FIFA 23 review (switch) | Nintendo Life

Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

If you’ve been following EA’s hugely popular football franchise, you’ve probably heard that FIFA 23 marks the end of an era. As the last game to get a FIFA license before EA parted ways with its 30-year-old partner, most multi-format sites are debating the importance of FIFA 23 as the finale of a long-running series, at least in terms of branding.

However, for Switch owners, this is old news. People can talk all they want about the end of an era, but as far as Nintendo players are concerned, the FIFA series died half a century ago. Since then, we’ve been getting video games equivalent to 80s comedy. Weekend at Bernie’swhen EA props up a FIFA 18 corpse on a stick and wiggles it in the hope that people will believe it’s still a living, breathing creature.

If you read our reviews of every FIFA game on Switch (all crafted by the same long-suffering reviewer), you’ll see a pretty clear example of the stages of the grieving process in action. With the first game, FIFA 18, we were in denial. Of course, the game was missing a lot of features that were present in other versions of FIFA, but EA said that this was because they didn’t want to overload Switch players with too many features at once, and while that claim stinks more than Brendan Rodgers’ current season, we still agreed.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (handheld/without dock)

When FIFA 19 was released the following year, we entered a pain phase, along with anger and bargaining. Progress has been minimal at best, and while we knew it wasn’t viable to replicate Xbox One and PS4 gameplay on Switch, we begged EA to speed up the process and work faster to at least give Switch players something useful. should have been possible: full feature parity with other systems. As this was followed by the virtually unchanged FIFA 20, 21 and 22, we reached the stage of depression where it became clear that our prayers would not be answered.

Now, with the release of FIFA 23, we have moved on to the last few stages: our sadness has been replaced by acceptance, and now we have come to terms with the fact. To put it simply, FIFA on Switch is dead, it’s been a long time, and when it reappears every year, just a few weeks before Halloween, it’s just her ghost showing up to scare unsuspecting customers with yet another cheeky, inflated price tag.

it why there is no new Ultimate Team Moments feature introduced in the Xbox, PlayStation and PC versions of the game (as well as every other Ultimate Team feature introduced in the last five years). That’s why cross-play is nowhere near as relevant: after all, how can a game built on the Xbox 360 version FIFA 17 seriously ever hoped to interact with the “proper” modern FIFA game? It won’t be crossplay, it will be a séance.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (handheld/without dock)

That’s why the Volta street football mode, which has been present in other versions of FIFA since FIFA 20, is still missing on Switch. Why did you buy a new skeleton dress? And as for whether the World Cup and Women’s World Cup modes, which will appear in other versions later as a free update, will also be on Switch? We would be very surprised, but at the moment EA hasn’t even given us anything other than the message “¯_(ツ)_/¯”.

This is why the updated set-piece system, which vastly improves on free kicks and penalties in other versions of this year, has not been implemented on the Switch. After all, the system it replaces didn’t exist on the Switch either, so why all of a sudden pretend it’s worth fixing a mechanic that is many iterations out of date?

That’s why when you go to the FIFA 23 website and go to page where to buy the game, the Switch version is not listed at all. Even the Stadia version is still there despite the fact that you can’t buy it anymore, because at least Google knows when to stop pretending and actually disable something to put it out of its misery. Switch version is valid Sixth Sense video games, in that, according to the official website, it does not exist, although we all see it.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

And that’s why if you take the Switch version of FIFA 19 and put it next to FIFA 23 on the Switch, minus the kits, lineups, menu images and soundtrack, you’re essentially playing exactly the same game four years later with no or changes in either game mechanics or game modes.

Indeed, the only new feature present in the Switch version of FIFA 23 seems to be only there because it requires the least amount of effort. The introduction of women’s club football, to which the top women’s leagues in England and France are added, is certainly welcome given the huge rise in women’s football, especially this year. But since international women’s teams have always been in the Switch version, it’s likely that the addition of club teams doesn’t require much more development resources than the typical roster update the rest of the game gets every year.

Speaking of new teams, you may have heard all the rumors that fictional team AFC Richmond and its manager Ted Lasso (from the Apple TV series of the same name) are being added to FIFA 23. You can probably guess where we’re going. to go with it but just to joke us here…

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

Okay, nothing, we’ll just kill the suspense: they’re not here.

You might be surprised that this review isn’t our usual annual tirade directed at EA for once again delivering a grossly inadequate “update” to Switch players who were once again being treated like third class citizens. It’s just that now that we’ve reached the acceptance stage of the grief process, we’ve come to terms with the fact that this series isn’t just new to Switch, it’s been dead for half a century.

The only people who should have a good reason to buy this game are those who only own a Switch, are big fans of English or French women’s football and have always wanted to play a game based on one of those two leagues. For this very specific purpose, FIFA 23 for Switch is an acceptable purchase. For literally everyone else, for whom what’s on offer here has hardly changed for the umpteenth time, we instead ask that you join us in paying tribute to the memory of the FIFA series by leaving it alone.


This is the fifth time Switch owners have been asked to pay at least $40 for little more than refurbished kits and lineups, and for the fifth time we urge you not to reward such disrespect with your hard-earned money. FIFA 23 still plays good soccer like every other identical game, so if you absolutely must have a soccer game on Switch, look for a cheap copy of FIFA 19-22.

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