FIFA 20: Ranking the 26 best FIFA covers of all time

How do the front covers from each edition of the game compare to one another?


FIFA 94

FIFA covers can cause quite a stir when new stars are announced to be the poster boy of the game.

EA have a habit of predicting future stars such as Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere who once promised so much and seemed cursed by the gaming company.

Another nasty habit EA have is using staged poses for the front covers of FIFA. A real action shot or power pose (you will see later) makes for a great front cover, as do the stars who feature.

Below, we rank all the FIFA covers from best to worst.

READ MORE: All you need to know about FIFA 20

26. FIFA 08 (Wayne Rooney & Ronaldinho)

The weird pixilation makes the cover look like the start of a horror film. Not for us.

25. FIFA 96 (Andy Legg & Ioan Sabau)

Before FIFA was popular, the self-advertising means FIFA 96 is marked down. The lack of a top player also goes against this one, not great.

24. FIFA 17 (Marco Reus)

The idea was there, the execution not so much. Not an elite player, not an elite club and a horror pose to match, the individual player and a backdrop of the crowd are much better.

Check out our Dortmund predicted player ratings here.

23. FIFA International Soccer (David Platt & Piotr Swierczewski)

An interesting choice of player for the first ever FIFA game, this front cover almost looks like a book.

22. FIFA 2005 (Patrick Vieira, Fernando Morientes & Andriy Shevchenko)

Other than Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira this cover has got little going for it. The other two players should be in similar poses in the ilk of FIFA 2003… we will get there.

21. FIFA 95 (Erik Thorstvedt)

The only cover to feature a goalkeeper, FIFA 95 using an action shot to good effect. High marks for originality.

20. FIFA 16 (Lionel Messi)

Into the top 20 and the first appearance of Lionel Messi on this list. Using the solo star and having the very best on the front is on the right lines, however the image itself is the problem here.

19. FIFA 12 (Wayne Rooney & Jack Wilshere)

Not a bad effort from EA to use two English stars, however it is best to use players already at the top level as they age much better. Wayne Rooney celebrating is also a plus, no awkward poses for him!

18. FIFA 15 (Eden Hazard & Lionel Messi)

Eden Hazard looks like he has an upset tummy judging by his expression, while Messi looks puzzled why he is in this pose. So much potential but let down by the half-hearted action shot.

17. FIFA 13 (Lionel Messi)

An enjoyable celebratory shot of one of the world’s greatest ever players. Change out the dull grey background and this would be much higher on the list.

16. FIFA 10 (Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney & Frank Lampard)

Three stars all celebrating, that’s more like it EA! Not sure why it appears to be snowing this time around though.

15. FIFA 09 (Ronaldinho & Wayne Rooney)

During the spell of covers to feature these two great players, EA often used Rooney celebrating to their advantage, however this is not some of Ronaldinho’s best work.

14. FIFA 11 (Kaka & Wayne Rooney)

Why isn’t Rooney celebrating! That is the only downfall other than the strange marshland that appears at the bottom.

13. FIFA 07 (Wayne Rooney & Ronaldinho)

Ronaldinho means business here. No awkwardness in sight and you can feel an atmosphere just from the cover. One of the better ones.

12. FIFA 19 (Cristiano Ronaldo)

The electric blue background makes up for another silly pose from EA. Moving away from stadium backdrops could see an incredible FIFA 20 cover if they can nail the image.

11. FIFA 98 (David Beckham)

The retro kit does it for us here, coupled with England favourite David Beckham and you’ve got something special. The bland right-hand side holds this one back from the top 10.

10. FIFA 14 (Lionel Messi)

The second in a row of Messi with a grey background, however this celebratory pose captures the Barcelona star perfectly. Imagine this with a bright-coloured background. Mmmmm.

READ MORE: Why the new Career Mode should be more like FIFA 14

9. FIFA 06 (Wayne Rooney & Ronaldinho)

Both stars are celebrating you buying this edition of FIFA. The rain adds so much to this cover and is the only cover to feature alternative weather which makes it unique. The Football League logos and Ronaldinho’s belly are the only things that spoil an excellent cover.

8. FIFA 2001 (Paul Scholes)

Paul Scholes. A retro kit. What’s not to love? The circular design was a feature of the early FIFA covers and this captures it brilliantly. Too much white space takes away from the cover, give us more retro kits though!

7. FIFA 2004 (Alessandro Del Piero, Thierry Henry & Ronaldinho)

A star-studded line-up for FIFA 2004 make it a fixture in the top 10 on this list. One question remains, what are they all staring at? The running pose holds this cover back from getting any higher on this list.

6. FIFA 97 (David Ginola)

Other than the missing badge, David Ginola’s sole appearance on a FIFA cover is a joy to behold. The Frenchman was a majestic player in his day and this translates into this cover where his dribbling is encapsulated.

5. FIFA 99 (Dennis Bergkamp)

The first time FIFA opted for a new look logo on their front cover and it worked nicely. Dennis Bergkamp in a stunning Arsenal kit adds so much to the cover and has made it one of the all-time greats.

4. FIFA 2000 (Sol Campbell)

An interesting choice of player for the front cover, however FIFA 2000 is beautifully simple. No large areas of white space that blighted the early editions of FIFA. The ball is always a winner as it prevents the awkward appearance of a player told to pose.

3. FIFA 18 (Cristiano Ronaldo)

The best cover in the last decade. EA’s first cover to feature Cristiano Ronaldo hit the nail on the head. No white background, a quality celebration pose and passion aplenty. Just brilliant.

2. FIFA 2002 (Thierry Henry)

Another terrific Arsenal kit and legend make for an excellent FIFA cover. During the golden age of FIFA covers, Arsenal were the team to beat which is why they feature so heavily. A proper pose from Thierry Henry make this cover nigh on perfect.

1. FIFA 2003 (Roberto Carlos, Ryan Giggs & Edgar Davids)

What a selection of players, trying to replicate Roberto Carlos’ free kick was a big part of any football fans childhood. This cover looks at you as if to say “why haven’t you bought us yet?”. One of the game’s coolest players has a major role in this one too, Edgar Davids and his glasses, a cult hero.

Should Edgar Davids receive an icon card? Find out who we think deserves one here.

What will FIFA 20 have in store?

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Michael Wicherek

Currently studying BA Sports Journalism at University of South Wales, Cardiff.

Keen sportsman, currently representing University of South Wales football club and Merrow Football Club as well as previously playing cricket for Normandy CC.

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