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YMMV / FIFA Soccer

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  • Awesome Music:
    • Imagine qualifying for, and winning the World Cup, to the sound of "Song 2". You can do it in 98.
    • FIFA is pretty much this every year, thanks to its large and eclectic worldwide soundtrack.
    • It also transcends beyond the in-game soundtracks. Take a look at the trailer for 16 and see how amazingly well Etta James' "At Last" fits with the images.
  • Base-Breaking Character: TOTY David Luiz in 15. He had a less-than stellar 2014, capped off with the infamous 7-1 loss against Germany during The World Cup. This caused him to be the least liked player on reference site Futhead, with over 8000 downvotes. Despite this, he is still used and quite a good player.
  • Broken Base:
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Combined with Small Reference Pools, players picking the most famous/successful Euro Footy teams (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich) are really common.
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  • Dork Age: There are two generally agreed on by fans; a mild one from 2004 to 07 due to a lack of gameplay innovation, and then a more severe one starting around 18 due to the games becoming increasingly buggy, poorly-balanced, and reliant on micro-transactions.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Pro Evolution Soccer players, to DC/Marvel levels as far as sports games are concerned.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Gold (players with rating over 75) Team of the Season cards, and especially Team of The Year cards.
    • Neymar and Yassine Chikhaoui, being the only 2 players with both 5 star skills and a 5 star weak foot.
    • Most in-form versions of Ronaldo and Messi.
    • Lightning Bruisers Emmanuel Emenike, Romelu Lukaku, and Team of the Season Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
      • On that note, "beast/sweaty" players in general, who have above-average speed and/or strength. Relatively cheap (at least when compared to Ronaldo and Messi) examples include Anthony Martial (Fast, Strong, a Good Shooter, links well to Premier League and French players), Gabriel Jesus (same with Martial, only Brazilian), Eric Bailly (Fast, Strong, A good Tackler, High Work-Rates), Tiemoue Bakayoko (Fast, Strong, a cheap substitute for Paul Pogba), and Kalidou Koulibaly (Same reasons as Bailly).
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Possibly the most famous bug in the series: in the original game, it was possible to stand in front of the opposing goalkeeper when he was about to take a goal kick, causing the kick to ricochet off you and backwards into the net for an easy goal. This was understandably patched out starting with 95, although it creeped back in during the 7th generation console era. Unfortunately, this still existed in a fashion in '96; shooting the instant the keeper was to kick the ball (out of hand only, else you aren't allowed close enough to do it off a goal kick) would result in a diving header/scorpion kick and the ball would end up in the net.
    • The original game also allowed you to run away from the referee when he came over to book you, causing the match to grind to a halt while the referee chases you relentlessly across the pitch. Naturally, someone on YouTube has set it to "Yakety Sax".
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Though each of the early games improved on the last, it's generally felt that Road to the World Cup '98 is when the series really got good.
    • For most of its lifetime, FIFA was considered inferior to Konami's International Superstar Soccer/Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution Soccer series, to the point that the Konami games would routinely outsell FIFA in European markets, despite FIFA's longer list of real league licenses and players. With the jump to the PS3/360, Pro Evolution began to flounder as Konami had difficulty working with the new consoles (not unlike EA Sports and Madden); at the same time, FIFA 08 came out to widespread acclaim and boosted sales thanks to a much improved and reworked engine that focused on tightening the gameplay itself. In short order, FIFA became the best-selling sports series worldwide, including topping 10+ million sales a year, and was the first soccer game to land on the yearly top-10 best selling games; hand-in-hand, it also routinely outscored Pro Evolution in the reviews. Although PES has improved much towards the end of the generation (despite PES 2014 being a rather Obvious Beta for the Fox Engine), EA had seized the window of opportunity and now have a stranglehold in all markets.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: During a video made by Sips about FIFA 15, he went out of his way to get everything wrong as part of his character, going as far as to claim that 15 was a game entirely about assembling female football/soccer teams. Later that year, FIFA 16 was actually announced to have women teams for the first time.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • Fans were vocal about EA extending the life of their Wii presence by simply releasing FIFA 13 basically unaltered from FIFA 12 aside from transactions and updated kits. This trope reared itself again with FIFA 20 Legacy Edition and beyond for Nintendo Switch (a FIFA 19 update in effect), as EA implicitly gave up on the system regarding FIFA for various tech- and sales-related reasons.
    • By the time of FIFA 21 critics were increasingly beginning to call this on the franchise as a whole, questioning its business model of charging full price for annual updates when new features were becoming increasingly thin on the ground, problems with the game's mechanics and glitches weren't being addressed, and microtransactions were becoming more and more pervasive.
  • Memetic Badass: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, "Lord" Nicklas Bendtner, Adebayo Akinfenwa, and Emmanuel Emenike.
  • Memetic Mutation: Mostly found in the comments of players' cards and squads on sites such as Futhead.
  • Never Live It Down: The local 2-Players Mode in next-gen FIFA 14 is locked behind paid DLC. It has since made available in later games.
  • Nintendo Hard: "Treble Mode" in UEFA Champions League 07. Having to recover a 2-goal deficit late in the second half is a common scenario.
