FIFA 09 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWiiDSPS2PSP

The latest in the long running series which is promising a huge number of improvements.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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It's interesting times in the world of virtual footie. For years Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series has scored the winning goal in the gameplay stakes, and EA's FIFA franchise has lifted the trophy in the graphics stakes. And for years gamers have, on the whole, considered PES the superior game. But last year something happened. Something happened that was very interesting indeed.

Overall, FIFA 2008 was a better game than PES 2008. It came as somewhat of a surprise to us here at Perhaps it shouldn't have. For a while now EA's money making powerhouse has been creeping up the quality ladder, with solid tweaks to its game engine, functioning online play and a more simulation approach to gameplay. FIFA 09 is the culmination of all of those tweaks. It is the coming together of a game engine now supremely confident that it is the most realistic representation of the game of football the industry has to offer. And it is the best FIFA game ever made.

Why? Because it plays superbly, a more important factor in the game's quality than the new 10 versus 10 online play, the new Adidas Live Season (which imports real world, real time stats every week to keep the game up to date) or the new four season Be A Pro mode.

Despite the fact that you can change the game speed, FIFA plays almost sluggishly. The players are more responsive than in previous efforts, and turn quicker, but if you're not controlling a speed demon - Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, for example, there's absolutely zero chance of you putting clear blue sky between your heels and the defender's hacking big toe. Sure, you might beat a man - using one of the many tricks assigned to the right analogue stick - but you won't get away from him.

Players feel as if they carry real weight

Players feel as if they carry real weight

What you will do is immediately notice the new player physics which make shoulder barges and 'turfing' opponents off the ball a realistic reality. For example, if Chelsea sledgehammer Didier Drogba chases for a ball with lightweight Manchester United left back Patrice Evra, he'll out muscle his opponent - fairly, if he's appropriately positioned. This doesn't happen all of the time, of course - it's not a guaranteed win - but it feels like it happens when it should. And it's class.

This has an overwhelmingly positive impact on how FIFA plays. More than any game in the series, FIFA 09 makes you think before you shoot. You're forced to craft goal scoring opportunities cautiously, eking out killer through balls only when defenders have been pulled out of position, or players have made penetrating runs (they now raise their hand when calling for a pass, Wayne Rooney style - a useful and realistic visual clue for when to hit through balls). At least that's how it plays out during the first hour or so of a match.

After that, just as in real life, games start to get stretched, players get tired and space begins to present itself. You won't be able to simply wait for this to happen, however. You'll need to react to how your opponent is playing and adjust on the fly, with the excellent new custom team tactics system. Here you'll be able to change tactics on the fly from three overarching types - defensive tactics, attacking build up style and attacking chance creation.

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unkwown's Avatar
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class game got it for xmas its flippin class everyone at eny age shood play this.
Posted 21:45 on 27 December 2008
speedy's Avatar
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fifa is unrealistic pes has more realism and is overall better
Posted 15:38 on 27 December 2008
Terra's Avatar
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I'm a pro evo fans.
But i have to admit that fifa 09 is really awesome.
It's still not perfect, but overall is a better experience than pes 2009.
I love how it feels like the real football...
But I still love pro evo too, at least for offline multiplayer (because I have many friends to compete)...
Posted 01:54 on 29 November 2008
DannycxDxxD's Avatar
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those who say PES is king, fifa 09 sucks, not changed or w.e have OBVIOUSLY never properly played any previous fifa titles. gameplay is a big thing, the slightest changes make the biggest difference: fifa 09 is an immense game.
Posted 22:33 on 12 November 2008
fc united#1fan's Avatar
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fc united#1fan

i love fifa n its 10 times better than pro bt theres lots of things missing n they need new new things; like u cant change ur players numbers in manager mode?
it needs stuff more new!
n they shud change the free kicks back 2 the 1's from fifa2004 they were well gd!

im gone!
Posted 18:15 on 09 November 2008
Framkif's Avatar
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I am a huge fan of Fifa09 its getting better and better every year, I feel the crowd needs to get more real you want to feel the crowed and the stadium errupt when you score who agrees?
Posted 10:51 on 03 November 2008
Frankkie's Avatar
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I think Fifa 08 was better than the new 09,graphics are better in 08,online gaming as well, I thought fifa 09 was gonna impress like when the 08 was released but Im dissapointed, to see the career profile on an online player is hard ,is not as detail as the 08....Im returning fifa 09
Posted 04:12 on 03 November 2008
Badboi's Avatar
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I bought Fifa 09 this morning, with saints row 2.
Posted 19:59 on 25 October 2008
Adrian Forrest's Avatar
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Adrian Forrest

Completely agree on what Tent said back on page 2: really have they upgraded anything since PES5 or Fifa04. Sure the graphics get a little better but the game play has stayed the same. I was stupid and last year i purchased both PES08 and Fifa 08, tut tut never again will i buy immediately. PES08 never worked online, which was one of the main reasons i purchased it, and FIFA still felt too easy to score - as my friend would put it x x x x x x o goal (or [] i get confused between the two games).

