FIFA 21 Ultimate Team Review: Quarter 1

Here is our Quarter 1 Review of FIFA 21 Ultimate Team.
Here is our Quarter 1 Review of FIFA 21 Ultimate Team. | Photo by EA Sports/FIFA

FIFA 21 has been out for well over three months now and we have seen a number of exciting, as well as some not so stellar, inclusions to Ultimate Team. Here is our review of FIFA 21 Ultimate Team so far from October through December.

FIFA 21 Ultimate Team Quarter 1 Review:

Here is our review on how things are going in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team at the moment.

The Good

One of the best parts of Ultimate Team this year comes in the form of the FUT Friendlies playlist. More specifically the integration with the season objectives. The playlist is, for lack of better phrasing, fun to play. It is the perfect way to test your FIFA skills against other players while having a blast at the same time. The fact that EA has tied in promotions like the Icon Swaps to these playlists makes earning these rewards a whole lot sweeter than just simply spending your days in the FUT Store. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to other additions and promotions.

The Bad

The first bit of nonsense that needs to be talked about is the new interface for Ultimate Team. While we can appreciate that the EA developers tried to add a bit more organization to their interface, especially given the sheer number of things you can do in Ultimate Team now, it feels as though they have taken a step back with this change. By placing all of the game playlists in one tab, including the SBCs for some reason, and keeping the transfer market completely on its own makes the process of transitioning from one section to another much more tedious than it needs to be. If anything it feels like EA added in something new just to say that they did. But that is the least of the problems when it comes to Ultimate Team.

The biggest issue for FIFA 21 Ultimate Team in Quarter 1 is the sheer difficulty that comes with trying to unlock all of the special cards. Specifically when it comes to Squad Building Challenges. While it is understandable that there should be some layer of difficulty to acquire items such as the Player of The Month cards as well as some of the Icons, the amount of stuff EA requires their player base to do in order to obtain these cards is downright insulting.

For example, look at the Milinkovic-Savic Headliners SBC. To earn this limited-time card players needed to create two squads, one with an overall rating of 82 and the other an overall rating of 85. Players aiming to complete this challenge also have to include at least 1 Team of The Week card in each segment. And that is just one of the many cards that EA has in the SBC hub, and they all follow this pattern more or less.

From having an unlimited supply of 84+ rated players and Team of The Week players, it feels as though EA is flat out admitting that they care more about your credit card than they do about making the game fun for everyone. Or at least, they only make it fun for the big-name content creators, esports professionals and those of us who don't get off of the game. Hopefully, EA will be willing to be a little more player-friendly with their SBCs as we progress through the year.

Final Verdict

Overall FIFA 21 Ultimate Team hasn't been all that great to play so far. Apart from the heightened emphasis on the FUT Friendlies playlist, it all just feels like the same old, same old from EA in terms of playability. Playing this game feels like more a chore in many aspects than in previous iterations. After all, not everyone is trying to play in FUT Champions every week. However, that is not to say that there aren't enjoyable aspects of Ultimate Team this year. Hopefully, as we move into Quarter 2 of the FIFA season we will see a noticeable improvement on the part of EA Sports.