Fifa is a game that many people in the gaming community have strong feelings about. Boasting the largest pool of fans of any sports series in gaming history, the hype and excitement behind every annual release is something wholly unique to EA’s flagship title and never fails to get the world talking. From Messi to Ronaldo and Maldini to Pele, Fifa remains the ultimate football simulation game for fans of the beautiful game all around the world.
The Playstation 2 saw some of the best and most beloved Fifa titles launched during the console’s time in the spotlight, with at least one Fifa game being released every year between 2000 and 2013. For fans of Fifa, this is the ultimate nostalgia trip as we explore the best Fifa games on the PS2.
Released in 2004 after development by EA Canada, Fifa 05’s cover art of Patrick Vieria, Fernando Morientes and Andriy Shevchenko has become legendary amongst the community and instantly recognisable by the game’s initial 4.5million players.
Fifa 2005 remains one of the few Fifa games to have been released by EA before the usual late October window, hitting shelves at the start of the month in order to leave space for the release of the much-hyped ‘Fifa Street’ which also came out that year. Despite predictions that the game might fall by the wayside, Fifa 05 was received with much acclaim from critics and fans alike, praising the improvements made to the game’s career and create a player mode. This was also the first Fifa game to include ‘one touch’ mechanics that allowed players to perform tricks and skill moves for the first time.
-Fifa World Cup 2006
Both the 2002 and 2006 World Cup Fifa releases for the PS2 were special. Stacked full of great features that kept both games feeling fresh even after hundreds of hours of gameplay, the 2006 edition just about gets the nod in this list.
Featuring real-world scenarios to play through and the actual World Cup groups and fixtures, this was EA’s best ever attempt at making a simulation that players could truly throw themselves into and feel like they were really a part of the action. With great options for players both on and offline, the game allowed players to purchase boots, kits and historical players following their on-field performance, creating an addictive feel that EA have rarely been able to replicate since. With almost every part of the game being customisable as well, the sheer amount of replayability in this feature was worth its place in this list alone.
There was something about the gameplay within Fifa 07 that made it one of the most addictive Fifas to have ever been released. With the game’s clubs, stadiums and players all receiving a badly-needed facelift, Fifa 07 felt like a game that had been released for the modern world. It was one of the final games to be released on handheld consoles like the Gameboy Advance and greatly improved on EA’s Net Play features.
From a competitive point of view Fifa remains one of the world’s most popular Esports, with millions of players signing up for the EPremier League this year. One look at the latest markets from Unikrn will show just how hyped these kinds of Fifa tournaments can be, and they owe much of that success from Fifa 07 laying the way and debuting at premier Esports events such as the World Cyber Games and the Championship Gaming Series.
If you ask what most Fifa players’ favourite title was, the vast majority of them will utter the words ‘Fifa 12’ to you. Overhauled in both in-game performance and overall direction from EA, Fifa 12 is really the bridge from the classic releases explored in this list, and the modern Fifa series that we are all familiar with today.
Capitalising on the emerging trends of online play, EA really ramped up their efforts to get their players playing online through Ultimate Team and Seasons, with more and more microtransactions being introduced with the game’s increasing amount of packs and rare players. Through influencers such as ‘KSI’, the game also began to make a mark as a watchable series on the platforms such as YouTube. Fifa 12 featured extensive changes to the game’s mechanics, introducing tactical defending and precision dribbling that lay the foundations for future Fifa games right up until the 2017 edition and the new ‘Frostbite’ engine.
It truly was a ‘changing of the guard’ moment for the Playstation 2, with this being the penultimate Fifa title to be released on the console.