As your trusted gaming advisor, I get asked this question a lot recently: should you buy the new FIFA 23 game right now, or wait?
It‘s not a straightforward yes or no answer. With the FIFA World Cup coming up, new features like women‘s club football, and reviews still rolling in, the decision requires some deeper dives into the data.
After crunching the numbers on critic scores, sales figures, and gameplay metrics, my recommendation is:
Yes, FIFA fans should absolutely grab FIFA 23 at launch this year.
Let me walk you through the analysis that brought me to this conclusion, so you can make the most informed choice for your needs.
How Does FIFA 23 Review Critically So Far?
Reviews from professional gaming outlets provide our first data points to assess quality and improvements.
Here is a breakdown of FIFA 23‘s current Metacritic critic average scores by platform:
|Xbox Series X:
This puts FIFA 23 a bit above average for the franchise‘s usual first wave of reviews, which normally fall in the low 70s according to Metacritic data.
The positive lift is likely attributable to gameplay improvements more reviewers are recognizing this year.
As your personal gaming guru, I‘m pleased to see critics rewarding EA‘s focus on fundamentals like shooting and passing mechanics.
What Factors are Reviewers Praising?
Looking closer at individual reviews, these aspects earn repeated plaudits:
- Enhanced shooting physics, variety and satisfaction
- Better goalkeeper behaviors and save animations
- Increased passing accuracy and fluidity
- HyperMotion2 technology brings smoother overall animations
- Revamped dribbling adds creativity on the ball
- Set piece heading, positioning and delivery improvements
Quality of life touches like smarter referee decisions, reduced frequency of tripping animations, and better tackling mechanics also gain positive mentions.
Bottom line, nearly all reviewers highlight meaningful on-pitch gameplay improvements that enhance flow, control and fun. That‘s a big win in my book!
What Issues Do Some Critics Have?
In the pursuit of constructive criticism, a few common critiques do emerge:
- Off-ball defender AI can be too strong
- New "AcceleRATE" dribbling feels clunky at times
- Career Mode lacks innovation beyond cosmetic changes
- Commentary is stale and repetitive
- Ultimate Team continues aggressive monetization
I expect gameplay balancing patches will smooth out AcceleRATE and defensive AI. Disappointingly, single player Career Mode does seem like an afterthought again. Commentary will come down to taste; personally I still enjoy the team‘s enthusiasm!
What Modes Gain the Most Praise?
In online spheres, Pro Clubs emerges as an early highlight, benefiting nicely from core gameplay improvements. The groundbreaking addition of women‘s club soccer also wins applause across the board for expanding representation.
As your number-crunching advisor, I‘m delighted by initiatives that grow inclusiveness and enjoyment in sports gaming. The women‘s game remains an area full of untapped potential!
How is FIFA 23 Selling Compared to FIFA 22?
Commercial performance provides another useful data source. Let‘s examine early FIFA 23 sales figures:
- UK physical launch sales down 18% from FIFA 22
- Ranks #2 on UK weekly physical charts behind Splatoon 3
- Takes #1 spot for launch week dollar sales in US
- Accounts for 63% of launch week sports game sales in US
Digital purchase trend data is unavailable this early, but reports indicate digital now represents over 50% of game purchases. This suggests total early FIFA 23 sales are likely on par with, if not exceeding, FIFA 22 so far.
As an industry analyst, these sales figures tell me there is definitely still appetite for the FIFA series among most football fans even after 20+ iterations.
How Many People Play FIFA Games?
Zooming out, EA reported over 325 million players across the entire FIFA franchise as of 2020. FIFA remains a true gaming blockbuster year in and year out.
For comparison, leading sports game competitor NBA 2K22 has sold over 12 million copies lifetime across all platforms. Madden NFL 23 logged over 170,000 players on Steam at launch peak.
The reality is no other sports title comes close to FIFA‘s brand recognition and sheer player base. People can‘t seem to get enough of footy!
What Gameplay Changes Really Stand Out in FIFA 23?
Trust me, friends: for a game that comes out annually, FIFA 23 has an impressive quantity of meaningful gameplay evolutions across the pitch.
After pouring hours into my preview copy, these are the new mechanics I think elevate FIFA 23 the most:
- All-new Power Shot and Finesse Shot techniques add more variety and satisfaction in attack
- Well-timed shots feel appropriately more accurate and lethal
- Physics and trajectories feel true-to-life
- Goalkeeper animations are far more realistic and reactive
- Significantly improved weighting, speed and receiver behaviors
- More passing types like lofted ground passes, pinged shots, and driven chips
- Manual passes reward proper aim and power application
- Passing stats finally feel appropriately impactful
- New AcceleRATE system adds momentum to turns, stops and bursts
- More tools to beat defenders one on one
- Exit animations make chaining skill moves together smoother
- Explosiveness boosts the fun in breaking down the defense
As a lifelong player, these gameplay leaps are apparent within minutes. Everything flows more freely and responds more faithfully to user intent. Well done, EA!
Should You Buy FIFA 23 Before the World Cup?
The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar kicks off on November 20. Does it make sense to buy FIFA 23 well in advance of this massive event?
My data-driven advice is absolutely yes, for two big reasons:
1. Build your Ultimate Team and learn the new gameplay
Having weeks ahead of the World Cup to construct your dream FUT squad, master shooting and passing, and learn skill moves will give you a competitive edge when the tournament update drops.
No one wants to be caught out by all the new mechanics once the rush of World Cup fever hits!
2. Enjoy extended Pro Clubs and Career Mode seasons
If you primarily play online Pro Clubs with friends or single player Career Mode, you can make the most of FIFA 23 by starting new seasons early. The World Cup break will offer a perfect mid-point milestone.
Imagine the dramatic storylines you can craft across a full club season both before and after Qatar!
The Verdict: Yes, Buy FIFA 23 Now
So in summary, as your trusted gaming advisor, here is why I wholeheartedly recommend buying FIFA 23 today:
- Reviewers agree meaningful on-pitch improvements create better gameplay flow
- Strong early sales indicate football fans are still highly engaged with the FIFA series
- New shooting, passing, goalkeeping mechanics give a more realistic experience
- Starting now allows maximum enjoyment and preparation for the World Cup mode
- Opportunity to play full Pro Clubs and Career Mode seasons around World Cup break
For the football obsessed, FIFA 23 delivers enough pitch-level upgrades to justify buying in immediately at full price. See you on the field as we build towards Qatar 2022 together! Let me know if you have any other FIFA questions.
Your gaming friend,