JoyPads: The History Of FIFA
Rolling back the years of a great footballing franchise to hit the consoles.
FIFA started late in 1993. FIFA has progressed into a powerhouse franchise and as of late, cemented itself the best football game ever with FIFA 10. FIFA 10 getting awards for being the most realistic football game on the gaming market, Konami haven’t touch FIFA since Pro Evolution Soccer 4, so the scale of improving for FIFA has definitely grown over the years. Here at the Joypads, we decided to look back on the past FIFA games and see how far EA has transformed FIFA to be as realistic as the sport it is in real life in videogame form.
FIFA International Soccer – 1993
FIFA International Soccer started the FIFA franchise. The game was released on the megadrive late in 1993. Subsequently known as FIFA 94, FIFA International Soccer broke the habit of being a 16 bit game by presenting an isometric view, than being the usual top down view of Kick Off, or bird’s eye view like Sensible Soccer. You could only use national teams and real player names wasn’t used either. The SEGA Mega CD received a ‘FIFA International Soccer Championship Edition’ which was more polished and the game introduces pseudo-3D cameras and was the most graphically advanced version of the game.
FIFA 95 – 1994
Using the same game engine as the previous FIFA game. FIFA 95 introduced club football for the first time. There was 8 leagues to pick from; Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1, Eredivisie and Major League Soccer (USA) plus Brazil.
FIFA 96 – 1995
The first FIFA game to use real time 3D graphics. Its also the first FIFA game to have real name players being used and player positions with ranking and transfer team controls. The Brazilian teams did suffer however, as they received the most inaccurate rosters, as some of them featured retired players. Plus to the addition of the 8 football leagues, three new leagues was introduced; Scottish Premier League, Allsvenskan and Super League Malaysia.
FIFA 97 – 1996
The biggest change to FIFA 97 was the indoor 6 a side football and 3D player models plus motion capture of David Ginola. The game also featured more number of leagues to play from England, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and the Malaysian league. The game also featured commentary from John Motson and Andy Gray with Des Lynam introducing the matches.
FIFA: Road To World Cup 98 – 1997
FIFA 98: Road To World Cup was the starter motor to refined graphics, team and player customization options, 16 football stadiums, improved AI, Road To World Cup mode, which had all registered national teams. The game featured a soundtrack from Blur ‘Song 2’ and allowed players to alter the referee strictness levels. No injuries, offside and bookings could be switched off.
FIFA 99 – 1998
Dennis Bergkamp to feature on the front cover of FIFA 99 who played for Arsenal. FIFA 99 didn’t have the indoor football mode any more but the gameplay improved. The fluidity and responsiveness were improved and players could create there own leagues and select teams to participate. FIFA 99 featured an elite league as well. The best 20 teams in Europe and commentary by John Motson, Mark Lawrenson, and Chris Waddle. The introductions were done by Des Lynam and Gary Lineker.
FIFA 2000 – 1999
FIFA 2000 offered Consecutive season play, with the joy of promotion and the threat of relegation, offers the chance to earn your team’s advancement into the European Cups for the next season. Commentary by John Motson, Mark Lawrenson, and Chris Waddle.
FIFA 2001 – 2000
With improved graphics and detailed football kits. FIFA 2001 was shaping FIFA into more ground breaking stuff. 2001 also introduced the first time for some players to have their unique faces used. The game was the first to introduce a power bar shooting, so making sure you get the correct power for your shot really counted if you wanted to score.
FIFA 2002 – 2001
Thierry Henry being the cover player for FIFA 2002 who played for Arsenal. FIFA 2002 improved graphics, power bars for passes were introduced and dribbling reduce to give more a competitive edge. FIFA 2002 featured club emblems for most European teams. Commentary was provided by John Motson and Andy Gray.
FIFA 2003 – 2002
Cover players were Roberto Carlos (left), Ryan Giggs (centre) and Edgar Davids (right). FIFA 2003 offered new gameplay from the previous FIFA titles. The new graphics introduced more detailed stadiums, players and kits. The Elite league returned consisting of the best teams in Europe. Commentary was provided by John Motson and Aly McCoist.
