Over the last decade, discussions surrounding the vast FIFA series have proven to be divisive. Much of the recent debate has been about the perceived focus on the Ultimate Team and its ability to make EA Sports significant revenues through in-game purchases
For the purpose of this article, I felt it important that I looked at the entire FIFA series and took into account many of the earlier versions of the game, which were groundbreaking in their day.
Here are the 15 best FIFA games ever.
#15. FIFA 08
FIFA 08 was as polished and well-presented as any other version of the game. It had it all: menus, music, and shiny bits. FIFA was still the daddy in terms of sheer numbers of players, teams, and stadiums, but it also has the ever-alluring licenses.
In addition, despite what the more snobby among us might claim, FIFA 08 features the best visual interpretation of the game we’ve ever seen.
Most notable in this respect were the player animation improvements. Over the years we’ve become pretty accustomed to ever-improving animation, but FIFA 08 takes expectations and extends them even further.
Players can shield and maneuver the ball with increasing ease, bringing the ball down and under control smoothly and seamlessly making this one of the most playable versions of the FIFA genre to that point.
#14. FIFA 05
What are our feelings about FIFA Soccer 2005 as the final whistle approaches? Well, without a doubt, this was EA Sports’ best soccer game to date. It’s really unfortunate that the career mode didn’t work better, otherwise, it might have ranked higher.
Even without Total Club Manager 2005’s compatibility with the game, it was hard to imagine that anyone interested in soccer would find EA Sports’ best soccer game disappointing.
#13. FIFA 07
In FIFA 06, it was hard to fault the player animation, but in FIFA 07 it’s practically impossible. You’ll see players controlling the ball differently, losing their balance occasionally, and bumping into one another rather than clipping through each other as the field becomes crowded.
FIFA 07’s management was not particularly deep even if it was entertaining. But if you don’t play the matches yourself, you will miss out on some of the finest soccer visuals in a video game yet.
Most of the players in FIFA 07 are instantly recognizable, but it’s their animation that really makes it stand out from last year’s game.
#12. FIFA 01
In addition to John Motson, Mark Lawrenson provided color commentary this year, who is a controversial BBC commentator and soccer veteran. Lawrenson or Motson don’t say much that is particularly interesting or original, and most of the time they end up rattling off ridiculous quips after a goal is scored or a save is made.
There doesn’t appear to have been much recorded by either commentator for FIFA 2001, as Motson repeats himself quite a bit, while Lawrenson rarely speaks. Despite the mediocre commentary, the music and sound effects are excellent and serve to distract from it.
Although the Xbox version of this game is a decent game in its own right, a lack of innovation and upgrades makes it clear that EA Sports spent most of its resources on the PlayStation 2 version.
FIFA 2001 for the PlayStation is more than just a remake of an outdated game. If you own a PS2, you should definitely purchase the PS2 version of this game; if you own a PlayStation, try to find a copy of FIFA 2000 instead.
#11. FIFA 04
In FIFA 2004, several significant additions to the series’ gameplay were added, which should make the game more realistic and give better control over players. For example, computer-controlled teammates moved to open areas so they could receive passes and follow you down the field.
The new physics system for the ball will make FIFA 2004 stand out from the rest. Rather than “sticking” to a player once he takes possession of the ball, the ball is now a completely separate entity on the field.
Ronaldo of Brazil or David Beckham of England, for example, are highly skilled real-world players who will hold the ball better when controlled by the computer, but possession will no longer be guaranteed the moment a player touches the ball, like in previous versions of the game.
#10. FIFA 18
FIFA ’18 also excels off the field. It captures the world of soccer and confidently translates it into a video game with a variety of game modes, the way they are presented, along with FUT’s Weekly Team, Daily Objectives, and discussions of current events in a commentary.
Fifa 18’s biggest flaw is that PES 2018’s soccer game is more satisfying and fluid, and it still far exceeds EA’s other soccer games. The next few years will be critical for FIFA if it is to become a world-beater once again.
#9. FIFA 17
FIFA 17 has many reasons to be considered a good purchase. This game balances fundamental gameplay (at least on a par with PES 2017’s thematic improvement) with Ultimate Team, the game above all else that PES still lacks. FIFA 17 remains the best soccer game thanks to a better Career mode and an outstanding presentation, despite its lead being slashed this year.
Consistently being good can be challenging. This year’s FIFA features improved throw-ins, low-driven shots, and a long keeper kick that can be used to control the ball. In the press release, they sounded exciting, so I agree that the improvements are welcome.
FIFA this year is a combination of one big change that doesn’t quite pay off and a lot of small ones that do.
#8. FIFA 14
FIFA 14 reimagined something familiar into something new, engaging, and exciting. Despite the lack of a new feature, FIFA 14 was an excellent game. With FIFA ’14, the series takes a huge step closer to realism as it moves away from the experience that FIFA ’13 delivered last year.
