It's been accused of not evolving enough, but Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 maintains its status as the football sim for the hardened gamer, having finally found the right balance between complexity and playability.
PES 2009 challenges you with a clever AI that quickly counters the repetitive efforts of one-move-wonders, and stifles any attempt to depend on a single tried-and-tested strategy. Rather than let you limp off the pitch like a fullback with dodgy cartilage, PES then evens the odds by offering you an array of nuanced moves that give you variety of ways to break down those troublesome defences.
Graphically, PES2009 remains inferior to its major rival, FIFA, but it offers complex, challenging gameplay that's free from contrivance and makes you feel like you've earned every goal. Watch our full review at The Leisure Lab.