Game after game after game, I realize now what's most important in my life: football. Show me something more thrilling than a perfect volley. Tell me you've never dreamt the immaculate strike, taking part in a moment when an entire nation holds its breath. Tell me that football is not our one common language, when the whole planet stops for 90 minutes to be witness to that one thing we all understand. Yeah, you can tell me I'm wrong. Some may say it's just a game. But this is about heroes and tribes, loyalty and devotion. It's our commitment and our passion, our battle and our belief; this is our faith. Now, feel the fever of the crowd, hear the roar of the faithful. You are Ronaldinho, you are Wayne Rooney. This is the beautiful game. This is your moment.
—FIFA 06 intro speech
Another franchise of Sports Games
from EA Sports
and one of the most popular worldwide, alongside Madden NFL
The FIFA Soccer
, or simply FIFA
, series is the first soccer
game series to get a FIFA license. Being one of the few games (if not the only game) with licenses from various soccer leagues in the world, the game enjoys a wide selection of teams from the most prestigious to the downright obscure.
The series has come along way from it's initial outing FIFA International Soccer
", even though it was originally released in 1993) which boasted a unique isometric view compared to the standard top down or side views of it's competition. In a few years FIFA soon established itself as a major force in sports videogames and amassed a dedicated following that continues to grow to this day.Euro Footy
is the main focal point of the games. Not only the gameplay is generally modeled after a mixture of the main playing styles of Europe, also a massive majority of the teams are from there. They even had license from UEFA to produce their UEFA Champions League
spinoff before Konami
bought it from them.
Over the course of its history FIFA has had missteps. This was due in small part to stagnation having been around so long and the series early foray into next generation physics. However recent entries have proven very successful among fans and critics alike thanks to the devs spending real quality time polishing the game rather than just tacking on new features. Over the last several years, FIFA has created such momentum with its fanbase that it is now the best-selling sports series in the world, as well as one of the best-reviewed.
In addition to the yearly releases of the game, there are special edition games for soccer events which varies from the FIFA World Cup
to the European Championship
which serves as the Licensed Game
of said tournaments.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: 11 allows you to play goalkeeper for the first time. Explaining: even when you play as your whole team, you usually don't get to do much with your goalie since the AI does pretty much all the saving for you. Playing goalie, though, you obviously have to do all the work.
- Announcer Chatter: This is a sports game, after all. Though how much chatter you have depends on how good a match is: if it is a monotonous draw with both teams on the defensive, you may have the announcer silent for quite a while. It can also get funny if the announcer only goes on saying the name of whoever the ball's just been passed to, until someone steals it or it goes out of play.
- The more recent entries have them dropping trivia or commenting on teams during these more dull moments.
- Bilingual Bonus: In more recent entries some of the background sound includes announcements over the stadium's tannoy system, for instance how many minutes will be added at the end of the half. If for instance you are playing in Serie A the announcements will be in Italian.
- Butt Monkey: The poor goalkeepers, in order to have realistic scores but to compress the games to only a few minutes, are made to be less competent than other players, in a way that even the best goalies can be easily scored against.
- Averted in the Arena kickabouts. The keeper there is as competent as he can be.
- This is actually up to debate, as 0-0 scores can perfectly happen, be it through keeper competence or the strikers' poor aiming. The compressed in-game timer, which always runs in proportion to the real-life 90-minute mark (independent on the settings) is what makes a 4-goal win (which is when a typical soccer match enters Curb-Stomp Battle territory) feel like Australia playing American Samoa.
- Classic Cheat Code: The earlier games had these, allowing the player to have invisible walls, balls that went in crazy directions, or half-witted teams.
- Creator Cameo: Back when the games didn't have the FIFPro license to use real players (the first game and 95 only), all players were fictional. Some of them were named after people in the development team; some with their name intact (e.g. England's Bruce McMillan and Italy's Joe Della-Savia), others with slightly altered names (Brazil's Janco Tianno from Jan Tian, and Germany's Kevin Piknell from Kevin Pickell, for example).
