The annual battle between the FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series of computer games is almost a fixture in the football calendar. Both are incredibly popular games and each year, their game play and their portrayal of individual players becomes ever more precise and accurate. Football games though have had a chequered past and so here are some of the hits and misses down the years.
- Adriano in PES 2007: In 2007, the Brazilian striker was at the height of his powers. Starring for Inter Milan following a successful spell at Parma, it was no surprise that he was the poster boy of the year, adorning the cover of PES 2007. However, with a shot power rated at 99 out of 100 in the game, it meant that Adriano was virtually unstoppable. In PES 2007 a shot from Adriano was quite simply as good as a goal. This rating must have had a negative effect on Adriano, the real player. His career soon took a nosedive and the following year he found himself back in his native Brazil and has remained there virtually ever since.
- Samuel Eto’o in FIFA and PES 2008: The following year, Cameroon super-striker Samuel Eto’o was the most valuable player in both the big rival games, FIFA and PES. Eto’o was certainly hot property at the time and the following year he would score in the Champions League final for Barcelona who bagged an historic treble in 2009. However, in both FIFA and PES, he was the strongest player by far, almost an unfair advantage for anyone who had him in their team. And in real life, Eto’o wasn’t even the best player for Barcelona!
- Fake Maradona in PES 2008: OK, so in the actual game itself he was given a similar, but fictional name. Everyone though knew that this was meant to be Maradona! His attacking attributes were almost ridiculous and frankly you could just give him the ball and watch the ‘mystery man’ glide past defenders. In truth, it wasn’t a bad portrayal of the real Maradona who almost single-handedly won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina. However, playing with a fake player, even a fake legend, was well just a bit naff.
- Top Trumps World Football: Combining soccer and gambling games successfully is no easy feat but this game has managed to do it. The world’s top footballers are featured – all competing with one another for jackpot prizes and bonus rounds. Among the players are David Beckham, Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Francesco Totti. If you’re really looking for excitement, the Football Girls slots at Titan Casino doesn’t feature the soccer players, but the beautiful women behind the scenes – all skimpily dressed, of course. It’s a treat to the eyes of the soccer fan.
- Kieron Dyer in This is Football: Now this is a long-forgotten football game with a long-forgotten football player on its cover. It was never exactly going to rival FIFA or PES when it hit the stores in 2003, but This is Football was an entertaining alternative, with plenty of crazy options to customize your play. It is therefore perhaps fitting that Kieron Dyer adorned the cover of this game. Dyer was starring for Newcastle United and a regular in the England side at the time. Awful injuries though pretty much put paid to a promising career, meaning that England’s forgotten man was the front man for the forgotten football computer game.
- David Beckham Soccer: Not many players are honoured with an entire football game in their name, but David Beckham is such a global superstar that is perhaps no wonder that he is one of them. This game was released in 2003 and certainly didn’t look out of place next to FIFA on the Xbox. It could have done with a little graphic enhancement but there were plenty of great features such as the specialist training mode.