It was a battle as old as time itself (or at least it seemed that way), Pro Evo or FIFA?
It was a battle between those who saw themselves as football purists, who weren't in it for the licenses or the graphics, and those who couldn't understand why you'd buy an inferior football game made in Japan.
Somewhere along the way, though, the battle was put to bed as the behemoth that is FIFA eventually pulled away from its rival, leaving Pro Evolution Soccer in a curious place.
As anyone who has played PES 2020 will know, the games these days lurch from brilliant to broken, lagging behind FIFA in a number of ways.
The being said, there is still something about scoring in a PES game that feels oh-so rewarding and there are little nods to the halcyon days with the vintage team names on unlicensed badges (we're talking West London Blue and Merseyside Red).
Talking of the halcyon days, the folks over at Ranker have made a list of the greatest Pro Evolution Soccer games of all time.
Let's see if you'd agree.
18. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
17. Pro Evolution Soccer 2015
16. Pro Evolution Soccer (2001)
15. Pro Evolution Soccer 2 (2002)
14. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
13. Pro Evolution Soccer 2012
12. Pro Evolution Soccer 2019
11. Pro Evolution Soccer 3 (2003)
10. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
9. Pro Evolution Soccer 2011
Now, they've gone wrong already you see, because Pro Evolution Soccer 3 is one of the greatest football games ever made and we won't be swayed. It's got the intimidating grimace of Pierluigi Collina on the front cover and featured gameplay that blew our tiny minds.
It was also possibly the peak of the dodgy player names in unlicensed teams (we're looking at you Von Mistelroum), maybe that's just our opinion though..
Interesting to see the three original releases all languishing in the bottom half of this list alongside 2019's edition, which has not fared well in the eyes of fans.
The 2008 edition deserves its low position in this chart for that hideous cover with Michael Owen and Cristiano Ronaldo looking like they're starring on a footballing version of Babestation.
On we go for the top 8.
8. Pro Evolution Soccer 4
7. Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
6. Pro Evolution Soccer 2017
5. Pro Evolution Soccer 2010
4. Pro Evolution Soccer 5 (2005)
3. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
2. Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (2006)
1. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
Anyone remember how hard Pro Evo 5 was? Man, the game had John Terry and Thierry Henry on the front cover and you had to be as good as both if you wanted to get anywhere.
Maybe we're old, but 4, 5 and 6 - those were the PES days. Crazy unlicensed nonsense. Loved it.
The 2010 game is completely undeserving of its number five spot here and was the point at which PES actively started to compete, unsuccessfully, with FIFA.
Pro Evo 2016 was released on the series' 20th anniversary marking some of the best on-pitch gameplay of recent times and deserving to come in at number three.
In at number one is Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, probably deserving of its place for the fact that it marked the point at which PES decided to stop being completely rubbish.
The series had been in serious decline ever since that dodgy cover on the 08 version, this marked a turning point as Konami went back to focusing on the football rather than the faces.
The only question remains - where would PES 2020 feature on this list?
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