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FIFA International Soccer15 July 1993
FIFA 1727 September 2016
Sports game, Simulation game
FIFA, also known as FIFA Football or FIFA Soccer, is a series of association football video games or football simulator, released annually by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports label. While there was no major competition when EA released the first titles in their Madden NFL and NHL series, football video games such as Sensible Soccer, Kick Off and Match Day had been developed since the late 1980s and already competitive in the games market when EA Sports announced a football game as the next addition to their EA Sports label.
- FIFA International Soccer
- FIFA 95
- FIFA 96
- FIFA 97
- FIFA Road to World Cup 98
- FIFA 99
- FIFA 2000
- FIFA 2001
- FIFA Football 2002
- FIFA Football 2003
- FIFA Football 2004
- FIFA Football 2005
- FIFA 06
- FIFA 07
- FIFA 08
- FIFA 09
- FIFA 10
- FIFA 11
- FIFA 12
- FIFA 13
- FIFA 14
- FIFA 15
- FIFA 16
- FIFA 17
- FIFA Mobile
- Other titles
- FIFA World Cup licensed games
- UEFA European Championship licensed games
- UEFA Champions League licensed games
- Street football games
- Management games
When the series began in late 1993, it was notable for being the first to have an official licence from FIFA, the world governing body of football. The latest installments in the series contain many exclusively-licensed leagues including leagues and teams from around the world, including the German Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, English Premier League and Football League, Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, Portuguese Primeira Liga, French Ligue 1, Dutch Eredivisie, Brazilian Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Mexican Liga MX, American Major League Soccer, South Korean K-League, Saudi Professional League, Australian A-League, Turkish Süper Lig and Argentine Primera División, allowing the use of real leagues, clubs and player names and likenesses within the games. In addition, internationally popular clubs from around the world, including some teams from Greece and South Africa, without those nations' entire leagues.
The main series has been complemented by additional installments based on single major tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Football Championship and UEFA Champions League, as well as a series of football management titles.
As of FIFA 17, Marco Reus is the face of the franchise, appearing on the front cover of the series and in promotional campaigns and advertisements. He replaced Lionel Messi, who appeared on four straight covers from FIFA 13 to FIFA 16.
As of 2011, the FIFA franchise has been localised into 18 languages and available in 51 countries. The series has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world, and one of the best-selling video game franchises. Also, FIFA 12 holds the record for the "fastest selling sports game ever" with over 3.2 million games sold and over $186 million generated at retail in its first week of release.
The franchise's latest release is FIFA 17, released on September 27, 2016 in North America, and on September 29, 2016 in the rest of world. It is available for multiple gaming systems, including the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, among others.
While FIFA 95 did not add much other than the ability to play with club teams, FIFA 96 pushed the boundaries. For the first time with real player names by obtaining the FIFPro license, the PlayStation, PC, 32X and Sega Saturn versions used EA's "Virtual Stadium" engine, with 2D sprite players moving around a real-time 3D stadium. FIFA 97 improved on this with polygonal models for players and added an indoor soccer mode, but an early pinnacle was reached with FIFA: Road to World Cup 98. This version featured much improved graphics, a complete World Cup with qualifying rounds (including all national teams) and refined gameplay. Months later, World Cup 98, EA's first officially-licensed tournament game.
FIFA games have been met with some minor criticism; such as improvements each game features over its predecessor. As the console market is expanding, FIFA is being challenged directly by other titles such as Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series. Both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer have a large following but FIFA sales is rising as much as 23 percent year-on-year. In 2010, the FIFA series had sold over 100 million copies, making it the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world and the most profitable EA Sports title. With FIFA 12 selling 3.2 million copies in the first week after its September 27 North American debut in 2011, EA Sports dubbed it "the most successful launch in EA Sports history".
In 2012, EA Sports signed Lionel Messi to the FIFA franchise, luring him away from the competitor Pro Evolution Soccer. Messi's likeness was then immediately placed on the cover of FIFA Street. In 2013, the Spanish professional women's footballer Vero Boquete started a petition on Change.org, which called upon Electronic Arts to introduce female players in the FIFA series. The petition attracted 20,000 signatures in 24 hours. FIFA 16, released on 25 September 2015, included female national teams.
