Skip to main content

2014 FIFA World Cup Review

2014 FIFA World cup screenshot 5
2014 FIFA World Cup
MSRP $60.00
“Inside 2014 FIFA World Cup is a winning exuberance for both the World Cup season and an admirable economy of features.”
  • Same sterling field play as FIFA 14 on PS3/Xbox 360.
  • Lack of clutter from modes like Ultimate Team.
  • Excellent new commentary tracks.
  • Lack of feature parity with FIFA 14 makes $60 price tag exorbitant.
  • Lack of modes like Ultimate Team may turn off fans.
  • Field game can't stack up to FIFA 14 on PS4/XB1.

“Enthusiasm is everything,” says Brazilian soccer legend Pele in Victory, the truly ridiculous movie wherein multinational World War II POWs must play an exhibition soccer match against Nazis in order to escape. “It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.” Pele’s explaining to Sylvester Stallone and the other prisoners why exuberance, one of the defining characteristics of both broader Brazilian culture and football’s role within it, is so essential to playing the game.

It should be stated up front that nothing nearly this awesome ever happens in EA Sports’ 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. No sweet matches where you crush Nazis on the pitch are played. Pele delivers no rad speeches to Sylvester Stallone. His advice, though, is practiced all throughout. It may seem like a quick and dirty licensing opportunity, arriving just seven months after FIFA 14 as a full-priced $60 game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Inside the guts of this game is a winning exuberance for the World Cup season and an admirable economy of features.

This is purely a World Cup experience.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is a rare case of less actually being more.

For any football fans that skipped the spectacular FIFA 14 in favor of waiting for World Cup or players that did pick it up and want even more, be forewarned: this is a far more sparse package than EA Sports’ perennial soccer tent pole. Gone are the many modes, individual teams from MLG or the Premiere League, and their individual replica stadiums. New York Red Bulls fans thinking they can pop this in and find Thierry Henry’s card for their Ultimate Team pack should go pick up FIFA 14 instead. This is purely a World Cup experience.

In that regard, it is impressively thorough, with all 203 national teams that competed for World Cup qualification and replicas of the 12 stadiums hosting World Cup matches this summer, from Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium to Fortaleza’s Costelao.

The tournament also acts as the nucleus for World Cup‘s variations on FIFA‘s core modes as well. Road to the FIFA World Cup lets you select a national team of your choosing, and take them all the through qualifying rounds, training sessions for individual players, and finally onto the tournament itself. Road to Rio de Janeiro is an online-only campaign that lets you play across the dozen Brazil venues against real world players to win the cup for yourself.

They lack the sheer range offered by FIFA 14, but the campaigns themselves aren’t diminished by losing the granular simulation of global football at every level. If there’s any drawback, it’s that the game is more forbidding to new players. FIFA‘s always excellent skill games used for training are on hand, and the game does invite you to play them at the beginning of your first matches to help set the AI difficulty or control scheme. Sadly, it never does anything so elegant as dropping you directly into a match amongst stars like Lionel Messi as FIFA 14 does when you first turn it on.

The assumption seems to be that World Cup is for football diehards, but this is a game that ties into the most popular soccer event in the world, and only on consoles with the biggest install base. The experience could have benefited from a friendlier structure for absolute beginners.

World Cup makes up for those faults in a myriad of subtle ways. Captain Your Country, the stand-in for FIFA’s create-a-character career, isn’t dramatically different from that of the main game, but the World Cup-specific color commentary goes a long way to making it feel unique and, yes, exuberant. Listening to Andy Goldstein and Ian Darke ruminate on how insane it would be for Italy to name a new team captain right as it enters the World Cup qualifying rounds is the kind of quiet touch that elevates EA’s game above the cash grab it might seem to be.

If you have FIFA 14 and want to get some World Cup action in your game, maybe wait for the price to drop.

