eFootball PES 2021 Season Update – Review

When it was announced a few months ago that the latest Pro Evolution Soccer by Konami would only be a seasonal update with minimal improvements over the last game, I was really interested in the concept. This isn’t something exclusive, Electronic Arts have released their “Legacy Edition” of FIFA and NHL on older consoles (and FIFA on Nintendo Switch) but they still charged full price. In the case of PES 2021, Konami has released the game at a discounted price (about 50% less than last year’s game and if you’re a regular player of the game (or played PES 2020 through Xbox Game Pass), they offered an additional 20% discount on certain editions of the game). For the risk they took essentially skipping this year so they could focus on next-gen next year, I think it has paid off.

Yes, if you’ve played PES 2020, PES 2021 is more or less the same with a few minor changes. The most notable will be the updated leagues and club changes. AC Milan, a club I support, was in PES 2020 but having signed a marketing partnership with EA a few months ago, they are out. On the flip side, AS Roma who was missing last year signed a partnership with Konami and is exclusive to PES. For those who only follow the English Premier League, Arsenal and Manchester United are fully authentic in the game with the rest of the league players available to use but their clubs being filled with generic names, crests, and kits. 

If you’re a general football fan or care more about players than clubs, this isn’t a deal-breaker. This is nothing new to the Winning Eleven/PES series, where they’ve always relied on delivering a solid performance on the pitch and let the authentic licensing stuff take a back seat.

From my time with PES and its community, the two core modes are My Club, their answer to FIFA’s Ultimate Team, and Master League, their managerial mode. While I enjoy playing the club tournaments like Euro 2020 and the AFC C