FIFA 16 Is an All-New Ball Game

When it comes to sports games, no other game dominates on such a global scale like the FIFA series. Capturing the global ecosystem of soccer is no small feat, with leagues all over the world, and thousands of players. Every year, EA Sports adds more to FIFA to further advance it beyond just an amazingly fun soccer game – it’s a fully realistic, all-inclusive soccer experience.

We recently got the chance to sit down and play a few games of FIFA 16, and check out some of the new modes you’ll get to experience next week.

The biggest new mode is the FIFA Ultimate Team Draft. Very similar to Madden NFL 16’s Draft Championship, FUT Draft gives you sets of players to choose from at each position – allowing you to build your starting 11 on the fly, with some of the best players in the game. From there, you move into a four-game set against either A.I. or human players, and try to take your dream team to the end. The mode is endlessly replayable, and rewards you with items that you can use in the traditional FUT mode. FUT Draft is a nice, bite-sized taste of FIFA’s most popular mode, letting players feel the experience without having to commit all the time it takes to build a full team.

The standard FUT mode is getting improved as well, with more overlays and info when you start and end matches. Now you’ll be able to see which superstars a player has, giving you the swagger and bragging rights that you deserve when you assemble a star-studded FUT team. There’s also new commentary for the mode – focused around certain stars – that spins a narrative for your FUT matches.

The overall presentation receives a major upgrade in FIFA 16. German soccer fans will be thrilled to see that FIFA 16 has authentic Bundesliga overlay graphics (much like how the Premier League has the full treatment), as well as a few new stadiums from within the league.

A huge part of the sport is celebration, both on the pitch and in the stands, and EA Sports has expanded this as well: Over 900 new fan chants from teams all over the world have been added. EA Sports worked with broadcasters to record actual stadium crowds (Hup Holland Hup!) to provide authentic chants.

As a player, your post-goal celebrations are broader than ever. You can now interact with players on the bench and sidelines, as well as with the cameraman. If you run toward a cameraman, the game will switch perspective to that camera, broadcasting to the world as you give it a big ol’ smooch. You can also run up and high-five teammates on the bench, and interact in new ways with the 10 other guys on the pitch.

And one of the biggest additions to the game are the 12 women’s national teams. Over 100 facial scans have been taken, bringing some of the most famous female players in the world to life. Women’s teams have their own modes and ratings that reflect skill levels relative to their leagues.

Best of all, that just scratches the surface. There’s a ton more content coming to FIFA 16, like new training games to play during the load times (which thankfully seem to get shorter every year!). This is definitely a FIFA game you won’t want to miss.

FIFA 16 hits Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 22, though EA Access members can start playing the game today! What’s more if you’re an EA Access member in the UK, France or Germany you can win a VIP football trip for two to a match of your choice, simply by playing the trial. Play the FIFA 16 trial before the September 22 and you’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw to win tickets to your dream match. See you on the pitch!