EA Sports FC 24 might be one of the most important games in Electronic Arts history. With the 30-year partnership between FIFA and EA Sports now over, there's a bit more pressure on the company to deliver. Does the removal of the FIFA name make a significant impact on the gameplay and experience? And how does the game feel without having the world's most important tournament? Let's find out in this EA Sports FC 24 Review.
EA Sports FC 24 Review: What Is FC 24?
In 1993, EA Sports published their first FIFA game, FIFA International Soccer, for multiple systems including the Sega Genesis, SNES, Game Boy, and more. The following year, EA Sports released FIFA 95 on the Sega Genesis, and the from there on each FIFA game included the number of the year after the game's release. For a brief period, the series was called FIFA Football from 2002-2005, before returning to the standard FIFA name.
For years, the series continued to add more modes, clubs, gameplay improvements, and graphical/presentational upgrades. In the U.S. alone, it already stands as the third most popular sports video game series. It understandably sits below only Madden NFL and NBA 2K as the sport constantly grows in the west. EA Sports is also optimistic the removal of the FIFA name won't hinder the series future.
Thirty years later, EA Sports now longer develops football games with the FIFA title. There are multiple reasons as to why the split happened, both creatively and financially. Overall, many were interested to see what would become of the series. Would their favorite clubs remain? How would the gameplay feel without the World Cup?
However, sports gaming tycoon put some of those fears to rest as they managed to secure multiple exclusive deals with multiple leagues and teams. So despite not having the FIFA name, FC 24 still offers much of the same experience we've come to expect. But we'll focus on those details later.
FC 24 launched on September 22nd for Ultimate Edition owners, with the the main launch arriving on September 29th, 2023. The game comes out for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. Now that we've got the details out of the way, let's talk about the game.
FC 24 Review – Gameplay
Firstly, I should start off by mentioning that this is the first game I've played in the series since FIFA 18. So, I personally expected to see quite a leap from 2017 to 2023, though I tempered my expectations because, this is EA Sports after all. No disrespect, but EA Sports has built a reputation of not changing much to their flagship sports titles over the years.
Thankfully, I didn't have the same freezing glitches and issues that occurred on my first attempt at playing Madden 24. On the contrary, I felt the game worked very well. The menus were very easy to navigate, the matches loaded up very quickly (on PS5), and no major bugs hampered my experience in a negative way.
Overall, I found FC 24's gameplay to be pretty good. Passing, dribbling, and general ball movement feels fine. In all honesty, it's very similar to FIFA, though it does have its advantages. For example, I think the shooting responsiveness is much better than previous FIFA games. It doesn't take what feels like forever to shoot the ball or even make a pass.
Additionally, passing the ball feels much more accurate with precision passing, while the new effort dribble touch helps me avoid defenders much better than before. Small little improvements to the gameplay such as these feel far more impactful than simply adding more animations. And that's all thanks to the new Hypermotion V technology.
Both offensively and defensively, new abilities and controls make the game much more easier to control. For example, the new possession tackles allow me to steal a ball with much less risk of a foul.
PlayStyles also feel pretty good, which are abilities that give players certain boosts to certain abilities. Unlike Madden 24's X-Factor abilities, these don't feel quite as overpowered. However, PlayStyles+, which are limited to just a few players, do feel a bit cheap and unfair. Overall. I think EA Sports has a good idea here, but it definitely needs some tweaking.
However, I must mention that FC 24's gameplay suffers from one major flaw which affects something so simple; player movement.
Like Madden 24, players run around like they have sticks up their rears. While I'm not a games developer, I can't help but feel this could be attributed to the frostbite engine. Maybe it isn't, but since both games utilize the engine, I can't help but wonder if that's what causes it. Nevertheless, while player models look good, running with most of them feels completely stiff.
Unless you're playing as someone like Messi or Mbappe, I feel like most players run sluggishly across the field. unless they have really high speed ratings your player doesn't seem to move very fast. It not only seems inaccurate to the sport but it just makes the game feel slow. Overall, while I don't think it's as bad as Madden, I can't help but feel it holds the experience back. It's much easier to understand if you actually play to the game, but once you do you might get what I mean.
