2006 FIFA World Cup review

All the fun of the world's biggest soccer tournament without those pesky riots

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The playing options this year are significantly larger than the last few World Cup editions. Not only can you play the 2006 tourney with the real teams (all 127 of them), players and matchups, but you can take virtually any country and put them through the rigors of qualifying for the Finals in all of the legitimate regional events.

The biggest disappointment is the sheer lack of innovation in the game engine and graphics. Yes, the shooting mechanic is a little different, but for the most part the gameplay is the same as the last few FIFA games. It's worth noting, also, that the only real differences between the current-gen console versions are in their controls and graphical quality; the Xbox version looks slightly better than the PS2 edition, and the GameCube edition looks noticeably worse than the other two. On all versions, though, the action looks like electric football while you're playing, with the camera staying far away from the field even at the closest zoom level.

More info

Franchise nameFIFA
UK franchise nameFIFA
Platform"PSP","DS","Xbox 360","GameCube","GBA","PC","PS2","Xbox"
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"","","","","","","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)