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Before being renamed eFootball 2022 and becoming the worst game in Steam history, the PES series was half of the biggest rivalries in sports gaming history. Even the most die-hard FIFA fans have PES to thank because Electronic Arts was forced to upgrade their franchise instead of updating it annually.

History of PES games
Evolution of a name
Golden years
Decline era
Change the route

Evolution of a name
The first version of PES games was called Goal Storm, which was released in late 1995 exclusively for Sony’s PlayStation and in early 1996 for other platforms.
The point of superiority of this game over FIFA 96 was the graphics based on polygons, which looked better than its competitor from different angles.
Goal Storm allowed players to play with 36 different national teams. In this game, unlike FIFA 96, fake names of the players were used. The next game in the PES game series was released a year and a half later with the names Goal Storm 97 in North America, World Soccer: Winning Eleven 97 in Japan and International Superstar Soccer Pro in other parts of the world. The main innovation of the game was in the tactics section of the game, which allowed you to use 13 different combinations and 8 different strategies during your game.

ISS Pro 98 was the first title that messed up players’ names and used real names in its game, albeit with misspellings. The next game, ISS Pro Evolution, provided a way for players to edit names, making up for the lack of licenses in a way. The game also included an important mode that would become a staple of the series, the Master League mode.

The golden years of the PES game series

In 2001, Winning Eleven 5 was released in Japan and North America and was the first game in the PES series on the PlayStation 2. The game greatly improved the graphics and ball physics and became known as Pro Evolution Soccer when it was released in Europe. In Japan, the PS2 version of Winning Elven 5 sold 500,000 copies. The game’s final update came out around FIFA 2002 and again broke records, selling 275,000 copies, and EA couldn’t even come close to selling that time.
In Europe, PES earned 21 million euros in 2001, and FIFA 2002 was the winner with 52 million. FIFA was published not only on PlayStation but also on Nintendo GameCube and most importantly PC, but it also had an online section, but without a doubt PES was better than the competition, but not everyone knew about this.

Decline era

Konami started a new trend for publishing PES games and tried to adopt the same policies as EA and make PES similar to FIFA. PES 2008 of the PES game series had a two-dimensional version on mobile phones, but most importantly, it was the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii version, which, unlike the DS version, was not a limited port, but a revolution in PES games and even sports games. The point-click system of the game made this effect something similar to strategic games, and the passing passes were more accurate than any other platform. All versions of the game were reviewed by critics, and the reviews were mostly about technical problems, and this issue stood out as the blind spot of the gameplay.
Technical problems were very evident. Everything was moving very fast and when you passed to a player, it was as if the ball was stuck to the player’s shoe. On the other hand, the characters in the game looked like comic book superheroes instead of real players, so FIFA was the best possible choice.

Return to the fields

PES 2013 is one of the best PES games that had no mobile version, with gameplay improvements like the early versions, it was able to receive higher scores compared to the previous versions. PES 2014 was the first game in the PES series developed by Fox Engine. Although it had significant improvements over the Havok engine, it was still not very smooth and the game was far from perfect.
PES 2015 dropped support for the PlayStation 2 and all handheld consoles in favor of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, and the final product became the best game in the PES series over the past decade. But unfortunately, the high quality of the game did not match its sales.
PES 2016 was praised for its smooth and fun gameplay, and with a free update, the Euro 2016 tournament was available to users with all licenses. The “myClub” section first appeared in PES games in this version, which was something similar to the “Ultimate Team” of FIFA.

PES 2017 was once again released for Android and iOS, completely different from what FIFA had to offer. The mobile version of the EA game was something like PS2 mini games and no music was licensed for the game and most importantly there were few users in the game, but in contrast to PES it was something like “myClub” on PS3 and Xbox 360. PES 2017 had a successful performance on PS4 and Xbox One and was praised by everyone for its graphical improvements, but the PC version of this game looked like a port of old consoles and was heavily criticized.

PES 2018 solved the technical problems of the previous game and performed well on all platforms, but the main success is related to the mobile version, which was able to cross the border of 150 million downloads.
Change the route

At the end of 2019, Konami released eFootball PES 2020, except for the name of the game, everything was the same as the previous version, and the mobile version made a fuss, and by changing the engine to Unreal Engine 4, it was able to experience more than 300 million downloads.

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