that’s not the case in the last couple years.

The story mode in FIFA 18 is also solid, as it was in FIFA 2017. We do have an issue with this, because it’s just far too short. In 2017 we were annoyed that they didn’t let us play on, even without cut scenes and a storyline. It seemed like it would have been easier for the storyline to switch to a career mode and for us to play on.

However, in 2018 the reason they didn’t do this became clear, as FIFA 18 continued the story from where FIFA 17 left off. And no doubt they will continue to do this, hoping you’ll keep buying the game to continue the story. But as annoying as this is, it’s something that other games and even films are guilty of.

PES 18 is a lot better than what has gone before and they have finally started making big changes as well. This is probably the closest they have been to FIFA in years and we are torn between the two of them. However, it has lost its reputation with many players because of what has gone before and this has turned many to FIFA.

PES Vs FIFA: Sales

PES 18 vs FIFA 18

After rave reviews and suggestions that PES was back to its glory days, PES 18 seemed set to sell big. However, that has not been the case. In the UK, where these soccer titles are at their biggest, FIFA 18 sold significantly more copies than PES in the first week, a trend that continued in additional weeks.

This has been true for sometime as well. In 2017, FIFA reached 1 million sales before PES reached 50,000, a staggering difference that shows just how much of a gulf is between these two games right now.

PES Vs FIFA: Where we Stand

Our opinion probably won’t help you to make up your mind about the real winner here, but it’s our site, so we’re going to force it upon you nonetheless.

We’re actually perfectly positioned to do so, because we have been playing football games since the days of Sensible Soccer, when being able to discern that the players on your team actually had legs and a body was classed as good graphics. The “we” in this case are two VA writers who are the same age and have been around since the early days.

We both marveled at Virtua Soccer, we both fell in love with International Superstar Soccer (the early iteration of PES) and we both now play FIFA. We have played every football game out, from those early titles that were flat and insipid, to games like This is Football, which was considered revolutionary simply because it let you dive (so much fun), and Red Card Football, where the goal was to hack your opponent to pieces.

We’re not biased simply because we believe console wars and gaming wars are mostly stupid. After all, all consoles and all games have their merits and this is the case here as well. So, is it PES or FIFA? Which do we put first and why?

FIFA Vs PES: Which is Beat?

The simple answer is “FIFA”. But to put it in way that won’t offend as many PES fans, let’s imagine that FIFA vs PES was an actual football game, with the first minute representing the first release of both of these series and the 90th minute representing the latest ones.

If that was the case, then PES would have been several goals up in the first quarter of the game. FIFA would have nicked a goal back prior to half time, thank to some great games from the late 90s, but going into the second half PES would have still been enjoying a comfortable lead.

That’s when it all started to go wrong for them though. FIFA fought their way back, took the lead and then moved comfortably ahead.

FIFA has done more for the single player and multiplayer games than PES. The introduction of the Frostbite engine and the story mode was a huge step forward and the player animations, the movement and the speed of the game just feels so much better. PES feels like it is stuck in the arcade, while FIFA has taken a leap into the world of simulation.

Some may prefer that arcade style of play and that’s why there are many that prefer PES to FIFA. But for us, it has been a while since PES created a title that was able to better what FIFA put out.

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