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12th November 2020

Same game, new packaging

The two top-tier e-football games compared
Same game, new packaging
Photo: Alvaro Reyes @ unsplash

Every year, eager gaming and football fans prepare themselves with anticipation for a better and improved game, but end up facing disappointment.

Ever since FIFA 17’s ‘The Journey’ mode — which brought in a new dimension to an otherwise repetitive experience, there has been nothing noteworthy in the football gaming universe.

Though FIFA’20 gave its loyal fans an all-new Volta mode, and brought back the memories of the FIFA Street series from the PS1/ PS2 era, the EA franchise couldn’t offer much on the platter.

However, PES has improved its gameplay over the years, not only impressing the critics, but also clearly manifesting their presence among loyal FIFA fans. But an upgrade is long due.

The question remains: Is there anything new this time?

Fifa 21 on PS4
Fifa 21 on PS4. Photo: Prasham Sheth @The Mancunion


FIFA has always been a fan-favorite amongst the two in the gaming community, mainly because of the number of official leagues and club licenses that it has as compared to PES.

FIFA is by far is the most researched game in the market and they take that part seriously. Their player ratings can often start a Twitter war among football fans.

The all-new refurbished Volta mode is a treat to play, especially with the introduction of Co-op mode. The evergreen FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) remains the biggest money magnet for EA Sports (to the game). For the career mode, the franchise took a leaf out of the successful Madden series by introducing an interactive match simulation with an improved User Interface (UI) and giving an option to jump right into the game and start controlling your team when you feel the need to do it.

When it comes to gameplay, not much has changed. As a matter of fact, it has become easier to justify a +3 PEGI rating. Scoring a header from corners never felt easier, as the goalkeeper hardly catches crosses and corner shots, preferring to rather punch it.

The defensive sync is still the same as it used to be four years ago.

PES2021 Mobile
PES2021 Mobile. Photo: Prasham Sheth @The Mancunion

PES 2021

When PES announced that eFootball PES 2021, their new game, is going to be a season update, many appreciated this move and welcomed it with open hands.

Konami said that they were working on the next-gen variant of the game with more realistic player models and animations, enhanced physics, and extremely realistic visuals. They will also be switching to a different gaming engine — from Fox to Unreal.

As for the season update, the game is literally the same as PES 2020, but with an introduction of updated kits and squads (most being non-licensed), and an all-new UEFA Euro 2020 tournament with licensed stadiums, kits, and squads.

PES has been known for its realistic gameplay and this year’s update doesn’t disappoint: it’s similar to the previous years, but with slight improvements to first touches and through ball passes.

The data pack updates manage to fix small twitches and bugs which tweaked the value of the gaming experience. eFootball PES 2021 feels like the final data pack update for their 2020 game. The Master League sees a change with real-time face scans of famous managers from the PL, with the likes of Pep Guardiola being introduced to the mix.

MyClub, Konami’s answer to FIFA’S ultimate team is relatively simpler, as you can acquire a stacked team from the beginning and play with legends such as Maradona and David Beckham.


As a result of a strict yearly-release schedule, there isn’t much innovation that can be put into sports games. However, tricking consumers into buying the same game with a new packaging year on year is just sad. Konami had an honest approach this year by releasing an update with an officially licensed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament at half the usual pricing, whereas FIFA still continues to sell its way out of the fact that the creative and innovative minds at EA are on vacation for years.

FIFA 21 will burn $59.99 from your pockets while eFootball PES 2021 season update costs $29.99, which is a huge relief for our wallets.

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