That quiet enthusiasm holds true for the package as a whole. From the green and yellow wash of the menus to the lack of blaring licensed pop songs cluttering up the game, World Cup benefits from the absence of things like Ultimate Team. While it may not invite players into the fundamentals of play as well, it does have far fewer barriers to the action than proper FIFA games. Somewhere between the sparser, laser focus of World Cup and the absurd range of options available in the centerpiece games released every year by EA Sports is the ideal soccer game that highlights the series’ spectacular field play.

Speaking of the field play, the action feels identical to that of FIFA 14 (read our review). World Cup comes with a marketing-ready blitz of bullet-pointed improvements to the field game–“New Penalty Kicks” and “Adidas Ball Physics” and “Set Piece Tactics” oh my!–but in practice, this game feels indistinguishable from last fall’s game. That’s no bad thing.

The teammate AI, the tactility of moving down the field, the inertia of the ball, all of it feels just as good in World Cup. EA’s series remains peerless in giving you a game that feels physical and gives you dual the sensations of controlling both a team and an individual on the pitch. It should be noted, though, that it does not have the slightly improved feel offered in the Ignite engine-powered PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA 14. Those are the gold standard that this Xbox 360/PS3-only version of the game can’t quite match.

It doesn’t need to though. 2014 FIFA World Cup is a great soccer video game. Absentee modes like Ultimate Team and irritating pop soundtracks may make this a non-essential purchase for series devotees (and may make the $60 price tag seem all the more outrageous), but there’s an admirable clarity in World Cup. If you have FIFA 14 and want to get some World Cup action in your game, maybe wait for the price to drop. If you just want a killer soccer video game, though, this option is taut and vibrating like a guitar string.

This game was reviewed on an Xbox 360 using a disc provided by EA Sports.


  • Same sterling field play as FIFA 14 on PS3/Xbox 360.
  • Lack of clutter from modes like Ultimate Team.
  • Excellent new commentary tracks.


  • Lack of feature parity with FIFA 14 makes $60 price tag exorbitant.
  • Lack of modes like Ultimate Team may turn off fans.
  • Field game can’t stack up to FIFA 14 on PS4/XB1.

Editors' Recommendations

Anthony John Agnello
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Anthony John Agnello is a writer living in New York. He works as the Community Manager of and his writing has…
Ted Lasso’s AFC Richmond squad will take to the pitch in FIFA 23
Ted Lasso in FIFA 23

Electronic Arts and Warner Bros Interactive revealed that FIFA 23 is crossing over with the sports comedy-drama TV series Ted Lasso.

The AFC Richmond soccer club will be added to the game and can be used across FIFA 23's various game modes such as Career mode, Kickoff, Online Friendlies, and Online Seasons. AFC Richmond items, including things like kits and manager items, can be unlocked through FIFA Ultimate Team and Pro Clubs.

Read more
Marvel World of Heroes is the next AR game from Pokémon Go studio
marvel world of heroes announcement niantic

A new augmented reality game from Niantic is on the way, and this time it's being created in partnership with Marvel and will feature plenty of iconic faces from the comics. The game was announced today during Disney & Marvel's games showcase and has a 2023 release window.

MARVEL World of Heroes | Announcement Teaser

Read more
How to pre-order FIFA 23: retailers, editions, and bonuses
A soccer player running.

This might be the last FIFA game we get made by the talented team at EA, which has proven themselves to make one of the best soccer simulation games on the market. FIFA 23 will still be coming out this year after being officially revealed on July 20 with a first look at this impressive-looking title. Fans of the series won't need to see this trailer to know they will be picking up this game, though. If you already know you like the type of game FIFA has been, then FIFA 23 is a safe bet to invest in.

FIFA 23 will be a historic game, especially if it is the last one before a new development team takes the series going forward, but more importantly because of the cover athletes. Of course, EA will continue making soccer games under the name EA Sports FC, but fans of the league may not make the jump to that new entry that doesn't bear the FIFA name. To make the most out of your time with FIFA 23 when it comes out, and to celebrate some great athletes, here is how you can pre-order FIFA 23, every edition there is, plus which bonuses they come with.

Read more