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FIFA: Road to World Cup 98
FIFA 98 cover.jpg
Developer(s) EA Canada
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Platform(s) Sega Saturn, PC, Game Boy, SNES, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Mega Drive/Genesis
Release date(s) 17 June 1997
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer, Multiplayer online
Media Cartridge, CD-ROM

FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 (commonly abbreviated to FIFA 98) is a football video game developed by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts. It was the fifth game in the FIFA series and the second to be in 3D on the 32-bit machines. A number of different players were featured on the cover, including David Beckham in the UK, Roy Lassiter in the USA and Mexico, David Ginola on the French cover, Raúl on the Spanish cover and Andreas Möller on the German cover. FIFA 98 was the last FIFA game released for the Mega Drive in Europe.

Game features

The game marked the start of an upward trend in the series that marked it out as potentially the best gaming simulator for the sport in the world. The game was revolutionised, boasted an official soundtrack, had a refined graphics engine, team and player customisation options, 16 stadiums, better AI and the popular "Road To World Cup" mode, with all 173 FIFA-registered national teams. The most ambitious of the entire series, it even features many accurate team rosters with even national reserves for national callup when playing in the round robin qualification modes. In addition 11 leagues were featured along with 189 clubs. It was also the first FIFA game to contain an in-game player/team editor.

For the first time in a FIFA game, the offside rule was properly implemented. In previous games when a player on the team was in an offside position doing anything except running saw the player of the game penalised for offside even when the ball was passed backwards. The 32-bit version of the game corrected this so only if the ball was passed roughly to where the player in the offside position was, the game would award a free-kick for offside. The game also featured a five-a-side indoor mode, which was very popular with many fans.

The theme music for the game was included, with Blur's Song 2. Four songs from The Crystal Method were also included in the game – More, Now is the Time, Keep Hope Alive and Busy Child – as well as a song by Electric Skychurch entitled Hugga Bear. Des Lynam was retained for the game introduction and John Motson and Andy Gray remained as match commentators.

With the new graphical improvements, players were able to have recognisable faces. The faces looked more like expressions, though, as the starting elevens of Bulgaria and Ukraine could consist of "sad"-looking players, while the starting eleven of Macedonia could have "tough"-looking players.

The game included most teams from the world confederations and is often thought of as being the most complete and well balanced game in the series when it comes to international play, which neither the 2002 or 2006 series have matched.


Play magazine in issue 29 awarded the PlayStation version of the game 88%.

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