FIFA Soccer 13 is another in a long line of "football" games from the popular franchise, but not only is it the best of the bunch, it might be the best sports game available on either the iPhone or iPad.
Having played many of the previous versions of the franchise on consoles and all of the various soccer games on mobile, FIFA 13 is the best soccer game on iOS, with 500 fully licensed teams to play with over 15,000 players, across 30 leagues. You can play as your favorite teams, pass to your favorite players with realistic attributes, and use new skill moves to get free and go for the goal.
The gameplay is tight with beautiful graphics as you take to the pitch in one of four game modes. Some modes will be familiar to players of earlier versions like Manager Mode and Quickmatch, with a few differences, but new online multiplayer means you can join up with other players or challenge your friends through EA's Origin, by connecting to Facebook, or through your iPhone or Gmail contacts. One major change is that Tournaments are no longer solely a part of Manager Mode, which means you can create a simple tournament without having to deal with team acquisitions or meet any budgets when you just want to play the game.
The control system on offense is similar to earlier versions of the game, with an onscreen movement joystick on the left and controls for passing, shooting, and sprinting (with the ball) on the right. But now a new button lets you perform skill moves much easier than before. Where in FIFA 2012 you only had a double-tap on the screen to do a skill move, FIFA 13 has a button you can touch and then slide your finger off the button in various directional motions to perform different moves. This simple change in the skill controls means that fancy moves are easier to do and become a much bigger part of the game as you get that special sense of satisfaction when you pull one off and blow by an opponent.
Defensively, the game is quite similar to the previous version, but it feels like the refs give you a little more leeway on slide tackles. You'll still get carded for egregious tackles and a hard regular tackle will still stop play with a free kick, but I like being able to go a little harder at offensive players when they get down near the box.
If you want to really get down and dirty with your strategies, FIFA 13 has the goods. You can play with formations and team behaviors to your heart's content or substitute in players you think will play a position better. As far as the details go, like every FIFA soccer game, this game is incredibly deep.