Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Not to be outdone by "Winning Eleven 6," EA Sports has pulled out all the stops and created a soccer game that is second to none... I dare you to find a soccer game where the ball moves so dynamically and realistically. [Nov 2003, p.108]
  2. Graphically, FIFA charms, but the gameplay is sublime. [Dec 2003, p.146]
  3. Ultimately, whether 2004 is, in fact, a better game than Konami's "Winning Eleven 7" on PlayStation 2 is debatable; what is clear, however, is that this is easily the finest game of footy to be found on Xbox.
  4. 90
    A solid simulation of the sport that offers more teams and unique options not available in its main and only competitor on the PS2, "Winning Eleven." Some minor control issues remain and the depth is still not where it needs to be, but it delivers a highly worthwhile experience nonetheless.
  5. Even though Xbox was screwed out of online support yet again, anyone who is a fan of soccer will enjoy this title thoroughly, and find a lot of depth worth hours of play.
  6. The computer AI is not quite as realistic as Konami's game this year, but is still very solid.
  7. Though some of the new features will inevitably take you a while to get used to--and there's still plenty of room for improvement--it manages to be both enjoyable and challenging.
  8. 83
    Offers the most significant changes the game has seen in years. The core gameplay is changing ever so slowly from super arcade play to a more comprehensive, more realistic style of soccer, and the series is better for it. But it's not quite there yet.
  9. 83
    Other than the lackluster practice mode, everything in FIFA 2004 is spot-on.
  10. FIFA's Off-the-Ball control not only increases your offensive potency tenfold but also provides hardcore soccer studs with an added level of gameplay they've been beggin' for from the series. Plus, no other game of footie has such stellar graphics or electrifying stadium atmosphere. [Dec 2003, p.204]
  11. The Practice mode could've been more intuitive, like "Madden 2004's" minicamp mode. It was not only difficult to figure out, but also, ultimately, not even that helpful. [Dec 2003, p.86]
  12. But however much positive energy we lavish on FIFA all the areas that EA beats Konami on - bar online - are simply gloss. In a straight tussle between the games, we just don't enjoy playing FIFA as much as we do "PES3," and, for most of you, that's what matters.
  13. Definitely an improvement on previous editions and it seems that EA is some way towards emulating "Pro Evolution Soccer" on the PS2. Unfortunately for Xbox fans, it hasn't quite got it yet.
  14. 80
    There's enough in here to keep the hooligans entertained until the next World Cup, or at least next year's game.
  15. 78
    Great Graphics and quality sound provides an overall good game that seems to be lacking in the gameplay area, not due to lack of depth but the difficultness just isn’t there and the game comes across too easy for many.
  16. 75
    The best FIFA game so far, but it's still a few problems away from being a soccer utopia. EA really needs to perfect FIFA's control as much as it needed to make a better Career mode. The old developmental mantra is gameplay first, options second.
  17. There’s plenty in FIFA 2004 to keep you happy until next season, when hopefully we’ll finally able to execute some plays of greater skill and complexity.
  18. If they had spent a tenth of the effort they made on their graphics and presentation on the gameplay instead, would we have a game that was comparable to the "Winning Eleven" series?
  19. Even with its overly ambitious new 'Off The Ball' interface the FIFA series is still a long way from capturing the true essence of the beautiful game. [Dec 2003, p.127]
  20. An average game that lacks the spirit of the sport.

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