Once area that FIFA has never matched its Japanese rival, however, is in its management features. Where Pro Evo has the slick, complete and utterly compelling Master League Mode, FIFA's Manager Mode has found itself stumbling over odd little quirks for a while now.
Whether it's stunted youth progression or transfers coming way too easily or not at all, FIFA's Manager Mode has always had its fair share of kinks.
FIFA 11's Career Mode did a nice job of combining Be a Pro with Manager Mode to offer players the full progression from a low-league youth team to international captain to well-respected gaffer, but the whole thing needs a good iron if it's going to impress next year.
PERSONALITY + +
FIFA 11's headline feature this year was the inclusion of Personality +, which meant that individual players had individual traits which reflected their real-life styles.
Wayne Rooney then, would be more likely to track back deep into midfield that other strikers then and big man John Carew had a better chance of meeting aerial balls as puny defenders bounced off him in the challenge.
The feature extended to everything from sprint and acceleration speed to shot accuracy and stamina. In theory, EA Sports said that any number of player types could be created.
The problem was that these different types didn't really stand out enough, at best it felt like we were playing with just a handful of unique players, repeated to best fit throughout the game.
2010 was the first outing for Personality + so it was a great start but in 2011 we want to see it find new depths, become more defined and be spread to greater pool of footballing personnel.
As far as individual player likeness it concerned, we think it's about time some of the lesser known players got a bit of graphical love as well. World class players like Messi and Torres aren't going to get much closer to their real life counterparts, for example, so why not spend a bit more time on the likes of West Ham, say, in FIFA 12?
We applaud EA Sports' inclusion of goalkeepers in FIFA 11, it could have gone horribly wrong but instead the mechanics behind the mode made for something that came out, OK.
At its starting difficulty with assistance the goalie system was more or less based solely on positioning, basically if you were standing close enough to the shot the computer would do the rest as far as diving is concerned.
The biggest problem, however, was that goal keepers in Be a Pro mode would often find themselves with absolutely nothing to do for long periods of time. Things were spiced up marginally online when player against an opposition of 11 humans but all to often in offline mode, the AI would cancel eachother out so that you were left sitting between the sticks eating a sandwich.
As a first attempt though, Be a Goalkeeper was a fair attempt, it just wasn't something we felt particularly compelled to return to. With tweaks and balancing in FIFAs to come, we're sure this aspect can be improved upon.