FIFA International Soccer
Known as EA Soccer during development and sometimes subsequently also known as FIFA '94, the first game in the series was released in the weeks leading up to Christmas 1993. This greatly hyped football title broke with traditional 16-bit era games by presenting an isometric view rather than the more usual top-down view (Kick Off), side view (European Club Soccer), or bird's-eye view (Sensible Soccer). It only includes national teams, and real player names are not used. A notorious bug allows the player to score by standing in front of the goalkeeper so that the ball rebounds off him into the net. The game was number one in the UK charts, replacing Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition, and staying there for a full six months. Mega placed the game at #11 in their Top 50 Mega Drive Games of All Time. The Sega Mega CD version was released under the title "FIFA International Soccer Championship Edition" it includes some features used in the next title, and is a highly polished version of the original. This version was ranked #7 on the Mega list of the Top 10 Mega CD Games of All Time. The game on the 3DO console sported pseudo-3D cameras and it was the most graphically advanced version. Also, the game is playable on the PlayStation 2 version of FIFA 06. It was made in celebration for the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States – especially noticeable in the Super NES version which, despite having a smaller team selection than the Genesis version, had three exclusive teams which qualified for the real-life tournament: Bolivia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The game was called International Soccer so EA could sell the game successfully in Europe, after assuming Americans would have no interest in the game.
Using the same engine with only minor touch-ups, FIFA 95 introduced club teams to the series within eight national leagues: Brazil, Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, Spain's La Liga, England's Premier League, France's 1re division, Netherlands' Eredivisie and the United States. Most of the leagues have team lineups based on the 1993–94 season, and the teams, although recognisably real, all still have generic players, many of them even returning from the previous game. The USA League consists of teams and players from the A-League, the country's second division – subsequent editions would feature "artificial" division one leagues, a feature not corrected until the 2000 edition, when Major League Soccer was included for the first time. In addition, the Brazilian league contained only teams from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states, with the exception of Internacional, from Rio Grande do Sul—it would not be until FIFA 07 that Campeonato Brasileiro represented the country. The game eliminates the one-touch passing seen in the original FIFA International Soccer. This was also the only game in the main series not to be released in more than one platform (counting spin-offs, only FIFA 64 and certain versions of the FIFA Manager series share this distinction).
This is the first FIFA game to feature real-time 3D graphics on the Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC versions, using technology called "Virtual Stadium". It is also the first in the series to present players with real player names and positions, with ranking, transfer and team customisation tools. However, the Brazilian teams had mostly inaccurate rosters, some of them even featuring long-retired players (this would only be corrected in FIFA 99), and the American league consisted of entirely fictitious teams and rosters (Major League Soccer had been inaugurated for only a few months as of the game's release, but it would only start to appear in the games as of FIFA 2000). The SNES and Mega Drive versions use an updated version of FIFA 95's engine with new teams and graphics. It is also the first FIFA game to contain a player/team editor (in the Mega Drive and fifth-generation versions only). Also, in addition to the eight national leagues of the previous game, three leagues debuted in the game: Scottish Premier League, Allsvenskan and Super League Malaysia, a lineup that would stay for the next two editions as well. This was also the first FIFA game to have a proper introduction.
The biggest change in FIFA '97 was the inclusion of 6-a-side indoor soccer mode and polygonal players, with motion capture provided by David Ginola. The game features a much higher number of playable leagues from England, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Malaysia. These versions also feature commentary by John Motson, partnered by Andy Gray, with Des Lynam introducing the matches.
FIFA: Road to World Cup 98
This game marks the start of an upward trend in the series. It boasts a refined graphics engine, team and player customisation options, 16 stadia, improved artificial intelligence, a "Road to World Cup" mode with all FIFA-registered national teams, and a licensed soundtrack featuring popular musical artists of the time. The game features many accurate team squads for national call up when playing in the round robin qualification modes. Another new feature was the ability to manually change the referee's strictness, allowing some fouls to go un-noticed or without punishment.
