Every year, EA releases a Fifa title and every year, despite selling by the truckload, the same complaint is levelled at it — it’s not as good as Pro Evolution Soccer. Perhaps hoping to quash this criticism, Fifa 08 has ditched the easy arcade-style game-play of its predecessors, and opted instead for a more realistic rendition of the beautiful game.
In Fifa 08, careful passing is essential, through-balls are vital and players who try to win by simply charging forward will quickly find themselves at the bottom of the league. Practice is paramount as the game’s difficulty levels (even on easy setting) are extremely high. It also looks and sounds brilliant, has a smooth control system, and boasts a ton of modes — if you can get past the fiddly menu. Overall, EA has transformed its flagship football title from a rival to a genuine alternative to PES. Fifa 08 is more of a potent contender than ever before.
Forza Motorsport 2
Forza Motorsport 2 is Microsoft’s attempt to ape Sony’s Gran Turismo series, and in using the strengths of the Xbox 360 it has pretty much succeeded. As well as the expected catalogue of 300 officially licensed cars and 70 real-world tracks, Forza 2 offers a host of next-gen features that haven’t been seen in the racing genre before.
Online auction houses allow you to buy, sell and gift cars to other people, while the vehicles themselves can be modified to a frankly astonishing degree. There’s also triple-screen TV support, for those hardcore enough to set up a proper driving rig with three Xbox 360 consoles simultaneously. But Forza’s greatest strength is that it’s an amazing driving game, offering a host of aids for novices and immense customisation for enthusiasts. This is a must-buy title for anyone with an interest in the genre.