Konami's sixth installment in their popular footy series
Windows XP / Windows 2000
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is the 2006 soccer offering from Konami featuring a realistic engine, an assortment of licensed club and national teams, and a competitive balance that still holds up a generation later. While the FIFA series published by EA Sports is often synonymous with annualized soccer video games, the Pro Evolution Series (also known as Winning Eleven in some regions) has remained a solid competitor offering more realistic and balanced soccer play compared to its more fast-paced and action-oriented counterpart. This style of soccer game may not be for everyone, but the unique Pro Evolution style is one that must be experienced before an honest judgement can be made.
From the moment the ball enters play, it becomes apparent that Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is a game where the player is in nearly complete control. The ball rolls and bounces on the pitch, reacting to each touch. Adding extra force in a pass has a tangible affect on how far a through-ball leads its recipient, while releasing a shot too quickly results in a ball that only trickles toward the keeper. While a bit daunting to beginners, the intuitive play style lends itself to quick comprehension. With just a few games under the belt, even the most novice of players can begin to intuitively craft runs or anticipate and react to an attacker's next move.
The only notable shortcoming in Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is the limited number of licensed clubs and international teams. While this can be a bit frustrating to knowledgeable fans, mainstays like Manchester United, Spain, England, Italy and Bayern Munich are all present in fully rendered official kits. Pro Evolution Soccer 6 also offers the availability to customize rosters and names, allowing users to fill in their favorite licensed teams if they are not already available. This is definitely a tedious exercise, but given the strength of the gameplay engine, some may find the tedium worthwhile.
The trial version offers a limitation of a single game per play; however, given the game's age, full-version copies complete with numerous tournament modes as well as the popular Master League game mode can be found for incredibly affordable prices.