You can't buy FIFA 15 yet, so should you buy FIFA 14?
If World Cup fever has you itching to buy a soccer video game, you may be wondering if now is a smart time to pick up FIFA 14, with FIFA 15's release just three months away.
Right now, you can find used copies of FIFA 14 for $30 to $40, depending on your preferred gaming platform.
Even if you plan to buy FIFA 15 when it releases on September 23, you'll still be able to sell your copy of FIFA 14 and get $20 to $30 back, using popular websites like Amazon and eBay.
So does paying $30 to $40 for a game that's soon to be outdated -- or even $10 to $20 for a "three-month rental" -- make sense?
Operation Sports has created this flowchart to help potential simulation minded FIFA 14 owners make the right decision:
1a. and 1b. With its confusing set piece controls, multiple kick buttons, and a meter minigame that activates every time you strike the ball, FIFA is not a beginner-friendly sports title. Learning the game's advanced dribbling and shooting techniques can take weeks of practice.
2a. and 2b. Unless you're purchasing the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version, FIFA 14 won't offer many significant improvements over FIFA 13.
3a. Computer-controlled teams employ a predictable, unappetizing brand of soccer that simply isn't much fun to compete against. FIFA 14's 600-plus licensed clubs all play mostly the same, aside from minor differences in their attacking/defensive formations.
3b. FIFA's online community is notorious for its unsporting behavior, which includes time-wasting, pause and replay griefing, rage-quitting, and a reliance on gameplay exploits. Adult gamers won't want to connect with anonymous FIFA hooligans.
4. Ultimate Team and Career Mode are currently the only ways to play the World Cup tournament in FIFA 14. If you choose to manage a national team, getting to June 2014 will take around 15 to 20 minutes of simulating, though you'll still be at the mercy of randomized contract offers, making it difficult to land a managerial role with your preferred country. Simulating months ahead in FIFA 14's Be a Pro path is equally unreliable, as it often results in your player being left off his national team's roster. Once the tournament finally starts, you'll find that many of the "officially licensed" World Cup kits are incorrect, as the United States and Ghana, for instance, are wearing the wrong shorts color. Ultimate Team's World Cup offshoot is even less satisfying, as you start the mode with a lineup of players from random nations, and then must collect your country's actual players, one at a time, through luck-of-the-draw card packs.
5a. FIFA 14's standard Ultimate Team experience, conversely, provides one of the best fantasy team modes in sports gaming. New cards and challenges are still being added every week.
5b. Online Clubs continue to be fun when sprinting alongside friends, but FIFA 14's decision to restrict random drop-in games to five-on-five limits the mode's appeal whenever your buddies are offline.
6. After 21 years as a video game franchise, FIFA has become infamous for its lack of fouls, injuries, and fatigue. Slide tackles don't carry the same risks in FIFA 14 that they do in real life. On default online settings, sub-par athletes can be running at full speed and still fire off pinpoint crosses or curving top-corner shots from near midfield. Like most EA Sports titles, this is a depiction of the sport as it is seen in SportsCenter Top 10 highlights, not on a two-hour Saturday telecast.
7. Befuddled AI behavior is another long-standing FIFA issue, and since you won't be able to control all 11 men at once, there are going to be moments where your CPU teammates will surrender bizarre goals that are unbecoming of a pro soccer player.