Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Last year was obviously a blip because Pro Evolution Soccer is now back and it is better than ever. The best football game on the market, but only just.
  2. The fall of the King! Although PES 2009 is better than its predecessor, it loses the duel against an extremely strong FIFA 09.
  3. While this game plays better on the pitch because AI teammates are smarter at taking runs, distributing the ball, and springing others with through balls, it lags behind FIFA in its feedback to the player and the fact that it has a better sim feature while you are on the bench.
  4. It's still great, though it could (and should) have been so much better. [Christmas 2008, p.60]
  5. In this effort to regain the title, PES plays it safe and recovers the classic gameplay that conquered the players in the last decade. But while it can be enough to hold on the fans, the reused formula and the comeback of the same old flaws can be a growing problem for the future. [Oct 2008]
  6. 85
    For all its problems off the pitch, there’s no doubting that PES 2009 is the most fun football game on the market.
  7. Putting aside the disappointments of PES 2009, on the pitch, the game is still the most realistic football sim on the market. I don’t believe the PES franchise is getting any worse, rather that EA’s FIFA franchise is barking at its heels and surpassing it in some areas.
  8. It is not the best simulation, but it's as entertainment as few games, and a good challenger that we could say arrives one year late. But football fans can be happy: this year we can choose without missing.
  9. PES makes changes to its formula that aren't particularly welcome for the most part and, while the Become A Legend mode has potential, the general gameplay has taken a downturn.
  10. On the other hand Konami have seemed to rest on their laurels, and for possibly the first time have dropped the ball and seen FIFA take the win.
  11. Pick up Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 if you are a huge fan of the series or need a fresh football fix. Everyone else would be better off snatching up a used copy of "FIFA 09" from the preowned rack.
  12. The more players demand by way of stats, management options, and formation flexibility, the more this franchise gets left behind. Having a limited selection of real teams playing in a fabricated league just doesn’t cut it anymore. The gameplay remains as a solid foundation, but that can only take a game so far.
  13. Outside of the new “Be A Legend” mode, there’s very little reason here for existing PES owners to upgrade. "PES5" on PS2 is still the pinnacle of the series.
  14. 72
    Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 makes a valiant effort at keeping pace with FIFA 09, and there are some improvements and good ideas under the strange gameplay changes that were made, it’s just tough to see them if you’ve played FIFA.
  15. A game that by any objective measure now languishes in second place behind EA's spirited new-look FIFA. And yet it's only with a heavy heart that we mark it down a point lower, because we still love PES for its personality.
  16. As a lover of the PES series, the time has come to see a complete overhaul to the engine and structure of this ageing formula. With a host of new gameplay modes, and a selection of problematic features, this version of PES will only appeal to the hardcore.
  17. The basic act of playing the game is still enjoyable enough, but with FIFA adding loads of great new features like 10 vs 10 online multiplayer, this seems like a step sideways instead of forwards.
  18. PES 2009 is a good game, but the times they are changin', and we're afraid that Konami is being left behind. Time for a reboot, Seabass.
  19. Second place in a two-horse race for Konami, due in part to the law of diminishing returns, and also to EA’s unexpected brilliance.
  20. PES 2009 has been beaten by FIFA 09. Of course, EA's game has made tremendous progress in this year's edition, but the fact is still that PES 2009 has little technical improvements above the previous editions. The game is still fun to play and not a faulty purchase, but Konami will need to rethink the concept to beat their competitor next time.
  21. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 is an improvement on last year's game, but this is a series that desperately needs a complete overhaul.
  22. PES 2009 is an improvement over last year’s game, albeit a very minor one. If the PES franchise wants to stay competitive against FIFA, they certainly have their work cutout for them.
  23. 70
    This game has graphical beauty but in many other areas it fails to excel. On the other hand, it is still a good game, but it's just a few levels below where it really needs to be to compete with the reborn version of "FIFA."
  24. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 seems to be, again and lamentably, a lost opportunity. This could have been a great chance to vindicate the lost football throne, to demonstrate to the skeptics that they are cappable to make a great game, and to bring some light to a saga that is suffering, overwhelmed by new titles.
  25. The lack of overall polish is inexcusable.
  26. Overall, Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 shoots but misses the target. The ideas are there but Konami haven’t executed them as well as they could have done.
  27. This is easily the worst PES we have ever played. Hopefully next year Konami will work on improving the game. Until then though, we have FIFA 09.
  28. 67
    The PES-versus-FIFA bout is always tough to call, but while neither disappoints, I'll narrowly side with the glitzier, überlicensed competition this season: FIFA 09.
  29. PES is starting to show clear signs of weakness, its technology is outdated, stuck in last generation efforts, and that is affecting gameplay too. Lots of features are gone, including official licenses, which gives a poor general feeling as a package. All this has left PES way behind its big rival FIFA in many fields, lincluding fun factor, something PES was usually king of not that long ago.
  30. When it works, it’s glorious. But rather poorly, it doesn’t work with enough consistency or regularity to reward the kind of extended play most users would expect to get from a new PES title. FIFA is better this year in almost every way possible and while it may grate on long-standing ISS fanboys to go into a shop and buy a FIFA game, there’s no shame whatsoever in simply wanting the best you can get for your money.
  31. Despite all its new features, PES 2009 is packed with problems. [Jan 2009, p.75]
  32. It’s just now you can really see the difference between FIFA and PES – and FIFA is starting to pull away.
User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 27
  2. Negative: 5 out of 27
  1. AdamWilkin
    May 21, 2009
    9
    A definite improvement over PES2008 and still better than Fifa but only just. It is let down a little by people with dodgy connections online which ruin the game but all the other modes a better than ever. The Master League is miles better than anything on the Fifa games Full Review »
  2. JimmyD.
    Nov 26, 2008
    8
    Yeah - small dev team - less improvements every year - it's taken 3 years to get (almost - but not all) the features of PES5 to nextgen systems. But the gameplay is still king. For all its modes and features - FIFA09 still feels like slow PES on the pitch. My yardstick every year is trying out the FIFA and PES demos with my (offline) friends - and seeing what they think - seeing as I usually spend half my gametime on PES playing friends when they visit. Half my friends didn't want to play the second half of a FIFA09 match. Yes - it's flawed. Yes - these reviews should give Seabass a kick in the pants. But - for me - the fluid, rewarding gameplay is still there. And Liverpool FC! Full Review »
  3. H
    Nov 19, 2008
    10
    This game is true to it's name. It keeps evolving for the better every year. Great controls/ game pace. Most of these critic/user reviews are worthless. They don't get the small details in the game play, that make this game great. Fifa has gone from having awful game play, to improved game play, and they get raving reviews? Real pro evo fans know this is the best video football game to date. Full Review »