It was my friend Jack who first spotted something awry with one of my players, about 65 minutes into our first game of Fifa 16, a nail-biting clash between Classic XI and World XI.

In an effort to get my side back into the game – I was trailing 2-1 to Jack’s World XI – I had thrown on Cameroon’s iconic mover Roger Milla and Mexican maestro Hugo Sanchez.

When Sanchez first picked up the ball and laid it off to Eric Cantona – why would you play as any other team when you have the opportunity to pair Cantona up front with Rudi Voller? – Jack stood up as if he had been electrocuted and paused the game.

“That bloke’s got no head!” he exclaimed.

He was right.

Sanchez had no head.

To his credit it didn’t hold back the former-Real Madrid star; after Milla nodded the ball in from a corner and the game went to penalties, "Headless Hugo" stepped up to take the decisive spot-kick.

Despite being cranially challenged, Sanchez chipped the ball past the flapping goalkeeper with such self-assurance and poise you would never have guessed he had just played for 25 minutes plus extra time with no eyes. Or a face. Or a brain. 

Headless Mexicans aside - there's a sentence the RTT doesn't write too often - the game is pretty great.

The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, with beautifully rendered players and fluid movement.

The gameplay is at a realistic tempo, and building a successful move is all about timing.

There are now two types of passes; the old button-tap is still the same as ever but EA have added a "Pass with Purpose" feature.

Playing a finesse pass with R1 can fire the ball at a team mate with enough force to shatter Jack Wilshere's ankles but once mastered can be a real game-changer.

Putting together an intricate string of passes before firing it past an opposing goalkeeper with your footballing heroes is as satisfying as ever, and now players will have the opportunity to do so as female athletes in a way we have never seen before.

In a win for both gaming and football culture, EA has added women’s teams, further highlighting the growth of the sport.

Overall, the game delivers a realistic and immersive football experience.

It does have its frustrating moments – retaining possession from a throw-in can be a nightmare and passing from a goal-kick will often go straight to an opposing striker - but it wouldn’t be the beautiful game without them.


This game was reviewed on PlayStation 4.