- If you look at the credits for 13, you'll see a guy called Nick Channon as one of the producers. He was England's goalkeeper in the first two games.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Whilst in some regions it is now known simply as FIFA, it was and is still released in parts of the world (ie. North America) as FIFA Soccer/Football. So basically it's name would be Fédération Internationale de Football Association Football. Or in English the International Federation of Association Football...Football.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: More and more every year with a different game mechanic. From simple things like the ref allowing the advantage rather than blow for a free, to the rare scenario of a defender running into a goal post. Notably it's the only game to have an option to toggle handballs on or off (if on, obviously, a foul is counted when it happens).
- Difficulty Spike: The earliest games had three difficulty levels: Amateur, Professional and World Class. While you could easily grow accustomed to Amateur level, to a point you could even curbstomp the other team effortlessly, the AI always took a level in badass when you moved up to Professional. And don't get us started on World Class. Thankfully fixed in later installments.
- Dynamic Loading: Since the transition to seventh generation, the game lets you do kickabouts (or skill minigames, starting with 13) with a random player of your team of choice while the next match is loading. You'll know it's finished loading when the training arena is replaced with the stadium - however, you can keep going for as long as you like until you press Start.
- Also, when a player is subbed out, the game stops for a quick load; this is disguised by showing a random player going around the pitch, like they would do in real football.
- Euro Footy: Most of what you see in the game comes from here. In FIFA 13 for example, about 80% of the club teams present (over 500!) are European, with only 6 out of the 30 leagues outside of Europe (USA, Mexico, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Australia), plus 6 European teams in the "Rest of World" bracket and just over half of the national teams present (26 out of 46).
- Fun with Acronyms: The FIFA Ultimate Team mode is commonly shorthanded to FUT, which also happen to be the first three letters of the word football in Portuguese ("futebol") and Spanish ("fútbol").
- Game-Breaking Bug: "The Danish League bug" caused the game to skip a season after the second reason with a Danish league team, and every other season after it. EA forum members complained, and managed to deconstruct the bug within a month after being reported. Took several seasons to get it fixed.
- Game Mod: Has one of the most dedicated communities on the Internet, with fan-made patches including official kits for unlicensed teams, updated rosters/kit sets for older games, faces for certain players, leagues that are otherwise unrepresented in FIFA (Eastern European leagues are pretty frequent) and so on.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A famous Man U fan chant, set to the tune of "This Old Man", is kept in despite its profane ending, "Why don't (opposing team) fuck off home?". Presumably it sneaks by due to the audio being garbled by the end so that it can't be made out clearly, but footie fans know exactly how that Crowd Song goes.
- Harder Than Hard: The higher difficulties in the recent games is challenging without any shame. The World Cup qualifiers in particular can be nerve-wrecking.
- It's Up to You: The "Be a Pro" modes.
- Joke Character: Gangwon FC's Moon Byung Woo in FIFA 14.
- Long Runner: At least one game per year since 1994 and still going strong. The most recent entry, FIFA 14, is the twenty-first entry in the main series. Not too many games can get to that figure (at least not without seeing their sales dwindle with every yearly installment), and that's not counting spinoffs like FIFA Manager and the World Cup games.
- Mission Pack Sequel: Same deal as Madden, except every once in a while they add newer leagues into the mix. For FIFA 12 they added the entire Euro 2012 championship as an expansion.
- Multi-Platform: Every yearly installment (barring 95, which was exclusive to the Sega Genesis) is released in every commercial console that year. Notably, there are some consoles that still get them at the very end of their market life, like 98 for the Genesis, 2005 for the original PlayStation, and the newest instalment, 14, is set to be the last-ever PlayStation 2 game in America[[note]]Ironically, the last-ever PS2 game in Europe — and worldwide, thus the last PS2 game ever — is its rival, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014. Though they've been saying since about 11 that "this is the last one to be released on PS2"...
- In fact 98 was the last-ever Genesis game in Europe and 2005 was the last-ever PS1 game in America.
- Just to further elaborate: 14 was released across three generations, with PS2, PS3 and PS4 among the systems that received it.
- Purposefully Overpowered: The Classic XI team is filled with legendary players and have maximum attributes on everything. Oddly, they lack people like Pelé and Maradona, but considering how powerful the team is without them...
- There's the "Legends" mode on 14's Ultimate Team, too. This time, they have Pelé among them. Still no Maradona, though. The difference is that you can recruit any of them to play on your team (which is what Ultimate Team is all about).
- X Meets Y: The FIFA Ultimate Team mode can be accurately described as a blend between a collectible card game and a management simulator.