Mixed or average reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 49
  2. Negative: 4 out of 49
  1. 90
    The control feels natural and responsive, but the Xbox 360 version features somewhat larger players on the feild than the PS2 - something gamers without big screens may wish to consider.
  2. This is the first of the fully-featured Xbox 360 sports games from EA, and it's got everything you missed in the launch title. And it's definitely what I would consider to be a "next-generation" game. When you play it, you'll see from the kickoff exactly what I mean.
  3. The whole game plays faster than FIFA 2006, as here EA has managed to set the perfect pace for soccer.
  4. This newer game is by far the more impressive choice, with fully fleshed out features, excellent animation, solid soccer gameplay, and an exciting presentation, replete with another batch of great music from around the world. [Jun 2006, p.112]
  5. An excellent presentation of the World Cup. The feeling, emotion, and intensity of the event are all there.
  6. I am very glad to see that FIFA World Cup's core gameplay elements have evolved to make the game experience more dynamic and realistic.
  7. The Xbox 360 is technically superior with no slowdown but it does lose out some features that the current-generation versions have.
  8. 84
    EA put together its most solid soccer gameplay experience yet and the deepest World Cup title of all time. Still, it's hard to argue that the gameplay, an obvious imitation of Winning Eleven, is better, but with star players and a nifty new shooting mechanism, it would be hard to argue it's worse.
  9. There has to be a way to choose who is going to call the game and what type of crowd is in the stands. Have a variety of commentators from around the world do the voice work.
  10. A synergistic title that is virtually complete from stem to stern. There’s good gameplay, excellent modes, palpable pageantry, above average graphics and audio, and even sweet navigation screens. The lack of online tournaments is the biggest detriment.
  11. The team management mode is a little light and there is no way to create a player to put into the action, but the look and feel of the game is very solid.
  12. 2006 FIFA World Cup does a good job of re-creating the carnival atmosphere that surrounds the competition, and is a significant improvement over its 360 predecessor.
  13. The lack of an online tournament mode did not go unnoticed and it's something that needs to be addressed in next year's version - and considering how good this game is, you can be rest assured the series will continue.
  14. On the multiplayer side, things come together nicely, and the toing and froing that comes from the defender-biased jostling serves to keep possession roughly even between players who are similarly skilled, while giving more creative passers a definite advantage.
  15. More than just a top game - this is an event, and a blinding return to form for flailing FIFA. [June 2006, p.54]
  16. The title’s strongest aspect is the way it captures the World Cup event. Like most other World Cup titles, there isn’t a whole lot of replay value here, but the time you spend playing this title will be enjoyable.
  17. 2006 FIFA World Cup manages to capture all of that magic and recreate the pageantry of the World Cup better than any World Cup game before it.
  18. One of the most fun, convincing, action-packed and atmospheric football games released on a console. It’s not merely a tournament cash-in, the choice of teams and game content mean it’s a full game in its own fight and bodes very well for the next full FIFA game.
  19. This is the best World Cup licensed game ever produced and EA has made a huge effort to give us a slight glimpse at what FIFA 2007 will look like on the next generation consoles.
  20. FIFA World Cup 2006 makes some impressive strides over FIFA 06 for the Xbox 360. Changes in graphics and game play are evident, but EA still has plenty of room to improve all aspects of next year’s football game.
  21. This game plays somewhat differently – for the better – than the previous release, and the online mode is still good fun.
  22. 80
    2006 FIFA World Cup is the soccer game to get before FIFA 07 releases late October. Until then, make sure to practice your corner kicks!
  23. 79
    As a standalone football game without all the World Cup-related fluff and filling, EA have provided something which is actually good fun to play (both off and online), certainly not like their frustratingly average efforts over recent years.
  24. As far as gameplay goes, World Cup performs a notch better than "FIFA 06" did(although taking free kicks from midfield is an odd moment with limited options for control and strategy). [Jun 2006, p.77]
  25. Thankfully for the folks at Electronic Arts, the only soccer competition available on the Xbox 360 is the previous FIFA game, and this World Cup edition is a step up from that incarnation, albeit a small one.
  26. FIFA definitely has replay value, both because of the sheer number of teams you can try to get to the World Cup and because it offers online play.
  27. Gameplay wise it's everything you'd expect from EA's FIFA series and no more, it's an improvement on the previous Road the World Cup title but still lacks that little something in the gameplay department.
  28. The presentation is absolutely first rate and even though some of the control options I loved from past games are gone, the controls are finely tuned and it's possible to score some awesome goals.
  29. Behind the typically lavish gloss and high presentation, 2006 FIFA World Cup really is only for those that need every version of FIFA that EA can squeeze out. The complete lack of innovation in any shape or form results in a game that fails to captivate your interest beyond a handful of games.
  30. Even on the Xbox 360, the only major improvement seems to be in the graphics, which aren't as big an upgrade over the Xbox and PS2 versions as they could be.
  31. Luckily for EA, the crucial single-player element really does have a lot going for it, and for once it's possible to consider World Cup as more than simple by-the-numbers cash-in effort.
