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FIFA 98: Road to World Cup SNES

FIFA 98: Road to World Cup SNES

The final FIFA game to be released for the Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was FIFA: Road to World Cup 98.

A Journey into FIFA 98: Road to World Cup SNES

The world of football gaming changed forever with the release of FIFA: Road to World Cup 98. Developed by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts in 1997, this game marked the fifth installment in the FIFA series and a monumental shift towards 3D graphics on the fifth generation of video game consoles.

The End of an Era

FIFA 98 holds a special place in the hearts of gamers as it was the last FIFA game to grace the Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). This move signified the end of an era, making FIFA 98 a nostalgic trip down memory lane for many.

Exploring FIFA: Road to World Cup 98

Game Features That Define an Era

FIFA 98 wasn't just another football game; it was a groundbreaking experience. The game introduced an official soundtrack that set the mood for intense matches. With options for team and player customization, 16 stadiums, improved artificial intelligence, and the innovative Road to World Cup mode, FIFA 98 offered a level of immersion that was unparalleled in its time.

One of its most remarkable features was the inclusion of all 172 FIFA-registered national teams that participated in qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. This encompassed powerhouses like Brazil and France, who automatically qualified as holders and hosts respectively. Notably, no subsequent edition of the FIFA series attempted to replicate FIFA 98's inclusion of every FIFA national team until the release of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa game, which featured all 199 FIFA nations that took part in qualifying.

A Game of Individual Faces and True Representation

Players of FIFA 98 were in for a treat as the game featured individual faces for players, making the experience more immersive and authentic. Moreover, the game accurately portrayed team rosters, including national reserves for national call-ups when playing in round-robin qualification modes. With 11 leagues containing 189 clubs, FIFA 98 offered an extensive selection for players to dive into.

For the first time in FIFA history, the game properly implemented the offside rule. In previous editions, players in an offside position were penalized even when the ball was passed backward. FIFA 98 corrected this, awarding a free kick for offside only when the ball was passed roughly to where the offside player stood.

The Soundtrack that Set the Mood

The soundtrack of FIFA 98 was iconic, featuring Blur's "Song 2" and four tracks from The Crystal Method: "More," "Now Is the Time," "Keep Hope Alive," and "Busy Child." Electric Skychurch also contributed a track titled "Hugga Bear." Des Lynam was retained for the game introduction, while John Motson and Andy Gray remained as match commentators.

The Legacy of FIFA: Road to World Cup 98

FIFA 98: Road to World Cup SNES was more than just a game; it was a testament to the evolution of football gaming. It set a benchmark for subsequent FIFA titles, pushing boundaries in realism, gameplay, and sheer enjoyment.

As we look back at FIFA 98, we are reminded of its enduring legacy. It remains a cherished memory for gamers who grew up with the Super Nintendo and other classic consoles. Its influence on the FIFA franchise is undeniable, shaping the future of football video games for years to come.

FIFA 98: Road to World Cup SNES is not just a game; it's a piece of gaming history that will forever hold a special place in the hearts of football and gaming enthusiasts alike.


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