FIFA 20 Review

Richard Walker

As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and night turns to day, so FIFA will forever be a fixture on games consoles across the land. Its cover will forever have a player on it, looking at you as if to say, “I have more money than you could ever possibly comprehend.” Because even though I deserve footballer's wages, I'm still not paid them. Where's the justice in the world? Anyway – FIFA 20. Let's talk about that.

Despite the number, FIFA 20 is actually the 27th FIFA game, and incredibly, somehow, still has a handful of new ideas up its sleeve. This year's big idea is VOLTA Football, taking the game back to the streets where skill moves, flair and style are all part and parcel. The VOLTA bit of FIFA 20 even has a story, because The Journey is no more. This time, you get to customise your own character, before going on a world tour of futsal pitches and street courts from Tokyo to Brazil, Amsterdam and New York.

It's still a journey of sorts then, just not THE Journey. VOLTA still manages to weave a neat little yarn, and once you're done with the story, you can hit the VOLTA League or VOLTA Tour with your squad, and continue levelling up your player, acquiring new skills along the way. With each team you defeat, you can recruit new players, building an increasingly formidable team of achingly cool street football people. One of them is so cool that they have a clone playing for every single opposing team. Wow. Bug or deliberate feature? You decide.

Despite its foibles and largely predictable storyline, VOLTA Football is most definitely a worthy addition to the FIFA series, offering a fast-paced and enormously entertaining alternate way to have a kick about. Outside of the FIFA Street redux served up by VOLTA, the usual array of modes are back for another year, including the staple FIFA Ultimate Team, Career Mode, and online Pro Clubs, while Kick Off has all of the party games and such from last year.

As ever, it's FIFA Ultimate Team that possesses the greatest appeal, enabling you to invest hours into opening card packs and being disappointed by their contents, then competing in Squad Battles, FUT Division Rivals and a host of other challenges using your own bespoke team. Your 'ultimate team', if you like. FUT 'Friendlies' enable you to pit your Ultimate Team against friends in local or online matches, with no consequences for your squad. It's just for fun, which is why there are some very good arcade game types like 'King of the Hill' and 'Mystery Ball' to enjoy.

King of the Hill has an area of the pitch that keeps moving, and when you're in said area, a gauge counts up to 3. Score a goal while the gauge is full and as such, it'll count as 3. Score without going via the designated 'hill' area, and you'll get bugger all. Mystery Ball is arguably more fun, the so-called eponymous ball granting different boosts and goal multipliers each time it goes out of play. One minute you can have a speed boost enabling whoever's on the ball to rip through the defence, the next you'll have a shooting boost, granting the ability to score net-rippling screamers.

That's assuming you can get the ball past the keeper – they seem incredibly difficult to beat this year, capable of ludicrously athletic feats to keep a clean sheet. This isn't really a problem when playing VOLTA, where rush keepers can easily be hustled off the line for massive scorelines. But 'on the pitch' proper, scoring a goal is often hard-fought, because shooting is tricky and if you do get a good shot off, the chances that the keeper will leap like a salmon on a pogo stick to save it are highly likely.

Still, there's no denying that FIFA 20 conjures up a fine game of football, even in the slightly wonky Career Mode, which has its fair share of unusual bugs that EA has said it's actively working to fix, at time of writing. Carving out a path to glory remains enjoyable, however, despite the perplexing glitches. The deep and involving Pro Clubs mode and the UEFA Champions League round out another generous offering, meaning you'll probably be playing well into next year. I mean, you could if you wanted to.

And there's ample reason to take to the pitch for a bout of FIFA 20 beyond all of the modes and stuff – the game is as polished as it's ever been, boasting fast and fluid football that gives PES a good run for its money. Presentation is top-notch as always too, with excellent commentary and all of the overlays, interstitial graphics and other bits that lend to the overall authenticity. This is about as good as it gets, even taking into account the commentary contributions by former Arsenal right back Lee 'I could do better than that' Dixon.

Should you buy FIFA 20, then? VOLTA Football certainly provides a compelling reason to do so, adding something genuinely worthwhile and different to the series, which will especially appeal to fans of the FIFA Street games. Everything else, FUT most of all, offers hours upon hours of gameplay, and on the pitch itself, FIFA 20 shines once again, despite a few annoyances like the super heroic keepers and sludgy shooting mechanics. Nonetheless, for the most part, FIFA 20 has got it where it counts.


Delivering another strong outing, FIFA 20 proves once more that it's a football game truly to be reckoned with. There are issues, but few are serious enough to really mar the overall experience. Ultimately, FIFA 20 is fantastic, its new VOLTA Football mode being a particular joy, while FUT proves endlessly compelling yet again.

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Again, I don't know any of the 'EA Trax' on the playlist here, but sure. There's licensed music. Good. The commentary remains a plus point, lending to the TV-style presentation. Match day atmosphere is excellent too, with authentic chants and more.


Decent player likenesses, though some of them look slightly waxy. In the authenticity stakes, FIFA 20 stands out once again, eclipsing the competition with unparalleled attention to detail. It all looks wonderful.


I'm fairly certain that it's not my imagination that the goalies seem insanely proficient this year. And yet, FIFA 20 still plays remarkably well, with fast-paced, gratifying footie that's especially fun with friends. VOLTA too is very entertaining.


That there's no more The Journey is a shame, but VOLTA provides a very good substitute, with frenetic street football matches and a new storyline. The array of modes and options are still great, but Career Mode is messy. FUT remains hugely absorbing.


Another year, another largely predictable list. A lot of what's here has been copied across from previous lists, making for a fairly lazy selection of objectives. There are some new ones to go with VOLTA, but you'll have seen and done much of this already.

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