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I have been playing football video games for as long as I can remember. After converting to PES in the late 90's, Fifa won back my allegiance in 2010. I eagerly anticipate the release of Fifa every year, but have to say I rarely notice much improvement and usually miss the previous title. Fifa 13 was different. It instantly felt better; the gameplay is slick, faster and more realistic - through balls and out pacing opponents being my favourite improvements. The new 'first touch' is great, with players of a higher skill controlling the ball more skilfully and the lower ability players knocking the ball out or even into the path of an attacker. There are more mistakes by goalkeepers too, which can be very annoying, but definitely more realistic.
A few nice touches that don't affect the gameplay - When waiting for a game to begin in the arena, instead of just shooting 1 on 1, there are a number of skill challenges - from passing into bins, shooting at targets to dribbling around cones. There is also the option of unlocking retro kits and balls, as well as 'all star' teams.