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Ranking the top five best ‘EA Sports FIFA’ game covers of all time

Published at :July 17, 2023 at 9:50 PM
Modified at :July 28, 2023 at 11:15 PM
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Rajat Chhajta

The cover of the game over the years has featured some of the most legendary footballers

Apart from the start of the Football season in August of every year, there is another event that is anticipated by every football fan: the release of EA Sports FIFA. With time, this game has made its mark among fans and video game players and is an international phenomenon equal to the premier of a Hollywood movie. Players and fans have their eyes on the games to look into the rankings, skills, and different attributes of a player.

Every year it is a challenge for EA Sports to make FIFA better, and more realistic. Along with this, it also comes with a player/players to feature on the cover of the game which will be the face of promotions. In the past, there have been many star and talented players featured on the cover and it is one of the reasons why this means no less than an unofficial award.

But now EA Sports and FIFA have split up and EA are making a football game on their own under the name of EA Sports FC. This year the cover of EA Sports FC 24 is Erling Haaland for his tremendous season with Manchester City. Let’s take a look at the best covers we have come across in the past two decades:

5. FIFA 11 – Wayne Rooney & KAKA

Wayne Rooney and Kaka with the backdrop of the Santiago Bernabeu, is there anything more you need to hype yourself? KAKA was already a legend of the game with teams like AC Milan and Madrid, Rooney on other hand was a monster of a striker whose trademark was aggressive football.

By this point in the series, FIFA had established itself as the king of the sport, even with Pro Evolution Soccer (now eFootball) as a challenger. But when FIFA Soccer 11 arrived, it was still the toast of the town to the point where it won several awards as the top sports game of the year.

The game found success by expanding the online aspect with custom avatars and boosting the gameplay on the PC version. Passing was given an overhaul, career mode got some changes made, and specific consoles had fun additions, with the most notable being the street football inclusion for the Nintendo Wii.

Also read: Ranking the top 10 best ‘EA Sports FIFA’ games of all time

4. FIFA 14 - Lionel Messi

FIFA 14 - Lionel Messi
Lionel Mesi was on the FIFA 14 cover

The second in a row of Messi with a grey background, however, this celebratory pose captures the Barcelona star perfectly. This game is still remembered for its classic soundtracks and gameplay. Messi on this cover only fixed it’s place in the folklore. Because this was the first time that FIFA was on both the Xbox One and the PS4, EA took full advantage and really upped the ante with the graphics and the gameplay with the Ignite Engine being used to full effect.

It allowed this to be a totally new experience for players who had been engaged with the franchise for a while. Tweaks to the gameplay offered enhanced realism to accompany the graphics, with a focus on momentum helping to bring player movements closer to the real thing.

3. FIFA 04 - Alessandro Del Piero, Thierry Henry & Ronaldinho

A star-studded line-up for FIFA 2004 makes it a fixture in the top 05 on this list. The running pose were as iconic as these players and perhaps the greatest collection of players to ever appear on the cover. The running shots, iconic kits and players make the cover of FIFA 2004 an all-timer. All these players were at the top of their game coming into 2004.

Ronaldinho was sprinkling his magic with Barcelona, Del Piero was on his way to become the Juventus legend he is today and Henry that year went on to guide Arsenal to The Invincibles. There is not any more convincing an individual would need to go buy this game.

2. FIFA 03 - Roberto Carlos, Ryan Giggs & Edgar Davids

What a selection of players, trying to replicate that Roberto Carlos' free kick was a big part of any football fans childhood. This cover looks at you as if saying, "why haven't you bought us yet?". One of the game's coolest players, Edgar Davids and his glasses, has a major role in this one too, a cult hero.

Simply one of the most iconic FIFA cover of all time. Roberto Carlos, Ryan Giggs and Edgar Davids all look like they are about to drop the hardest rap album of all time. It will take some effort to ever top this one featuring three players on the cover since now it has narrowed down to an individual player per year.

1. FIFA 08 – Wayne Rooney & Ronaldinho

Two of the players in their prime who were seen as the idols of every fan of football. Either you could be a fan of Ronaldinho and hiss skills on the balls replicating those rainbows or you were a fan of young Ronney who was Manchester United’s main man scoring goals left and right and center with his power and accuracy. This game came with major updates and brought an evolution in football gaming.

The biggest addition to this game was the Be A Pro mode, the mode allows players to control one footballer (other than a goalkeeper) throughout an entire game, making for a unique experience on the pitch. Improvements to manager mode and goaltending AI were also welcome.