Another 12 months, another few tweaks and PES is still the best ‘football’ sim around.

Whether the best football is what you want is another matter entirely.

Perhaps football means having all the proper names and shirts. Perhaps it’s not listening to Peter Drury and Jim Beglin smother the English language in its sleep with a cliché pillow. Perhaps you’re on the fussy side in that goalkeepers should perform consistently according to their skill level.


Or just perhaps you should take a look at the gameplay, put aside your preconceptions and snuggle up with the most technically proficient football sim.

The biggest change this year appears to be the speed at which the beautiful game is played. This offers the chance to really fine-tune passing and positional play: terrific when you’re rampaging forward, less so chasing after Raheem Stirling.

Interchange between players and positioning of those around the ball-carrier are, as ever, peerless  on PES and possibly a smidge better than last year. Wide players especially seem to find themselves in better attacking spots and make intelligent runs, although even Oxlade-Chamberlain  appears blessed with this here, so maybe that haven’t got the realism quite right.

You’ll have to be patient with online play, as it’s currently pretty laggy. I expect this will improve as Konami sort their servers out to cope, but I’m getting pretty miffed with developers not pre-empting the post-release load their hardware will experience.

The lack of official licences are a gripe, particularly if you’re on Xbox One, which has no facility to upload an option file. PS4 and PC owners can take advantage of the extensive work undertaken by the superb online community and download all the proper gubbins.

But if it’s proper football you’re after, look no further.