FIFA 23 review – The best FIFA game in years
EA has ended the FIFA era in style with the series’ best game in years
What we love
- FIFA Has Never Played Better
- Power Shot Is Great
- Incredibly Realistic
- Looks Gorgeous
What we don’t
- Career Mode Overhaul Needed
FIFA 23 marks the end of an era, as after three decades working together EA’s iconic footie series will no longer boast the FIFA name.
And this big occasion has been met with a stunning release – as it brings with it major upgrades including the inclusion of women’s club football teams for the first time, World Cup modes for both the men’s and women’s game, crossplay, changes to the FUT chemistry system, visual improvements and more.
But the best thing about FIFA 23 is where it matters most – on the pitch.
Simply put, FIFA 23 is the series’ best version of the beautiful game in years.
HyperMotion 2 makes animations and player movements seem more lifelike than ever before.
The thousands of extra animations makes gameplay feel more fluid, and along with other upgrades such as the new Power Shot mechanic and Technical Dribbling means players can express themselves in much more varied and creative ways.
FIFA 23 is a joy to play, and is a fitting conclusion as EA ends one era and moves onto another.
FIFA 23 review
All good things must come to an end, and that’s the case with EA and FIFA.
After a partnership that began in 1993, EA and FIFA will be ending their long-standing association together after three decades in 2023.
From next year, EA’s footie series will go by the name of EA Sports FC, with FIFA 23 the final game in the franchise to have the FIFA name.
Such a landmark occasion has been met with a release that – for a game on a yearly release cycle – feels like a huge leap forward.
Even on paper, the amount of upgrades EA has brought to the table with FIFA 23 is suitably impressive.
This jam-packed release features women’s club football teams for the first time, is the first game in the series to have World Cup modes for both the men’s and women’s competitions, boasts changes to the FUT chemistry system and finally includes crossplay.
That already sounds like an exhaustive list of additions, but this only scratches the surface – with even more changes and updates to VOLTA, Pro Clubs and Career Mode.
But the most impressive thing about FIFA 23 is simply how it plays.
FIFA 23 includes women’s club football teams for the first time
FIFA 23 includes match day presentation improvements and other visual upgrades
FIFA 23 is arguably the best playing game in the series, and this is thanks to a number of big upgrades.
HyperMotion 2 is one of these, adding more than 6,000 new animations that makes player movement seem more lifelike than ever.
This all helps add to the realism and fluid of the game by impacting how players receive touches, respond to this and take shots or passes.
HyperMotion 2 also impacts dribbling, which now more than ever can be a real game-changer – thanks to the upgraded Technical Dribbling system.
When you get the ball with a skillful player such as Kylian Mbappe or Lionel Messi it feels like you can really run rings around the opposition.
Dribbling and shooting in FIFA 23 is better than ever before
The Power Shot mechanic is a great new feature
Jinking runs – a la that Thierry Henry goal against Liverpool in Arsenal’s unbeaten season – where you skip past defenders with ease are possible in FIFA 23.
This all opens up more and more possibilities for players to express themselves and attack in more creative and personal ways.
Another mechanic which helps make attacks more varied than before is the new Power Shot move.
This can be activated by pressing the top two shoulder buttons when shooting, and lets you unleash powerful drives which can beat the keeper in spectacular ways from long distance.
It’s a brilliant mechanic which is always fun to use, especially when you pull it off and manage to score a worldly.
Adding to the satisfaction of scoring a great goal is a new and improved replay system which shows stats such as distance from goal and xGa.
For stat heads, this is a wonderful addition and is all part of a wealth of visual and presentation upgrades in FIFA 23.
Better match day presentation, newly added cinematics, as well as more subtle tweaks such as improvements to the quality of the grass on the pitch all help FIFA 23 look better than ever before.
Besides all of this, modes across the board have received upgrades – with FUT getting a revamped Chemistry system which completely ditches positional links.
This helps give players more flexibility when crafting their squad.
HyperMotion 2 makes a world of difference in FIFA 23
FIFA 23 is arguably the best playing version of the beautiful game in the series’ history
FUT has also received a new mode called FUT Moments which gives you bite-sized scenarios you can play where you recreate moments from real-life.
FUT Moments at launch includes scenarios based on Mbappe and Jurgen Klopp’s career, but the possibilities for this mode in the future are endless.
Elsewhere, this bite-sized approach has also transitioned to Career Mode where Playable Highlights lets you play key moments from a match.
Career Mode also now lets you play as a real-life manager if you want to.
All of these additions are welcome, but Career Mode – having long remained static in the FIFA series – does still feel like it’s well overdue a big update to give seasoned players something fresher.
FIFA 23 is out now with Sam Kerr and Kylian Mbappe the cover stars
FIFA 23 review: Final Verdict
The FIFA series is one of the most iconic names in gaming, and for decades has helped countless gamers create many memorable memories.
From the early pixelated days of FIFA where you could run away from a referee after getting carded, to the low points in the series where PES seemed to best anything EA could offer – the series has grown and come a long way in the three decades EA and FIFA have worked together.
After such a historic and long-lasting partnership it’s only fitting that the FIFA era ended with a bang.
This landmark release is not only packed full of upgrades and new features, but it plays a brilliant game.
More than ever, the FIFA series lets players channel their inner Lionel Messi to play the beautiful game as creatively as they want.
It’s a near perfect end to the FIFA era
You can really put your own stamp on the way your team plays in FIFA 23.
All of these enhancements to the gameplay means FIFA 23 is always a joy to play.
It’s a near perfect end to the FIFA era, which only has a few shortcomings such as Career Mode needing a bigger overhaul.
But this is all something that can be addressed when the series makes the move to EA Sports FC next year.
With FIFA 23 EA shows the future is bright, while honouring the past and giving fans in the present a wonderful game to play.