From the off, it's fair to concede that the world's best-selling action football game, FIFA 2005, hasn't changed an awful lot in the past twelve months. Those who bought the last version will be entirely familiar with the game's look and feel, and could rightly argue that once more this new version is an evolution at best. But it's still quite a good one. The FIFA series has, in recent times, got into the habit of adding one big new feature each year, with middling successes. Last year's, if you remember, was the impressive-but-tricky off the ball control. This year we get a simpler addition, but a far more effective one. It's the first touch option, and it genuinely can open the game up, whether you choose to use it for a quick pass or tighter control. And it works because it's straightforward--there's no endless messing around with buttons to get it moving. The rest of the game attracts the usual annual pros and cons. Its presentation is second-to-none, and for a more attacking-focused game, you need look no further. What's more, the single player mode is substantial, and very long lasting. The downside is the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise which is, and remains, the choice of the hardcore gamer. Yet that doesn't mean there's not fun to be had with FIFA 2005. Quite the contrary, in fact. Every year, FIFA can be relied on to provide an entertaining, engrossing and long-lasting football game. Thus, whilst it might be in second place, and this latest release doesn't change that, it remains a strong and worthwhile runner-up.--Simon Brew
A Great Player Needs a Great First Touch: A quality first touch-intrinsic to the sport itself-is the essential trait that separates good players from great players on the soccer pitch. Improved button and control sensitivity provides an authentic first touch for users of FIFA Soccer 2005. Using the fluid player kinetic system, soccer's most important skill has been revamped to give the most responsive and rewarding control system to date.
Added Gameplay Depth: Off the Ball™ Control is fine tuned and better than ever in FIFA Soccer 2005. Take command of players not in possession of the ball by calling in tackles, jostling for space, and sending your teammates on runs as you control the pitch. Movement on throw-ins has also been added to enhance authenticity.
The Absolute Broadcast: With new in-game camera angles, smooth cut sequences for replays, and improved contrast and lighting for players and stadiums, FIFA Soccer 2005 has the look and feel of an authentic television broadcast experience. Add in authentic crowd chants from officially licensed stadiums-both large and small-and FIFA Soccer 2005 offers the most immersive experience available.
Deeper Career Mode: FIFA Soccer 2005's deep Career Mode tests your skills both on the pitch and in the front office. Build your franchise and guide your club to the Championship.
The World's Ultimate Roster: More than 350 official team and league licenses from around the world-including 20 leagues and 40 national teams-and more than 12,000 licensed players are available. From the fast pace of Europe's super leagues to up-and-coming teams in the lower divisions, FIFA Soccer 2005 provides the most authentic selection of the world's top teams, players, and environments.