FIFA 21 is out this week and that means a fresh new soundtrack. Sure, we love the football, the gameplay and the chance to beat our mates but we’re just as excited for the tunes.
Nostalgia sends us flying back in time to the 1999 version of the game every time we hear Fatboy Slim’s The Rockafeller Skank; the tune is almost as synonymous with FIFA as the famous EA Sports (Insert deep American voice) ‘It’s in the game’ intro. So many amazing songs over the last two decades have been discovered and played on repeat after featuring on the game.
We're not going to lie, this has not been an easy task, but we've put our heads and our headphones together and picked the top five FIFA soundtracks ever (Oh boy, some of the bangers we’ve had to leave out). Be prepared to remember some forgotten classics, people...
The game’s signature anthem at the turn of the century was It’s Only Us by Robbie Williams and amazingly, due to the superstar singer’s involvement, FIFA happily included his beloved Port Vale on the game, despite the fact they only featured Premier League teams at that time. Sadly for the Valiants, despite their new found fame across the gaming sphere, they were relegated to the third tier in the real world that same year.
Sell Out by Reel Big Fish was another big singalong tune which packed a serious punch while you couldn’t help but dance along to Apollo 440’s Stop The Rock. It was of its time, and what a time it was.
Best Song: Apollo 440 - Stop The Rock
Kings of Leon and the epic Red Morning Light was a stunning tune on FIFA 04 and captured the real essence of the band before Sex On Fire catapulted them into a mainstream malaise (you know it’s true, some songs are just so good they get played far too often!). Kasabian’s LSF, as well, gained notoriety for being an iconic indie anthem. Whenever it comes on your shuffle, it reminds you of FIFA doesn’t it? Don’t lie.
The Dandy Warhols’ lesser known We Used To Be Friends (compared to their megahit Bohemian Like You, anyway) was great to crank up as you picked your newest starting XI. Special mentions too for Junior Senior’s Rhythm Bandits and Always by Suburbia.
90s classics like Fools Gold by The Stone Roses and 80s hits like A Town Called Malice by The Jam were also introduced to, and loved by, a whole new generation. The cover featuring Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Alessandro Del Piero looking as they were running out of the game and into your living room is just as memorable.
Best Song: Kings of Leon - Red Morning Light
The golden oldies were there again in 2005, with the synth-pumping beat of New Order’s Blue Monday accompanying the gameplay this time around to give the youngsters a sound of what was cool previously and still is today. Morrissey, another icon of the eighties, was back too with his recent release Irish Blood, English Heart.
Franz Ferdinand, massive that year after the success of Take Me Out, also featured with the catchy Tell Her Tonight.
Emma Warren’s She Wants You Back probably won’t ring many bells but, trust us, give it a listen and it will all come flooding back. Scissor Sisters with Take Your Mama was another good addition while ‘Fit But You Know It’ summed up the lad culture of the time.
Best Song: New Order - Blue Monday
Doves and Black and White Town. Wow. What a football anthem (that beat!) and it’s synonymous link with the beautiful game stems from featuring on FIFA.
That song is football. It’s Rochdale vs Bury in the mid noughties. It’s Oldham vs Crewe. It’s Carlisle vs Tranmere. It’s a dreary Saturday morning, it’s a full English at the greasy spoon, it’s the car, bus or train to the ground. It’s a stale pint at a worn, tired and unwelcoming pub, it’s chips and sausage in a plastic tray. It’s an away day. It’s culture, it’s football, it’s life. It’s a song in a football anthem league of it’s own with The Enemy’s Saturday (also found on FIFA 13) and Hard-Fi’s Hard To Beat.
Also on this soundtrack is the iconic Helicopter by Bloc Party and there’s an appearance from Oasis too, with Lyla.
Best Song: Doves - Black and White Town
MGMT - Kids. Playing FIFA. 2009. The last year of the decade. It was all made for each other and defined an era for FIFA players. An era harshly remembered for ‘Landfill Indie’, there are tonnes of quality songs on this playlist with The Kooks, Reverend and The Makers, Kasabian and Foals all included. Hot Chip too.
Black Kids and their tune I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance, which summed up indie tunes of the time for many, will take you back to those days when The Inbetweeners were the height of teen culture and ditty cutting edge tuneage ruled the sixth form common room airwaves.
Best Song: Foals - Olympic Airways