FIFA 19: From its first edition to its latest incarnation, Fifa is the best-selling sports video game franchise the world has ever seen

In a market that was crowded with footy titles like Sensible Soccer and Kick Off, they released their first ever Fifa game – called Fifa International Soccer.

It knocked the mega popular Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition off the top of the UK gaming charts.

Incredibly, it stayed there for six months, becoming an overnight phenomenon.

Now, some 25 years later, the Fifa series has gone on to become the biggest selling sports franchise in video game history, with EA releasing the game annually.

To date, it has sold a remarkable 260 million copies across all formats.

Now, SunSport takes a look through the ages at the iconic game. We start from the beginning.

Fifa International Soccer

With its gameplay incorporating an isometric view, unlike any other game before, it immediately stood out as different.

But, unlike today's incarnations, Fifa International Soccer only featured international teams and didn't use real players names.

There was also a bug that allowed a player to stand in front of a goalkeeper so that the ball could rebound off him into the net.


THE BEAUTIFUL GAME Fifa 19 review: The Journey once again the feather in EA Sports’ cap but improvements across the board make latest installment raging success


Fifa 95

The first version to introduce club teams, eight national leagues were covered including Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France, Netherlands and the United States.

The same match engine was used, although there were some very minor graphical improvements.

Former Spurs goalie Erik Thorstvedt was its rather unglamorous cover star back then.

Fifa 96

With the introduction of Virtual Stadium technology, the 1995 game featured real-time 3D graphics.

It was a massive improvement, although not a patch on what we see today.

Real players names were used for the first time, although the Brazilian teams had wrong squads filled with former retired players.

Fifa 97

By the look of its glamorous cover, starring none other 'Mr. Sexy Football' himself David Ginola, Fifa 97 was always going to be another advancement in the series.

There was an ace six-a-side indoor football mode and thanks to motion capture provided by Ginola, the players were polygonal.

Commentary was provided by John Motson and Andy Gray, while Des Lynam introduced each match.

Fifa: Road to the World Cup 98

Perhaps the biggest step in the series, it featured a soundtrack that included Blur's iconic 'Song 2' that intro'd you in.

The graphics engine was refined, there were team and player customisation options, 16 stadiums and improved artificial intelligence.

For the first time, the offside rule was properly implemented too.

Fifa 99

Indoor mode was disappointingly dropped, but the gameplay's fluidity and responsiveness were greatly improved.

There was a European Dream League that featured 20 teams across Europe in one league.

Two new leagues,  the Belgian First Division and the Portuguese Primeira Liga were also included.

Fifa 2000

When it was released back in 1999, Fifa 2000 was slammed for its cartoonish game engine and shallow gameplay.

It did have Sol Campbell performing motion capture duties, which might explain its sluggish appearance.


Still, it had  40 national sides, fully integrated seasons, set piece selections, increased physical contact, new facial animations, shielding ability and tougher tackling.

Fifa 2001

For the first time, across all formats, 2001 had a power bar for shooting. Hold it for too long and you may just sky that finish.

Due to licensing rights, official club badges were featured for the first time.



The more cynical players among us could also commit dirty fouls by tapping the R1 button.

Fifa Football 2002

After the success of the shooting power bar, the same tool was implemented for passing.

A Panini-licensed card reward system was added, which mean when you won a competition, a star player card was unlocked.


Interestingly, the Japanese national team weren't featured after their FA signed a deal with Konami. More on that later.

Fifa Football 2003

EA introduced new graphics to replace its DirectX seven graphics used in the previous two titles.

Players like Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho looked more realistic than ever.



EA Trax was used for the first time, while Club Championship Mode allowed you to play against 17 of Europe's top clubs in their own stadiums with fans singing their unique chants and songs.

Fifa Football 2004

Finally, fans of the lower divisions could take over lower league clubs.

There was one exception in Fifa 200o to this rule with Port Vale being included, simply because Robbie Williams provided the title track for that game.

A new gameplay feature that allowed you to control two players at once was introduced, and it was the first Fifa game to include Latin American club teams.

