The launch of the next FIFA game - FIFA 21 - has finally arrived and eager gamers certainly have the popular EA Sports title on their wishlist.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the entire world and industries everywhere have been impacted, including football, so there was a slight delay on the release last year.
Goal takes a look at things such as the next FIFA release date, how much it costs to buy, the consoles it is playable on, player ratings and more.
- When was FIFA 21 released?
- What is the price of FIFA 21?
- Which consoles will FIFA 21 be out on?
- When can I pre-order FIFA 21?
- What new features will FIFA 21 have?
- Who is on the cover of FIFA 21?
- Who are the FIFA 21 top rated players?
FIFA 21 was released on October 9, 2020, having been pushed back from its usual late September slot after EA Sports' plans were disrupted by the coronavirus .
Early access is usually granted to those who pre-order the game, meaning they are able to play in advance of that date - this year, FIFA 21 Early Access became available from October 1.
Anyone who pre-ordered the Champions Edition or Ultimate Edition of FIFA 21 can download the game from October 6.
With E3 cancelled for 2020, EA Sports was set to announce its upcoming roster of titles during a digital event called EA Play Live 2020 on June 5.
This announcement was delayed until June 18 due to the current political climate in the United States and the protests around racial discrimination.
"With the important conversations taking place and important voices being heard around the world right now, we're moving our time to come together in play," EA wrote on Twitter.
|PS4 & PS5||£59.99 / $59.99||£79.99 / $79.99||£89.99 / $99.99|
|Xbox One & Xbox Series-X||£59.99 / $59.99||£79.99 / $79.99||£89.99 / $99.99|
|PC||£54.99 / $59.99||£69.99 / $79.99||£79.99 / $99.99|
|Nintendo Switch||£44.99 / $49.99||-||-|
The standard edition of FIFA 21 costs £59.99 in the UK and $59.99 in the US.
EA Sports has, in recent years, launched a number of different editions - such as Champions Edition and Ultimate Edition - which cost slightly more than the standard edition.
FIFA 21 Champions Edition costs £79.99 in the UK and $79.99 in the US.
FIFA 21 Ultimate Edition has been confirmed as £89.99 and $99.99 on the Xbox and Playstation official stores.
Extra perks for FIFA Ultimate Team players such as gold packs, special FUT kits and Icons is the reason for the difference between the price of the editions included some.
FIFA 21 is available to play on PS4, Xbox One and PC. It was released on the next generation consoles PS5 and Xbox Series X on December 4.
Xbox Series X was released worldwide on November 10.
Google Stadia, which was launched in 2019, did not have FIFA 20, but FIFA 21 will be available to play on the new platform.
Once again, the Switch version of the game will be a 'Legacy Edition' with no new game modes or gameplay changes, but featuring updated squads and kits.
FIFA 21 was available to pre-order a number of months before the release date on June 18, to coincide with the launch announcement of the game.
There are usually a few inducements for gamers to pre-order the game, such as cheaper prices, early access and Ultimate Team perks.
Next Level features Controller Haptics on PS5 to offer responsive haptic feedback, faster load times, an improved lighting system to make the game look more realistic, spatialised audio for a more immersive stadium experience and off-ball humanisation where players look and feel more like their real-life counterparts.
Issues with Career Mode blighted the launch of FIFA 20 and fans of this part of the game have been eager for improvements to be implemented in that regard.
A new 'Quick Sim' option is available on FIFA 21 and you can able to jump in and out of games to influence the direction of the season.
You are also able to improve players' abilities with a new Active Training System - which facilitates the creation of group training sessions to work on areas of weakness.
Enhanced opposition AI is also a feature of the new game, with fresh ways to handle transfers - such as loan-to-buy with optional or mandatory future fees - introduced.
Gameplay augmentation is a feature of FIFA 21, with new attacking systems such as Agile Dribbling, Positioning Personality and Creative Runs providing greater control over player movement.
