FIFA 14 will have a boatload of game modes to choose from including the traditional player and manager modes, but no option is bigger than Ultimate Team in the FIFA community.
The mixture of trading cards and fantasy sports has evolved into a craze that is almost big enough to become a separate game all its own. Other sports franchises under the EA Sports umbrella and even outside of the organization have adopted the concept, but no game has found as much success.
Per EA Sports, over 3.4 million Ultimate Team matches are played daily. That's a lot of corner kicks.
In FIFA 14, the Ultimate Team approach has been expanded even more. When the mode first began, it encompassed nothing more than grabbing available players from around the world to build the best club based purely on traditional ratings.
Now, team chemistry, transfers and other more real-life details are included to better simulate the role of a manager. In many ways, the increasing depth is beginning to incorporate almost all of the elements present in a franchise or coach career mode.
Throw in the drive to attain star players via pack openings, and—for hardcore players—it is easy to see why the mode has become so addictive.
This year's version is injecting a bit of nostalgia into the pack-opening and player-unlockables concept. Legendary players from all over the world are included. Highlighted by Brazilian great, Pele. Here is a list of the 40 legends who will be playable in FIFA 14 Ultimate Team, per EA Sports.
Frank de Boer
Marco van Basten
Edwin van der Sar
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Other sports games have successfully blended-in stars from the past, but with so many players worldwide in football, FIFA has been able to provide variety without leaning on retired players.
It is good to see the series adding this element. FIFA 14 releases on Sept. 24 in North America and Sept. 26 worldwide.
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