You won't be finding Flo Rida in the best FIFA songs of all time. The US rapper was a rare misstep for the game and proof that no one is perfect.
The FIFA soundtracks have taken on lives of themselves – helping to promote new artists, helping to share old songs with new audiences and giving us pure bangers in the screentime between matches.
So let's run through our 100 favourites over the years – sorted partly by how much of a banger these tracks were, how iconic they were for the soundtrack, but also how well they fitted into the game itself. This is about as close to NME as you'll ever find us going, so feel free to tell us how bad our music taste is at @FourFourTwo on Twitter.
The 100 best FIFA songs ever: 100-81
100. Duffy – Mercy
From FIFA 09
EA have often tapped into up-and-coming soul artists before they hit the big time. By the time Mercy was included in FIFA 09 though, Duffy wasn’t exactly a secret – think Dortmund buying Bellingham.
Mercy came out at a time when Stewart Downing was up-and-coming and New Labour was winding down – a strange time for Britain, indeed. It’s sad that Duffy never reached this level of adoration again but this was still a tune.
99. Bastille – Send Them Off!
From FIFA 17
Aside from having a hilariously good name for a song on FIFA, Send Them Off! was one of the best songs on a very good year for FIFA music. Bastille do haunting anthems better than most and this one, with it’s almost religious, hymnal backing track and eery lyrics made it an instant favourite among players of the world’s biggest selling football computer game.
Don’t like it? We’re guessing you’re more of a PES kind of person.
98. Bad Sounds – Wages
From FIFA 18
It might just be our particular version of FIFA, but we always found that the brassy pop of Wages by Bad Sounds always played out during the screens of Alex Hunter’s stateside pool, midway through The Journey. That’s just what we associate this song with.
It’s a classy piece of pop, clearly influenced by the bright production of Kanye West and making quirky nods in the lyrics to the movie Grease. It was computer-generated, but man did Hunter live in some nice gaffs during his career.
97. Easy Life – Skeletons
From FIFA 22
Easy Life just sound like a band invented for these soundtracks. Catchy half-rapped lyrics, dancey beats and just that splash of laddishness that feels oh-so-noughties. It's a fine balancing act between sounding like you could be a West Ham season ticket holder and recording music videos inspired by Kylie Minogue, ain't it?
96. Faithless – No Roots
From FIFA 2005
Despite being one of the most influential dance acts in the history of music, Faithless are best known for that one synth riff in Insomnia. Still, No Roots slaps as well.
A slower-tempo bop, the track signalled the growing kudos that came from being featured in the FIFA series, with a number of huge artists being included in the 2005 version. The track features Dido, of Stan and White Flag fame.
95. The Presets – Ghosts
From FIFA 13
Yes, this song sounds weirdly like an electronica sea shanty. But that only added to its charm. Included in FIFA 13, Ghosts by the Presets was weirdly popular next to all the polished pop and classy indie. It didn’t really fit in. It’s a stereotypical EA pick in that it feels like it couldn’t belong anywhere else.
94. Moby – Bodyrock
From FIFA 2001
Perhaps Moby has never been cool. Eminem trash-talked him in Without Me, claiming that "nobody listens to techno". Perhaps Bodyrock was never cool either with its nonsensical raps of "to the beat, yo, body rock yo, we rock the party". But back in 2001, this was the very height of hip. How you doing, fellow kids?
93. The Ting Tings – Hands
From FIFA 13
The Ting Tings were embarrassingly lame by 2012 – come on, they weren’t even cool in 2007 – yet Hands is their best song by a mile. We’ll put that down to it being during Calvin Harris’s golden era more than anything else (he produced it).
This was the big pop inclusion on FIFA 12 and it was well-judged – one of those songs that was dancey with a nice melody but hadn’t been butchered by radio airplay. Clap your hands if you’ve just dominated Barcelona with 67% possession and ended up losing 3-1.
92. Gusenito – Vive la Vida
From FIFA 05
In the early days of FIFA, it felt a little like EA were taking the Graham Potter-era Brighton approach when curating tracks – scouting everywhere from the Seychelles to Guinea-Bissau for the best new talent.
The occasional Spanish-speaking jam is nice on the soundtrack and Gusenito’s little-known Vive La Vida – not to be confused with Coldplay’s megahit – was one of the early standouts of Latin pop. It’s camp and brassy but that melody will get stuck in your head all week. Watch the video at your own peril.
