18 Mar 2021 10:51 AM +00:00

FIFA 21 Stadia Review: Cloud version "as good as the real thing"

Labelled as Stadia's "biggest sports game to date", FIFA 21 could be the title to really get fans behind the streaming platform.

EA's hit title arrived on the service on Wednesday, 17 March, a whole five months after it became available on other platforms.

So, is FIFA 21 on Stadia worth a move?

Jump To

First Impressions

Well, the first major note is that playing FIFA 21 on Stadia is just as good as the real thing.

The Stadia version runs at native 4K UHD at 60 FPS, which is the same as how the title runs on PS4, Xbox One, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

fifa-21-ac-milan
click to enlarge
+ 7
FEEL EVERY MOMENT - FIFA 21 brings you closer to the action than ever before

Of course, you will not get the same visual quality if you're playing on your mobile, but the overall Stadia visuals are better than what you would expect.

At the time of review, online matchups were not available, so how the Stadia version holds up on Ultimate Team will likely dictate whether fans will make the move.

Advertisement

Gameplay

Well, the gameplay from Stadia to console is identical, but make sure you're using a controller as opposed to a keyboard and mouse.

This will make running and shooting in the right direction way easier, and we wouldn't even know where to start with skill moves without a controller.

fifa-21-mount-pulisic
click to enlarge
+ 7
ON THE MOVE - A new feature allows you to influence the runs of teammates

For those who haven't played FIFA 21 at all this year, EA has made necessary adjustments to the gameplay and given the game a more balanced feel.

Advertisement

Controlling the ball is now crucial and you can dictate the play if you dominate the midfield.

Gone are the one-touch no-look passes that are unrealistic.

Your build-up play must be more patient and precise than ever before, whilst still being wary of being hit on the counter.

Game Modes

With tweaks coming to a range of modes, FIFA 21 is almost offers something for everyone.

Ultimate Team

The most addictive mode by far, but it will be interesting to see how the online mode plays out on Google Stadia.

fifa-21-what-if-team-1
click to enlarge
+ 7
WHAT THE - Regular content drops will keep your Ultimate Team looking fresh

Build your footballing dream team, with regular content drops offering new players for you to claim on the transfer market or risk your pack luck by diving into the store.

This year, you can customise your stadium with themes, chants and tifos, whilst you can team up with friends for the first time to earn rewards.

Advertisement

Career Mode

Career Mode receives a mini-overhaul this year, and although some of the additions are welcome, it does make the mode even more grindy.

There's more customisation around training - with "match sharpness" a new feature meaning a player who hasn't been training will struggle if brought into the first team.

fifa-21-career-mode
click to enlarge
+ 7
MORE WAYS TO PLAY - "Jumping in" to simmed matches can rescue your side

With that comes even more training sessions, which slows the game down even more, even if you are simming through them.

Advertisement

A great new addition is the ability to "jump in" to simmed matches, so you can rescue your side if you are trailing, or step in to take a penalty or free-kick.

Player morale and match sharpness work well together and will make you a lot more conscious of which players to pick, and you must decide when the appropriate times are to rotate your squad.

Plus, with new training plans available for every player, you can decide what stats they should be working on, or whether you see their future in a different position.

Volta Football

Volta is improved for FIFA 21, but more with the available content rather than any gameplay enhancements.

fifa-21-volta
click to enlarge
+ 7
FALLING SHORT - Volta Football still isn't the mode we hoped it would be

Plenty of new attire is available thanks to the likes of Hector Bellerin, but when it comes to gameplay - Volta still falls some way short when we compare it to the craziness we received over a decade ago on FIFA Street.

Even the story mode, which has been a welcome addition ever since The Journey arrived in FIFA 17, is stripped back, with the only draw of the mode being the regular objectives to pick up a star player or celeb.

Advertisement

Pro Clubs

Whereas all the other game modes have received tweaks, Pro Clubs - an immensely popular mode - still seems to get left behind.

fifa-21-pro-clubs-customisation
click to enlarge
+ 7
TAKE YOUR PICK - More customisation options is the only new feature for Pro Clubs

FIFA gameplay isn't quite good enough for individual players to control the whole line up so passes will go astray, whilst goalkeepers don't tend to provide much support.

On Stadia, it's unlikely that you will be able to assemble a decent-sized squad with no cross-platform support.

Advertisement

Verdict

Given that the title is pretty much identical on Stadia, this really is a remarkable port from EA - and just makes us wonder why they waited so long after launch to take FIFA 21 to Stadia.

There will be pressure in six months time to have FIFA 22 available from launch, but perhaps it's a pricing issue that stands in its way.

fifa-21-joao-felix
click to enlarge
+ 7
NEXT LEVEL - Stadia may be a sign of the future, but it's actually more expensive to play

A Stadia subscription costs £8.99 / $9.99 a month, with FIFA 21 costing £25.19 / $24.99.

Advertisement

The prices on PS4 and Xbox One are now below £30 / $30, so you are perhaps better off going for the console version at the moment.

That said, how well FIFA 21 plays out on Stadia means it's a big thumbs up from us.

RealSport Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)

Check out our full FIFA 21 review here.

*RealSport101 may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our Cookie Policy. All prices listed were accurate at the time of publishing.