Additionally, for the first time in a FIFA game, the offside rule is properly implemented. In previous games, when a player was in an offside position doing anything except running, that player was penalised for offside even when the ball was passed backwards. The 32-bit version of FIFA 98 corrects this so that the game would only award a free kick for offside if the ball was passed roughly to where the player in the offside position was.
FIFA 98 was also the first of the series to feature a licensed soundtrack, with "Song 2" by Blur used as the intro track for the game. It was the last FIFA game to be released on the 16-bit consoles that the series had originated on.
While the indoor mode was no longer featured, the gameplay's fluidity and responsiveness was increased. The increasing number of websites dedicated to the game and a larger number of leagues (the Malaysian league was removed, and on its stead came two new leagues: the Belgian First Division and the Portuguese Primeira Liga; this came to be a problem when the owners of the rights to the Primeira Liga tried to pull the game from the shelves locally). Graphically, it is a major improvement over FIFA '98, with the inclusion of basic facial animations and different players' heights as well as certain other cosmetic features such as improved kits and emblems, although they are unlicensed. Gamers may also create their own custom cups and leagues and select the teams they wish to participate.
FIFA 99 also features an elite league called the "European Dream League" in which 20 top teams from across Europe battle it out in a league format. It was also the first game to feature a block containing teams which did not pertain to any of the main leagues (back then, it was known as "Rest of Europe" since all teams were European, the vast majority of them featured either in the 1998–99 season of the UEFA Cup or Champions League).
The game was a bestseller in the UK, replacing Tomb Raider III.
This version of the FIFA series contained over 40 "classic" teams, so that gamers could play as retired football legends.
It marked the introduction of Major League Soccer, replacing the fictitious "American" league previously included, as well as national leagues from Denmark, Greece, Israel, Norway and Turkey (though Galatasaray is not present in the game).
The game features over 40 national sides, fully integrated seasons, set piece selections, increased physical contact, new facial animations, shielding ability and tougher tackling.
The game received mixed reviews due to its cartoonish graphic engine and shallow gameplay, a brand new engine was implemented in an attempt to give more "emotion" to the 3d player models. The game was generally considered to be much inferior than its rival.
The opening video for FIFA 2000 features Sol Campbell performing motion capture duties for the game, then having his likeness computer-generated to play against a retro side from 1904, the year of the inauguration of FIFA. The game also included Port Vale, the club supported by Williams, in the "Rest of the World" section (they were in the Football League First Division at the time, and while the concept of post-season promotion and relegation was introduced in this edition, teams from lower league tiers were only selectable starting with FIFA 2004).
A Nintendo 64 beta version of FIFA 2000 exists though the game was not officially released for this platform.
This title had a new graphics engine from FIFA Soccer World Championship which allows each team to have its own detailed kit, and for some players, their own unique faces. Doing away with ordinary coloured pennants as club emblems, the license includes official club emblems for the first time, although certain leagues, like the Dutch league, are unlicensed. Slightly tweakable physics made the game a modding favorite for its fan community. The game also includes the entire Austrian Bundesliga as a playable league for the first time, albeit removing the Portuguese Liga and the Turkish Premier League. A "hack" feature is included, where the player can press R1 to attempt an intentional foul, such a high sliding tackle. This title was the first game of the series with a power bar for shooting (such a feature already existed in the Super NES version of the first game, but it was not in all versions of the game). FIFA 2001 was the first version (for the PC) that could be played online, which was revolutionary, and the first game in the franchise on a 6th generation video game console in USA and Europe.