FIFA 2004 – 2003
Alessandro Del Piero (left) Thierry Henry (centre) Ronaldinho (right) were the cover players for FIFA 2004. With not improving much from FIFA 2003, FIFA 2004 introduced secondary divisions. You could be lower teams in the lower leagues and bring them up to the Premier League and play for the highest honours. New gameplay features were introduced. ‘Off The Ball’ enable you to simultaneously control two players and play 1, 2 playing football, creating spaces in the opposition defence and converting them chances into goals. Commentary was provided by John Motson and Ally McCoist.
FIFA 2005 – 2004
Patrick Vieira (left) Fernando Morientes (centre) and Andriy Shevchenko (right) were the cover players of FIFA 2005. FIFA 2005 was released earlier than Pro Evolution Soccer 4 to gain a quick headstart over there rivals at Konami. The biggest difference to FIFA 2005 was the ‘first touch’ which enable players to perform ‘real life’ tricks and passes. 2005 was the first indication of FIFA taking the brand further to realism.
FIFA 06 – 2005
FIFA 06 had a complete overhaul. FIFA 06 included; dramatic increase in the control of play, Career mode and the introduction of “team chemistry” which determines how well team members play together. FIFA broke up their partnership with John Motson and Ally McCoist to provide the commentary and used Clive Tyldesley and Andy Gray to provide the commentary instead.
FIFA 07 – 2006
FIFA 07 added more content than having a complete overhaul like FIFA 06 received. FIFA 07 provided: interactive leagues, new football stadiums such as Wembley and the Emirates Stadium and the ability to create custom teams. Commentary was provided by Clive Tyldesley and Andy Gray.
FIFA 08 – 2007
Once again EA did a complete overhaul on FIFA 08. With a new game engine and pushing the bar even further for Konami to catch up with them. FIFA 08 was officially the first game to get close to the real thing on a videogame console. FIFA 08 offered; Real football; players make 1,000 decisions, every second and can strike the ball in an infinite number of ways. Be a Pro; new feature where you can control as one single player in a position of your choice but couldn’t select the goalkeeper. Pro Skills; fluidity in the skills department as of combining tricks to recreate signature skill moves from real life footballers. Over 30 leagues, 23 football stadiums and 15,000 players.
FIFA 09 – 2008
FIFA 09 revamped the collision system and an option to play 10 vs 10 Be a Pro via online. FIFA 09 also introduced Addidas Live Season, which kept you upto date with all the players stats in particular leagues. Wayne Rooney (right) and Ronaldinho (left) being the cover players, and it was Ronaldinho’s last time being on the front cover of the UK version of FIFA. Commentary was provided by Clive Tyldesley and Andy Gray.
FIFA 10 – 2009
FIFA 10 improved the gameplay of FIFA. The 360 degrees player control made it more accessible and play more realistically than the previous FIFA games. FIFA 10 extended the manager mode which included assistant managers to cover the team’s line up and to rotate the squad based on performances. The player growth was tweaked. This time, player growth was determined by the player performance in the game.
FIFA 11 – 2010
FIFA 11 extends the 10 vs 10 to 11 vs 11. This time you can play as the goalkeeper. The manager mode has been tweaked, on which now you can be Manager, Player or a new feature as a Player Manager. FIFA 11 is scheduled for October 1st release date in the UK.
Looking back over the FIFA games. FIFA 08 was the first major stepping stone for FIFA to really expand the footballing scene on the videogame console. Rivals Konami have said that they have returned back to old roots to claim back them former glory days, but for some reason. I don’t think Konami have cut the mustard to really have claimed them days. The glory days of PES have long gone. FIFA is the main star attraction. As this feature can tell you, the graphical improvements, the complete overhauls in the game engine to really boost the realism into the football game to make it become the real thing is truly remarkable. As I, you and everybody knows that footballing games will never be as accurate as the real thing, but it will certainly push the bar for FIFA’s rivals to really up their game to match there’s.