Every year I play FIFA 13, I'm amazed at the sheer enormity of the game. That is especially true when you consider the number of clubs gamers have to choose from. As an American sports fan, the seemingly endless array of clubs makes the 30-something choices I'm given with NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB games seem puny.
I went through each club and checked the ratings, and I created this top 10. Anyone who has played a sports game knows that the ratings are just a guideline to the action. They matter a great deal, but the result of a match most times comes down to who is the best player on the controller. If that is a draw, then the ratings take over.
That said, let's get to the breakdown.
With every team considered, these are the 10 highest-rated clubs/teams on FIFA 13.
Led by Wesley Sneijder, who is rated 87, this club is the highest rated in Italy. If you consider that they are rated higher than all but three national teams, you can understand just how talented it is.
Diego Milito and Walter Samuel are also strong aspects of the club's starting 11. Antonio Cassano is an exceptionally strong substitute. He is rated an 85.
City didn't acquire Robin van Persie, and you have to wonder if they would have vaulted even higher in the club rankings with him. As it stands David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure anchor the starting 11.
Silva is one of the highest-rated players in the game with an 88.
United is slightly higher rated at the top of its roster. It did acquire van Persie and RVP is rated a paltry 88, but he isn't even the highest-rated player. Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic are both rated 89.
The depth is the balancing point between City and United.
The Italian team is anchored by awesome goalkeeping. Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon is the pride of the Italians. He's rated an 87 and is one of the main reasons Italy's defense is so stout.
Andrea Pirlo is another vital aspect of the Italians' defense. He is also rated an 87.
The German starting 11 is stacked. Only Jerome Boateng is rated lower than 80l, and he's rated a 79. Four Germans are rated an 87l, and that includes striker Mario Gomez.
If there is a beef to be had with the team/club rankings, the German fans may have a legitimate one.
How good is FC Bayern? They are rated higher than every national team besides Spain. Frank Ribery is simply one of the top five players in the game. He has a rating of 90. That includes an acceleration rating of 94, agility rating of 93 and balance rating of 92.
Along with Ribery, Bayern also boasts Gomez and three other players rated an 87 or higher.
Lionel Messi is the cover athlete and arguably the best player in the world. He's rated a 94, primarily based on his acceleration, agility, balance and reactions. He isn't rated lower than 94 in any category.
This is far from a one-man team, though. Xavi and Iniesta are rated 90, and there are five other players rated 85 or higher. That includes super subs Javier Mascherano and David Villa.
Cristiano Ronaldo's club is just a hair above Messi's. However, Messi has a two-point edge over Ronaldo in regard to rating. Ronaldo is rated 92.
Both Barca and Real Madrid have a strong starting 11 and substitutes, but the reason for the edge is goalkeeping. Iker Casillas is stellar for Madrid. He's rated 89, with a rating of 91 in diving and 92 in reflexes.
Spain doesn't have a player rated lower than 80. With the exception of Ronaldo and Messi, the Spanish team is about the best of Barca and Madrid. They have two of Barcelona's two best players in Xavi and Iniesta, and Iker Casillas from Madrid as the goalkeeper.
Spain also has David Silva from Manchester City and Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid. If you want to handicap a match, the Spanish national team is a club you may want to try.