FIFA Football 2002
For FIFA Football 2002, power bars for passes were introduced, and dribbling reduced in order to attain a higher challenge level. The power bar can also be customised to suit the gamer's preference. The game also includes club emblems for many more European clubs as well as for major Dutch clubs such as PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord, although there was no Dutch league of any kind (they were under the "Rest of World" header). This game also features, for the first time, the Swiss Super League, at the cost of excluding the Greek League. A card reward system licensed from Panini was also introduced where, after winning a particular competition, a star player card is unlocked. There is also a bonus game with the nations that had automatically qualified for the 2002 World Cup (France, Japan and South Korea), in which the player tries to improve the FIFA ranking of their chosen team by participating in international friendlies. Playing with other national teams will allow the player to play through their respective zones' qualifying rounds (except for Oceania and Africa, whose confederations are not represented in full).
FIFA Football 2002 was the final game in the main series to feature the Japanese national team, as the Japan Football Association would sell its exclusive rights to Konami during 2002, thereby depriving not only FIFA, but all other football games in the market (with the exception of EA's World Cup spin-offs), from using its lineup and likeness (Japanese players in foreign markets continued to be featured in the series, though) until FIFA 17.
FIFA Football 2003
FIFA Football 2003 added features completely new gameplay from the previous titles. EA revamped the outdated DirectX 7 graphics used in FIFA 2001 and 2002, and introduced new graphics featuring more detailed stadia, players, and kits. Club Championship Mode was introduced with the feature of playing against 17 of Europe's top clubs in their own stadia and the fans singing their unique chants and songs. A TV-style broadcast package gave highlights at half-time and full-time, as well as comprehensive analysis. One of the most anticipated new features was EA Sport's "Freestyle Control" which allows the user to flick the ball on and lay it off to team mates. Other additions include greater likenesses of players such as Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho, as well as realistic player responses. An Xbox version was added to the Windows and PlayStation 2, whereas the original PlayStation version was dropped. FIFA Football 2003 was also the first game in the series to use the EA Trax. EA Trax is the exclusive music menu system that has been used ever since in all FIFA titles.
FIFA Football 2004
While not adding much to the game engine, the biggest new inclusion in FIFA Football 2004 is secondary divisions, which allow the player to take lower ranked teams into the top leagues and competitions (a promotion/relegation system was present since the 2000 edition, but none up until this one featured second-tier leagues). A new gameplay feature dubbed "off the ball" was introduced, which is the ability to simultaneously control two players, in order, for example, to move a second player into the box in anticipation of a pass. The online mode was touted as the main feature. Another key feature is "Football Fusion", which allows owners of both FIFA 2004 and Total Club Manager 2004 to play games from TCM in FIFA 2004. This is also the first FIFA game to feature Latin American club teams aside from those of the Brazilian League; there are four from Mexico (América, Toluca, Monterrey and UNAM; a fifth team, Tigres UANL, is present only in the Game Boy Advance version) and two from Argentina (Boca Juniors and River Plate). The title sequence, featuring Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Alessandro Del Piero, was filmed at St James' Park, the home ground of Newcastle United.
FIFA Football 2005
FIFA Football 2005 was released much earlier than the usual late October date to obtain a head start over Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and avoid clashing with EA Sports' own FIFA Street. The game features the return of the create-a-player mode, as well as an improved Career mode. The biggest difference compared to previous titles in the series is the inclusion of first-touch gameplay which provides gamers with the ability to perform "real-life" tricks and passes. It is also the first version to feature the full Mexican League. The game has no opening video, but its soundtrack is headlined by British DJ Paul Oakenfold, who composed the FIFA Theme especially for the game, using some sounds from the game such as crowd noises and commentary. This was the last title released for the original PlayStation in the US. The game also features authentic crowd chants edited by producer Dan Motut.
FIFA's developers made a complete overhaul of the game engine for this installment of FIFA, claiming a dramatic increase in the control of play, having rewritten more than half the game's code. In addition to a renovation of the engine, which discards the "off the ball" system, the developers boasted a significantly more involved Career mode and the introduction of "team chemistry" which determines how well team members play together. This installment breaks with the long tradition of commentary from Match of the Day's John Motson and (more recently) Ally McCoist, who are replaced by ITV's Clive Tyldesley and former Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray, who had already worked in the series as guest commentator.
