FIFA 13 (Wii U) review

The inclusion of the GamePad makes up for the minor porting problems
The inclusion of the GamePad makes up for the minor porting problems
The inclusion of the GamePad makes up for the minor porting problems


  • The GamePad's functionality is impressive
  • The GamePad feels good for soccer play
  • Remote play is as great as ever


  • Feels like FIFA 12 rather than FIFA 13
  • Ultimate Team mode is missing
  • Graphics are worse than on the 360/PS3

Over the last few years the FIFA franchise has been continually fine-tuning the gaming experience, offering what may seem like tweaks, but are actually fundamental evolutions of the series. New physics continue to push the series in a more realistic direction, which in turn offers a new and more polished game. You might not immediately notice the changes on the surface, but as soon as you start to play the game you can tell that there are differences separating the annual iterations. So those that are fans and have already played FIFA 13 are going to notice a few setbacks.

Player Impact Engine, tactical defending, and precision dribbling are lacking some of the fine-tuning found in the Xbox 360 and PS3 version, something EA Sports has been up front about for a while now. The development of FIFA 13 for the Wii U was consuming and it took a great deal of time – time that the teams working on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions used to fine tune what became the finished product. The Wii U team didn’t have that luxury. This is fairly common for ports of games on new hardware, and EA Sports has constantly been a victim of this – or perpetrator, depending on your point of view. Regardless, the new additions were a good step forward for the series, and while they aren’t gone, they aren’t the same either. 

The addictive Ultimate Team card game is also absent. EA Sports claims this is primarily because the Wii U’s online infrastructure is still in its infancy, but regardless its absence is unfortunate.

In general, the game is closer to FIFA 12 than FIFA 13 in many ways. The graphics are on par with the PS3/Xbox 360 versions for the most part, and the animations flow smoothly with the 60 fps. The effects like sun light and shadow are better than before, but it doesn’t come close to touching the full potential of the Wii U.

fifa 13 for the wii u review good bad and absent fifa13 onBut while the game does sacrifice a few things in the name of making a launch window release, the time that wasn’t spent on fine tuning some of the background mechanics and finding a way to make the Ultimate Team mode work was well spent on the inclusion of the GamePad. The tablet-like controller uses every inch of the smaller display, cramming all the information you could possibly need onto the touchscreen.

Formations can be realigned on the fly, and you can mark men by touching their names. You can use the radar to find where your chosen player is, then send them up or down field. Substitutions are a matter of tapping the players you want to come in for those heading out, fatigue and individual statuses of players can be shown by selecting them on the touchscreen, and tactics can be changed with a button press.

This also creates a low impact managerial gameplay mode, similar to the previous manger modes but easier to use. There is an option to take a hands-off approach and not play the game at all, but rather act as the manager and treat it all like one tactical exercise, making the changes necessary and managing the teams without once dribbling the ball yourself. It is a mode that should appeal to the hardcore fans that love their tactical battles, as well as those that may be just learning the franchise and aren’t prepared to play quite yet.

If you prefer, you can also play the full game on the GamePad. Doing this offers you a few other options like touching the player you want to pass the ball to and shooting by hitting the right thumb stick, which brings up a net on the GamePad that you can touch where you’d like the kick to go. It is an intriguing idea, but feels a bit gimmicky. You can also shake the GamePad to bring up the net visual, but it seems somewhat ridiculous to shake an expensive new piece of hardware, and it is distracting anyway. Sprinting at the goal, then suddenly shaking the GamePad doesn’t feel natural – or at least not nearly as natural as just hitting the shoot button. It is an entirely optional feature though.

fifa 13 for the wii u review good bad and absent fifa13 wiiuGiven another year or two with the hardware, EA Sports has the potential to do some impressive things with this series. Once the developers can synch up the development cycle for the Wii U with those of the PS3 and Xbox 360, the Wii U version will actually be superior to its cousins, even though they are mostly the same.

In all other ways, the game is pure FIFA. The GamePad controller is comfortable, and the gameplay is responsive. Five players can also join at once.


It all comes back to the GamePad inclusion. The Wii U development forced a few sacrifices, which is not surprising for new hardware, but the additions are good for now and intriguing for the future. Still, you would expect a little more of the more powerful hardware, and fans will notice the things that are missing.

It really is a trade off. You lose an addictive game mode and some of the improvements to the physics for a chance to micro-manage the game in a way that hasn’t been possible before. The options have been available, but it hasn’t been practical to use them as much as you can now. It all highlights the potential of the series, which is huge.

fifa 13 for the wii u review good bad and absent reviews banner

(This game was reviewed on the Wii U using a copy provided by the publisher)



Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

We gave both notebooks a perfect score, but there can only be one best laptop

Dell's XPS 13 has been our favorite 13-inch laptop for a while, but HP's latest Spectre x360 13 2-in-1 presents a serious challenge. Which wins out in a head-to-head comparison?

The best Wii games, from Super Mario Galaxy to Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo shook up the gaming world with the Wii and its unique control scheme. Here are our picks for the best Wii games -- just don't blame us for having too many Mario titles on the list.

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.

Here's our guide on how to progress through The Division 2 endgame

Your mission as an agent doesn't end after taking out the three main factions in The Division 2. The endgame brings the Black Tusks, a dangerous new faction, to D.C. Our endgame guide will help you on your quest for the best loot.

Blackout to go? Call of Duty: Mobile is coming this summer

Activision and Tencent have partnered to create Call of Duty: Mobile, a free-to-play version of the popular shooter franchise that will be available on iOS and Android devices this summer.

Google’s Stadia lets you stream big-time games from nearly any device

At GDC 2019, Google unveiled Stadia, a game streaming service that lets you play games on PC, tablets, smartphones, and TVs. Stadia looks to open up gaming to everyone, removing the need to buy additional hardware.

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.
Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.