Personally, I appreciate the new improvements to the presentation. From players walking out to the pitch, then back to the locker room at halftime, and celebrating after the win, it all looks very polished. Personally, I think the developers did a fantastic job of putting you in the stadium, and I hope they expand upon this.
But before we get into that, let's dive into each mode and see the pros and cons of each.
FC 24 Review – Kick Off
What I like about Kick Off in FC 24 is that not only can you do a regular match, but you can instantly select a special custom one celebrating a special event. Want to play the Champions League Final, or a match with no rules at all (House Rules)? You can do so in FC 24. There's a wide variety of selection, which makes the mode more appealing than any other Play Now mode in sports games.
This is nice because FIFA is a big casual game that anyone can pick up and play. Not everyone has time to create a manager, player, operate their Ultimate Team, or play Clubs mode. FC 24 offers an easy quick way to jump into matches with a fair amount of customization.
Side note, I also want to mention how seamless and intuitive the menus are in FC 24. It's much faster to navigate while the overall design is easy to adapt to.
However, I think one thing fans won't like to see is the exclusion of major clubs outside of the Premier League. It's obvious the Premier League is where the money and stardom is at right now, but it's a shame we don't even have license teams like Roma (replaced by Roma FC), Atalanta (Bergamo Calcio), or Napoli (Napoli FC). You think no FIFA license would mean EA Sports would have more money to splurge on other major leagues.
Hopefully, EA Sports plans on adding more real clubs to completely create an authentic experience.
Additionally, I think it's a shame that there isn't even an option to include the VAR. Not everyone likes it, so I understand if you don't want it, but having the option at least gives the player control of their experience.
However, I think for casual gamers and for those who enjoy FIFA, you'll still enjoy being able to just pick up and play with ease.
FC 24 Review – Manager Career
Manager Career is my favorite mode in FC 24, and probably the best reason to play the game. What I especially enjoy about the mode is the new tactical visions, which sets up the main strategy of your team. There's seven different Tactical Visions to experiment with, but I actually appreciate how different most of them are. With Park The Bus, you will see your ai teammates focus mostly on defense.
The rest of the mode comes with your usual options. You can hire and fire coaches, prepare for the game with pre-match training sessions, and manage the teams salary. I've always been fond of FIFA's career mode, so FC 24 didn't do anything to ruin that experience. With the new menu UI, moving throughout the menus is really fast and easy, getting you back onto the pitch much quicker.
The new Match Preparation feature is alright, and doesn't feel much different from prior games. However, I don't consider that too much of a negative. It just means you can prepare for your match via in-game drills that might grant your players temporary play styles or other boosts. Overall, it's a pretty simple system that doesn't take too much of your time or get boring. They also aren't impossible like Madden 24's target mini-games.
I never really use it, but I do appreciate the new spectator mode for managers. If you're the type who just likes to set up your team and watch, you can do so in FC 24. The multiple camera options give you tons of ways to watch your team and identify key issues you want to address. Additionally, you're able to make adjustments throughout the game, meaning you aren't entirely in control.
However, Manager Career suffers from one fatal flaw. which is not having the World Cup. We all saw it coming without the FIFA name. When you get asked to be the manager for the national team, you'll notice the world's biggest tournament missing from the experience.
Not going to lie, this kind of hurts. I mean, Football is more than just the World Cup, but we also can't deny how impactful that one game is on the whole world. Though it occurs once every four years, it is the most coveted sporting event of all time. To not have it kind of kills the purpose of being a manager for the national team. I mean, you still have the UEFA Euro, but it's just not the same.
Without the FIFA title, there's no way to have this mode though, so it is what it is, I suppose. That's just reality.
Overall, I enjoyed Manager Career and found it to be the best mode in the game. Despite the lack of a World Cup, and not the biggest innovations, its still fun to enjoy, at least for casual players.
FC 24 Review – Player Career
All Player Career really adds is a bigger emphasis on your agent. Throughout the season, you give yourself goals as a player. This can be something like trying to join your favorite club, or reach specific milestones as a player. Your agent helps you along the way, even providing adjustments should you decide to switch goals.
