As if you haven't got it already. FIFA 21, the welcomed care package in a time when football is, let's not hide from it, a bit rubbish. Packed stadiums, electric atmospheres, and the occasional glimpse of yourself in the loading screen sat unwashed and unshaven in just your pants on week 31 of working from home. Let's go...

Just us? Ok. Right then, have we stretched out the 'playing time' part of this review to the point where we need to re-introduce ourselves to our partners and kids who absolutely do not believe it's 'work'? Yes. Do we feel bad about that? Not really. Are we going to rush this review so we can go back to playing? Probably. Anyway, let's cut to the chase, does it stack up for lock down? Here's our take...


Is it going to take your breath away? No, but that’s because EA Sports have taken FIFA to the point where it can’t be improved dramatically, the series is at the very peak of football gaming where it can only be tweaked, and that’s what we’ve got here. If we were telling you there were big changes then it's gone backwards.

What we have got is goals, goals, and more goals. Gone are the days of taking a few days to finally score more than one goal in a game. This is fluid, unpredictable and exciting. Everything football should be, and everything football gaming should be. In terms of gameplay and entertainment it would hard to demand anything more than what we've got with FIFA 21. It's enthralling, chaotic and brilliantly more-ish.


It’s easy to bash FIFA and say it hasn’t progressed, trendy to do so almost, but we ain’t buying that, it’s still the best football game on the planet with more than enough features to keep you entertained whether you’re a schoolkid, or a player that grew up playing indoors on FIFA 98 Road to World Cup. FIFA 21 sees fancy footwork, easy-to-do skills and opportunities to score more outrageous goals from distance. The bounce of the loose ball is more natural and you frequently find yourself in positions to hit things first time. It’s fast and frantic.

For those of us used to shutting ourselves in for 3 weeks every September, these lockdowns are light work. Remember when you blamed FIFA 2005 for ruining your GCSE revision? 2007 for disrupting your A-Levels? 2009 for hampering your degree? Well now, in a world of working from home, FIFA 21 is back as that ever-returning ghost of procrastination.


If FIFA 20 was a tad defensive, consider the handbrake ripped off for FIFA 21, chipped goals, easy skills, smooth long passes and crisp through balls. And of course, it's far more fun to play with elite players. If you support Port Vale, you'll have a couple of games with them but you'll soon find yourself going back to the bright lights of Champions League or international football.

One thing that has changed for the better, is that automatic defensive support is less effective. And while that might be less realistic to real football, we ain't here for 0-0 draws, we're here for 5-4s. You have to work a bit harder defending than you would on FIFA 20. What's also enjoyable is that the goalkeepers appear to have spent the whole pre-match team talk and half time on a playground roundabout, they're as unpredictable as they are brilliantly calamitous. Rebounds are still ripe, honestly the amount of times we’ve hit both posts with one shot. But that’s what FIFA with your mates is all about, the carnage of two players going hell for leather and abandoning every single aspect of defending and tactics all in the name of thunderous chaos... isn't it?


Career mode and Volta mode have received welcome updates and while career mode takes on a Football Manager vibe and a fair bit of patience, it's Volta that provides the fast-fuelled buzz. The five-a-side street football setting (definitely turn the walls on) is the showman's playground where legends and football's current crop of skillsters come to dance. Cheesy celebrations, outrageous skills and a funfair of tiki-taka provides an entertaining distraction from the 11-a-side day job. 


FIFA 21 has adjusted its settings to become more entertaining. Is that a further step towards becoming more realistic? No, it's the other direction, but a direction that makes everything more fun, and in a time where the fun has been zapped from the game, we're all for it. Settle in and shoot on sight.