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Top 10 – Songs featured in the EA Sports FIFA series
The EA Sports FIFA franchise has experienced many ups and downs during its long history, but one would argue that it is currently more popular than ever. EA have always included great soundtracks in their FIFA games, and even when the game was arguably at its worst, the soundtracks were still stellar compilations which introduced me to musicians who still get regular rotation on my music playlists to this day. The game has featured a huge variety of artists for over 15 years, and it is my intention to showcase the best and most important songs to feature in the series so far.
First, a little background. My first experience with the FIFA franchise was back in 1998. I still vividly remember my dad arriving home with a new printer and glancing at the back of the box, which read – “Includes a free copy of FIFA: Road To World Cup 98”. Up to this point, I had been playing a combination of Actua Soccer and FIFA 96, so the promise of a true 3D FIFA game was an exciting prospect.
FIFA was almost constantly in the CD drive as each iteration was released for the next few years, until I joined the console world and ISS: Pro Evolution Soccer (later switching its name to just Pro Evolution Soccer) took over with what I considered to be much superior gameplay, becoming my game of choice for almost 7 years. The shift to Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 saw the PES franchise crumble under its own feet, while EA had already begun implementing big changes to their aging formula, starting with the release of FIFA 07. EA have taken the crown ever since (although Konami had a fantastic outing with PES 2015) and the series is seemingly growing in popularity with every year that goes by.
I have memories of playing various FIFA games throughout the majority of my life and the soundtracks to these games remind me of past experiences. Each song has the ability to conjure certain thoughts and feelings in my mind, simply based on my history with this video game franchise. So without further ado, I present my list of the top 10 songs to ever be featured in the EA Sports FIFA series.
10 – 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix) – Gorillaz (FIFA 2002)
The title track of FIFA 2002 comes from British band Gorillaz, who shot to fame in 2001 with their self-titled debut album. The remixed version of this song that appears in the game is a faster tempo than the original, which had already managed to reach #6 on the UK singles chart in 2001.
9- Sell Out – Reel Big Fish (FIFA 2000)
Sell Out is a fantastic track by Reel Big Fish, bursting with energy which stays consistent throughout the entire song. I vividly remember browsing FIFA 2000’s menu screens and hoping that this song would be next in the rotation. It was actually released back in August 1996, and peaked at #10 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1997.
8- Kids – MGMT (FIFA 09)
Kids is not my favorite song by any means, but I feel that it has to be included here because it was an important song in the FIFA franchise. Its inclusion in FIFA 09 introduced a lot of people to MGMT and the song later went on to be certified Platinum in the United States.
7- Busy Child – The Crystal Method (FIFA: Road to World Cup 98)
The Crystal Method provided the majority of songs for FIFA 98’s soundtrack and although all of these songs could be noted for their quality, Busy Child sticks out the most for me. The song has since appeared in many soundtracks and electronic music compilations, and has gone on to be one of the group’s most popular songs.
6- Red Morning Light – Kings Of Leon (FIFA 2004)
As soon as I inserted my FIFA 2004 disc for the first time, I was greeted by an intro video which contained the relatively unknown track, “Red Morning Light” by Kings Of Leon. The song was taken from the band’s debut album (Youth And Young Manhood) which released back in 2003. FIFA 2004 may not have been the greatest game, but it introduced me to Kings Of Leon a long time before they ever hit super-stardom.
5- Stop The Rock – Apollo 440 (FIFA 2000)
Another entry from FIFA 2000, Stop The Rock is an up-tempo dance tune which is fondly remembered by many FIFA enthusiasts, becoming one of Apollo 440’s biggest hits and reaching #10 in the UK Singles Chart back in 1999.
4- Tubthumping – Chumbawamba (World Cup 98)
World Cup 98 (not to be confused with FIFA: Road To World Cup 98), was the first official World Cup game to be developed by EA Sports, and the first to utilize a 3D engine. Accompanying the excellent introduction video was Tubthumping by Chumbawamba, which shot to fame in the UK, hitting the #2 spot on the UK Singles Chart as well as reaching #6 in the US Hot 100 Billboard Charts.
3- The Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim (FIFA 99)
If I think of FIFA 99, I think of The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim. The title track of the game featured in the intro video and although the song was already popular by this point, it went on to explode in popularity all around the world.
2- Wavin’ Flag (Celebration Mix) – K’naan (FIFA World Cup 2010)
FIFA World Cup 2010 did a great job in capturing the feel and atmosphere of the South African World Cup, from the detailed crowds to even the menu design. The soundtrack was fantastic, and its title track was the official World Cup song of that year, Wavin’ Flag by K’naan. This particular version of the song was produced specifically for the World Cup and reached the #1 spot on various music charts in multiple countries.
1- Song 2 – Blur (FIFA: Road to World Cup 98)
This has to be number one, doesn’t it? Probably the most famous FIFA track of all time, many of us remember booting up FIFA 98 and being presented with a fully 3D rendered intro video with incredible graphics (at the time), all to the backdrop of Song 2 by Blur, a song which has so much energy that by the time the video had ended, I felt like I was ready to experience a new revolution in Football/Soccer video games. The song reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart back in 1997, and amazingly managed to join the chart once again in 2012, where it peaked at #64, fifteen years after its original release.
Everyone will have an alternate version of this list. We all have different likes and dislikes and we all have unique memories of playing FIFA over the years. Which songs would make your top 10 list? What are the earliest memories you have of playing FIFA games, or any sports games in general?
Let me know in the comments below!