PES 2019 may not have every official license in the world, but it does have permission to use real players and their likenesses, thanks to separately-owned rights and lots of other legal mumbo jumbo.
Those likenesses matter because it means that we can now list the very best players in the game at launch. Even better, we can argue over those ratings throughout the entire season! You can download the unofficial PES 2019 Patch, or option file, if you're after additional realism, but otherwise without further ado, here are PES 2019 best players - ranked by their Overall rating. Let the arguments begin!
PES 2019 best Goalkeepers
The position that you absolutely cannot do without. No matter how fancy a formation you want to play, you're going to want a keeper if you harbour any ambition whatsoever.
There are few rating surprises amongst keepers, with the usual suspects of David De Gea and Manuel Neuer leading the ratings. Ter Stegen at 88 could be considered a little generous, particularly with stoppers like Alisson making waves recently.
It's nice to see De Gea finally overtake Neuer, although that may be controvertial to some, too.
|De Gea||Man Red||91|
|Neuer||Free Agent (would be Bayern Munich)||90|
|Oblak||Altetico De Madrid||89|
PES 2019 best Defenders
Van Dijk breaks into the top five defenders as the only English Premier League star on this list, but otherwise, the world's best at the back are all playing across Europe's other top leagues. The villainous Sergio Ramos, who's also one of the world's most decorated players of all time, is still listed as the best of PES 2019's defenders.
Marcelo's still the only full back in the top five, and lsat year's Bonucci, Silva and Boateng all drop out, which is worth noting too.
|Hummels||Free Agent (usually Bayern Munich)||89|
PES 2019 best Midfielders
Given their dominance over the last 20 months, it's no surprise to see Real Madrid players well-represented in top player lists - with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos included amongst the top five midfielders.
Kevin De Bruyne and Kanté break in alongside David Silva to make it a pretty Premier League-heavy top five, but a fair one in our opinion.
|De Bruyne||Man Blue||90|
PES 2019 best Forwards
There can be no controversy whatsoever in seeing Messi and Ronaldo ranked as the best forwards in PES 2019, the two continuing to dominate world football in both stats and popularity, even as they start to get on a little.
Similarly, it's difficult to argue against Neymar taking the best-of-the-rest spot as a flamboyant winger - although Salah is another excellent option for you if you're looking for another wide player for your front line.
As per last year, Bayern Munich's absence from PES means there are some world class players available on the free free transfer market; Boatang, Lewandowski, Alaba and co will instantly improve most teams in a big way.
Additional reporting by Chris Tapsell