Rugby 2005

Building on the popular but shaky foundations of Rugby 2002 and Rugby 2004, the latest instalment is a quality sports simulation that can happily hold it's own against heavyweights FIFA, Madden and NBA Live. It's pure fun, and while the voyage to the try line may be burdened by a few frustrations, it ultimately scores the winning points.

Like most of the industry giant's sport titles, this is a fully licensed affair, bursting at the seams with modes and management options. There are eight tournaments to enjoy, including the World Cup, Tri-Nations and Super 12. Gamers can create their own players or an entire team of players which can be managed and utilised in multiplayer games or in tournaments.

What Rugby 2005 does very well, however, is cater to the newcomers. The basic coaching clinic does an excellent job of taking players through the controls and rules of the game.

This in-depth training is truly needed. Rugby 2005's gameplay is deep, capturing all the little nuances, laws and on-field dynamics which define the sport, and this can take substantial effort to master. Thankfully, with this edition, EA has finally nailed the controls. Lineouts and scrums are simple and intuitive to execute, with the player able to choose a strategy before play or just go commando and free-ball it. Running with the ball also feels quite fluid and by using the second analog stick it's a breeze to perform side steps, hand-offs and shoulder-charges - although you will have to get the timing just right.

Most important of all, Rugby 2005 really feels like the sport. You can make calls on the fly, running with a simple button press from the back of the maul and driving your possession up field before spreading it wide. You can perform cutouts and inside balls too, but it all depends on how you handle the binding/not-binding dynamic. You see, when a player goes down with the ball you add your players to the maul with a button tap, with the more players you have engaged, the higher your chances of keeping/stealing the ball. However, the more people you stick in the maul, the fewer players you have left to defend or attack the line. It's a very interesting and engaging gameplay mechanic.

Unfortunately, there are bugs in the AI that pepper this otherwise fast-moving and engaging game. High on the list are your player's unwillingness to jump on loose balls, their happiness to pass the ball to non-existent players and their tendency to wander backwards in defence rather than move forward. C'mon fellas, it's a contact sport! Bombs are also a problem. The other kicks at your disposal - punts, drop-goals and grubbers - are fine, but the marker that follows the ball's trajectory is hard to see and doesn't indicate when the ball is descending, which makes it very hard to catch.

Rugby 2005 is clearly the best rugby title ever made and a vast improvement on EA's two previous outings. Sure, there are still some frustrations and plenty of room for growth, but Rugby 2005 is a worthy virtual alternative to the real thing.

Score Card

Visuals: Player likeness and animation is top notch Audio: Crowd jeering and bone-crunching tackles, although commentary a little repetitive Gameplay: Well-balanced gameplay, improved controls Score: 4.0 Publisher: EA Developer: EA URL:

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Stead

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?