For football fans in the noughties, PES 6 is widely viewed as the pinnacle of football video games.
Whether it was meeting up with friends to play an exhibition, climbing your way up Master League or even if it was the first football game you played (the case for myself) Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is laced with a nostalgia that perfectly bridged fans’ imagination to pure enjoyment.
Like any other video or computer game, first impressions count. That’s why having Inter Milan’s
Adriano and Chelsea’s John Terry complemented with an eye-catching gold background as cover
stars captured the game’s glory perfectly. It was simple, the flair of a Brazilian and the star that was
becoming of England’s John Terry hit two major markets whilst remaining stylish and cool.
The game was released onto the likes of Nintendo DS, Xbox 360 and was the last Pro Evolution
Soccer before the switch from PlayStation 2 to PlayStation 3, marking the end of an era. Its release
date in the UK was the 27 th of October 2006, just three months after the curtain closed on one of the
most iconic World Cups of all time.
To even completely disregard the game itself for a moment, 2006 was a special time for football,
something of a twilight between generations. Luis Figo was rubbing shoulders with Cristiano
Ronaldo, Michael Owen’s game had dropped and Wayne Rooney had arisen.
A 19-year-old Lionel Messi was sharing the pitch with Ronaldinho at Barcelona. It was the crossroads of two generations, and all the stars were accessible on PES 6.
For a game manufactured for the likes of a PlayStation 2, Konami did an exceptional job in making
the experience of playing as immersive as possible.
If you head to the San Siro and play as Inter Milan, you will catch the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Figo, Patrick Vieira and the notorious Adriano (don’t worry, we’ll get to him) in the tunnel pre-match.
As your team take the field, you’ll hear a fan atmosphere ahead of its time. Accurate supporter
chants, flags, banners, horns and even flares in a variety of colours. Pro Evolution Soccer 6 had
crowd interaction that it took FIFA till PlayStation 5 to attain.
For a game made close to two decades ago, PES 6 evaded that arcade feel that the majority of games possessed, it felt like something more, something fresh and unique. The gameplay mechanics were detailed, sharp and precise but had the potential to be spontaneous particularly when dribbling and running with the ball.
Passing and tackling had a sense of realism to their animations, Konami did
exceptionally in mimicking real mannerisms of Footballers despite the lack of technology in
comparison to today’s football games.
Shooting was a whole different ball game, PES 6 is renowned for the shooting of one player in particular, the aforementioned Adriano, of Brazil and Inter Milan. His 99-shot power, though
justified for his real-life form and performances at the time broke the game (in the best way
possible) and was single-handedly responsible for earning the bragging rights or breaking your
Not to mention the celebrations, which had time and effort put into them, helping to create a
euphoric moment of jubilation after the ball had hit the back of your opponent’s net.
For many, the difference between a good game and a great game is whether the creator has taken
care of the finer details, and for PES 6, Konami did. Settings and customisation were key in
cementing the game’s greatness. Like games today, the pitch, ball, weather and stadium were all
interchangeable, but PES 6 went that step further. The option to choose which referee took to the
field was present before kick-off, alongside turning on the options of away goals and fixtures with
two legs, supporter stance was customizable, alongside stadium attendance too.
Fans care for attention to detail, football games often make the mistake of forgetting simplicity, and including the basics before you unveil a new crazy underdeveloped feature, PES 6 was not one of those games.
Have you ever played PES 6?