FIFA, also known as FIFA Football or FIFA Soccer, is a series of football video games, released annually by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports label. While there was no major competition when EA released the first titles in their Madden NFL and NHL series, football video games such as Sensible Soccer, Kick Off and Matchday Soccer had been developed since the late eighties and were already competitive in the games market when EA announced a football game as the next addition to their EA Sports label.
When the series began in late 1993 it was notable for being the first to have an official licence from FIFA, the world governing body of football. The latest installments in the series contain many exclusively-licenced leagues and teams from around the world, including the English Premier League and Football League, Italian Serie A, Spanish Primera Liga, the Australian A-League and US Major League Soccer, allowing the use of real leagues, clubs, and player names and likenesses within the games.
The main series has been complemented by additional installments based on single major tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship, and UEFA Champions League, as well as a series of football management titles.
While the indoor mode was no longer featured, the gameplay's fluidity and responsiveness was increased. The increasing number of websites dedicated to the game and a larger number of leagues (the Malaysian league was removed, and on its stead came two new leagues: the Jupiler League from Belgium and the Portuguese Primeira Liga; this came to be a problem when the owners of the rights to the Primeira Liga tried to pull the game from the shelves locally) ensured good sales. Graphically, it is a major improvement over FIFA '98, with the inclusion of basic facial animations and different players' heights as well as certain other cosmetic features such as improved kits and emblems, although they are unlicensed. Gamers may also create their own custom cups and leagues and select the teams they wish to participate. Another new features was the ability to manually change the referee's strictness, allowing major injuries and fouls to go un-noticed.
- Tagline: "All the Clubs, Leagues and Cups"
- Title song: "The Rockafeller Skank (Remix)" by Fatboy Slim
- Released for: Windows, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64
FIFA 99 also features an elite league called the "European Dream League" in which 20 top teams from across Europe battle it out in a league format. It was also the first game to feature a block containing teams which did not pertain to any of the main leagues (back then, it was known as "Rest of Europe" since all teams were European, the vast majority of them featured either in the 1998-99 season of UEFA Champions League or of the UEFA Cup).