All the major gameplay features make their way into Player Career, such as PlayStyles and Dynamic Moments. Like other EA Sports game, there is a level of satisfaction to watching your player go from a low rating to being one of the best in the league. Additionally, the little cutscenes like the Ballon d'Or Award and the championship parade are a nice touch.
However, like previous FIFA games, I seemed to have an issue with my player's ability to stay on the field. It seems like 50-60 minutes into a match, my player is always taken out. If I want to keep my player on the field, while keeping his player grade high, I must resort to passing the ball throughout the game without scoring. This means I must score all my goals in the first half, while devoting the second half entirely to passing and possession.
I would be okay if this seldom happened, or if I was taken out after, say, 70-80 minutes, but it always seems to happen around the 50-55 minute mark. I hope this something the developers address in future titles.
Personally, I think Manager Career got the better treatment of the two modes. Nevertheless, Player Career is fine for those who've become comfortable with it. However, I wish there would be more cinematic events. I'm not saying it needs to be like NBA 2K's MyCAREER mode, but it could certainly take some notes.
FC 24 Review – Ultimate Team
Honestly, I don't care much for Ultimate Team. Since EA Sports introduced the mode in their big sports tiles over a decade ago, we've seen the quality of the games see a steady decrease. And why is that? Because Ultimate Team has no doubt become a priority focus for developers.
To be fair, FC 24 does a better job of taking care of its other modes than say, Madden 24, but it still feels like the devs could've done more. However, because Ultimate Team rakes in so much cash, it undoubtedly becomes the main focus of the games. The first time I booted up FC, the first option (under FC Live) was Ultimate Team. We've come a long way from seeing it be a side mode, to now becoming the highlight of the experience.
Ultimate Team is still the same microtransaction riddled mode with a few new additions, the biggest perhaps being Evolutions. This feature allows you to upgrade players you don't want to get rid of by completing specific objectives. So now you don't have to get rid of your favorite players right away.
Additionally, Ultimate Team adds Women's players to the mode. However, you can't have men's vs. women's teams in Kick Off, which makes me scratch my head. If EA Sports has no problem of them playing side by side in FUT, why can't I have men's vs. women's in Kick Off? And that's just one tiny example of how Ultimate Team gets more priority and attention than other modes.
However, we will admit that Ultimate Team did receive some nice improvements this year. You can now switch player positions without position modifiers, Playstyles have been implemented into the mode, and Icons now give a +1 league link to anyone on your squad. Overall, these aren't the most ground-breaking improvements, but they don't ruin the experience either.
Overall, if you enjoy Ultimate Team, then you'll probably like what FC 24 has to offer. However, it doesn't do anything to really attract new players or convince first-timers to check it out. Nevertheless, it will likely remain the most popular and lucrative mode, so there's no getting rid of it.
FC 24 Review – Clubs
Honestly, Clubs is only fun if you have a group of friends who all have the same level of dedication to the game as each other. While it sounds fun, it isn't for everyone, nor easy for everyone to set up. Sure, you can find teammates over time, but that's easier said than done.
However, when you do get into Clubs, the mode is actually really fun for a bit. Now you don't have to worry about sweaty try hards ruining your team's placing, as you can no longer be relegated. However, trying to move your team up to a better division has never been this difficult.
Additionally, Clubs now supports Cross-Play, which makes it easier to find matches. Overall, the Clubs experience is still the same, but I appreciate the improvements in a few key areas.
Firstly, I like the expanded customization for the stadium, like being able to have your trophy on the pitch during big games. Secondly, the new fan reputation system gives players more incentive to keep playing, and to play well. Lastly, Clubs added a lot more outside of the typical League and Playoff Phase. You also got the addition of:
- New running styles
- penalty kick animations
- Option to stay with players in your lobby after a match
- expanded player customization
- and an updated skill rating system that accurately reflects your teams skill.
Overall, Clubs did receive a lot of nice improvements, which makes me feel good. It's a sign that the devs focused a little bit less on FUT, and more on other modes.
FC 24 Review – Graphics
FC 24 on PS5 looks phenomenal. From every aspect such as the stadium, to the fans and the player models, everything looks great.
