EA Sports UFC 5 Review

EA Sports UFC 5 Strikes the Perfect Balance Between Realism and Excitement

It can be challenging for an MMA game to find the right balance between being a realistic sports simulation and an exciting fighting game. Lean too much towards simulation, and you risk alienating fans who want a more thrilling experience. On the other hand, if you move too far towards the crowd-pleasing violence of games like Mortal Kombat, you lose that authenticity. But EA Sports UFC 5 manages to strike the perfect balance, making it the best MMA game to date. With its impressive new damage system and a more fluid and lifelike gameplay, UFC 5 offers a thrilling and rewarding experience.

Realistic and Impactful Damage

One of the significant improvements in UFC 5 is the realistic depiction of injuries. In UFC 4, visible injuries were scarce, and there was a lack of continuous bleeding over time. But in UFC 5, the damage system is much more sophisticated, with significant impacts on the player. Your fighter can suffer injuries like broken nose and cuts above the eyes, which affect their vision and breathing. These effects are indicated by icons under the health bar, making every hit and every match more exciting, risky, and rewarding. It forces you to make tough decisions – to either persevere and heal between rounds or go all out to finish your opponent before it’s too late.

A Visually Stunning and Cinematic Experience

The animations in UFC 5 have undergone significant changes, resulting in 64,000 possible facial injury combinations unique to each fight. These injuries accumulate throughout the match, creating a sense of continuity and realism. Blood and sweat from strikes are visible on the mat, adding to the visual impact. The slow-motion replay of knockout finishes is highly cinematic, reminiscent of finishing moves in games like Tekken. These improvements completely transform the gaming experience and elevate the satisfaction of earning a knockout.

Gameplay Improvements and Enhanced Realism

UFC 5 presents significant improvements in gameplay and enhanced realism. The control system has been overhauled, resulting in smoother and more fluid animations. Strikes are more crisp and authentic, giving the player greater control over their fighter. Defense has been strengthened, preventing flash knockouts and overpowering. The movements have a greater sense of realism, allowing for better combos and nimble footwork. The flow-based grappling and submission system removes the frustrating mini-games from UFC 4, making the gameplay more intuitive and enjoyable. Overall, the gameplay enhancements in UFC 5 make it a more satisfying and immersive experience than its predecessor.

A Next-Gen Presentation

The presentation in UFC 5 has also seen significant improvements. Walkouts and post-fight announcements emulate actual UFC broadcasts, enhancing the overall immersion. Specific fighters’ walkouts are based on their real-life movements, adding a personal touch to the game. The designs of the fighters are excellently rendered, capturing their likeness during matches and cutscenes. These improvements contribute to making UFC 5 feel unique and intentional.


EA Sports UFC 5 excels in finding the perfect balance between realism and excitement. With its impressive damage system, stunning visuals, enhanced gameplay, and next-gen presentation, it is undoubtedly the best MMA game to date. Whether you’re a dedicated fan or a newcomer, UFC 5 offers a thrilling and rewarding gaming experience that will keep you engaged for hours on end.