You'd be forgiven for picking up a new Fifa over the past few years and wondering what the hell the developers spent the previous 12 months doing with their time.

Apart from player transfers and team fashion adjustments there have been barely noticeable tweaks like a slightly bushier eyebrow and shinier knees and the series has been plodding along happily - and astonishingly successfully - enough.

Enter 17, with a complete change of engines, total overhaul of its guts and a new, totally compelling, story mode.

It's almost like years of cryogenically frozen updates finally resulted in the alien of creation bursting through its chest.

So you'll have to relearn all dead-ball situations like corners and penalties, suffer through a pretty shallow selection of commentary reactions and throw yourself into 17's brand-new story mode The Journey.

The latter is 17's new puppy: it's like career mode smashed with all the cliches of a football drama from the 80s. You've got your grandad who's a legend of the game, your embittered and eventually absent dad who showed promise before injury cut his career short, a lovely supportive mum with beaming eyes, a greasy agent, your best mate who - shock of shocks - signs with the same Premier League outfit as you, and there's also a well-to-do rival shoved in there for good measure.

But while The Journey wears a battered old coat of a storyline, it's a terrific fit and your desire to play well and impress during trials and tour matches is heightened by all the EastEnders-meets-Jossy's Giants diversions going on in the background.

General gameplay hasn't seen as many wholesale improvements, probably because there hasn't been all the much wrong with it in the first place. Little bits and bobs like putting some extra muscle against your opponent and some added oomph into low shots are solid additions and welcome enough but I felt this year's PES had a significant edge in putting together smooth and spiffy attacks. Maybe it's the new engine bedding in, but many of the players seemed to jerk about the pitch like they were being a controlled against their will.

Fifa 17 seems to have jolted the series out of its slumber, and it's about time. However, its biggest rival has made massive inroads and choosing between the two hasn't been this difficult for some time.