8 forgotten game modes that FIFA should bring back
When EA Sports' FIFA International Soccer was first released in December 1993, the game was understandably far from the current successful series that...
When EA Sports' FIFA International Soccer was first released in December 1993, the game was understandably far from the current successful series that dominates the sports game market. Alongside 2D graphics and an isometric field view, the game featured a total of only 48 national teams, none of which included real players.
Since then, FIFA has undergone a variety of changes to reach its current form as a quasi-live service game, thanks to the highly popular Ultimate Team mode. While FUT has been a tremendous success for EA, many other games in the series have also tried to achieve similar success. Although none of them became a permanent fixture in the series, there are some that deserve another chance.
8 Classic Teams - FIFA 2000
FIFA 2000 was the seventh installment in the series and marked an important step towards the game we know today. It introduced an expansion of the career mode beyond a single season, allowing for promotion and relegation as well as European cup football. Another feature that was never replicated in later games was the ability to play with various iconic teams from the past.
This included the five European Cup-winning teams from Madrid in the 1950s and Argentina's World Cup-winning team from 1986, as well as up to 40 additional clubs and countries whose achievements deserved inclusion. All the featured teams had licensed jerseys and the names and resemblances of the players, allowing you to play as football legends like Pelé, Maradona, and Puskás. Despite its popularity, however, EA decided not to include the mode in future versions.
7 Scenario Challenge Mode - FIFA 07
FIFA 07 is among the popular games in a series that spans over 30 titles, but its handheld version remains controversial even today. While the PSP version was successful, the Game Boy Advance version was considered poor, as it failed to excuse the inability to make transfers in the career mode despite having a team selection of 510 teams and provided only a single save slot for the entire game.
Despite that, even the handheld version of FIFA 07 for the GBA included the Scenario Challenge mode, which has remained memorable for those who played it. The game allowed you to relive crucial sections of real matches and replicate daring comebacks. Although this mode was inconsistently represented in the series, many fans are eager to see this challenge-oriented mode make a return in EA Sports FC 24 and beyond.
6 The Journey - FIFA 17-19
For three years, in the late 2010s, you had the opportunity to follow the career of Alex Hunter, a young English football player who was then signed by a dream club of your choice. The mode allowed you to make direct decisions with RPG-like dialogue options, while trying to balance the off-field drama and on-field performance to become a superstar.
Footballers like James Rodriguez, Marco Reus, and Harry Kane appeared in the game, as did retired professionals like Rio Ferdinand. Despite their seemingly significant investment, there have been no indications of a continuation since the conclusion of Hunter's story in FIFA 19. Nevertheless, given the considerable acclaim for NBA 2K's deep story-based career modes, EA might soon attempt to tell a new story.
5 Retro Mode - FIFA 06
In addition to the NHL and NBA Live games of the year, FIFA 06 was also available, offering you the opportunity to play the 16-bit game that started the successful series: FIFA International Soccer. Previously released only on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, the retro mode gave PS2 players the chance to play the original game.
The retro mode has not reappeared in any FIFA game since then, although it would certainly be a quite successful endeavor considering the nostalgia associated with many of the earlier games. While the file sizes of the newer games could potentially make this cumbersome, many would surely love to experience the often missed FIFAs 10 to 14 on modern consoles as it was once possible in the game.
4 Football Fusion - FIFA 2004
In 2004, with Football Fusion, EA attempted to create something truly innovative for the time: a mode that allowed you (if you owned both games) to combine the gameplay of FIFA with the high-quality management simulation of EA's Total Club Manager 2004.
The result was a more detailed simulation of tactical decisions in real football, with optional control. The mode even allowed for the importing of teams not included in FIFA itself, allowing players to play as one of the many teams in the database of the management simulation. While modern career modes now offer the option to simulate, FIFA has long lacked the depth of tactical decision-making that Total Club Manager and other football management games provide.
3 European Dream League - FIFA 99
An idea that clearly fit better in video games than in reality was the European Dream League from FIFA 99. In this super league, Europe's top teams were represented, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and many others.
By controlling one of these teams, players could experience a complete season of European football without being hindered by the usual weaklings who didn't have access due to their low ranking. An entertaining idea for players seeking a real challenge, the European Dream League was nevertheless dropped in FIFA 2000. If EA were to decide to bring back this mode, football fans would hope that it remains purely fictional.
2 A Real World Cup Mode - FIFA World Cup 2010
The FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa is unforgettable for many reasons, starting from the Jabulani ball and the vuvuzelas to the unforgettable song by Shakira. However, what some forget is that the FIFA game associated with the tournament was truly remarkable, capturing not only the essence and atmosphere of the tournament but also the feeling of being an underdog and facing off against the best football teams in the world.
The game allowed you to play as one of the 199 licensed national teams of FIFA, with only five teams being excluded. And ultimately, in a game licensed by the world football organization, why shouldn't this be possible? For the large number of fans whose nations did not qualify, this provided the opportunity to literally fulfill their dreams of qualification and even winning the tournament.
1 Player-Manager Mode - FIFA 11
FIFA 11 brought significant improvements to the game's career mode, including the need to negotiate transfer fees and clarify contract details with players. Much of what was added has become standard for a FIFA career mode, such as the ability to view standings from other leagues around the world and a budget allocation slider that allowed you to determine where your money is spent.
What couldn't gain traction in the series was a third option for your career type: the player-manager mode. Following in the footsteps of legends like Alf Ramsay, Kenny Dalglish, and Ruud Gullit, you would take control of the club's transfers and tactics in addition to your chosen role on the field. Given the neglect of the career mode in favor of the increasingly profitable Ultimate Team, it seems unlikely that we will see this make a comeback, although many fans remain hopeful.