Forget the Premier League, the real clash of season begins now as FIFA20 goes head-to-head with PES 2020

It's a rivalry to challenge any Merseyside or Manchester derby, any Old Firm clash, any North London collision.

For armchair football fans, this rivalry is as competitive as Barcelona versus Real Madrid or Lazio against Roma.

The annual clash of computer games FIFA and Pro-Evolution Soccer has been joined once again.

The two formats are going head-to-head once more for gaming supremacy with millions of players around the globe.

FIFA 20 launches today, September 27, going up against PES 2020 (or eFootball Pro-Evolution Soccer, to give it its full title), which went live earlier in the month.

The two video games have been locking horns for years, with rival camps claiming each is superior to the other.

England player Jadon Sancho as depicted on Fifa20. Credit: EA

ITV News spoke to gamer Nico, an IT worker from London, who has been playing both formats for about 15 years.

He's now now one of the leading PES gamers in Europe.

"I think what makes PES better is the level of control you have from gameplay and also editing kits and stadiums," he said.

"FIFA has a lot of the rights, the leagues, the legends - but PES you can customise a lot more. You can make your own kits, your own leagues.

"FIFA feels a lot more refined (on gameplay) but it's also restrictive because I know that if I do something, I can always score a goal.

"With PES, it's a game for the gaming purist."

Gamer Nico says PES is a game 'for the purist'. Credit: Handout

He said he had played both latest iterations on the hardest settings and found he was struggling to win on PES.

But on Fifa he knows "what I should and should not do" to win a game.

The games evolve year on year, he said, adding: "This year [on PES] I've had to change the way I play. The level of support you get for passing and shooting has changed, you need to be more accurate.

"It's a lot less forgiving this year."

Where the games differ

One thing FIFA, made by EA, will always have ahead of Konami's PES is authenticity.

For years, makers have been able to draw on having access to 'real' stars of world football to create better and better likenesses.

It's also had the rights to the stadiums, the leagues and the legends. But that's now being challenged by PES and its makers Konami.

They've signed a deal to have the 'real' Juventus, including Cristiano Ronaldo - so Fifa will now show the Turin-based side as Piemonte Calcio.

However, owing to the fact FIFA retained the licence for Serie A, you can still play Ronaldo in FIFA. Confused, yet?

Both Spain’s Camp Nou and Italy’s Allianz Stadium, two of the biggest stadiums in world football, are exclusive to PES 2020 thanks to Konami’s deals with Barcelona and Juventus, respectively.

While Manchester United are now an official PES club - FIFA's Premier League licence means they retain use of the club, too.

But FIFA recaptured rights last season to the UEFA Champions League (and Europa League) after 10 years on PES.

PES has exclusive rights to various stadiums around the world - such as Celtic Park and Bayern Munich's Allianz Stadium - but does lack a presence for its 'Legends' feature.

But, again, it's fighting hard with former footballing superstar David Beckham only featuring on the Konami game.

"With FIFA, as much as it is a cosmetic difference, it does make a difference to the authenticity," says Nico.

"It's one of the key appeals of FIFA. FIFA is football - but PES and Konami are doing some incredible things.

"And gameplay is important to me."

PES: Stat attack

  • April 2018 – surpassed 100 million sales for PES franchise

  • Master League is PES own managerial career mode, letting players create and manage their own teams with the aim of becoming the strongest squad in the league it was first bought to the game in 2002

  • The first instalment in the series of Pro Evolution Soccer games was released in October 2001 for both PlayStation and PlayStation 2. It was released under the name World Soccer: Winning Eleven 5 in Japan and North America.

  • PES consists of 19 main instalments and several spin-off style titles and it has seen releases on many different platforms

Fifa: Stat attack

  • FIFA 18 has sold over 24 million copies to date, with players playing more than 7 billion matches and scoring over 17 billion goals since launch.

  • EA SPORTS FIFA continues to be the best-selling sports video game of all-time, with over 260 million units sold across the franchise to date.

  • FIFA 19 sold 2.5 million copies in the UK.

  • FIFA launched in 1993 as FIFA International Soccer, adopting the FIFA 95 label for the 1994 season.

  • Available in more than 50 countries, in 18 languages.