One of the new features in FIFA 06 was a special "retro" which features nostalgia of the game. Inside it includes an unlockable classic biographies section, a memorable moments video compilation, which features ten of the most memorable moments as judged by the FIFA 06 developers, a video compilation with a retrospective view of every game in the FIFA series and the chance to play the first ever game in the FIFA series which was titled as "FIFA 94". The game also features for the first time a Classic XI team consisting of great football legends and a World XI team consisting of current great superstars. Both teams have the Cardiff Millennium Stadium as their primary ground. These clubs must be unlocked in the "Fan Shop".
The main differences from the previous game are a new "Interactive Leagues" function, new stadia such as the new Wembley Stadium and Emirates Stadium, and the ability to create custom teams and Turkcell Super League returns after seven years of absence from the series. The game's front-end and graphics engine remain largely the same. The Xbox 360 version uses a completely new game engine which was created from scratch for the system. This Xbox 360 version also features a much reduced team line-up, completely removing all lower division teams and focusing on the four main European leagues, plus the Mexican Clausura and national teams.
FIFA 08 introduced a new game mode called "Be a Pro", in which the player controls only a single player on the field. This version also introduced a larger club section including the League of Ireland, and the Hyundai A-League of Australia, for the first time. Unlike FIFA 06 and 07 however, FIFA 08 does not include any memorable moments or season highlights. FIFA 08 does not have a version for the original Xbox, which means that FIFA 07 was the last game of the series to feature on the console. The Xbox 360 has taken over permanently since FIFA 08.
It was the first game in the franchise for PlayStation 3. The debut version for the Wii introduced motion controls for shooting, as well as three mini-games that make use of the Wii Remote.
FIFA 09 features a revamped collision system and an option for 10 versus 10 "Be a Pro" online matches, and the new "Adidas Live Season" feature, which updates all the players' stats in a particular league based on the player's form in real life. Although the feature is activated through microtransactions, gamers have access to one free league of their choice from the moment they activate the service to the end of the 2008–09 season. Online play has also been improved in FIFA 09, with a feature called "FIFA 09 Clubs" allowing players to form or join clubs and field their strongest team online. The game has met with generally positive reception from reviewers.
Clive Tyldesley and Andy Gray again provide the commentary in the English version. However, in the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game, Tyldesley is replaced by Martin Tyler. For the first time, users can also purchase extra commentator voices in different languages from the PlayStation Store (PlayStation 3) and Xbox Live Marketplace (Xbox 360). Another option for the English language is Tyldesley and Andy Townsend.
FIFA 10 has an extended Manager Mode which includes a new Assistant Manager that can be used to take care of the team's line-up and to rotate the squad based on importance of the upcoming match and improved finances. The "Player Experience and Growth System" has changed. Player growth will now be determined by in-game performance, demands placed on the player, and achievements based on the player's particular position. The games also features 50 stadia and 31 leagues, among which the Russian Premier League is introduced to the series (except for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions). It also includes 360 degrees player control instead of the 8-direction control in previous games.
FIFA 11 was released September 28, 2010 in North America and October 1, 2010 in Europe. It features a new replacement to Manager Mode called Career Mode; the player is able to play a career as a Manager, Player or a new feature as a Player Manager. Other new features include an improved passing system, improved player likenesses, the ability to play as a Goalkeeper for the first time, and other various other tweaks and additions. The English commentary is provided for the fourth time by Martin Tyler and Andy Gray. Landon Donovan, Kaká and Carlos Vela feature on the cover of the North American version of the game, while Kaká and Wayne Rooney feature on the cover of the UK and Irish version. Aside from Kaká and Rooney, Petr Čech and Andrés Iniesta are also prominently featured in the game, appearing in in-game screens like the menus of the PC version.
David Rutter, the line producer for FIFA 12, has promised "a revolutionary year for FIFA... especially in the gameplay department." The first screenshot was revealed on April 11, featuring Brazilian midfielder Kaká running through the field.
