Rugby 20 Review – A Step Forward for Rugby Games

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Rugby fans will be delighted to hear that a new video game, Rugby 20, is set to be released in January. This will be the first rugby video game since 2018 and only the eighth of the decade. Last Word on Rugby has had access to a beta version of the game and David Challis will be taking you through its successes as well as its failings before its release.


Overall the quality of the graphics is a vast improvement on previous iterations of rugby games. Rugby 20 offers realistic and artistic depictions of licensed players which rivals that of FIFA series of games.

The only area that where the graphics of the game falls down is in the movement of the players and the stadia. Players still move in a rather robotic way which falls behind the quality other sporting franchises gamers are accustomed to. In addition, the stadia are to a degree unimaginative and add little to the feel of the game.


Another vast improvement upon previous versions of rugby games. It is easy to be overawed with the sheer volume of controls. However, the gameplay is intuitive and easy to pick up making it an enjoyable experience for all. Rugby is an extremely complex game so some of its more nuanced facets are slightly clunky.

However, once you get used to things like line-outs, scrums and place-kicking the game is very easy to play. There is also enough variation that makes the game playable for a long period of time.


A criticism always launched at rugby games is the lack of detail and thought put into them. Given the complexity of Rugby as a sport, video games often come off as simplistic in comparison. However Rugby 20 bucks the trend here.

The ability for players to customize defensive and attacking strategies in sophisticated ways adds a level of realism that is missing from previous games. It is clear a lot of thought has gone into the way the game is constructed and as a result, the developers should be commended.

Game modes and licensing – To be confirmed

The beta only offers a few games modes to play with more to be released in January. These include Solo which is potentially a ‘my player’ type career mode. This would be very exciting if it is true. My Squad which could be similar to its Rugby 18 iteration and Challenges which is likely to be set challenges based on real-life games.

It is difficult to reach a verdict as we have been unable to access these game modes. However, if these options impress then the game will have a well-rounded feel.

In terms of licensing, Rugby 20 has five licensed nations and four licensed domestic leagues. This is very exciting as the licensed nations look very impressive and should add to the overall realism of the game.

Overall Verdict

There is a lot to be excited about this iteration of Rugby games. Rugby 20 has a lot of interesting features and the level of detail in the game is impressive. However, Rugby games still have a long way to catch up with their football counterparts.

Elements of the gameplay and the graphics still look clunky and as a result, the game loses some of its value. Overall though Rugby 20 should be commended and it will be an enjoyable product for all despite some of its drawbacks.