  32. If you do want to enjoy the World Cup experience though, this is a very competent footy game, just don’t expect football perfection.
  33. Gameplay still lags behind the mighty Pro Evolution Soccer in a few areas, but the 'first touch' and 'off the ball' systems continue to impress. Presentation is great as expected, making this the perfect title to celebrate the World Cup with, even if it's not the perfect footy game.
  34. A fun football simulation for newcomers and the best FIFA of recent years. Even so, competitor "Pro Evolution" still has the virtual World Cup firmly in its grasp.
  35. Like watching a tie game – fun at times but ultimately unsatisfying
  36. It looks great, it's easy to play and there are plenty of game modes to get through. But the loose and clumsy gameplay still has some way to go before it can match the ongoing king of football games, "Pro Evo."
  37. It’s still got gameplay issues but FIFA has never been just about how it plays. Football fans will love this. Not because it’s technically the best football game ever made, but because it can provide an authentic and inspiring experience.
  38. The presentation is brilliant, there are more teams..., new modes, and the slowdown has been fixed. Top all of this off with fantastic and engaging gameplay and you have a great soccer title that should hold you off for another six months when EA releases '07.
  39. Despite the games many problems it’s not all bad, and the game is better than the previous version (despite the annoyances like not being able to skip substitution scenes), and is still a half-decent football title to play over summer, especially with World Cup fever and a few friends.
  40. 60
    When it’s all said and done, 2006 FIFA World Cup has all of the glitz and glamour of the tournament, but lacks the depth and lasting value that most gamers would expect from a football game.
  41. 60
    While it's not the deepest game, it's got enough in the way of modes, including the fairly tough Global Challenge Mode, to keep players going until the next FIFA installment next fall.
  42. 60
    Overall this not a bad game, but it’s short, real short. I’ve worked my national team all the way trough the qualification rounds and won the World Cup in 1 evening. Then it’s just another few days or so before you have everything unlocked, and completed all 40 Global Challenges.
  43. 50
    All of the things EA did right with FIFA World Cup 2006 are overshadowed by the simple truth that what should be the most fun part of the game -- having exciting scoring chances -- is completely negated by shoddy game performance near the nets.
  44. 2006 FIFA World Cup is truly a game I really want to like. There’s enough in it to play for a while, however the control issues and the terrible, repetitive play by play really bring it down a notch
  45. It still dosen't match up to Pro Evolution Soccer, but it has improved and become more refined and innovative.
  46. In front, it is one of the most beautiful, well presented and solidly put together sports games that you’re likely to see. Then, you get onto the pitch and the game engine lets everything down horribly.
  47. 40
    For the second time in under a year, EA fails to impress with a next-gen football game. 2006 FIFA World Cup comes off as a quick cash-in to make a fast buck before the big event in Germany this June.
  48. Wait for Pro Evo 6 if you can, and in the meantime be happy with FIFA 06 if you really must play EA’s sim. [June 2006, p.122]
  49. A poor effort that simultaneously shows up EA's footballing naivety and its rampant capitalism. It will sell like the proverbial hot cake, but don't say we didn't warn you. [Issue 7, p.100]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. Dec 30, 2012
    This is simply a horrible game. It's a step back from FIFA 06: Road to the World Cup - and isn't even on the same planet as FIFA 07 (which -This is simply a horrible game. It's a step back from FIFA 06: Road to the World Cup - and isn't even on the same planet as FIFA 07 (which - while also flawed - was at least semi-enjoyable to play). Inconsistent control and horribly written AI (your AI stands around and does nothing; while the opponent AI makes perfect 100 yard passes) just kill this game. How to know you've created a bad game? If a person hits a certain sequence of controls and holds them and releases them for exactly the same duration, the same result should occur each time (i.e.: if you hold down the 'a' button for exactly half a second and release it, while running in a straight line towards the opponents goal, and this passes the ball - supposedly in a straight line towards the aforementioned goal - then that pass should travel exactly the same distance and on the same path, each time you hold down that button for exactly the same amount of time. If, though, each time you do that, instead the ball travels in some random direction and goes some random distance, then you have SERIOUSLY created a horrible game).

    Quite literally the worst sports game I have ever played in my life. EA should be horribly ashamed - and should give each owner of this game a refund.
    Full Review »
  2. JeffA.
    Jun 30, 2006
    Superb game. All the thrills and action of the FIFA World Cup. Truly next gen graphics melded with excellent gameplay and great control make Superb game. All the thrills and action of the FIFA World Cup. Truly next gen graphics melded with excellent gameplay and great control make 2006 FIFA World Cup a must have game. Full Review »
  3. MisterB.
    Jun 21, 2006
    Some of the likenesses are impressive, but not breath taking. The gameplay is simply unforgivable, it doesn't feel that you have any Some of the likenesses are impressive, but not breath taking. The gameplay is simply unforgivable, it doesn't feel that you have any control over where your shots are being directed and the AI doesn't make intelligent runs down the wing etc. like you would expect from a superior title like Pro Evo. The fact this has come out so soon after 'Road to the World Cup' is an extra slap in the face. Full Review »