FIFA 13 (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Adam Riley 16.10.2012 6

Review for FIFA 13 on Nintendo 3DS

This year has seen the FIFA series from Electronic Arts become more popular than ever. FIFA 13 managed to sell over a million units in the UK alone in its first weekend on sale, joining an elite group of games…all of the Call of Duty variety, and selling 27 per cent more than FIFA 12 in the same timeframe. In fact, after just five days on sale, worldwide figures had surpassed the 4.5 million mark. Remarkable, right? Well, sadly Nintendo fans tend to get the rough end of the stick, with this year's Wii version being nothing more than a re-skin of FIFA 12, a game that in itself was a step backwards for the series that was for some reason amended for Wii. The EA Sports football title did not fare too well in its first 3DS iteration either, failing to outclass the impressive 3DS launch title, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011. Does FIFA 13 on Nintendo 3DS make positive movements forward?

Fair play to the development team behind the Nintendo 3DS version of FIFA 13. Whilst the Wii iteration was a shameless player and kit update only, this portable edition takes strides in the right direction when compared to the series' debut on 3DS. However, saying that, despite efforts to include a fair amount of the home console versions' content, FIFA 13 for 3DS still comes up lacking when compared to the fantastic Pro Evolution Soccer titles from Konami. For one thing, there is no online multiplayer, despite Nintendo Network features being included to update the shockingly out-dated roster and kit information included in the release build. Another issue is how the modes available are stripped back to their bare bones, meaning that Training is an empty experience now and Cup matches are soulless encounters.

What is there makes for a moderately fun portable experience overall, though, and the Career Mode certainly helps pass the time whilst on long journeys. Choosing from a selection of club sponsors at the start of a season incurs fresh challenges. For instance, selecting those that pay higher amounts per individual victory will not dish out the goods when finishing high up the table come the season end, and vice versa. It certainly adds more incentive to proceedings, as does the tick sheet objective list -- going under the guise of a manager's resumé -- where achievements are ticked off (win a league, win a domestic cup, win 200 career matches, transfer in a star player, and so on). This is all reminiscent of FIFA Manager and Football Manager, albeit 'lite' versions, with budding managers able to hire coaches, scouts, medics, as well as delve into the transfer market to bolster the team and get the players to train hard to reach their full potential.

Screenshot for FIFA 13 on Nintendo 3DS

Control-wise, FIFA 13 plays a lot better than its Wii counterpart, with simplified moves being the order of the day, yet keeping everything more 'true' to what fans normally expect rather than having tacky 'casual' controls mixed in. However, there is also the inclusion of some touch-screen features, like tapping on the net that appears on the lower screen when in range of the goal, or swiping in various directions when taking free-kicks and corners. Suffice to say, despite being an interesting aspect, the novelty of these additions wears off extremely quickly and on-the-fly tactical changes would have been preferred (something featured in the past) or even a modification on the Pro Evolution Soccer Wii theme, allowing for touch-screen control of off-the-ball players to make them do well-timed runs, instead of milling around like they normally do when the heat is on.

Be a Pro returns, with the aim being to guide a nobody along the road to superstardom, and there is also the chance to sample FIFA Street-style matches, with five-on-five short games that can be played regularly or with 'extras' turned on to add an element of amusement, such as making players miniature, including crazy curve shots, or even throwing in super shoulders and speed for good measure. FIFA 13 is a marked improvement over the first entry on 3DS, but still has a fair way to go before impressing as much as some of Exient's later DS creations.

Screenshot for FIFA 13 on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Electronic Arts has marginally improved FIFA 13 to the point where it can safely be said that it is a better game than the series' debut on Nintendo 3DS, but there is still a lot of work to do in order to become the supreme football experience in the portable realm. FIFA 14 definitely has to include online multiplayer and the opportunity for matches using just one 3DS game card to be worthy of attention. Despite all this, FIFA 13 trumps its Wii brother.


EA Sports







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


After playing some of the PS3 version today, I can safely say:

FIFA 13 PS3 -----------------------------------------------------------------------> FIFA 13 3DS ----------------> FIFA 13 Wii

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I'll be trying the PS3 version out this Friday in a group tournament. Isn't the Wii U version getting an inferior version to the other consoles, too? I'm sure I read that. Not the same graphics engine or something..?

Really? Oh, I thought it was getting the definitive version...that'd be pretty crap if it's the case! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Decided to have a quick search, then. One report says the Wii U version is the best-looking version, so I guess the graphics thing wasn't what I thought. But it will be missing some features "at launch" like Ultimate Team. Don't know if other missing features will make their way in later. But there is obviously Wii U-exclusive features. According to EA, FIFA 13 Wii U is an in-between of the true FIFA 12 and FIFA 13 games. So it sounds like it's lacking in some areas, but has things the other versions don't, too.

I could live without Ultimate Team because it's not really for me, but I know loads of others that adore it. Personally, I just want a nice wide range of tournaments, leagues, and I love how the challenges from ISS have been unashamedly nabbed and included. Used to be my fave part of ISS, trying to overcome crazy deficits to win Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
rumey (guest) 01.06.2013#6

I bought this game for my son and what I find terribly upsetting is that in training mode both the team and the opposing team have near identical colours... to the extent you find yourself looking at the dots instead of the game..... Really bad sense and a throwaway for that particular reason

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