From the simplistic kick-off mode to Career Mode and Ultimate Team, football fans have poured endless hours into this graphical recreation of the beautiful game.
Here at GiveMeSport, we’ve taken each rendition since 2001 on Metacritic to see which FIFA release is the best.
It must be noted, however, we’ve just taken the highest-scoring version for each game, so we haven’t paid any attention to what console it was released on.
21. FIFA 22 – 78
We start this list with the latest edition of the series. FIFA 22 has only been out for six months, but fans have clearly not been inspired by what they’ve seen.
20. FIFA 20 – 79
Another recent rendition of the FIFA series, FIFA 20 is only marginally better than its two-year younger sibling FIFA 22 in the eyes of the fans. FIFA 20 saw the introduction of Volta, which many have dubbed a failed attempt to bring back the FIFA Street series.
19. FIFA 06 – 80
Despite having Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho on its front cover, FIFA 06 hasn’t been remembered as fondly by its players as other titles from similar seasons.
18. FIFA 2005 – 81
FIFA 05’s lasting legacy was the extension of the Career Mode series to 15 seasons. The game was released much earlier than usual as EA wanted to avoid clashes with Pro Evo 4 and FIFA Street.
17. FIFA 15 – 82
The most important feature added to FIFA 15 Ultimate Team was the concept squad. It allowed players to visualise and build teams without needing to have players in their club. It has since become the backbone of squad building amongst players.
17. FIFA 2002 – 82
A FIFA game without a power bar for passing almost sounds alien to those who have played the game for some time. Well, FIFA 2002 is the version we have to thank for this as it was the first game to feature it.
15. FIFA 19 – 83
FIFA 19 saw the culmination of Alex Hunter’s story in The Journey, a storyline-based game mode that was ground-breaking in the FIFA series. The game also featured downloadable content for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
15. Fifa 08 – 83
With the same Metacritic score as FIFA 19, FIFA 08 is next in our list. This was the first game to include the “Be a Pro Mode” which allowed players to control a single outfield player for the duration of a match.
15. FIFA 2001 – 83
The oldest game in our list, FIFA 2001 shares the same score of 83 as the previous two entries. With Paul Scholes on its cover, it was the first FIFA game to be released on the beloved PlayStation 2.
12. FIFA 18 – 84
FIFA 18 was the first time on Xbox users were able to play with Legends, which EA renamed Icons for the games release. The game also saw the continuation of the Alex Hunter Story in The Journey: Hunter Returns.
12. FIFA 2004 – 84
The biggest introduction to FIFA 2004 was that EA added second division teams from a few selected countries, which allowed players to take lower ranked teams on promotion pushes.
12. FIFA 16 – 84
Propping up our top 10, technically, even though they have the same score as the previous two entries, is FIFA 16, which was the first game in the history of the series to include female footballers. The only playable women’s teams were the national sides of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, China and Australia.
9. FIFA 17 – 85
FIFA 17 was the introduction to many of the Ultimate Team features fans love to this day, FUT Champions and Squad Building Challenges. It was also the first title to host previously mentioned The Journey series, where players controlled Alex Hunter’s journey to becoming a professional footballer.
9. FIFA 07 – 85
FIFA 07 was the second of four consecutive releases to have Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho on its cover. The pair, alongside Gianluigi Buffon, were the three highest-rated players in the game. A 20-year-old Rooney taking the crown of the best player in the game with his 92 rating.
7. FIFA 09 – 87
For most FIFA players, Ultimate Team is the premier game mode. Before FIFA 09, it didn’t exist. The new iconic mode began as a downloadable expansion which allowed players to build their Ultimate Team by buying, selling, trading and auctioning off their players with thousands of other users.
6. FIFA 14 – 88
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of FIFA 14 featured a brand-new game engine called the Ignite Engine, which featured graphical and gameplay advances on the previous game engine used by the FIFA series. It was also the first time players were able to acquire Legend cards, albeit only players on Xbox One.
6. FIFA 2003 – 88
Breaking into the top five is FIFA 2003. Despite being nearly 20 years old, the game still stacks up against its many siblings. The game included several new features including; Club Championship Mode, half-time and full-time replays, and greater likeness to players.
4. FIFA 11 – 89
In FIFA 11, the ‘Be a Pro’ mode and Manager Mode were merged into one new mode called Career Mode. The game also allowed players to control goalkeepers and play 11v11 online matches, in line with EA’s We Are 11 slogan.
3. FIFA 13 – 90
Nightmares of German striker Alexander Esswein or Spartak Moscow forwards Emmanuel Emenike and Wellinton still burn in the memories of those that played FIFA 13 Ultimate Team. Away from online mode, this was the first edition of the game which allowed Career Mode players to take charge of international teams.
3. FIFA 12 – 90
In joint-second place is FIFA 12. The title introduced three major gameplay changes; Impact Engine, Tactical Defending and Precision Dribbling.
The game also saw the introduction of Head-to-Head Seasons, an online mode where players were challenged to work their way through 10 divisions by earning points against fellow real-world players.
And now time for number one…
FIFA 10 – 91
In top spot is FIFA 10. The game saw the introduction of the Virtual Pro, which players could use in the four-season ‘Be a Pro’ mode, in Manager Mode, kick-off and the practice arena. Gamers could customise their pro to their heart’s content by using the Game Face feature on the EA website, which led to several comical recreations of famous people.
The title also saw the expansion of the Ultimate Team series which had been introduced in the previous year’s game. For just £3.99, players could download the FUT extension.