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The 21 greatest FIFA soundtrack songs of all time

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As much as the game is about Bayern Munich and Barcelona, it’s also about Nneka and Fatboy Slim.

Gamescom 2017 Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The primary appeal of FIFA games is the opportunity for fans to play as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with their friends. But they also stand out for reflecting the international nature of the sport.

One of the best ways the franchise does this is through its soundtracks. The FIFA soundtracks are better than those of other games because they manage to capture the feel of the sport while showcasing musical talents, both famous and indie, from all over the world.

The recently released FIFA 18 soundtrack features artists from 11 different countries. Everywhere from the United States to Guernsey is represented. The soundtracks are part of the game but stand on their own as great ways for millions of people to encounter music that they otherwise would never hear. They have introduced artists like Casiokids, St. Lucia, Animal Kingdom and Smallpools to new fans.

So with the new FIFA game being released, I made a playlist of the best songs from all of the games since 1998. The main, self-imposed limitation was that only one song from each year could make the cut. Here are the best songs, in my opinion.

Some notes:

  1. No songs with Sam Smith, Kings of Leon, Avicii or Flo Rida. We’re not animals here. Two Door Cinema didn’t make it because “What You Know” wasn’t on any of the soundtracks.
  2. I started out with the intention to never repeat artists, but then after picking “Rhinestone Eyes” by the Gorillaz in 2011, I ran into “19-2000” toward the end. Because I make the rules and both songs are great, I broke my own rule.
  3. “Song 2” by Blur might be the most sports song on here. It’s played everywhere! A remix of it was even used for the promotion of FIFA 17. That song came out in 1997.
  4. There were some automatic picks before I even started, and I feel like I should be transparent in my bias: “Hits Me Like a Rock,” “Kids” and “Welcome to Jamrock.” These are songs that are linked with FIFA forever in my mind.
  5. “L.A.F” by Broods would have won for 2015 if not for Nico and Vinz. Because, come on. Nico and Vinz are what FIFA sounds like.

With that being said, here’s the playlist. It’s only 21 songs: