FIFA. We hate to love it. We love to hate it.
With the amount of stick the game franchise gets on a regular basis it’s incredible the community of players that have bought the game year on year are still doing so and telling the tale.
But one thing we can all agree on when talking about FIFA is that for every nonsense defeat on Ultimate Team, for every controller broken after conceding a last-minute winner, for every disconnection from EA servers, there’s always at least one brilliant song waiting for you on the main menu.
So, with FIFA 20 now released a garnering opinions like wildfire already I thought I’d delve into the depths of FIFA Soundtrack history and pick my top 10 FIFA songs of all time. Of course with so many classics to talk about, narrowing it down to 10 was no easy feat.
Some songs that didn’t make the cut still deserve a generations worth of love, so here they are:
- Blur – Song 2 – FIFA Road to World Cup 98
- Bloc Party – Helicopter – FIFA 06
- Oasis – Lyla – FIFA 06
- The Hoosiers – Goodbye Mr. A – FIFA 08
- Foster The People – Call It What You Want – FIFA 12
- The Vaccines – Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) – FIFA 12
- The Strokes – Machu Picchu – FIFA 12
- Imagine Dragons – On Top Of The World – FIFA 13
- Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running – FIFA 13
- John Newman – Love Me Again – FIFA 14
- Catfish and the Bottlemen- Cocoon – FIFA 15
- Avicii – The Nights – FIFA 15
- Tom Grennan – Found What I’ve Been Looking For- FIFA 18
Now, on to the top 10…
10- Two Door Cinema Club – I Can Talk – FIFA 11
Ah-oh-ah-ah-oh. Ah-oh-ah-ah-oh. Need I say more? Well, yes, Two Door Cinema Club have become a staple of FIFA soundtracks over the past decade, with other hits like Sleep Alone from FIFA 13 and Are We Ready? (Wreck) from FIFA 17. However, it’s the punchy single from debut album Tourist History that I’ve chosen to kick off my top 10. The quick paced instrumentals along with the unmistakable opening and chorus proved to help Two Door obtain their rightful place as one of the biggest indie bands in the country from then on.
9- Ram Di Dam – Flashbacks – FIFA 11
Another one from FIFA 11 to make the cut is one that struggled to maintain as popular status as the aforementioned I Can Talk is the now aptly named Flashbacks. And whilst I’m sure it’d be a struggle to name another Ram Di Dam song other than this without looking it up, it doesn’t make Flashbacks any less catchy or any less of an easy listen. A clearly under appreciated classic, it gets my seal of approval here, especially for the crescendo of an intro.
8- The Jam – Town Called Malice – FIFA 2004
Now, if this was the list of the best songs to ever be on FIFA, I assure you this would be much higher ranked (if not top). However, unlike a lot of other songs on this list, when you mention the 1982 classic Town Called Malice a lot of people’s thoughts don’t go to FIFA. It makes the list for being a simply fantastic song that’s aged like a fine wine since being released nearly 40 years ago with superb lyrics sung to perfection by the legendary Paul Weller. If it was more FIFA-y (newly coined adjective) we’d have our winner here.
7- Foals – Mountain At My Gates – FIFA 16
I was very close to putting the new Foals release The Runner on this list due to it being involved in the new FIFA 20 soundtrack and it being my current favourite song of 2019, but I was afraid of the backlash so I went for a safer option. Foals, in a similar vein to Two Door Cinema Club, have increased their stock in the indie/alternative scene tenfold since their first FIFA soundtrack inclusion Olympic Airways in FIFA 09,as well as the Trophy Wife Remix Of arguably the bands most famous song My Number in FIFA 14. Instead of those I’ve opted for Mountain at My Gates from FIFA 16 as it encompasses the album it originates from, What Went Down, which in my eyes turned Foals from “that band off FIFA” to possibly my favourite band around. Passionately sung lyrics from exceptional front man Yannis Philippakis along with the head banging finale gives this song its position in this list.
6- Smallpools – Dreaming – FIFA 14
Ask as many people that have played this era of FIFA as you know to list their favourite FIFA songs and I guarantee you’ll see this one crop up more than a few times. The weirdly pessimistic yet optimistic lyrics with an undeniably catchy synth backing track make this an iconic modern FIFA song. It’s a shame that Smallpools couldn’t further their success from this, their debut single, as they faded away soon after with the odd single being released since but to no semi-mainstream notoriety.
5- Kasabian – Club Foot – FIFA 13
You know the instrumental of the songs that plays as you go into a match on FIFA? Yeah, this song. For that. Undeniable isn’t it? Kasabian have had their fair share of big hits make FIFA playlists over the years with L.S.F in 04, Fast Fuse in 09, Stevie in 15 and Comeback Kid in 17. All potentially viable for this ranking but Club Foot takes its position here for its mesmerisingly intense opening guitar riff and gets a leg up due to it being the intro song for the Barclays Premier League on Sky for a season around the same time.
4- The Caesars – Jerk It Out – FIFA 2004
There’s a theme here isn’t there? Intros. Something all of these songs have in common is their intro means you know what songs coming straight away and boy does it not disappoint with this one. Possibly the number 1 song here known for FIFA and maybe nothing else other than FIFA, The Caesars scored an absolute blinder with now cult classic, Jerk It Out.
3- Jungle – Busy Earnin’ – FIFA 15
Genuinely one of my favourite songs of all time (but so are the other two left on this list), Busy Earnin’ helped Jungle burst onto the scene with one of the most unique styles of music around in the UK today and many peoples first listen of it, including mine, was when it was announced to be on FIFA 15. Jungle have grown into their niche since then with two albums now in the pocket for the London based collective, with single Beat 54 (All Good Now) being featured on last years FIFA soundtrack. But it’s Busy Earnin’ that set the standard for Jungle, with the fresh, almost soul reminiscent tune and soothing vocals combined it makes for an utterly brilliant song that you’d struggle to not at least shuffle to whenever it came on (or in my case, skipped till it came on).
2- MGMT – Kids – FIFA 09
Remember the list analogy I made about Smallpools Dreaming at number 6? Well, if you gave people who’s played FIFA since at least FIFA 09 a chance to make their list of the best songs of the games history, Id bet 9/10 would put this in the top 5. It’s an absolutely iconic indie classic that gets played in any indie bar or night out to this day over a decade later. It’s lyrics, whilst I admit my 10 year old self probably didn’t thoroughly process, suggest the population needs to make the most of its childhood, whilst taking care of the world around it. The simple yet melodic and enticing keys played throughout the song keep people loving it on every repeat, making it a true FIFA great.
1- The Enemy – Be Somebody – FIFA 10
I absolutely bloody adore this song, yet very rarely see it mentioned when being discussed in the best FIFA songs rankings so I’m putting it on a pedestal here by giving it my number 1. The big cheese. The GOAT. It’s a truly inspiring song when you listen to it properly as it talks about a man named Nigel who seems to just fit into the pack and has a mundane lifestyle that all changes when he meets a girl on one night. Elsewhere, the song advises the listener to get out and live their lives with lyrics like “There’s more to life than they teach you at school”. Whilst all of this may not seem very FIFA or very football, it was the music to the classic FA Cup intro for ITV’s coverage some time ago. It’s a true Alt/Rock air-guitar singalong belter. To quote the song itself it’s solid gold. Solid Gold. SOLID GOLD
By Jack Murphy
Feature image courtesy of EA Sports