  • Older Than They Think: EA made some negative waves when they announced FIFA 20 for the Switch would be a Legacy Edition, a term used for EA sports games on previous-gen consoles when a yearly title is unaltered from the prior season aside from transactions and uniforms/kits, especially when new features and engine changes would be incompatible with underpowered hardware. However, this practice dates back to even the 16-bit era, as EA and Sega released 'legacy' versions of MLB and NFL games in the twilight years of the Sega Genesis (through 1997), EA and Sony similarly did so with NFL, NBA, and MLB games for the PS1 through 2004, and so forth. While some fans and detractors cry foul over this tactic, it's a low-cost venture for publishers with established sports franchises; sports games sell just well enough with previous-gen gamers who have yet to make the next jump but crave current titles, but not well enough to divert resources and manpower from the next/current generation of titles that require more attention. While this flew under the radar in the 90's and 00's, it's easier to bring this to light in the modern era of gaming, with the advent of social media amplifying instantaneous fan reactions, on top of poorly-received business decisions from EA across their portfolio. FIFA 20 also drew more specific scorn since it wasn't an old system, but simply EA deciding to punt on the Switch regarding the series.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The PC ports really went downhill as the 2000s progressed, showing few improvements over the console versions (mainly because, until 10, they still based themselves off the PS2 version) and being prone to major glitches.
    • The Xbox 360 port of 07 was an odd case, as it featured a proper ball physics system for the first time in the series... at the cost of over half of the leagues from the PS2 and original Xbox versions, most noticeably the entire Italian Serie A (for some bizarre reason the only Italian club in that version was Juventus, who had been temporarily busted down to Serie B due to a match fixing scandal).
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: The games (especially 12 onwards) were very cruel with the rubberband. You can lose the game after leading 3-0 in the first half when suddenly all opposition players got turbo on their legs in Legendary against computer, and some 10-year-old can own you via two 35-yard goals in the last quarter. They tried to fix it in FIFA 14, and succeeded in the normal gameplay (if you can ignore the fact that the upped ability happens all the time now instead of scripted events). However, the Ultimate Team mode got EVEN MORE elastic rubber bands, and Career mode still suffered from it. The referee also became very picky to you, capable of throwing cards for tame, simply mistimed tackles. YMMV because this rarely got talked with casual players, but was mentioned a lot in forums.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Mostly averted with the main games, but The World Cup and European Championship games tended to suffer from this up until the Euro 2008 game. FIFA 2000 is notable among the main series for being the worst, especially considering the titles prior to its release were well-liked.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • FIFA 12's tackling system has its fair share of detractors, a common complaint being that slide tackling in the game favours the AI. Not to mention it's also seen as more difficult to perform tackles in the game than in real life. Though in fairness, tackling is always divisive in soccer games.
    • FIFA 15 has received much criticism and flak for its "price range" system, which constricts players selling footballers to only a minimum and maximum amount of coins. This has effectively ruined the Ultimate Team mode in general. To add insult to injury, the price ranges axed off coin sponsors, which is how many FIFA Youtubers get money so they can afford coins and make more FIFA videos.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: There are stories of 98 players who took on the Road to World Cup mode with inexpressive national teams and lifted the World Cup with them. Similarly in newer entries, taking a mid-to-low level team from a minor European league and going on to win the European Championship with it.
  • Sequelitis:
    • 2000 was generally agreed to be the worst game in the series (or at least the worst one with 3D graphics) due to the glitchy AI, inconsistent difficulty and screwy controls, as well as a generally whitewashed feel (players only had nine attributes rated 1-7, and there was no option to adjust team management or choose a stadium before a match as could be done in prior games or in 06 and later). The following three outings got things back on track, but then the series hit a lean patch from 2004 to 07, with the games not getting any worse, but not really improving. Since then however, things have generally been on the up...
    • Until 19 came around and took the "throne" from 2000 (although in fairness it became the breaking point of a heap of problems that compounded throughout the last half-decade), thanks to the generally downgraded gameplay, mainly imprecise shooting mechanics, AI that can work both against and for the player thanks to Random Number God being in full effect, and inconsistent physics, leading to the general feel that EA has let a gold-foil package (€50 price tag and the UEFA Champions League license as a selling point) hide the pudding by focusing more on microtransactions via FUT than actually tweaking the core gameplay. Not for nothing it has one of the largest gaps between reviewer and user scores on Metacritic: 84/100 and 1.7/10, respectively (this in particular might be chalked up to review-bombing from disgruntled players, but still)!!! Things then went From Bad to Worse with 20, which launched in a borderline broken state with an extremely minimal number of upgrades over 19 — and that's before you get to the Switch port, which really did have no changes whosoever from 19 other than new teams and kits.
  • Song Association: Most of the soundtracks.
    • The opening themes in particular ("Song 2"note , "Tubthumping"note , "The Rockafella Skank"note , "Bodyrock"note ...).
    • Others like Lionrock's "Rude Boy Rock"note  and "We Sink"note  are hard to dissociate from the games.
    • 2000's theme song, Robbie Williams' "It's Only Us", was recorded exclusively for the game.
  • Unexpected Character: Not one character, but the inclusion of J. League (the top-flight pro football league in Japan) in FIFA 17 can be seen as this, after so many years being exclusive to Konami's Winning Eleven series (the Japanese version of PES), and especially considering that FIFA hasn't even had a Japanese football team since 2003 thanks to the Japanese Football Association not allowing Western game developers to depict their players. On top of that, this is also the first official appearance ever of the league in a game for the international market (earlier games were sold only in Japan, including the Winning Eleven series).note 


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