PES5: a present-day look

I did say ‘no Tuesday post’ for PES2016’s release week, but something happened.

I finally got Windows 10’s new screen-recording feature working with PES5. I played a few matches Monday afternoon – and recorded a full game. This fixture is away to Birmingham in a long-running Master League campaign.

It has been said that all philosophy is a footnote to Plato.

It could be said that all football gaming is a footnote to PES5.

Here is that full match. Here is PES5, the greatest football game ever made.

In the end, nobody can tell you whether a glass of water is cold or warm. Because nobody can drink the water for you. In the end, you have to pick it up and drink it for yourself. Then you know.

Just the first minute or two showcases the greatness of PES5 in so many ways. See how I fail to build any kind of meaningful attack, how I’m forced to probe down the wings. Old-school graphics and handling might fool the 2015-conditioned player into thinking that all it takes is couple of passes, a bit of sprinting, and you’re in. No. You’re not.

Watch the thoughtful, tactical play – and spare a moment to wonder at how the concept of ‘fun fun fun fun fun’ has crept into the PES dictionary over the past ten years, to the point where almost every single review of PES2016 praises it for being FUN, as if that’s automatically what we’re looking for, first and foremost

Fun? Fun?

There was a time when FIFA was called ‘fun’, you know. And it was not a compliment. That was how we insulted a football game.

The superb depth and perfect balancing of PES5 is the yardstick by which all sensible football gamers (those whose minds aren’t addled by the trance of online button-squeezing) should measure any football game.

All football gaming is just an echo of PES5’s greatness.

The gameplay of PES5 has never been surpassed and never will be.

The so-called ‘freedom’ of football gaming in recent years has brought us nothing. Nothing.

It is impossible to overstate the greatness of PES5. I post this semi-humourous look back at a ten-year-old game not to disparage PES2016 before I’ve even seen it, but to underscore that I’m pretty relaxed about the new game, really, because I already know that nothing compares to PES5.

  • Look at the pass to Camacho after 18 seconds that he scuffs with his weaker foot into the keeper’s midriff. My last real chance for a long time, and it wasn’t even a real chance.
  • Look at the heaviness of many players’ touches and turns (no responsive, nimble ninjas here).
  • Look at the AI passing the ball around and back to the keeper.
  • Look at the long ball – by BOTH sides – and how effective it can be – no pre-determined outcomes, or if there are any, they’re well-hidden by a master magician, the Great Seabass.
  • Look at the frequent overhit passes and crosses.
  • Look at the proper physical modelling of player-on-player collisions, with outcomes that frequently – horror of horrors! – interrupt the flow of the game for a free kick to take to place.
  • And just look at that fouls/free kicks count on the post-match screen.
  • Also look at the physical tussles that aren’t given as fouls, such as the cheeky nudge in the back on Bergkamp after 1:05. You’d think that’d automatically be a foul, but no, it’s waved on. See, PES5 can do the flowing thing too.

This game had it all. It had everything except a crowd in the stands. Maybe that was Seabass being a poet and telling us that he made this game just for YOU, the single-player, and nobody else was invited.

And so PES5 gets a final score of

Eleventy Million/10 – the best football game I have ever played

21st Century Football Gamer might object: “Boohoohoohoo/that ball sound is ridiculous/this is 2015/Emile Heskey is ridiculous/I need something other than a decade-old football game/LOL you don’t play proper/wahwahwah/I want fun loose flowing fluid organic responsive freedom….'”

He’ll be very happy with PES2016, by the sound of things, then.

I hope I am too. With so much football gaming greatness to fall back on if the worst happens, I’m relaxed about PES2016 and looking forward to it. Here’s to the future. The golden past is secure.

Updated: 12th February 2016 — 00:39


  1. Werd – could not agree more. Ajax man myself, absolutely mental to consider we won the champions league in 95, i remember the standing ovation from the real Madrid fans all too well. Crazy to consider that 95 was TWENTY bloody years ago. Boggles the mind.

    Anyway ML ideas are ajax with default or FC Den Bosch (my hometown) created from scratch. Whats your angle going to be?

  2. #1 – I think i’ve had my fill of England due to my epic 2 seasons(yes 2 season Paul)with Cambridge in 2015 🙂
    So a Bundesliga 2. with Eintracht Frankfurt or TSV. The usual Belgian/Dutch league with Club Brugge has always been an idea but never gets done. Of course as NG it could all change.

    Filbert – nice to see you back. You would have loved my retro inspired Foxes kit for 2015.

  3. Today is (should be) the day! Our postie delivers around 12-1 o’clock around here, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, so it’s always a tense wait on this day. Good luck to everyone, whoever’s sent yours out.

    Like Paul I tend to view ‘ping pong passing’ as an alarm signal – a sign that the speaker is somebody who wants and/or plays a very different football game from the one I do. Usually it’s an online player. The thing about online players on footy game forums these days is that they tend to regard online play as the norm, something that goes without needing to be mentioned, so they often don’t reference the fact that they’re talking about online/multiplayer play in their posts. It’s in this context that talk of ‘ping pong passing’ arises, I now see.

