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What Makes FIFA 23 Unrealistic

FIFA 23, the apparent simulation of the beautiful game, isn't so realistic after all. While it may be an incredibly addicting game with uncountable hours of fun, FIFA 23 was never meant to be faithful to the realism of an actual game of football. Let's talk about why this is the case.

What Makes FIFA 23 Unrealistic

FIFA 23 is incredible fun; unlocking defenses by releasing a through pass over their heads and launching counter-attacks with your speedsters, beating defenders for pace, scoring a multitude of goals, and gaining bragging rights over your friends and opponents, is all quite gratifying. But perhaps what makes FIFA 23 so fun is also what makes it so unrealistic. In the quest to create an exhilarating arcade-like experience that keeps you coming back for more, EA has sacrificed the authenticity of the beautiful game.

Game Pacing Is Off

While the speed of the game is better than in previous years, FIFA 23 is still plays very quickly, making it feel unrealistic The players move way too fast, and the ball pings around the field at an unnatural speed; it always feels like you’re in a rush. While this amplified pace is suitable for players who prefer playing on quick counters, it’s too quick for possession-based players who like to build up slowly from the back, drawing their opponents in to find chinks in their armor. I understand that EA has done this deliberately to promote an arcade-like experience, as most people are casuals and prefer playing in a direct fashion rather than slowly constructing play. Still, if they want to make it more realistic, they must work on this for future titles.

Players Fail to Track Back

One of the most annoying gameplay mechanisms for me is the inability of the players to track back during opponent counter-attacks. Quite often, I have found a vast gap in my midfield, allowing the opponent to waltz right on through to goal and score. This is clearly an attempt by EA to promote high-scoring games because, well – who doesn’t enjoy scoring a multitude of goals. This is also why so many games of FIFA 23 end in huge scorelines like 4-4 or 6-6 and the like.

There is a clear emphasis on attacking play by sacrificing defensive solidity. I also feel as though the game artificially boosts the attributes of the losing team towards the final minutes of the match to help them equalize, thus making games more exciting and nerve-racking. While it’s great to experience the adrenalin rush when you do equalize, I suspect it leads to a lot of broken controllers on the other side.

What Makes FIFA 23 Unrealistic

Midfielders quite often fail to track back

Unrealistic Player Movement

Despite EA’s recent HyperMotion technology, which claims to very accurately capture actual player movements to incorporate them into the game, a lot of player actions still seem unnatural. Several times I have pressed the shoot button and watched as my player bends his leg in a manner that, if attempted in real life, would surely break a limb. Similarly, some players’ sprints seem sluggish and stiff, causing me to question the authenticity of the HyperMotion technology. While this isn’t a significant issue, and I certainly did not lose much sleep over it, it really makes FIFA 23 feel quite unrealistic.

Performing Skill Moves Is Too Easy

Another factor is how simple and commonplace it is to perform exuberant skill moves, especially in online modes such as FIFA Ultimate Team. While it feels great to spam rainbow flicks and rabonas in every other match, you seldom see these moves performed in an actual football match. With just a few flicks of the right analog stick, you can pull off complex skill moves which only a handful of players execute in real life. This again ties back to EA trying to make the experience as fun as possible at the expense of realism.


All in all, it’s safe to say that FIFA may never come close to being a fair representation of the beautiful game. Doing so would make the game quite tedious and slow and cause many casual players to look elsewhere for a fast-paced, arcade-like experience. That being said, there’s no doubt that FIFA 23 is incredible fun, and I am not dropping my controller anytime soon.

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