The debate between 'Pro Evolution Soccer' and 'FIFA' was gaming's version of Blur versus Oasis in the 2000s, and while 'FIFA' very comfortably won the argument, it became complacent in recent years.
With this year's version of 'FIFA' primed to be the last under the current 'FIFA' banner, EA have upped the ante to make this year's version of 'FIFA' perhaps the most explosive entry into the series since 'FIFA 10'.
For those with a long memory, 'FIFA 10' is best remembered as the game that introduced 360 dribbling to the series, and it helped 'FIFA' pull clear of Konami's 'Pro Evolution Soccer'.
'FIFA' never looked back after implementing this feature but has largely been coasting on past glories in recent years.
This year, 'FIFA' has come out swinging.
There have been some controversial changes such as the Pro Clubs feature being stripped back, but the core gameplay has been rejigged in such a way that it should make up to disappointed fans.
The promise of cross-play but the feature not applying to Pro Clubs has rankled many fans, as well as the lack of information on career mode, but the actual gameplay has been rejigged in such a way that EA hopes to make it up to fans.
'FIFA 23' feels more weighted and grounded than previous iterations, and is moving closer to the real thing with each passing year.
The passing and shooting mechanics have received an overhaul, there is an absurd level of detail, and you'll never see the same player animation twice.
Much like Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, there is a slavish amount of detail and dedication to getting the little things right.
With the current console generation in full swing, developers have gotten used to what the PS5 and new Xbox consoles have to offer, and there is no shred of irony involved here; this feels like the biggest 'FIFA' game in years.
There are so many tiny details that aren't worth much by themselves, but add up to a one-of-a-kind experience.
Sliding on the grass leaves a mark that remains for the rest of the game, players can get trapped in the net, goalkeepers' fingers bend depending on what part of the hand is hit, and Kylian Mbappé runs like Kylian Mbappé.
The free-kick, corner and penalty systems have also been overhauled.
Following on from last year's overhaul, the free-kick system actually works this year.
Instead of just hitting and hoping the ball goes into the net, there is actual skill and strategy involved.
It is now possible to score Roberto Carlos style free-kicks with bending shots thanks to the overhauled free-kick system which has remained the same since the PS2 era.
The penalty system has also received a subtle overhaul - instead of vaguely hitting a shot towards the corner of the goal, there is now a reticle that increases and decreases as it gets closer to the ball.
The controller also subtly shakes depending on how far or how high-stakes the pressure is which is a tiny detail that truly puts the weight of the world on your shoulders.
In that moment, you may realise why England always lose on penalties - penalty shoot outs are really bloody stressful, as it turns out.
All these details may seem incidental and putting a hat on a hat, but adding all these little details add up to the most transformative 'FIFA' in years.
Much ink is spilled around this time each year about how this year's 'FIFA' is totally different from last year's iteration, but the hype is justified this time.
In Sir Alex Ferguson's final season he added Robin Van Persie to an already impressive squad in a quest for glory, and 'FIFA' have pulled the same trick this year.
There is also a major emphasis on women's football this year for the first time, and while it wasn't available in the press build provided to us by EA, we are assured the women's mode will be given the same care and detail as the male counterpart.
The passing, shooting and tackling feels weightier and yes, more like playing real football.
Power shots are a major addition to 'FIFA' this year, allowing you to power in shots like Gabriel Batistuta in his prime.
The beauty of these power shots is you can amazingly mess them up, and it does take a bit of skill to pull off, but when you manage to pull off these power shots you feel like a footballing god.
'FIFA' has always been a power fantasy of sorts, allowing you to live out your childhood dreams of lining out for Derry City or Real Sociedad, and this year the dream is more alive than ever.
In fact, 'FIFA' has managed to revert itself back to its purest form; it wants to be the ultimate depiction of football.
'FIFA' feels more like traditional 'Pro Evolution Soccer' this year which may seem like sacrilege to fans of both franchises, but considering 'Pro Evolution Soccer' forced 'FIFA' into a drastic rethink in the PS2 era, it makes sense in a strange way that 'FIFA' would return to close the loop.
The alpha version provided to us by EA was very much a work in progress, but the bones of something truly great are there.
There is an air of a swansong about 'FIFA 23', and EA are indeed pulling out the stops for what will be the final 'FIFA' as we know it.
The 2022 World Cup will be included in the game (although there's no word if you can take a team from qualifying to the main event in a bid to avenge Stephen Kenny's boys), Juventus are back in the game fully licensed and a plethora of new pre-game and broadcast animations have been added.
'FIFA 23' looks to be as important to the franchise as Liverpool's signing of Allison in 2018.
All the pieces were there, but it was missing that one last tilt into true greatness, and this year's version of 'FIFA' is EA presenting a bold and new version of perhaps the most famous gaming franchise out there.
Getting excited about good results in pre-season often serve as a false dawn for football fans, but 'FIFA 23' looks to continue its red-hot form into the season.
With the game due out in late September or early October, this is shaping up to be a game worthy of Maradona.