PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC; EA Sports
It’s been a tough year for football, but EA Sports’ fast, fluid and updated football game is a thrilling all-round scorer
Never mind football coming home. This year, football had to work from home. Every major competition shut down at the height of the pandemic, leaving elite athletes to train over Zoom and fans to stare at incomplete league tables. Some, like the Scottish Premiership, awarded trophies. Others spent small fortunes designing biosecure bubbles in order to continue playing, as much to avoid defaulting on huge TV contracts as for any other reason.
Developer EA Sports was in a similar position. The show had to go on. Fifa’s online fantasy squad-building mode, Ultimate Team, props up the whole EA empire with its morally dubious focus on microtransactions. But could a game cranked out on kitchen worktops deliver on the expectations of the football-starved masses?