Despite its lack of licenses, many still argue that Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is the most realistic football game out there. This is down to its more lifelike gameplay, especially when it comes to passing the ball around and player movement. So, if you are looking to replicate your favourite team, you need to turn to PES 2018.
If you’re a football purist, you will want to play as close to how the team play in real life, especially those clubs regarded as the best in the world. RealSport looks at the best (and worst) teams on PES 2018, and you can decide which one works best for you.
Best overall team: PM Black White (Juventus)
5 star, FW 92, MF 84, DF 84
Best players: Cristiano Ronaldo (OPR 94), Paulo Dybala (OPR 88), Giorgio Chiellini (OPR 87)
Ones to watch: Federico Bernardeschi (OPR 83), Emre Can (OPR 82), Rodrigo Bentancur (OPR 78)
Juventus have been defensively solid for some time now, but this summer they added the best attacker in the world to make them the best team in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo (OPR 94) will lead the line, and look to fire the Italian giants to a first European crown in over 20 years.
At the back, Leonardo Bonucci (OPR 86) has returned to bolster the already strong defence alongside Giorgio Chiellini (OPR 86), and although Gianluigi Buffon has departed after 17 years, they still have a reliable goalkeeper in the form of Wojciech Szczesny (OPR 85).
As for the midfield, Miralem Pjanic (OPR 86) will be the conductor, and if you can also bring Paulo Dybala (OPR 88) into the starting lineup, you will have a man who can stretch the defence and free up space for Ronaldo.
Best attacking team: Paris Saint-Germain
5 star, FW 92, MF 79, DF 84
Best players: Neymar (OPR 93), Edinson Cavani (OPR 89), Thiago Silva (OPR 87)
Ones to watch: Kylian Mbappe (OPR 86), Adrien Rabiot (OPR 83), Giovani Lo Celso (OPR 82)
In recent years we have been excited by attacking trios such as MSN (Messi-Suarez-Neymar) at Barcelona and BBC (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano) at Real Madrid, but the kings at the moment are Paris-Saint-Germain with MNC; Mbappe, Neymar & Cavani. Those three scored a crazy 89 goals between them last year, meaning the stars of Angel Di Maria (OPR 86) and Julian Draxler (OPR 85) struggle to get in this side.
Yes, they have a strong attack, but it doesn’t stop there, with the arrival of Gianluigi Buffon (OPR 86) a shrewd acquisition in goal, with Thiago Silva (OPR 87) and Marquinhos (OPR 85) providing a solid defensive partnership.
Marco Verratti (OPR 85) will be the man looking to win the ball early in midfield and play in the exciting front trio, but he lacks support in midfield. You may have to convert one of Di Maria or Draxler into the middle of the park or opt for the younger Adrien Rabiot (OPR 83) and Giovani Lo Celso (OPR 82).
Other option: MD White (Real Madrid)
Best defensive team: KB Red White (Atletico Madrid)
4.5 star, FW 88, MF 82, DF 85
Best players: Antoine Griezmann (OPR 90), Jan Oblak (OPR 89), Diego Godin (OPR 87)
Ones to watch: Jose Maria Gimenez (OPR 84), Thomas Lemar (OPR 83), Lucas Hernandez (OPR 82)
Discipline runs through Atletico Madrid’s veins. Diego Simeone’s men have conceded the least amount of goals in the Spanish top flight for the past four seasons, and with some miserly workers at the back, they provide a solid foundation on PES.
Jan Oblak (OPR 89), Diego Godin (OPR 87) and Filipe Luis (OPR 85) offer the goalkeeping and defensive protection, but you still have the dangerous strike partnership of Antoine Griezmann (OPR 90) and Diego Costa (OPR 87) to do the damage up front.
The progression of Koke (OPR 86) and Saul (OPR 86) have turned Atletico into an all-round solid outfit, enabling them to go toe-to-toe with any opponent they face.
Other option: Inter Milan
Fastest team: Liverpool
4.5 star, FW 88, MF 81, DF 83
Best players: Mohamed Salah (OPR 90), Virgil van Dijk (OPR 87), Alisson (OPR 87)
Ones to watch: Naby Keita (OPR 83), Trent Alexander-Arnold (OPR 78), Joe Gomez (OPR 78)
With pace all over the park, you will have so much fun playing with this Liverpool side on PES 2019. Of course, the headlines go to their frightening front three of Mohamed Salah (OPR 90), Roberto Firmino (OPR 86) and Sadio Mane (OPR 86) who fired the Reds to the Champions League final last season, but the acquisitions in other areas in recent months have made the side more complete.
