"Aiming to be the first football simulation that is realistic in the true sense of the word, FIFA Soccer 96 was extremely popular at the time of release. It was hailed as the first really successful FIFA release, and opened the way for yearly revisions of the concept.
There were a number of factors that made FIFA96 stand out from the crowd of other football sims. Firstly, the game's commentary was revolutionary at the time -- the renowned British commentator John Motson comments all the incidents and happenings on the pitch in real-time. The ambient commentary is varied, and systems with more than the minimum memory level get extra commentary phrases.
The Virtual Stadium technology has numerous pre-defined camera angles. The game even has a SVGA mode for better-than-minimum system
FIFA96 boasts eleven leagues from all around the world, ranging from the unknown players of the Malaysian league to the celebrated stars of the English and Italian leagues. 59 International teams are also featured, and it's possible to match the teams you want to against each other through friendlies, or you can also choose to play domestic tournaments or International ones such as the World Cup. If you're not satisfied with the composition of the various teams, you can create your own dream team through the custom team creator.
- "FIFA 96: Virtual Stadium Soccer" -- Saturn in-game name
- "FIFAサッカー96" -- Japanese spelling
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It's actually possible to run straight through the ref in FIFA 96
. Although a good referee should try to avoid being too dominant and visible, making him invulnerable is probably a bit drastic...
The Mega Drive/Genesis is the only console to have player creation and trading. However, as teams are limited to 16 players and trades are done by swapping players between a team and the reserves, there are some free players. And who are those? Amongst the top rated (skill 89 or above), there's some unknown players such as B. Plank
, S. Taras
, N. Wlodyka
, T. Sylka
and R. Kaill
. While unknown in the footballing world, they are no less than some of the game developers!
SEGA 32X version
A North American 32X version was planned, but ultimately cancelled. At the end of 1995, support for the 32X was dropping rapidly and Electronic Arts
decided only to release it in Europe, where soccer is much more popular. This makes it one of the two unique European 32X releases. The other one is DarXide
For the first time in the series (and one of the first in the genre to do so), the game used a 3D stadium, and EA quickly hyped this naming the Saturn version FIFA 96: Virtual Stadium Soccer
in-game. Players, however, are still sprites. Anyone who played both 32 and 16-bit versions will find that most movements use the same sprites, although obviously they take a hit on quality in the Mega Drive and the SNES.
Information also contributed by
Luis Silva and
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 01/2007 - One of the "Ten Most Influential PC-Games" ( It is one of the first games which used aggressive and exclusive licensing without neglecting the quality of the game. It is the start for Electronic Art's monopoly of yearly updated sports games which suppress almost all other sport series.)