All good things end, and there’s a tinge of sadness as experienced gamers mourn the passing of the world-famous FIFA console game franchise. For gamers of a certain age, buying and playing the new FIFA releases was the year’s highlight. Many school-age children in the 90s and early 2000s would ink the latest FIFA release at the top of their Christmas wishlist. Those lucky enough to receive their Christmas wish from Santa were ecstatic, spending hours playing the game and building their team.
What is your lasting memory of FIFA? Was is coming home from school, dropping your bag, and picking up the controller for an evening of entertainment. Perhaps you loved meeting new friends and playing FIFA online against fellow gamers worldwide, taking on like-minded fans from Spain and the United Kingdom to the United States and Canada. You may have preferred the coaching side of the game, where you’d assemble a star-studded team and aim for dominance.
The FIFA brand became so big it was an important part of the esports circuit. The world’s leading gambling platforms began offering betting on esports, including the winner of the best FIFA tournaments. FIFA was as popular on the esports circuit as Fortnight, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2. You can wager on the Bovada MLS odds and specials or the upcoming esports fixtures on the same platform. The biggest firms blur the boundaries between traditional sports betting and esports gambling.
Remembering your highlights
As EA Sports and FIFA are no longer working together in what proved an incredibly unpopular decision that will financially hurt both parties and gamers, we pause for brief reflection. If there will never be another FIFA console game, which looks highly likely, we can remember the best of the best. Which edition of FIFA was your favorite? The soccer game crushed all others, including the FIFA titles that followed.
Are you old enough to remember FIFA games without commentary? You may recall the year FIFA released an indoor version with games played on an indoor five-aside pitch, complete with shoe squeaking and goals from the halfway line. Is FIFA for you about playing online with friends and family, taking on a stream of new opponents each time you play? It may seem ridiculous to younger readers, but there was a time not long ago when both gamers had to be present in the same room.
That was before remote or online play, a lifetime ago compared to modern technology. Yes, there have been some fantastic and memorable episodes from the FIFA story, but it turned to dust. Now, followers of the FIFA franchise have just their memories after FIFA pulled the plug and EA Games went on their own, launching EA FC in October 2023.
Have you played EA FC 24? How does it measure up against FIFA 23? Some gamers are reporting an improvement, while others remain on the fence. Let’s reflect on some of the best FIFA games from the golden era. We list the top five selling FIFA titles to help jog your memory of when EA Sports and FIFA created a winning team that stood head and shoulders above the competition.
FIFA 19: Where Champions Rise (2018)
It’s hard to talk about the best-selling FIFA games without mentioning FIFA 19, which revolutionized the franchise. Released in 2018, this edition brought fresh air with enhanced gameplay mechanics and stunning visuals that left gamers in awe.
With the introduction of the UEFA Champions League, FIFA 19 took the virtual football experience to a whole new level. Fans were thrilled to see their favorite teams and players battle in the prestigious tournament. The new Active Touch System and the redefined finishing touches elevated the game’s realism, making every pass and shot feel lifelike.
FIFA 18: The World’s Game (2017)
Stepping back to FIFA 18, we find a game that sets the bar high for all its predecessors. Launched in 2017, FIFA 18 marked a significant milestone for the franchise, showcasing the developers’ commitment to creating a more authentic and immersive gaming experience.
With the introduction of the iconic Cristiano Ronaldo as the cover star, the game resonated not only with football enthusiasts but also with gaming fans across the globe. Integrating Real Player Motion Technology gave players a more responsive and fluid gameplay experience, allowing for more precise control over their favorite players. The dynamic weather system and the immersive journey of Alex Hunter in “The Journey: Hunter Returns” also captivated the hearts of gamers.
FIFA 17: Powered by Frostbite (2016)
In the realm of FIFA’s best-selling games, FIFA 17 is a true game-changer. Released in 2016, this installment brought a new level of realism to the virtual football universe, thanks to its integration with the powerful Frostbite game engine. The enhanced graphics and lifelike player movements made every match feel like a live broadcast from a packed stadium.
FIFA 17 also introduced “The Journey,” a narrative-driven mode that allowed players to follow the story of Alex Hunter, a rising star in the football world. This addition provided a unique single-player experience and added an emotional depth that resonated with players.
FIFA 16: Play Beautiful (2015)
Looking back at FIFA 16, we encounter a game that emphasizes the beauty and fluidity of the sport. A 2015 release, FIFA 16 aimed to capture the essence of “playing beautiful” with its refined gameplay mechanics and enhanced player intelligence. The introduction of Women’s National Teams was a significant milestone, promoting inclusivity and celebrating the diversity of the sport.
This addition widened the game’s appeal and marked a pivotal moment in the gaming industry, highlighting the importance of representation and diversity in virtual sports. FIFA 16 gave players a more strategic and nuanced gameplay experience with improved defense tactics and precision dribbling.
FIFA 15: Feel the Game (2014)
Finally, we come to FIFA 15, a game that profoundly impacted the FIFA franchise and the gaming community. Arriving in 2014, FIFA 15 aimed to bridge the gap between virtual and real-world football, enabling players to truly “feel the game” with its enhanced emotional intelligence and realistic player reactions.
The emotional Intelligence feature meant that players would react authentically to in-game moments, mirroring the emotions and behaviors seen in real-life matches. With improved ball physics and dynamic match presentation, FIFA 15 brought players closer to the action, making every pass, tackle, and goal feel more immersive and exhilarating than ever before.