I have downloaded the demos for both of this years efforts and to be honest nothing is grabbing me by the balls and saying WOW! I'll stick to MGS4, GTA4 and an old favourite Oblivion for now.
Posted 16:57 on 23 October 2008
Zamgui's Avatar
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Still too slow?? it s because of guy like you that games suck, Fifa 08 was perfect in term of pace but they made fifa09 faster for you dumbass
Posted 18:07 on 21 October 2008
Football Crazy's Avatar
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Football Crazy

And what the hell is up with scoring goals from kick off....its goone back to the days of when i used to score goals by hitting the side netting on FIFA
Posted 12:05 on 21 October 2008
Football Crazy's Avatar
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Football Crazy

Look FIFA has definitely improved, but its still to slow, player control is very poor (still unable to beat players properly without holding L2 & R3), Its still plasticly, Player detail i believe is still better on Pro Evo.

"Be A Pro Mode" is ripped off from konami to begin with lads. its adapted from the Winning Eleven Manager Game that was released a couple of years back.

FIFA 09 Very Good Game, But i think Pro Evo 2009 is beaten it this year but returning its renowned game play.

FIFA is for players who enjoy an easy game.
PES is for players that understand strategy and what a challenging football game.
Posted 12:02 on 21 October 2008
gilles veber's Avatar
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gilles veber

I can t understand why people are so happy with this new instalment, I loved fifa 08 even if it had some flaws, but this 09 is so arcadey, I am already bored of it. Even on slow mode (and with the 0 in camera zoom trick) , the pace is ridiculous and unrealistic, especially when you srpint. It s even worst online when for some reason everything seems is accelerated. Thanks David Rutter, thanks dude for having made an arcadey soccer game of the best soccer serie of all time.
Posted 09:37 on 21 October 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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I have a major problem with this game and none of the reviewers picked up on it.
In manager mode it makes sence to go as a league 2 club, as whats the point of doing 15 seasons unless it's a challenge right?
1. Scouting system is pants
2. when at the higher levels a top team i can score 2 - 3 goals a game, but the league 2 strikers can't score for **** at the higher levels meaning nearly every game ends 0 - 0. You would think worse strikers against worse goalkeepers would give you a similar goals to shot ratio?

3. players in the lower leagues have an unearving habit of standing 5 yards too far foward for headers very early and they do not respond to your controller input to move them back into position. (not great when it's your center back who doesn't respond untill the striker standing behind him is on his way with the ball)

I'm not convinced any reeviewer has played a game with a 1 star club, a unprofesional job if you ask me.

Fifa is a good football game if you only ever play with good clubs or be a pro mode. But the point for me was manager mode with a 1 star club from league 2. I can't help but feel let down buy some glaring game play faults all of which were missed by the so caller 'reviews' they obviosly just played the bits they were interested in as opossed to giving the game a thourough going over.
Posted 17:15 on 18 October 2008
samonels's Avatar


I am playing FIFA since 08 came out. I love it. However, I am disappointed in the 09 version. I think they did not keep the simulation aspect of the 08.

The Good:
I appreciate the additions that were made. The graphics are good. The new stadiums, the details and for example, the general public at the stadium looks better. The referee now is in the game.
I like the camera settings which makes it possible to adjust to any desirable angle and distance.
The custom tactics are great. Good control over the team.
The players are more responsive and run faster.

The bad:
I cannot get over the fact that they converted FIFA 09 into a more ARCADE than SIMULATION type of game.
The physical appearance lacks the differentiation and the realism the players had in FIFA 08. The body type between the players looks about the same. Also, they do not look anymore as they are in reality. Good that you made Ronaldinho lose some weight!!

The upper part of the body is to stiff. They run with the torso too upright. It gave is a cartoonish look and took away realism.

When they jump to shoot or get a pass with the head, they jump to early.
When they push the ball forward as they charge the ball moves weird. First fast and then suddenly stops. It does not look real at all.
The camera at goal kick and corners is BAD, BAD, BAD. When shooting a corner is really difficult to aim where to shoot the kick.
Posted 17:45 on 17 October 2008

Game Stats

Out of 10
  • Rewarding custom tactics system
  • Excellent match view graphics
  • Wonderful gameplay
  • Players still look like apes close up
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 03/10/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , Wii , DS , PS2 , PSP
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-20
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 2,403 22
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