FIFA 12 is the first edition of the series to feature Arabic commentary. The Czech First League and Turkish Süper Lig are removed from the game (though Turkish side Galatasaray is still featured) and a third Argentine team, Racing Club de Avellaneda, is added to the Rest of World bracket. The Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 were the main consoles for the game, and for the first time, the PC version was feature-identical. In May, EA announced that a Nintendo 3DS version would be available, including career mode, 11 vs 11, street mode and Be a Pro, but excluding any online mode. On 27 May, it was confirmed that FIFA 12 would be released on PlayStation 2. On June 7, it was confirmed that the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will also be included and others are to come in the next few months. On July 11, photos of the Career Mode were released. During the demo launch on September 13, 2011, both FIFA 12 and Xbox Live were trending on social networking site Twitter. For the first time in the series, the game has been officially ported to the Mac OS X operating system by TransGaming. In March 2012, FIFA Football was released as a launch title for the PS Vita, which despite the different name was a port of FIFA 12.
New features include:
On Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the game is the first of the series compatible with Kinect and PlayStation Move, respectively. The game also features the Saudi Professional League, the first time Arabic football is represented in the series (while FIFA 2000 did include club teams from the Arab world, it was generic teams with non-distinctive uniforms).
New features include:
For the newest generation of video game consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the game showcases a new engine, Ignite, which allows not only for graphical enhancements, like shifting weather conditions and dynamic environment, but also for changes in gameplay, with features like Human Intelligence (which brings the AI closer to real player behavior) and True Player Motion (which gives the players more realistic animations). Also, all versions have an all-new Co-op Seasons online mode, in which two players can play a season for the same team. As for the team selection, the game features, for the first time, the top leagues from Argentina, Chile and Colombia, the first time South American leagues other than the Brazilian one are featured in a FIFA game.
The PC version does not feature the Ignite engine (which will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases); rather than that, they will feature the Impact engine, same as used in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions (which the PC versions have been using since 11), with minor improvements. This is reportedly due to Electronic Arts' claims that most PC players do not own a machine powerful enough for the Ignite engine, therefore it would only be featured in the next edition. This is the last FIFA game to be released for the PlayStation Portable and FIFA 14 would eventually become the last PlayStation 2 game produced and released in South America. The game features new signature goal celebrations from a number of players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi, among others.
The last edition for PlayStation Vita, Wii and. Nintendo 3DS. The Windows version for the first time used the new engine (Ignite Engine), which is the same as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
FIFA 16 was the first title in the series to include female athletes.
FIFA 17 is the first time the FIFA video game series to use the Frostbite game engine and also the first to implement a story mode namely, "The Journey". It also features for the first time the J.League, the first time ever a football game not developed in Japan features the league.
FIFA Mobile is the first mobile game of FIFA to use the new attack mode.
Outside the series, also from EA Sports:
FIFA World Cup licensed games
In 1997, Electronic Arts purchased the license from FIFA to publish official FIFA World Cup video games prior to each tournament and is still the current holder.
UEFA European Championship licensed games
Similar to FIFA World Cup games, in 2000, EA purchased the license from UEFA to publish official European Championship video games prior to each tournament.
UEFA Champions League licensed games
In 2002, EA acquired the license for the UEFA Champions League. Two games were released, in 2005 and 2007 when EA weren't due to release an international title, before Konami bought the license in 2008.
Street football games
FIFA Street is a spin-off franchise introduced in 2005 which focuses on flair, style and trickery, reflecting the cultures of street football and freestyle football played in the streets and backlots across the world.
Since 1997, EA Sports have regularly released football management games, most of which have made use of their FIFA or FA Premier League licenses in their titles. The majority of these games were developed by EA themselves, though some have been developed by third parties such as Krisalis Software and Bright Future GmbH.
Licensed music tracks were first used in the FIFA series with the release of FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, and have been used in every title since. The series has featured main themes from such successful acts as Kasabian, Muse, Linkin Park, Kings of Leon, Bloc Party, Oasis, Fatboy Slim, Blur, Robbie Williams, Duffy, Moby, Gorillaz, Paul van Dyk, Kraftklub and Tiësto and each game also contains a selection of tracks from contemporary album releases of the time, generally revolving around indie rock, electronica and world music.