With Hypermotion V, FC 24 makes player movement look the best its ever been. I especially enjoy the first-person view from the referee, which really shows off the player models up close. Speaking of the player models, I like how the GPU cloth makes the clothing on players look life-like. As you see Mbappe cruise past defenders, so will you see the effect the physics of the wind have on his uniform.
Outside of player models, the fans also look good. However, I noticed that many fans don't seem to dress like any team I play as. For example, I'll play as Inter Milan (Black and Blue Uniform) with attending fans wearing random colors like purple, brown, and all-black. And it's not like the teams I faced used these colors either. However, this is just a slight nitpick, as fan models still look fine.
Everything else though, like stadium designs, locker rooms, lighting, and smaller details like the pundits and their microphones all looked fantastic. There was definitely a lot of detail put into the visual design of FC 24 and it shows.
Seldom did the game ever look bad, though there were a few awkward looking moments. I saw Lautaro Martinez levitating a Champions League Trophy in between his hands. Additionally, some player celebrations seemed rather glitchy, but it was more amusing than breaking. Overall, FC 24 is the best looking Football game from EA Sports yet.
FC 24 Review – Music/Sound
The music of FC 24 is a nice mixture deep house, rock, rap, and several other genres, with 84 total songs to listen to. I only really turned a few songs off in the menus, but overall the track selection is pretty solid. Generally, the FC 24 has a very chill feeling that makes it relaxing to be in the menus. Whether you're setting up your managing in your club in Manager Career, or opening packs in Ultimate Team, the game provides an ample amount of nice background music.
Additionally, I like how the music blends in with the sound of the game. At halftime and post-match, you can hear your players in the locker room, before the camera switches either back out to the stadium or the pundits. As each shot changes, so does the varying sound levels, which makes you feel like you're at the stadium.
And speaking of the stadium, these fans are crazy loud. I actually had to turn the crowd volume down a bit in order to hear the commentators. However, I don't consider this a bad thing. The weight and intensity of the crowd can be felt through their chants and their roars. Though, I do need to mention the sound didn't always match. For example, after winning the Coppa Italia at Estadio Olimpico, I heard the fans chanting something sounding similar to “Wembly”. Not sure if this was a bug, but nevertheless it happened.
The commentating crews are both fine but you wish they'd speak a little bit more. I understand having hundreds of teams makes it difficult to have more unique commentary about specific teams and players, but you'd wish there be a bit more effort. For at least the major leagues like Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue One, we wish there'd be a little more on the pundits part. For example, in a typical match, the commentators mostly discuss player stats, team stats, and maybe references to top players and managers.
Overall, the soundtrack and sound design in FC 24 is very good. There are really no major complaints in this department as the game provides a more-than-suitable experience.
Final Verdict: Is FC 24 Worth Your Time And Money?
Unlike Madden, FC 24 makes a better attempt to improve the series via gameplay changes, presentation improvements, and graphical quality. EA Sports delivers yet another fine experience, though nothing groundbreaking. I appreciate the new additions to the presentation, and the subtle gameplay changes like shooting responsiveness and possession tackles. Additionally, I like the new quality of life changes, such as easier-to-navigate menus and more convenient options across all modes.
However, the gameplay is weighed down by what I believe is the Frostbite engine. I don't know why, but both Madden and FC 24 have this strange thing of players feeling just awkward when running down the pitch. I could be wrong, but nevertheless, there's just something iffy about the players themselves. Additionally, the main experience is still held back because Ultimate Team and its microtransactions dominate the focus of the game
Overall, I recommend FC 24 if you:
- Haven't played a FIFA game in years and wanted to try one out for fun
- Have a dedicated group of friends who also like to play
But if you're worried about the game being too similar to past titles, then you might want to pass on this game. The new additions to the experience are nice improvements, but to some they might not feel like enough (or, at least worth $60-70 dollars). If you're still on the fence, then just take some more time to decide and think if its truly worth your hard earned cash.
Just remember you can always try the game out with a 10-hour free trial if you're an EA Play Member. If not, just know December is only a few months away, meaning the game might get a sale come Christmas time.
Editor’s Note: ClutchPoints received a PS5 review copy to allow us to cover this game. These copies did not, in any way, affect this EA Sports FC 24 Review’s final score and verdict.