Goalmouth scrambles, possession battles and attacking duels "resolve more naturally" in an attempt to create a more realistic, smoother playing experience.
Competitor Mode gives opposition better tactical understanding and capacity to pull off skill moves, making the game more competitive.
Each new FIFA title sees new Icons joining the roster of heroes from seasons gone by and FIFA 21 is no different.
Eric Cantona returns as an Icon in FIFA 21 and features in some of the promotional imagery. Some of the other popular new Icons are Ferenc Puskas, Xavi and Fernando Torres.
However, the biggest new addition is undoubtedly David Beckham, who resumes an ambassadorial role with EA Sports for the first time in 23 years.
FIFA 21 features FUT Co-Op, which allows you to team up - cooperate - with your friends in order to compete for FUT rewards and fulfil Co-Op Objectives.
Fitness cards are no more in FIFA 21 and that means that players will see their stamina recharged fully after a game.
The removal of training cards also stops people from boosting attributes to make players such as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo unstoppable.
In Division Rivals, there is now a cap of 40 games that will go towards a player's rank, meaning that playing a ridiculous volume of games is disincentivised.
FIFA's street football addition Volta has a greater social element to it with Volta Squads, which allows you to play with up to three friends online, as well as join the community of other Volta players.
There is all-new apparel to choose from in the customisation of your player, while Featured Battles is an addition that sees you compete for points and rewards including real-life players such as Kylian Mbappe.
As well as that, there are a few more venues to play in, including Sao Paulo, Milan and Dubai.
The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is the biggest change to football in the modern era, with contentious decisions and moments now up for review.
Despite first being rolled out in 2017, VAR does not be a feature of FIFA 21 - meaning it will be the third successive title without the new aspect of the game.
One area which FIFA cannot be faulted much for is that of official licensing and the game has long featured a vast array of clubs from across the world.
However, since FIFA 20 Juventus are known as Piemonte Calcio and Barcelona are without a home as there is no Camp Nou . Those particular quirks will continue thanks to Konami boasting exclusive rights.
There may be no Juventus officially in the game, but EA Sports did secure an exclusive deal with AC Milan and Inter, though they will not have AS Roma (who appear as Roma FC).
There is arguably something of a licence race occurring between the two brands, so it will be interesting to see what else happens in future.
Kylian Mbappe is the global cover star of FIFA 21 and the Paris Saint-Germain forward will grace all three covers.
The World Cup winner expressed his pride at being chosen by EA Sports, saying that it was "a dream come true" to feature on the cover of the game.
Eden Hazard and Virgil van Dijk were the cover stars for FIFA 20's standard edition and Champions edition respectively. It was thought that EA would continue with spread of cover stars for FIFA 21, but Mbappe has claimed sole billing for the first time since Cristiano Ronaldo in FIFA 19.
Ronaldo had been the sole cover star of FIFA 18 and FIFA 19, but the Portugal icon will not return to grace the front of the game, in part due to Juventus' exclusive partnership with EA's rivals Konami, which is set to last for another two years. A similar situation between Barcelona and Konami means that Lionel Messi was never going to be on the cover of FIFA 21.
The likes of Neymar, Kevin De Bruyne and Paulo Dybala have appeared as FIFA cover stars in recent years and there are plenty of other alternatives besides, but Mbappe has clearly stepped out in front in terms of profile and appeal.
Lionel Messi is the best player on FIFA 21 with a rating of 93 putting him ahead of his perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who is rated 92 on the game.
EA Sports whetted appetites for the game when it announced the best 100 players on FIFA 21 on September 10 and the publicity was helped by the fact that some players were left dissatisfied with their ratings.
Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, whose rating took a hit, suggested it was a deliberate ploy by EA Sports, while Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold isn't convinced his shooting attributes were reflective of reality.
Interestingly, new Tottenham signing Gareth Bale found himself outside the top 100 on the game, after being given a rating of 83 - a decline of two points from his rating on FIFA 20.