Tottenham Hotspur battle with Atletico Madrid in FIFA 15 (screenshot)

Fans excited with FIFA 15 release

Popular video game series has been around over 20 years

Nothing quite captures a true soccer fan’s imagination like a good video game simulation.

FIFA 15, the latest installment from EA Sports, is just that.

The game, released in North America on Sept. 23 and worldwide three days later, has been met with rave reviews and many fans are already clamouring that this year’s version is the series’ best.

“Oh, without question,” said Toronto native Stejpan Juric, a long-time FIFA gamer. “This game is by far the most real and the most authentic … EA Sports has certainly taken the game to the next level.”

Included in the game are the usual features seen in previous versions – career mode, manager mode, on-line play and quick play – but what separates this game is the realism and authenticity FIFA was able to create on the next generation (PlayStation4 and Xbox One) systems.

“I’m a big Liverpool supporter,” said Juric. “So it’s super cool to see that when I am playing as Liverpool at Anfield and I’m holding on to a lead late, the crowd all starts to sing ’You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

“It’s not just with Liverpool either, plenty of teams in the game have that level of authenticity that makes the experience that much more pleasing for the gamer.”

Chris McKnight, a supporter of English side Aston Villa, agrees.

“I’m always there (EB Games) to purchase FIFA the first day it becomes available,” said McKnight, who pre-ordered his game from one of Mississauga’s locations. “As a huge footy fan, my excitement for a new FIFA game never dies down.”

McKnight’s opinion of the game mirrors Juric’s – that FIFA and EA Sports have really outdone themselves.

“First of all, it’s the graphics, they are phenomenal,” McKnight said. “ All the players look and feel so real … but more than that, it’s really cool how individual teams and players have their own unique style and feel to them, it adds a lot to the experience.”

Gamers will notice a distinct difference between the higher-rated players in the game, such as Lionel Messi and Cristaino Ronaldo, than their counterparts who are trying to defend them.

“Ronaldo has his swagger in this game. He’s hard to stop,” said Juric. “You can instantly see defenders back off of him and give him more space, while with other players they close on the quickly.

“It’s the little touches and details that make the game so good.”

For those looking for an authentic “footy” experience, FIFA 15 is a must-have.

“I can’t stop playing, honestly,” said McKnight. “If you are a fan of soccer, you have to check out this game.”