By 90Min
April 04, 2019

You can't beat a game of FIFA. Year after year, the gameplay sharpens up, the stadiums get more realistic, and the matches become more and more immersive. 

As polished and slick as the newer games are, however, there were some features in the older titles - subtle and otherwise - that set them apart from anything that was to come in the age of endless Ultimate Team updates and a neglected career mode. 

Here, we've had a look at seven features that could (and should) be resurrected for the new game when it's released in October.

Indoor Football

Of all the many old-school features that spark nostalgia among FIFA old-heads, FIFA 98's indoor football mode is by far the dominant memory. 

Somehow, it was never resurrected in a mainstream FIFA title, but it allowed you to play indoor, futsal-style five-a-sides with a selection of players from any team in the game. As you can imagine, it was hilariously fun. 

They toyed with bringing it back in the FIFA Street series, which incorporated skill moves at a level never seen before, or since, in a football game. Why that didn't take off is beyond me, but imagine how fun this would be if brought up to scratch with modern graphics and controls.

Dive Button

Those who played Pro Evolution Soccer around 2011, or This Is Football a bit further back, will remember being allowed to press R1/RB when in possession of the ball, and no matter where your player is on the park, he'd throw himself to the ground to try and win a free kick. He'd get booked, every time, but it never stopped being fun.

Some research suggests FIFA included such a feature until 2001, and that it was equally difficult to use successfully, but an interesting addition to FIFA 20 would be a dive button with a success rate that is more indicative of modern football. 

It'll never happen - EA presumably don't want to endorse flagrant cheating - but it would be a welcome addition. 

Lounge Mode

FIFA 19's renovated kick-off mode was marketed as some sort of unprecedented innovation, but those of us who have been with the series for long enough know better than that. While the ability to play matches with your mates under ridiculous stipulations such as 'only headers count' and 'survival mode' is a definite improvement, it's basically just a diluted rehash of lounge mode, which was inexplicably removed from FIFA 12 onwards. 

For some of us, a FIFA session with your mates just hasn't been the same since. It set up a lobby, where everyone playing would register, so it tracked head-to-head records and created a mini league table. More importantly, every win would earn you points, which could be spent on perks to make your future games easier. 

You could enforce two or three goal handicaps on other players, you could half the attributes of your pals' star man, and loads of other fun stuff. It was so dearly loved that there was even a short-lived petition to bring it back for FIFA 18. 

Running Away From the Ref to Avoid a Booking

On the newer FIFA games, bookings are administered via a cut-scene. Boring. 

Before technology caught up with us, you used to be able to control your players when the referee approached with his hand in his pocket, meaning you could run away from him. If you ran for long enough - usually very long - the game would sometimes tire of you, and you'd get away scot-free.

Didn't work for red cards though, an improvement to be made when they hopefully bring it back for FIFA 20.

Intentional Fouling

Yes, you can slide in from behind and take players out on FIFA 19 just the same as you could in FIFA 99, but it's just not the same as an actual foul button, is it?

It's another one that probably won't see a comeback thanks to EA not being big fans of cheating, but being able to purposely to take someone out without the risk of winning the ball used to be a highlight of the FIFA franchise, even if it had no practical benefit.

Manager Mode Sponsorships and Staff Upgrades

Image by Robbie Copeland

Right before Ultimate Team came to prominence, FIFA's manager mode was reaching its precipice. 

As discussed on the FIFA forums (where the image is from), there were a number of tools that really took it to a new level, including the ability to manage sponsorship income and upgrade your coaching team, which would in turn lead to your players developing more quickly.

They partially tried to bring this stuff back with the 'total club management' introduced in recent years, but all that does is get you sacked from Roma for failing to meet your shirt sales quota. Career mode these days is fun, but it was so much easier to lose yourself in save back in 2008. Then again, I was 12. 

Cheat Codes

Cheat codes are one of the tragic casualties of modern gaming. We all fondly remember the days of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when we'd hammer in one of the 'left down right up left down right up' combinations that would afford you an arsenal of weapons with which to wreak havoc on the budget version of an American city. 

While the closest thing you'll get to a cheat code in FIFA 19 is Kylian Mbappe up front, however, back in the late 90s, you used to be able to use button combinations to cause all sorts of bedlam. Players could literally zapped up by aliens on a whim. 

No idea how that would be implemented two decades on, but it would be an interesting novelty.

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