Well, it turns out that awarding FIFA 11 a review score of "only" 8.5/10 has caused some controversy.
People ask me how I can call a game "the best football game ever made" and yet only give it an 8.5. To them, my answer is long and rambling. Which makes this the best place for it. But still, I will try to keep it brief. I could go on for days.
You see, review scores are tricky things. People always misunderstand what it is that they mean. Sorry to state the obvious, but they are a quick way of comparing games. People assume that if one game gets 7 and another 8, then the second is automatically better, right? But for a reviewer, who has carefully chosen his words, to tell you the good and the bad with each game, throwing an arbitrary number at the end requires little thought. You are meant to use those words to decide if this game appeals to you. And then, if still in doubt, consult the score, only if unsure.
This is because, in my eyes at least, a review score has always been a mark of, should you buy this. A 10/10 will be loved by everybody and all should purchase immediately, while a 9/10 will be loved by all genre fans. An 8/10 will be loved by some, despite the flaws, and so on and so on until a 1/10, which is all but unplayably broken.
FIFA 11 is a great game, better than last year, with gameplay that flows more naturally then last year. And yet, "it is whether it is £40 better than last year which is the difficult choice. Standing on single-player, where it's effectively the same as last year, it doesn’t quite hold up to the pricetag." I recommend that, for those who are not hardcore FIFA fans, this game may be not worth buying. The gameplay is "from what I hear, far tougher for those not in the hardcore." And for those who enjoy FIFA, but bought the game last year, you may be let down by your £40 investment. Considering the only five month old version is available for only £15, and that is brand new! A quick look on Ebay shows that it can be bought for around £4! This is a game that was brand new five months ago and is very similar in terms of gameplay. It is this, that in my eyes, means that FIFA 10 cannot be given that 9/10 score. And yet, despite that flaw of being too similar to what has come before, it will probably be loved by the vast majority of those who buy it. And rightly so, for it is a great game.