FIFA 09 review

There’s no case for the defence on PS2

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Easier to pick up than other versions

  • +

    Full and complete managerial mode

  • +

    More goals


  • -

    Scoring isn't as exciting

  • -

    Leveled out 3 years ago on PS2

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    Could be too arcadey for some

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The aging PS2 might be close to receiving its bus pass, but we’ll tell you this much: we hope we’re this much fun when we’re collecting our pension. FIFA 09 on PS2 might look as rough as Desperate Dan’s chinny-beard, but this old boy has got more fancy moves than your grandma after she’s had her early morning pep pills.

The PS2 iteration of FIFA, despite being the old dog of the pack, has outbarked its yappy puppy rival on PS3/360 in recent years, thanks to eight years’ worth of refinement and tweaking. But now that the current-gen version has finally caught up, the PS2 version has decided to let its hair down, and damn is the end result fast. FIFA on PS2 is clearly designed to favour the forwards; strikers are able to dance around the clog-shoed defence with consummate ease; through balls are as lethal as a hippo’s bottom-trump and driven shots that would have otherwise knocked the moon out of orbit in previous years nestle themselves into the top corner this time around.

The sheer pace of the game is complemented by player/ball interactions that are a lot more forgiving than the realer-than-real physics seen on 360 and PS3, encouraging the player to take defenders on and embark upon little jinking runs. A flick of the analogue stick at the right time during a run and the players perform a neat tackle-evading trick – the result is some truly spectacular goals that you’ll enjoy replaying in your mate’s face over and over again. Crossing (and corners) appear to be somewhat haphazard this year, but it’s possible to score some truly beautiful free kicks with practice.

In some ways, we kind of prefer FIFA PS2’s arcade-paced goal-athons, although there’s not quite the same tactical depth as can be found in the next-gen versions, and as such the game’s round the clock scorefests can prove tiresome after prolonged single-player sessions, particularly as the dozy computer AI is about as interested in keeping a clean sheet as a fat man who’s decided to take a chocolate sponge pudding to bed with him. Is it worth buying if you already own a recent FIFA on PS2? Well, it never really is, is it? And with so many classic games on sale this Christmas, we couldn’t recommend that you buy this alongside a next-gen version, which just shades it. But if you plump for PS2, you won’t be missing out.

Oct 6, 2008

More info

DescriptionTo put it simply in three words: this is ace. FIFA 09 plays a blinder of a game and we absolutely love it. This is the proper next-gen footy game we've been hankering for since... ooh, this time last year. 
Franchise nameFIFA
UK franchise nameFIFA
Platform"PS3","PC","Xbox 360","PS2","Wii"
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"3+","3+","3+","3+","3+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)