Fifa Football 2005

EA Sports released its 2005 version right before Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 4 to gain a head start over their competition.

Create-a-Player mode returned and first-touch gameplay let players perform real life tricks.


The opening video was dropped, but Paul Oakenfold's Fifa theme provided the soundtrack.

Fifa 06: Road to Fifa World Cup

Motty was dropped from commentary duties and replaced with Clive Tyldesley alongside Andy Gray, who was back on duty after losing his starting place to Ally McCoist.

Half the game's code was rewritten, and the engine was remarkably improved.



Knowing they were now becoming an institution, EA introduced a retro section of the game in which you could unlock classic biographies and watch a video compilation of memorable moments.

Fifa 07

New stadiums like the Emirates Stadium and Wembley Stadium were introduced for the first time.

You could also create custom teams, while the new Interactive Leagues function was an online mode that enabled you to pit your club against supporters of your real-world opponents.


However, the graphics looked remarkably the same as Fifa 06.

Fifa 08

Be a Pro mode allowed you to control a single player on the field and was a great way of hiding your ability as a beginner.

The League of Ireland and the Hyundai A-League of Australia were introduced for the first time.


However, unlike it's previous two titles, Fifa 08 didn't include any memorable moments or season highlights.

Fifa 09

The Adidas Live Season was a stonking addition to this version of the game, which updated players stats depending on their form in real life.

In the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game we were given a glimpse into the future as Martin Tyler was introduced as commentator.

There was also the option of ten versus ten in 'Be a Pro' online matches.

Fifa 10

The extended Manager Mode included a new Assistant Manager that allowed you to pick your team line-up, as well as rotate a squad Guardiola-style.

The Russian Premier League made its debut, except on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

And instead of the 8-direction control, players could now move 360 degrees.

Fifa 11

Manager Mode was dropped in favour of the all-new Career Mode, where the player is able to play a career as a boss, player or Kenny Daglish-style player manager.

The passing system was greatly improved, as were player likeness.

And for the first time you could also control the goalie, which led to many calamitous moments.

Fifa 12

Little known fact, Fifa 12 was the first in the series to feature Arabic commentary.

New features included a player impact engine, precision dribbling and tactical defending in a huge advancement in the series.



It's officially the fastest selling sports game ever – shifting 3.2 million games in just one week around the world.

Fifa 13

The Wayne Rooney spell was finally broken here. He had appeared on seven covers in a row before this. However, he was replaced by Lionel Messi worldwide.

While, the English covers got Joe Hart and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Cool additions to the game were first touch control, which eliminated near perfect touches, complete 360 degree dribbling and attacking intelligence.

Fifa 14

If you were lucky enough to have Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Lionel Messi score for you, chances are you would see their signature celebrations, which were new features.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users were treated to a new engine, Ignite, which allowed for better graphics for shifting weather conditions and stodgy pitches.


While the Co-op Seasons online mode allowed two players to play in the same team.

Fifa 15

Thanks to a deal between EA and the Premier League, it was the first edition to feature all 20 Premier League stadiums, official Premier League scoreboards and television graphics.

However, Brazilians were out of luck because licensing troubles meant this was the first time in the series the Brazilian league didn't feature in any form.

It was also the last edition for the PlayStation Vita, Wii and Nintendo 3DS.

Fifa 16

With the rise of women's football, Fifa 16 was the first in the series to feature female athletes and their national teams.

The US version had their cherished 'soccer' star Alex Morgan on the cover to hammer that point home.


Some Brazilian teams allowed their badges, names and kits to be used, but there was no agreement on the players due to the decentralization of player image rights in Brazil.

Fifa 17

The Journey begins as Alex Hunter.

For the first time, you can take on the story mode that's now become a staple in the series.


The Japanese J League appeared for the first time too, which was the first time ever a football game for the international market featured it.

Fifa 18

Ultimate team ICONS were added, and the game was getting so detailed you could even play in the German third division.

EA Sports also included a quick subs option that allowed you to make a sub when the ball went out of play.

Cristiano Ronaldo took centre stage as the game's cover star.



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