Ask any association football fan who is also a gamer. For about 20 years, Pro Evolution Soccer was one half of the biggest rivalry in sports gaming history. But for many, Konami's series was your only real choice.
Honestly, the problem here is EA Sports and how they have the licenses to everything. No other developer wants to compete within Football/Soccer and American Football games by creating fake league names and players. I remember NFL 2k. The best football game over Madden all day long. Even NFL Blitz was a blast to just enjoy. Now we get the same crappy NFL Madden from the pervious year with more technical crap added to the game which takes the enjoyment out of it. Same for Fifa. But to stay on the topic PES was great when it game to graphics and ball movement early on.
If the market was open to everyone, I can bet other publishers would be making amazing games. Like NBA 2k and MLB The Show. Instead we get Fifa and Madden from last year rebranded with this year number.
Fond memories of ISS Pro 98 and FIFA 99. The Pro Evo games on PS2 were the golden era. Master League was genius because it merged the best management aspects of addictive spreadsheet sims (Champ manager) with real time gameplay.
Now one is focused on pay to win loot boxes and the other is mobile quality freemium garbage. That's 'progress.' The market is ripe for a purer alternative.
Pro Evolution game play on the ps2 was outstanding at the time and I hate to think of the amount of hours I played back then, sad to see it go down hill over the years, stopped playing it after PES6 I think it was. Have purchased Fifa a few times but it just never nails the gameplay like PES use to.