The FIFA video game franchise has never been about soccer fans. The game, which is released annually, has been known as a fun video game for fans outside of the sport. You’ll see it pop up in college dorm rooms or local community gatherings. Overseas, the game has a major following due to the importance of soccer, of course. In the United States, though, the game has been a teaching method for soccer, where gamers will become newly accustomed to the sport and grow to enjoy it.

If the goal of the FIFA game is to inspire new fans, FIFA 22 hits the mark easily.

FIFA 22 draws on what’s been successful in the FIFA franchise throughout the years. To be fair, anyone who hasn’t liked FIFA since FIFA 17 — highly regarded as one of the best FIFA games to date — might not enjoy the game. But the game is as realistic as it comes to a simulation soccer game, and there’s plenty to enjoy.

That said, like many other sports video games, FIFA seems to be becoming more about rewards and competitions, rather than playing the game for general enjoyment.

As I did with NBA 2K22, I’ve outlined 22 thoughts on the new FIFA video game, which should give you an idea of what to expect from the new game.

1 — The soundtrack absolutely slaps.

The hallmark of any FIFA game is the soundtrack. FIFA video games come loaded with excellent tracks from throughout the world. FIFA 22 doesn’t stop the trend. The soundtrack is first class with instant hits that could become all-time FIFA soundtrack songs.

2 — The game’s interface is so smooth.

I love how FIFA uses different color schemes with its games. This year, the gray/black mixed with lime green seems to be the colors of choice for the mode. The game's interface is smooth and slick as you move through the menus.

3 — The gameplay feels realistic.

This year’s game feels more realistic compared to previous years. Simple moves you could get away with before don’t work in FIFA 22. If your defender gets beat on the wing, good luck trying to catch up.

4 — It’s more than just button-mashing fun.

In previous years, FIFA could amount to simple button mashing. Press this button for a pass, press this button for a steal and bang, you can win. But in this year’s game, you have to use real strategy to understand where your players are and what they’re doing.

5 — New animations make the game exceptional.

FIFA added a new HyperMotion system to its game this year, which includes 4,000 new animations from players to make gameplay seem realistic. It also makes players seem like their real-life counterparts.

6 — FIFA Ultimate Team adds more rewards, objectives.

FIFA Ultimate Team — a fantasy mode where gamers can buy, trade and use “cards” of soccer players — is back with more rewards and objectives. You can earn new players and packs full of these cards rather easily in FIFA 22.

7 — FIFA Ultimate Team adds fun “preview” mode for packs.

This year’s FIFA Ultimate Team added a new “preview mode” for packs, allowing gamers to see into the pack before they use their coins or real-life money and FIFA points to buy it. Though some critics say this might be a way to encourage people to buy more packs, the preview mode offers the frugal player — who doesn’t want to use their points or coins — to avoid taking the packs.

8 — Competition in FUT is super fierce.

Good luck trying to win in FUT, or FIFA Ultimate Team, if you’re a new player. I’ve tried out a few games in this mode and I get popped each time around. You have to really compete again and again to gain new players and skills to succeed in the competitive modes.

9 — Creating your own team is a much-anticipated feature.

FIFA added a new create your own team feature for its career mode, which is a long-anticipated feature. You used to have to pick a club in the world. Now, creating your own team is a fun feature that gives soccer fans a chance to really customize the experience.

10 — Volta is a nice upgrade.

Volta — a street-soccer game mode — has a few new upgrades that emphasize skill moves and creativity, which is the fun of street soccer anyway. It’s a cool mode for those looking for something more casual.

11 — Perfect for soccer, non-soccer fans alike.

FIFA 22 doesn’t necessarily feel like a soccer fan’s game. It feels like a sports fans game with some extra soccer thrown into it. I’m a big soccer fan, and I don’t necessarily feel like the game is tailored for me. It feels like it’s made for everyone.

12 — Slow loading times on current-gen consoles.

The game takes some time to switch menus and move throughout the interface. Even though the color scheme is great, it takes a long time to move throughout the menus.

13 — Bad goalkeepers can ruin you on the pitch.

Goalkeepers play a big role in this game. If your goalkeeper doesn’t have good stats, good luck surviving on the pitch.

14 — Formations matter in this game.

You need to really plan out your formations. I went with a 4-3-2-1 formation to start off, but my midfield keeps getting carved up. But switching to a 4-4-2 allowed a little more protection that actually helped in the game.

15 — The “computer always wins” mentality doesn’t exist.

One thing that I loved about FIFA 22 is that it doesn’t feel like the computer is going to win. Every move you make matters. Some sports games seem like the computer will beat you no matter what. This doesn’t seem to be the case with FIFA 22.

16 — FIFA 22 has so much to do.

There are so many modes and options in FIFA 22. Between volta, career mode, manager mode, the regular play now and FUT, there are so many options for how you spend your time playing.

17 — Stepover moves are overpowered.

One of the best moves you can perform on the pitch are stepovers (when your player steps over the ball). Once you do that, you can burst with speed into an open area. This is one of the top moves in the game right now.

18 — Jerseys seem extra shiny this year.

An odd experience in FIFA 22 surrounds the jerseys. The home and away kits seem shinier than in previous years, and appear to glow on the screen more.

19 — Crowds sound great in FIFA 22

I played FIFA 22 after watching some UEFA Champions League matches, and the crowds sounded just the same. More than last year, the FIFA 22 crowds sound like real crowds that you’d hear on the television. That creates an excellent experience for the gamer.

20 — New teams added into FIFA

There are a number of clubs added into FIFA 22, including Go Ahead Eagles, Apoel FC, G.D. Estoril Praia, Altay SK, Adana Demirspor, FC U Craiova 1948, FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin and Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio. All of these clubs are back into FIFA, giving fans across the world new clubs to play with.

21 — Worth the upgrade from FIFA 21.

Yes, FIFA 22 is definitely worth the upgrade over FIFA 21. In many ways, FIFA 21 felt like an easy game to win with a few quick button moves. But in FIFA 22, you have to use strategy and foresight to win, and that in itself is worth the upgrade.

22 — FIFA might have reached its peak.

It’s odd to say, but I don’t know where FIFA will go from here. The game is as fully developed as it could be with an excellent soundtrack, great interface and solid gameplay. It’s unclear where the game will go from here other than adding new modes. But FIFA 22 is a sign that FIFA might have reached its peak.