    Filbert – I found PES2015 on Superstar very grindy and often unrewarding as well. I wish I’d stayed on Top Player for the whole thing. Top Player with appropriate adjustments to passing assistance would have been marvellous.

    werd – I’ll never forget or forgive Amazon for not even dispatching PES5 until release day, meaning it didn’t turn up until the Monday – 3 days later. I did the run into town thing that release day. It was a long time ago – 10 years ago – and you’d think Amazon would have cottoned onto the fact that gamers want the game as early as possible. We’re nearly all busy people and having that extra bonus hour or two (or more) can make all the difference.

  4. Lloyd – Ronaldo’s goal number 2 in your clip was interesting as it was one where he was running side-on to the goal and whipped it in – I always found those attempts failed in PES2015 with every other player I tried it with. Sibon header at 2:40 was very deft!

  5. Paul – I’ve added a plugin to the site that enables posting images. Just pasting the link often works OK, but it sometimes doesn’t and I don’t know why. Using the image inserter in this new plugin should do the job.

  6. NG – too right. Time was short 10 years ago for me, new flat, fiance..err cat. Today more so, two kids, work, still the same cat!. I dont think i’ve ever got a game early by mail order. MGSV and Bloodborne all came on release day. adequate but not great. If I wasnt going to the Metro I would have legged/bussed it to Sunderland as my town doesnt even have a supermarket now! I may cancel my night out with work as having a new unplayed PES in the house would put me right off my beer.
    Good luck to all as well.

    Darryl – you really should travel write, I love your updates/train journeys Frater.

  7. Nice work NG – I have something for you …..


  8. New Cov Kit for this season……

    Ok pic ist showing, used the uploader, pic showed in preview but when published message no pic?

  9. Try it once more, I think you have to press OK twice on the image posting thing. I deactivated this plugin months ago because it was buggy, and just installed an update. If this doesn’t work, post a link for now and I’ll hunt out a better plugin later.

  10. Nope not working

    – new cove kit

    – PES 2016 Cov Kit – Zip File containing full resolution Kit, and High Res Coventry City Club Emblem.

  11. Testing

    ” />

  12. Paul – fantastic work and thank you very much. There's a very good chance that will be kit no. 1 for my entire Master League! I can always use kits 2 and 3 for my quirkier improvisational kits.

    I take it by this you're open for requests from other posters! And visitors to USB – I have one other request that I'll make over there….

    I don't know what's going on with this image posting plugin. I'll probably look for another plugin later on.

  13. Its weird mate, i used the plugin, pasted my image url in and the pic showed up but just didnt post.

    Your welcome….. Obviously I cant test the importing of the kits yet to make sure they map perfectly in PES 16 but they should do, if any are slightly out i will tweak accordingly.

    Happy to take requests for kits, it takes about an hour – hour & half per kit, to get them looking really good, so obviously may have to cap it if i get alot of requests but happy to help where i can.

    we can add 4 kits to teams this year, and a seperate GK kit too.

  14. Morning all!

    Just a note about importing kits to PS4. I believe your USB stick needs to be formatted in .FAT32 format for the console to recognise it. Just read this now on a forum so I can't confirm it, but I believe I had a similar issue when copying something from the PS4 before. Worth bearing in mind!

  15. Paul – I've heard rumours that the kit slot allocation on PS4 is not as plentiful as was first announced. So you may want to just import first, second and goalkeeper kits for all teams and seeing what space you have left before installing third, fourth etc.

  16. Kit number 4 is reserved for Chris99’s waggish sky-blue-and-brown effort…

    Re. the formatting, I believe the poster who started that later said it was just his preferred ‘format format’ and any format would work. Aren’t they all FAT32 format anyway?

  17. Paul – Although if you're not bothering with other leagues, say the Bundesliga, then you'll be fine.

  18. PS4 now in situe and all ready for PES 2016. Spent last night messing with features and settings with mini-Shed and have just about everything but the share feature set up now. 

    Still can't quite believe I've taken the Next-Gen upgrade and that my first proper experience of a PS4 game with be a new PES.

    Postie waiting continues…

  19. Hey Werd, love a retro inspired kit. I too designed a retro inspired kit for Leicester for PES2015. Lineker era Blue with white pinstripes, white shorts and socks, beautiful. Even had a Green with gold pinstripes away kit (the famous 'unlucky kit' for us!).

  20. The Share feature took me a few weeks to properly settle down with. It's about remembering what press of that button does exactly what, and fiddling with the settings until you get exactly what you want to happen.

  21. Oh and don't overlook the suspend/resume feature, which is still relatively new for the PS4. You can pause any game, put the console into Power Saving (it'll download anything, charge controllers etc.), and come back later or the next day and resume from where you left off. If you flick the power off at the wall switch though (as I often do when forgetting I've left the console in standby), the PS4 doesn't like it and will give you a bollocking the next time you turn it on. And you'll have to load the game again.