Virgil van Dijk (OPR 87), who’s not slow himself, has solidified the defence, and with Alisson (OPR 87) now behind him, Liverpool have gone from leaky to disciplined in their own box. As for the midfield, there are plenty of runners in Naby Keita (OPR 83), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (OPR 82) and Georginio Wijnaldum (OPR 82). The only question is, who do you start?
Other option: Bayer Leverkusen
Most creative team: Barcelona
5 star, FW 93, MF 84, DF 85
Best players: Lionel Messi (OPR 94), Luis Suarez (OPR 90), Phillipe Coutinho
Ones to watch: Ousmane Dembele (OPR 83), Malcom (OPR 82), Clement Lenglet (OPR 82)
Barcelona are one of the finest teams to watch, and judging by their players on PES, it's no surprise why. Lionel Messi (OPR 94) and Philippe Coutinho (OPR 88) flank Luis Suarez (OPR 92) in attack, with Ivan Rakitic (OPR 86), Sergio Busquets (OPR 87) and Aleix Vidal (OPR 87) providing a well-balanced midfield.
With so much talent there, you shouldn’t have to work too hard to break opponents down. Even if you play the ball around patiently, your forwards will make the runs required to get through on goal and tuck the ball away. Even when you don’t have the ball, you should have confidence that Gerard Pique (OPR 88) and Samuel Umtiti (OPR 87) with Marc-Andre ter Stegen (OPR 88) behind them will thwart anything the opposition has.
Other option: Arsenal
Most exciting team: Man Blue (Manchester City)
5 star, FW 86, MF 86, DF 84
Best players: Kevin De Bruyne (OPR 90) Sergio Aguero (OPR 88), David Silva (OPR 87)
Ones to watch: Gabriel Jesus (OPR 85), Leroy Sane (OPR 85), Oleksandr Zinchenko (OPR 75)
There is a difference between the ‘best attacking’ side PSG and ‘most exciting’ team Manchester City, with the English side having more finesse about their business. The two playmakers of Kevin De Bruyne (OPR 90) and David Silva (OPR 87) offer movement and creativity, with wide players Raheem Sterling (OPR 85) and Leroy Sane (OPR 85) able to stretch the defence.
With Sergio Aguero (OPR 88) leading the line, Gabriel Jesus (OPR 85), Bernardo Silva (OPR 84) and summer signing Riyad Mahrez (OPR 84) coming off the bench, this City side is equipped to take on all comers. You will be susceptible on the counter-attack however, with your full-backs keen to join the attack, so if you take a second half lead, look to bring on Ilkay Gundogan (OPR 84) in the midfield to provide more balance.
Other option: North East London (Tottenham Hotspur)
Most overrated team: Man Red (Manchester United)
4.5 star, FW 85, MF 83, DF 84
Best players: David de Gea (OPR 91), Romelu Lukaku (OPR 87), Alexis Sanchez (OPR 87)
Ones to watch: Anthony Martial (OPR 82), Marcus Rashford (OPR 81), Luke Shaw (OPR 78)
Manchester United to have a talented side, but the sheer standard of football they have been producing for some time now is worrying. Not only that, there is no consistency in their performances, and after just four games this season, they look rocked and face an uphill battle to finish in the top four.
Their generous ratings on PES can be your advantage however, with Romelu Lukaku (OPR 87) and Alexis Sanchez (OPR 87) likely to trouble any defence. Behind them Paul Pogba (OPR 86), fresh from winning the World Cup, will look to win the ball in midfield, drive forward and either play the final pass or unleash a vicious strike.
The United defence is a concern, as you may have to start both Marcos Rojo (OPR 81) and Ashley Young (OPR 80), but at least you have David de Gea (OPR 91), the best goalkeeper on the game to come to the side’s rescue.
East London (West Ham United)
Most underrated team: East Midlands (Leicester City)
4 star, FW 79, MF 77, DF 77
Best players: Jamie Vardy (OPR 83), Kasper Schmeichel (OPR 82), Harry Maguire (OPR 81)
Ones to watch: Wilfred Ndidi (OPR 80), Caglar Soyuncu (OPR 79), Demarai Gray (OPR 77)
Leicester may no longer be title challengers, but let’s not forget that the Foxes were the last team outside of Manchester City and Chelsea to win the Premier League. Since that remarkable success in 2016, they have lost some stars, but they have also recruited brilliantly.
Jamie Vardy (OPR 83) and his pace offers a serious threat for Leicester, but judging on their World Cup performances, Kasper Schmeichel (OPR 83) and Harry Maguire (OPR 81) deserve higher ratings to bolster the defence. Caglar Soyuncu (OPR 79) and Jonny Evans (OPR 79) have also arrived this summer, and on paper they would make this side incredibly solid, but this just isn’t replicated on PES 2019.
