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Home / Reviews / Console games / EA Sports FC 24 review: the same, but different

EA Sports FC 24 review: the same, but different

FIFA is dead, but can EA Sports FC 24 continue its legacy – and is that even a good thing?

Erling Haaland wearing a Manchester City kit kicks a football in EA Sports FC 24

Stuff Verdict

If you were expecting a whole new ball game you won’t find it here, but EA has begun its new era with typical flair


  • Goals, goals, goals
  • More stringent refereeing


  • Inconsistent matchmaking
  • Ultimate Team still rewards the rich


Before Real Madrid there was Nueva Sociedad de Football. Before RB Leipzig (boo!) there was SSV Markranstädt. And before EA Sports FC 24 there was FIFA. For many, the new name – the result of a disagreement about cash (quelle surprise) between football’s global governing body and EA Sports – will be the most noticeable thing about the developer’s annual football game, but there are subtle differences to the way it plays that will give players of all skill levels something to get to grips with.

But is it for the better? That probably depends on what type of FIFA EA Sports FC player you are.

Motion controls

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham on the ball in EA Sports FC 24.

Top of EA’s list of improvements this season is HyperMotion V, an evolution of its motion capture technology that gives players a looser feel, allowing you to manipulate their body weight and momentum more easily than before. It puts a bit more focus on dribbling, but brute force can still trump fancy footwork if you get your timing and positioning right.

Also new are PlayStyles, which are attributes based on real-life data to differentiate how one player performs from another and make them feel different in tangible ways. For example, Brighton & Hove Albion’s future Ballon d’Or winner Kaoru Mitoma is more agile, accelerates faster, and dribbles with more precision at higher speeds than his teammate James Milner can. Only the very best players get PlayStyles+, which are elevated versions of the same skills, so Mo Salah’s finesse shots have even more accuracy and curl than Mitoma’s.

There’s always a danger with things like this that certain players become unplayable, and there are times when it feels like there’s nothing you can do to stop the game’s superstars, but you do still need to have the chops to make the most of their world-beating skills.

It is still a game that favours the forwards, though. Even teams that score goals for fun at one end are susceptible to conceding them at the other – and while draws are rare, when they do come they’re never goalless.

EA has also changed the default camera angle in the game, which now squeezes in more of the pitch than before so you can pick out long passes more easily. It makes the far side of the pitch quite hard to see if you’re not playing on a TV the size of a Bentley’s bonnet, but you can always dive into the menus to find a view that suits you better.

Speaking of which, the main menu has finally been revamped. The grid is gone, replaced with a simpler list system. It means you no longer have to go hunting around for the less frequently used modes, but it’s really only the very top layer that’s changed, with many screens sticking to the familiar interface.

Battle of the sexes

One mode that was always guaranteed to survive the Opal Fruits/Starburst transition is Ultimate Team – the magic money tree that grows in EA’s immaculately manicured digital garden.

The headline addition this year is female players, who can line up in the same squads as their male counterparts for the first time. It’s a welcome feature in EA Sports FC 24, because the women’s game has felt like a bit of an afterthought ever since they were first included in 2015, and this quite literally puts them on a level playing field.

Having male and female players on the pitch together might initially seem strange because you never see it in the real world, but Ultimate Team is hardly known for its realism. If you’ve got no issue with Garrincha, a Brazilian winger who died 15 years before Kylian Mbappe was even born, appearing in the same front three as PSG’s French forward, it’s clearly another word that ends in ‘ism’ that’s your problem.

Ultimate Team still reflects one of the worst things about modern football, namely that the more money you spend the more likely you are to win, but there is at least a new way to improve your team for free this year. Evolutions allow you to complete certain objectives – usually bagging a certain number of goals or assists – that will reward you with boosted stats and unlock PlayStyles, but they’re only available for certain player cards.

Career Mode has also seen some minor tweaks, including a change to the way it handles training sessions, meaning you now put together a team of backroom staff to help you implement your pre-selected tactical vision and develop individual players. You can still take control of training between matchdays, but it no longer feels like mandatory admin and can earn you temporary PlayStyle boosts for the players that take part.

Its transfer market still exists in some sort of alternate dimension, but if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief to a certain extent it’s easy to get absorbed. As always, though, the single-player modes just don’t seem to be a priority for EA.

Match of the day

One of the main bugbears that emerged for me while playing FIFA 23 was the way it handled matchmaking in Seasons – one of the more popular online modes after Ultimate Team. As somebody who rarely plays as any team other than Brighton it was infuriating to frequently be pitted against people playing as PSG, Manchester City, Barcelona and various other clubs that are a step or two above the Albion when it comes to the talent in their squads.

Unfortunately, EA hasn’t fixed this for EA Sports FC 24, and being drawn against the likes of Liverpool, Inter and Real Madrid is still far too common when you’re playing as a less-than-five-star team, although it is hugely enjoyable when you manage to put them in their place.

(Pro tip: If you pause the game before the match kicks off you can quit without the result being recorded. It’s also useful for staging a very minor protest against people who play as teams from the Saudi Pro League, which, unsurprisingly, is much more common now than it ever was before.)

In terms of fairplay elsewhere, though, it’s nice to see the referees becoming a bit quicker to blow their whistles in EA Sports FC 24. That might seem like a funny thing to praise, but in previous games as long as you avoided chopping people down from behind when they were through on goal it was easy to avoid ever having a player sent off. Even bookings were fairly rare.

Now, though, you have to be very careful with how you time even your standing tackles. Getting it wrong when trying to dispossess a player who’s through on goal will see the ref reaching for the red card for the denial of a goalscoring opportunity (or DOGSO in ref-speak) making for a far more realistic game, even if some of the decisions will still have you pleading for a VAR review (thankfully, no such thing exists in the game). It would be nice if somebody could teach them about the so-called ‘double jeopardy’ law when it comes to penalties, mind. Giving away the spot-kick is usually punishment enough without having to finish the game with 10 players.

EA Sports FC 24 verdict

Man City's Erling Haaland scoring a spectacular acrobatic goal against Borussia Dortmund.

If you always play as one of the best teams in the game, or sink hours (and cold, hard cash) into creating a squad of superstars on Ultimate Team, some of the particular criticisms I’ve picked up on here will be largely irrelevant to you. But football is about so much more than just the interests of the elite.

They’re not enough to spoil EA Sports FC 24 but it’s frustrating for the same issues to keep coming up year after year. With Konami’s eFootball fading into obscurity despite being free to play, EA Sports FC finds itself without any real competition – and that’s not a good way to raise standards. Just look at how PSG have failed to translate their dominance of Ligue 1 into Champions League glory.

EA Sports FC 24 might not be the complete revamp that some expected the rebrand would bring, then, but there’s plenty here to keep players occupied until next year. Perhaps by then those long-standing niggles will have been eradicated too.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

If you were expecting a whole new ball game you won’t find it here, but EA has begun its new era with typical flair


Goals, goals, goals

More stringent refereeing

Female players in Ultimate Team


Inconsistent matchmaking

Ultimate Team still rewards the rich

Profile image of Tom Wiggins Tom Wiggins Contributor


Stuff's second Tom has been writing for the magazine and website since 2006, when smartphones were only for massive nerds and you could say “Alexa” out loud without a robot answering. Over the years he’s written about everything from MP3s to NFTs, played FIFA with Trent Alexander-Arnold, and amassed a really quite impressive collection of USB sticks.

Areas of expertise

A bit of everything but definitely not cameras.