So you may have noticed that there has been a lot of FIFA on the site lately. Failing that maybe on my Twitter or YouTube channel? Seriously, my last video was of my FIFA collection (https://youtu.be/347_Z_4SW1A)

The question is: why? Why is such a common, often denounced game appearing in such volumes?

The answer is that I am trying to collect every FIFA game going. I don’t just mean the basic games such as FIFA 20; I’m including ones such as FIFA Street and World Cup 2006. But first, some background.

One fact that you probably don’t know, but may have guessed, is that I am a huge football fan (soccer of course). I have been a fan of Manchester United since I was about 5 or 6 in the early 1990s. I’m a Red Devil for life.

Probably the ultimate exhibit in my FIFA collection – my official FIFA 14 cover with me in my 2012/13 Manchester United shirt. EA were giving these away at Eurogamer in 2013.

I also have a long football game history – my first was World Soccer on the Sega Master System as part of Mega Games 1. Of course I own a copy now as part of Mega Games 1 but I still need to buy it separately. This was the days of 2D 8-bit football where to be honest the controls were not great. Despite that, it was fun, even if goals were hard to come by.

After that, it shifted to 3D football with International SuperStar Soccer 64 on the, surprise surprise, Nintendo 64. This game is very arcadey (is that a word) but a hell load of fun and is probably my favourite football game to this day. Ironic isn’t it? Love collecting and playing FIFA games but my favourite one isn’t a FIFA one. 🧐 After all, who doesn’t love pushing goalkeepers over and getting away with it?

Then, came FIFA.

The first FIFA game I played was FIFA 64, which to be honest, is terrible. I remember renting it from a local Choices Video (which went the way of Blockbuster as far as I’m aware…). But as I got older I was introduced to alternate versions such as FIFA 97 on the Mega Drive with the excellent indoor football, and FIFA 2001 on PC.

FIFA 97 – my favourite 2D FIFA game and football game in general featuring David Ginola on the front cover. I must add that the indoor football mode is amazing!

What changed everything though was Christmas 2003 where I got an Xbox and shortly after FIFA 2004. This was where I started playing much more and really enjoying FIFA games, mostly with friends. So why do I enjoy FIFA games and collecting them?

FIFA 2004 on the Xbox – the very first FIFA game bought brand new for or by me. I was excellent at direct free kicks on here but nearly decapitated myself with it (that’s another story…)

First of all, theres nothing like trouncing a friend on a virtual grass turf. Especially when you can put yourself at your favourite team and beat them by scoring goals with yourself! Of course topping it off with an unnecessarily extravagant celebration is optional 🤣🤣

Secondly, I enjoy watching football on TV and this helps me to feel like I’m not only watching a televised game but that you’re actually a part of it. Particularly useful when you can’t actually watch live matches on TV…

I also prefer the realism (mostly) as to the arcade feel of Pro Evolution Soccer (which is the spiritual successor to ISS 64 so something went wrong there.)

As for collecting the FIFA games, why do that? Isn’t it a bit overkill? To me, not by a long shot. I feel it’s a worthwhile collection for many reasons which I have listed below. Some are personal and some are practicality based.

First of all, practicality. Many, many FIFA games are cheap as chips (he writes waiting for chips in a chip shop. Mmm… chips 🤤 You could easily build a collection of 20 FIFA titles for £10 in CeX.

Despite the old Gamestation sticker (I miss that shop), this was 50p in my local CeX but is only one of many at that price point.

Of course, they are also easily available from CeX and similar stores, and charity shops, as no-one seems to buy them really anymore but do seem to get rid of the older versions thanks to the yearly releases.

On top of that, there are so many different versions be it different years or the same year but on different systems. Looking at Wikipedia (I know, not the most reliable source) suggests that there are over 90 different releases across all systems for the yearly releases up to and including FIFA 08.

Personally, I love collecting FIFA games as they have been a mainstay of my gaming history for about 20 years and I have had many great memories playing them. One of the highlights being the custom team on FIFA 11 with Jeremy Clarkson up front made by my friend and I.

I also enjoy that it is something different to collect. People seem to enjoy collecting for a system (myself included with the Nintendo 64) or a franchise but normally something like Zelda (again myself included) but you never see sports titles like FIFA being the highlight.

Finally, the football fan in me wants to collect them to combine two of my biggest loves.

I have also fully begun to realise how generous the video game community is thanks to FIFA. I have had 2 work mates give me FIFA games for the PlayStation 4 while people from Twitter have also donated some and offered to keep an eye out for others I don’t have. I am truly grateful 😊

FIFA 99 complete in box for the Nintendo 64 (my favourite console). This was the first FIFA donated to me (by @Snaggsagain on Twitter) and is an amazing addition to the collection.

FIFA plays a big part of my gaming life and I suspect it’s going nowhere right now (apart from the cash in my bank account…)

What is your view on FIFA and other yearly release sport titles? Do you collect quirky game series?

Special thanks to Snaggsagain (https://twitter.com/snaggsagain), GlennGlenny (https://twitter.com/GlennGlenny) and PSPcollector (https://twitter.com/PcollectorPs) on Twitter and my two work friends for donating as of the writing of this article. I truly appreciate it.

Thanks for reading😊