Other option: Sevilla
Surprise package: ED White Orange (Valencia)
4.5 star, FW 82, MF 79, DF 79
Best players: Dani Parejo (OPR 84), Geoffrey Kondogbia (OPR 84), Michy Batshuayi OPR 84)
Ones to watch: Goncalo Guedes (OPR 83), Jose Gaya (OPR 82), Santi Mina (OPR 79)
Valencia are a big club, but you wouldn’t consider themselves as title contenders in Spain due to the heavyweights of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The Mestalla-based club had a fantastic season last year however, going 13 games unbeaten to start the campaign and ended up finishing fourth just three points behind Real Madrid.
That was due to the superb performances of Dani Parejo (OPR 84) and Goncalo Guedes (OPR 83), but this season they have invested brilliantly. Geoffrey Kondogbia (OPR 84) has made his loan switch permanent, Michy Batshuayi (OPR 84) arrives on loan, with Kevin Gameiro (OPR 80) adding strength and depth to a dangerous side.
Other option: Merseyside Blue (Everton)
Best international team: Brazil
5 star, FW 92, MF 84, DF 86
Best players: G. Valente (Neymar) (OPR 93), E. Antunes (Marcelo) (OPR 88), G. Amaral (Philippe Coutinho) (OPR 88)
Ones to watch: D. Castelo (Ederson) (OVR 87), R. Betencourt (Gabriel Jesus) (OPR 85), J. Dias (Marquinhos) (OPR 85)
It’s a shame PES lost the rights to the Brazil national team, with the side this year filled with fake names. It is still the Brazil team, however, and if you want the real players in there, head to National Team Selection in the Edit screen and switch them round... or if you are feeling really cheeky, you can have two Neymars.
Despite not hitting top-form during the World Cup, on paper they are still the strongest side in the world with no weak points. Two world class goalkeepers, Ederson (OPR 87) and Alisson (OPR 87) indicates how superb the squad is, with attacking options involving Neymar (OPR 93), Philippe Coutinho (OPR 88), Douglas Costa (OPR 87) and Roberto Firmino (OPR 86).
Other option: Germany
Best classic team: European Classics
5 star, FW 93, MF 93, DF 88
Best players: A. De Mirabeau (Zinedine Zidane) (OPR 95), U. Monteleone (Roberto Baggio) (OPR 93), A. Rampf (Oliver Kahn) (OPR 90)
Ones to watch: B. Harness (Michael Owen) (OPR 84), D. Livi (Filippo Inzaghi) (OPR 84), G. Foignet (Patrick Vieira) (OPR 88)
Before playing with the European Classics, you may want to change the names of these legends to make things more exciting. Deciding on a formation is tricky, especially as you want to get the most out of attacking midfielder Zinedine Zidane (OPR 95). Two up front also seems a necessity with Roberto Baggio (OPR 93) and Dennis Bergkamp (OPR 90).
Steel at the back is also there through goalkeeper Oliver Kahn (OPR 90) and Fabio Cannavaro (OPR 89), but it still may even take some time to figure out the best way of playing with these legends of the game.
Other option: World Classics
Worst international team: Kuwait
1 star, FW 65, MF 62, DF 61
Best players: J. Abdur Rahim (OPR 67), R. Wahed (Fahad Al Enezi) (OPR 65), M. Qutb (Khaled Al Rashidi) (OPR 63)
Ones to watch: G. Ayad (OPR 61), H. Qasim (OPR 61), J., Saadallah (OPR 61)
If you want a challenge on the international scene, it has to be Kuwait. The country only has two players rated above 65, making your squad selection very difficult. Go for a simple 4-4-2 but drop the central midfielders into defensive midfielder to give yourself more protection. Pick up victories with this side, and you can hold your head high.
Other option: Lebanon
Worst overall team: FK Odersteich
1 star, FW 55, MF 52, DF 50
Best players: C. Iversen (OPR 68), V. Luhtanen (OPR 66), P. Brandes (OPR 65)
Ones to watch: C. Hedtoft (OPR 64), J. Blixt (OPR 61), M. De Bruin (OPR 58)
Even weaker still is FK Odersteich who can be found in the fictional PEA League. The Scandinavian side has minimal quality, but look to put star man C. Iversen (OPR 68) up front and pray that he can make something happen. An asymmetric 4-4-2 should allow you to play some form of football, and if one of your mates defeats you with this side, you’ll never hear the end of it.
Other option: Jorudberg FF