  22. yeah there was rumour that the smaller kit size led to more allocation slots but that isnt true, the kits are in 2208 x 2028 px resolution, and i think you can allocate 327 or something like that.

    I only plan to uodate kits for Premier league, championsip, and maybe 1 or 2 other leagues, when playing a master league i will only be facing these teams anyay so will only need their kits to be right, obvously if playing in europe there may be others but can address that later.

    Whilst i want the kits to be in before starting a ML, i dont wanna be spending weeks editing and not playing.

    I really want this year to be the return of a mammoth ML campaign.


  23. Paul – Same. At least the kits can be added as and when. If it does come down to a question of space, then national kits will be the first to be sacrificed. I've heard it's down to the amount of slots, the .png file size doesn't make a difference.

    I'm hoping for concrete news in the next day or two about there being a summer transfer update. Don't want to spend time editing players if they're going to be wiped when they release a patch. I'd rather they do the work for me. Hearing reports of a lot of duplicates too, so hopefully that'll be addressed before its ML time!

  24.  Filbert – You read my mind. Inspired by my purchase of the 83-85 kit, thats exactly what I did!. I gave the green kit a miss though.

    Paul – I may have one request depending on what I do, but as usual it will be inhouse editing mostly. I have loads of classic player stats waiting to go. I may edit over existing players so my ML world will be a bit diff to other peeps.

  25. Tommy, yeah all about slots mate, file size makes no odds.

    id fully expect there to be a quick transfer update, shipping the game with teams rosters out of date by months isnt very professional.

  26. NG – That was an R2 shot with lots of power, bent it round the keeper with pace. 

  27. My HTC just pipped to mock me. Amazon has dispatched, will probs be delivered next August.

    Sigh Metro Centre job it is then…old school…BOOM

  28. Just had it confirmed – there is a Day one DLC patch coming on Friday with all the summer transfer updates.

  29. First contact!

    PES 2016 has arrived.

  30. Shed – Mmm, that new PES smell.

  31. Shed – what a week, a new ps4 and now an early PES. Kudos to you sir!

  32. Shed!!! we want pics, of you in the shed playing pes 16 on ps4!!!

  33. Shed – How does it smell? It bet it doesn't smell foul, because there aren't any.

  34. Werd – I know, it's almost too much.

    Tommy – I've yet to break the cellophane but I can see it has an extra special cardboard sleave over the usual case this year!


  35. Day One edition shed?

  36. Paul  – Yes. I have no idea what that means but yes.

    Just about to have my first game over lunch. Tradition says it's England vs USA of course.


  37. Just got home from 20wk scan with Mrs Pete (its a boy) and come home to find PES 2016 on the doorstep… Result (shame I now have to go back to work)

  38. Konami just tweeted that they will make an announcement on a transfer update next week. Not sure I want to wait that long to start ML, as it's only an annoucement so could be weeks yet. So I'll either start ML with the teams as they are now or I'll transfer as many in-game players as I can bothered to do. As long as I don't create any players from scratch, or edit exisiting ones, then I'll think I'll be safe from any changes the update brings.

  39. congrats Pete.

    I find I'm excited for all of you without feeling the need to rush out myself. The whole abbeyhill inspired release behind ML is a very good way of saving a few quid. I want a crack at that Grendel game next…

    Is there a prize for the first thumb? (obviously not like Paul's "competition"…)

  40. Strange Tommy – i heard on twitter that the update was out friday. 

    Turf – shame that competition coincided with me losing all interest in the game and going AWOL …. myabe resurrect it in true proper style for 2016. a ML goal of the month or something, i still have the prizes at home, albeint pes 2015 branded.

  41. Hi,

    Being a PC gamer i'm a little concerned about the outrage at the Steam store regarding the PC version. I'm not too concerned about graphics, although eyecandy doesn't really hurt, but i am holding until i see some confirmation here that the game is the improvement most seemed to claim it was, regarding gameplay on the pitch and in Master League… Any insights will be very welcome.

  42.  Pete – congrats the pitter patter of tiny feet and PES feet. You and John get the best first PES droppage/news award.

    Turf – I know, I go all out with my gas cistern engined internet to post goals and for nowt, the humanity 🙂



  43. Congrats Pete (x2), congrats Shed, Luis I completely agree – disproportionate outrage over the PC version which might be a downgraded version but plays superbly and arguably still better than console.

    Anyway I was lost in Metal Gear and looked at the clock and went down to look and…

  44. Agree with all of your points about PES5.
    Also – looks at the way the ball rolls, it actually slows down as it reaches its target, particularly when playing long ground passes. Don’t feel that so much on PES2016.
    It also has one of my favourite features that has been bafflingly absent since PS2 (I believe) the quick substitution from the start menu. SO much more convenient than going into the tactics screen. Bring it back Konami!

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