30 days of Xbox: FIFA Football 2004

Is there anything that depreciates faster than a sports game?
Again, random selection brings me a game that I probably wouldn’t bother playing otherwise to speak of, although it’s also one that I can happily bring in another player to assist me with.
EA’s been making FIFA games for decades now, and while there’s probably some interest in the very early games, back when it was a pixel-based isometric soccer game, once the leap was made to polygons, it’s become a cash cow where old games have little to no value. Earlier this year I was in the UK, and I wandered into notably grubby 2nd hand chain CEX. On the store shelves I spotted copies of FIFA 2011. About 20 of them, all priced at 25p.
They weren’t selling. Not a one of them.

Now, in terms of sheer gameplay, I’d argue you should be able to get 25p out of anything that can hold your interest for 10 minutes or more, which just about any FIFA game could do with relative ease. I shudder to think how much I’d have to pay for someone to take FIFA 2004 away, and I’m not going to do that. Instead, I opted for my standard route with football/soccer games, which is to draw one of my kids (the one who’s played soccer in real life) to play it with me.
That’s where FIFA’s always been the strongest, because there’s some genuine joy in playing against a human opponent even if both of you are rubbish. It turns out that I’m more rubbish than he is, as he handily takes down the mighty Leyton Orient 1-0, albeit via a golden goal.
Now, FIFA 2004 doesn’t look a million miles away from its more modern counterparts, some of which I have a passing (hey, a free pun!) acquaintance with thanks to the same soccer-happy offspring playing them, but at the same time I can tell it’s aged and dated, not just in player rosters, but also play modes and general visual fidelity. EA’s pumped a lot of money into FIFA over the years and it really does show, and show up the older efforts badly.
Still, if you’re more in the “jumpers for goalposts” kick it around crowd, just about any FIFA will do, and FIFA 2004 will likewise do just fine.

Fat Duck Tech Retro Xbox Game Rankings

  1. Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time
  2. Outrun 2
  3. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
  4. SSX Tricky
  5. NFL Street
  6. Disney Extreme Skate Adventure
  7. FIFA 2004
  8. NHL Rivals 2004
  9. Rocky
  10. Spy vs Spy
  11. Rugby League
  12. Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death
  13. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball

There’s not much fundamentally wrong with FIFA, save for the fact that you could clearly get a much newer (and more compatible with your current console) title for probably around the same kind of money.
Old sports games are essentially worthless in a financial sense, but if all I wanted was to kick a ball towards a goal, it would do just fine. Outside of playing FIFA with my kids, I doubt I would, and we do have newer iterations of FIFA to hand, so it’s unlikely that FIFA 2004 will get another run any time soon.
Next time:¬†Legend… wait for it… ary.

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