With the season well under way, we’re now only a matter of weeks from the release of the latest edition of FIFA.
Like the rest of you, we can’t wait to fine-tune our ultimate teams, but new releases are also the time to nostalgically reflect on early editions of the game… and complain about the things we miss.
With that in mind, here are five classic memories from our FIFA-playing past…
1. Running away from the referee
Unfortunately, as is the case in real-life football, FIFA has always been spoiled by the ‘necessary’ inclusion of referees. However, when you committed a cynical foul on the 1994 edition, you could at least prolong being given a stern talking to by the ref.
Perfectly accompanied by the Benny Hill theme tune, the footage below demonstrates how you could make your player flee the ref for as long as you wished. Although it was ultimately pointless, as a seven-year-old still confined to the rules of parents and primary school, nothing felt more rebellious.
2. Controlling the sound effects when you scored a goal on FIFA 95
There wasn’t much in the way of improvements for FIFA 95. As the video below highlights, the flight of the ball was as predictable as a 50p fly-away bought on Blackpool beach.
If you managed to get the hang of it and knew how to score, there was the added bonus of selecting sound effects to accompany your goal celebrations. What better way of thoroughly p*ssing off whoever you were playing against?
3. FIFA 97’s indoor mode
By the time FIFA 97 was released, the game’s graphics had moved on so far that it was almost like watching a real match… only real matches didn’t take place inside.
Nobody is entirely sure why EA Sports decided to introduce an indoor mode but, at the time, there was something magical about selecting your favourite team and making them play in what looked like your school gym.
4. The soul-stirring intro video for FIFA 98
There are endless reasons why FIFA 98 is one of the best football games ever created, but one thing nearly everyone remembers is the intro video.
Improved graphics and glimpses of some of the world’s most famous stadia were exciting enough, but the fusion of Blur’s Song 2 and John Motson’s almost unintelligible commentary was a masterstroke.
5. Changing Ronaldo from ‘A. Calcio’ on FIFA 99
Ronaldo (the original, not Cristiano) was football’s biggest name in the late 90s. His inclusion in Brazil’s starting line up in the 1998 World Cup final might well have been seen as controversial by many, but his omission from FIFA 99 was even more so.
For reasons unknown, Ronaldo was nowhere to be seen on the game – replaced in the Brazil and Inter Milan teams by some bloke called ‘A. Calcio’, who looked more like Kryten off Red Dwarf. Although a massive inconvenience to everyone, player editing mode made it possible to change.