This season's look
Even before kick-off, FIFA 10 impresses. Slick TV style presentation eases you into the game, with well designed tutorials explaining how to play. When you get on the pitch, the authentically modelled players look and act like their real-life counterparts, appealing for decisions, interacting with each other and celebrating goals in spectacular style. With this level attention to detail, watching a match can be just as entertaining as playing.
Likewise, the in-match audio brings everything to life, as you hear players talking to each other, the crowd at times roaring with club-specific chants, and the expert commentary keeping you up to speed on proceedings, even going as far as to refer to earlier incidents in the match.
If you're connected online, there's even a live news ticker offering updates from the real world of football in-between your matches.
Let your feet do the talking
FIFA 10 is a football fan's dream. With dozens of teams from a variety of leagues across the world to pick from, you can quickly and easily get into the comprehensive gameplay and guide your squad to victory. Exploring the finer art of passing is the best way to succeed, as realism is FIFA's forte. While the dribbling is responsive, it will take the most skilful attacker to dance through an entire rival team, so you'll need to play to the strengths of all your players, not just the club superstar.
Lots of aspects are vital to how your players perform on the pitch, with weight, height, fitness, rival player pressure, ball speed and even which foot they favour changing the dynamics of a shot or pass. And weather, such as snow and rain, can also affect how you play, as does the referee who is smart enough to book a guilty player from an earlier foul after the advantage rule has been played.
Exhibition matches are available for quick single games, or you can also play in cup and league competitions, whether they're your own or based on a real-life official competition. The Manager Mode puts you in the dugout to experience the highs and lows of managing your favourite team - club sponsors, player transfers and more options are under your control, with the choice of simulating matches or playing them yourself.
Virtual Pro lets you create your own player (complete with a Game Face if you've uploaded your image online) for use across multiple game modes, while Live Season lets you download the form and statistics from real world football teams, tracking their progress on a weekly basis and reflecting it in FIFA 10. This comprehensive mode also lets you mimic your team's real-life fixture list so you can see how you compare to the real thing.
Sing when you're winning
The big appeal of any football game is its multiplayer options, and FIFA 10 scores a winner here. Most modes can be customised, from a one-off kick-about to full-scale leagues, online or offline. Up to 20 players can play at any one time in the 10v10 Pro Club Championship online mode, each player controlling just one footballer of a team. Alternatively, you can keep the numbers down, and team up or go head-to-head with a few friends.
The gameplay remains detailed and smooth, and is made all the more entertaining by the unpredictability of playing with or against other skilled participants. And with the ability to design and record your own set pieces, there are even more tactics and variations to use as you look to gain an advantage on your rivals.