It was FIFA itself that competed during that year’s FIFA World Cup. Soon a next-generation version will be released, with a brand new engine, so perhaps you should hold off on playing it for the time being.
A great soccer game will be missed if you do that, one that is fresh yet familiar, one that challenges even the most experienced FIFA players with new, exciting, and engrossing gameplay possibilities.
#7. FIFA 09
The gameplay in FIFA 08 has been improved with an improved AI system and a more realistic pace. A realistic, compelling, and feature-packed FIFA 09 has been created by EA Sports in their best soccer game yet.
Although there has not been much change in gameplay since UEFA Euro 2008, some tweaks and refinements have resulted in a highly rewarding game.
Almost every mode in the game can be played online, which makes the game a good long-term investment. FIFA 09 is a great soccer game if you like to play online but has some lag in some games and some AI glitches in single-player games. If you wanted something to last you the season, this was it.
#6. FIFA 13
Despite not changing much from FIFA Soccer 12’s gameplay, it was still the most compelling, in-depth, and entertaining soccer game so far. Once you step into one of FIFA Soccer 13’s gorgeous stadiums, it becomes evident that EA’s latest soccer release was not the revelation that its predecessor was.
Aside from some throwaway move implementation that allows you to aim passes and paint runs for teammates, the skill games were an excellent addition-but they’re also the only substantial ones.
Most of what FIFA 13 offered were subtle tweaks and suggestions that, while an improvement, wasn’t very vital, particularly to casual players.
Despite the fact that PES made serious strides in its gameplay this year, nobody offered up a very credible alternative to EA’s soccer juggernaut. FIFA 13 was beautifully presented, in-depth, and a hell of a lot of fun.
#5. FIFA 03
This version of FIFA was a refreshing and compelling step forward for a series known for its quality. It was another brilliant performance from John Motson. The topics he covered in his speech were diverse and believable.
Motson and McCoist’s commentary was so seamless that at times you’d wonder if they had moved into your computer.
EA Sports took a few big risks with FIFA 2003 by changing the formula behind the world’s most popular soccer game.
Thus, it has created a much more challenging and complex affair than its predecessors, one that should stand the test of time better. In a series known for its quality, this FIFA game was a refreshing and compelling step forward.
#4. FIFA 06
FIFA 06 added plenty of new features to help it stand out from earlier versions. With that said, online play in the PC game performs well once you get a match started.
One major flaw though meant you were not able to use any custom control setups against online opponents until the first FIFA 06 patch was released
FIFA 06 was an excellent game, regardless of its less-than-perfect online play. In addition to the excellent offline gameplay, the game’s graphics (especially the stadiums and player animations) rarely fail to impress, and its eclectic soundtrack never fails to please.
#3. FIFA 11
Compared to other FIFA games before it, FIFA 11 was a more polished and feature-packed title. This year’s version of the game was more addictive than ever due to key improvements to the core gameplay.
Players can experience deep and rewarding gameplay that was as exhilarating and unpredictable as the real thing thanks to the improved player characteristics and animations.
With the introduction of full 11 versus 11 online play for the first time in the genre and a new career mode that brings the single-player experience together in a much more engaging fashion than before, FIFA 11 boasts an impressive list of online and offline improvements.
In terms of game modes, it doesn’t have anything revolutionary this year, but with matches, leagues, tournaments, multiple careers. it is still as feature-packed as a soccer game could possibly be.
#2 FIFA 10
With its new features and new game modes, FIFA 10 offers the second-best gameplay in the FIFA series. As is to be expected from the series, the presentation was excellent, with superb graphics, superb music, and a brilliant English commentary.
In addition, the overly long in-game transitions in online multiplayer games have been trimmed, which certainly improves the pace.
A high-quality soccer game, FIFA 10 features stellar performance, a variety of game modes, and fixes all FIFA 09’s flaws. Playing with the 360-degree control, in particular, was an eye-opening experience, and even though there are currently some problems with creating Virtual Pro players, there is still a lot of fun to be had.
As for every soccer game released from now on, FIFA 10 will be a difficult act to follow, but rather than fretting about that, you should just bask in the sunlight of this sublime soccer experience.
#1. FIFA 12
With more excellent features than ever before, FIFA 12 was the definitive soccer game. You can also earn experience points by playing other FIFA games on mobile devices or through social networks, regardless of which version of FIFA you are playing.
You can build a team of players by participating in matches and trading player cards, and if that’s not enough for you, FIFA Ultimate Team mode is now included for free as well.
There is a slick presentation no matter what mode you play. The menus were easy to navigate, the commentary was excellent, and the visuals were impressive.
This game had everything. Ask any die-hard FIFA fan and most of them would agree that FIFA 12 was the best game ever.