Is it the Champions League of football games or more Blue Square Bet Premier?

The past few years have seen the world's two largest football franchises undergoing something of a transformation. While Konami's PES series has been in something of a Liverpool-like freefall recently, EA Sports' FIFA brand has become the football game equivalent of Manchester City, delivering a level of tactical player and ability that nobody would have predicted several years ago.

This latest incarnation of the chart-topping FIFA series is undoubtedly the best yet. As you might expect from a franchise that benefits/suffers (delete as you see fit) from annual updates, FIFA 13 is more of an evolution that a revolution in the brand's fortunes. But the changes on offer are definitely for the best and result in the most authentic videogame simulation of the sport ever attempted.

Naturally, the graphics engine has been given a bit of 'spit 'n' polish' resulting in improved character models, smoother animation and busier stadiums that look absolutely superb on a bigscreen TV. And while there's less that can be done to improve the audio, the commentary now benefits from additional info about injuries and more behind-the-scenes reporting.

But as I mentioned above, it's the gameplay changes that really ensure that FIFA 13 thrashes the competition. This latest incarnation adds enhanced team-mate AI, improved dribbling control, the opportunity to land an International job during Season mode and numerous embellishments to the online modes. Heck, there’s even additional help for newcomers in the form of the smartly implemented Skill Games that pop up while matches are loading, allowing you to get to grips with the some of the more advanced gameplay techniques. And while none of which might sound like much in isolation, together it adds up to a ridiculously deep, addictive and brilliantly playable gaming experience.

EA Sports, Xbox 360/PS3/Wii/PC, £50 Approx, On sale now