91. Tiggs Da Author – Run
From FIFA 16
This track was featured in the movie Bridget Jones’s Baby but we’d wager that the FIFA stamp of approval was a much bigger deal for Tiggs.
Run is a fun, fast-paced pop song that was popular that it was later reworked with an added verse from Lady Leshur (of “brush your teeth” fame). Back on FIFA 16, it was one of the quirkier tracks on the playlist. A bit like having Carl Jenkinson in your FUT squad for banter.
90. Yeasayer – ONE
From FIFA 11
If we’re being harsh, Yeasayer were a poor man’s MGMT. If we’re being truthful, ONE is the greatest song that MGMT never wrote.
Included in FIFA 11, the psychedelic pop jam is catchy as hell and also made its way onto Grand Theft Auto, too. The perfect song to soundtrack either robbing a car or signing Andres Iniesta for Ipswich Town.
89. Bakar – Big Dreams
From FIFA 19
FIFA 19 actually helped to propel Camden-based indie singer-songwriter Bakar to bigger things. When Big Dreams featured on the soundtrack, it had the verve and rawness of a classic EA pick, and though Bakar wasn’t – and still isn’t – a household name, it certainly showcased his sound to a wider audience.
For an artist so often compared to Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke, it felt fitting that he should be curated for a FIFA edition – given the huge popularity of Helicopter in the mid-00s.
88. Radiohead – Myxomatosis
From FIFA 04
Radiohead’s sixth album, Hail to the Thief, was a left turn from the ambience, space jazz and traumatised electronica of the previous two records. ‘Myxomatosis’ was haunted and jittery – but its infectious off-kilter beat made it a great pick for FIFA.
At this point, the Oxfordshire quintet were perhaps the biggest band asked to be on the game. In one interview with Jonathan Ross, guitarist Johnny Greenwood bemoaned that the band’s music was “never on the football”, and just on war documentaries. EA set that right, at least.
87. Sad Night Dynamite ft. Moonchild Sanelly – Demon
From FIFA 22
FIFA songs, by and large, look on the bright side of life. They're bouncy, upbeat – think tunes to complete rainbow flicks to rather than tunes that evoke fear of duelling Vinnie Jones one-on-one.
Demon does not follow suit. It's menacing, snarling, almost a remix of Jay-Z and Kanye's No Church in the Wild. It sounds wonderfully out of place on FIFA – and the soundtrack is all the better for that.
86. Washed Out – Get Lost
From FIFA 18
Washed Out’s sprawly, tinkly Get Lost track sort of meanders between two chords. It’s absolutely just background noise but there’s something magnetic and mystical about it – think David Silva’s ability to recycle possession that effortlessly.
One of the best examples of psychedelic dance music on the FIFA soundtrack, for sure.
85. Spring King – Who Are You
From FIFA 17
Spring King were one of those groups that sort of came out of nowhere, were big for all of about 18 months and then seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth. A Michu band, if you’d like. And just like an old re-run of Premier League Years, this will always bring back fond memories. Great jam.
84. The xx – Dangerous
From FIFA 18
A defining electronica group of the 2010s, The xx are one of those acts that just seem tailor-made for spots in adverts, films, game soundtracks and the like. Dangerous – with its distinctive brass and big, bad bassline is more of the same – though it's a lot less dark and introspective than much of the band’s earlier work.
Let’s face it, if you had the first album on in the manager’s office when you were trying to sign Paolo Dybala, it probably wouldn’t set the kind of tone you’d be looking for.
83. Peggy Gou – It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)
From FIFA 19
It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) is a slice of serene disco that’s both catchy and relatively untapped in the mainstream.
“Probably the only thing that calms me down after conceding another bicycle kick goal in FIFA 19,” says one YouTube comment on the official video to this song. It’s got 1,700 likes. Perhaps everyone relates.
82. Lykke Li – I'm Good, I'm Gone
From FIFA 09
Sweden are best known for three things. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, IKEA and great pop music. Meatballs at a push.
I’m Good, I’m Gone became a minor hit for Lykke Li, thanks in part to a FIFA feature on 2009’s game. As one of the defining songs of its scene at the time, it was a fitting track to include.
81. Royal Blood – Trouble's Coming
From FIFA 21
Royal Blood's Trouble's Coming was the first song of a new era for the band – and it coincided with the track being included on FIFA 21. As marketing strategies go, that's a pretty cool one.
This song is a thumper with the duo's trademark stomping drums coupling nicely with falsetto in the chorus crying "I hear trouble coming" – the soundtrack to many a late equaliser, we reckon.
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