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EA’s FIFA series is rapidly becoming known as the gold standard in football sims. When it first came long in the early nineties for the 16-bit consoles such as; the Sega Megadrive, there was nothing like it at the time.
Gamers were used to top down and difficult to control football sims such as Sensible Soccer. FIFA was the first game to introduce a realistic version of football for video gamers; offering an isometric 3D perspective that was a breath of fresh air at the time.
In later years, the series fell behind the Pro Evolution series from Konami, but in recent years, the series has been rejuvenated and improved upon massively and is now considered by many to be streets ahead of its rival.
The new FIFA 13 came out this month and continues the dominance of the brand. In this article we’ll take a look at the best five FIFA games in the series. Whether they are for consoles, laptops, mobile devices, or obsolete consoles.
5) FIFA Soccer (the original, sometimes called FIFA 94)
This was a true innovation. EA at the time were a small games company that came out of nowhere, and this game, the Madden series and the NHL series were behind their dramatic rise. This was first released around the time of the World Cup 94, and became instantly popular with football fans. They did not initially have the rights to use real player names, so many of the players had fictional names. Player models were the same for the entire team, with the only difference being the races of the entire teams.
The game play hasn’t aged well. It was possible to learn how to score every single time from the same positions. A problem that plagued many early football games until AI improved significantly in the early 2000s.
4) FIFA 96
Another 16-bit title, this was the first one to offer real player names. It also had a rather nifty player editor, allowing you to change the line-up of your team. Some of the players were very poorly rated though. For example; Stan Collymore, who was one of the top players in England at the time, was rated in the mid seventies. But with the editor, you could change the line-ups to reflect your own evaluation of your team. It was great fun to be able to play as your heroes for the first time.
3) FIFA 2003
At the time, the series was lagging behind Pro Evo. But this game showed some glimpses of a FIFA return to form. The new broadcast camera mode gave a feeling of watching a real football match. Player animations were also improved a great deal.
2) FIFA 2010
This was probably the game that reaffirmed FIFAs’ dominance. The Be A Pro mode, while being introduced in 09, was really utilised to its full potential in this title. For the first time in any football game, players had a realistic player’s eye view of the action. You really felt every kick, every tackle.
And when playing online, you could play as part of a team. Football sims had now reached the point where it actually felt as though you were playing, but instead of jumpers for goal posts on a windy park, you could play at the San Siro.
1) FIFA 2012
Much like FIFA 2010, it was the Be A Pro online and career modes that were the star of the show for this title. The transfer system was improved dramatically from the previous versions. And the player manager mode is a blast, when previous versions lacked depth.
Even as a management sim, the game almost manages to be as competent as dedicated football management sims.
FIFA 13 looks to carry on the trend of recent years. It features the gameplay of the recent titles, with some new innovations. Whether you’re playing on a console or a laptop you can be sure you’re in for months of quality gaming. The mobile series is also starting to establish itself as a must have game for footie fans.
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