It's that time of year again where the big footie sims make their grand entrance, and whilst I do question the necessity of a yearly update there do appear to be significant improvements all round. Last year I was re-seduced by Pro Evo 16, FIFA 16 proving just too slow and plodding for my taste. In the days of PS2 I was exclusively Pro Evo, but the PS3 versions fell off a cliff compared with their FIFA counterpart. As such, I was thrilled to see PES making a comeback on PS4, but was it sustainable? In a word, yes. In a few words, hell f**king yes! This year, as last, I picked up the FIFA 17 demo first and I instantly felt the new FIFA's improvements over 2016's instalment. I'm not sure if it is 'faster' per se, but it felt a little quicker, smoother, but still, for me at least, not enough. When I play FIFA I find its the sort of football where you receive a pass, take a touch, get your head up and play on. That's great if you want to think about every touch you make, but if you play on instinct FIFA never quite feels right to me. I definitely prefer FIFA 17 to 16, but by the end of my demo exhibition match I was ready to play something else. One thing I did notice was how easy it was to score on the normal difficulty compared to last year's FIFA. Shooting has a much more arcadey, dare I say "PES", feel to it and every time I decided just to smash it from almost anywhere inside the opponents half it tested the keeper or flew in the top corner. I also got incredibly frustrated with the controls, particularly on the few occasions FIFA did dare to become a little frantic. I would desperately try to switch players, but the game would select every player BUT the 1 I was trying to control! So annoying when it allows your opponent to walk thru your defence and roll it into the goal! That said, those gripes were rare and, mostly, the game felt slicker than ever. The PES 17 demo is a different beast entirely and, when you consider that the game itself has added polish compared with the demo, it feels a real winner (and the reviews seem to agree, with pretty much consistent 9/10-10/10 scores across the board). PES is just so much faster it forces you to play on instinct and, the best bit, the AI is so spot on you often don't even need to look and the computer is making the runs into the areas you put the ball. Sometimes your receiving player gets blocked off by an opponent and your pass goes to no-one, but it feels right and, if you catch the movement of your team out the corner of your eye, you can pick the best pass in a split second, just like the real thing. Whereas FIFA has made it easier to score, PES has gone the other way. Last year's PES was arguably too easy (depending on the difficulty setting) but they've tightened it up and whilst shooting is as crisp as ever, you'll sometimes hit the bar or pull it wide when you had to hit the target and goalies feel much improved also, without making goalscoring impossible. Having played both demos again, I'm sold as I was last year. FIFA 17 is a top game but it very much feels like La Liga to PES 17's Premier League. FIFA is a little more slick, but it's still slower, more thoughtful, whilst PES 17 is all guts and glory! I think the best thing is that they offer 2 top quality football sims but 2 totally different experiences. Both demos are out now and I urge you to give them both a try. If you are used to FIFA then PES's controls may frustrate (unless you play with the "alternative" setting which is much closer) but you adapt fast and, once PES 'clicks' it just feels so natural to play.