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VG247's The Best Games Ever Podcast – Ep.19: The best game with an acronised name like 'FIFA' that isn't FIFA

This podcast isn't about FIFA, but we've been told to do more stuff on FIFA, so.

It’s Barking, 1978. We’re playing an away match against the Under 9 Tigers, and I’m in goal, being the team’s only goalkeeper, and despite my repeated request for new kneepads being consistently denied. “Ain’t got the funds, lad” was the constant refrain from the manager, Keith, ever clad in his suede coat, gold chains, and cashmere polo neck: the standard uniform at the time of people who had large status in small towns.

Last minute penalties. Unprotected joints. A striker four years my senior, having been kept back several years in school on account of his behavioural issues. Why his academic progression was reflected by the local football league is and will remain a mystery, but you must accept it for the purposes of this narrative. The point is: he was three times my size, and his legs were pneumatic pistons that could boot my head clean off and barely notice.

Mercifully, he booted the ball, rather than my skull, which was saved from his kinetic anger only by virtue of not being the object on the ground in front of him. The ball soared toward the back of the net, and would have punched a hole through the stand and into the dry cleaners across the main road outside, were it not for my left knee. My unprotected left knee. Which, as it happens, did not impede the ball’s journey into the net.

We lost, naturally. The parents of my squad were furious at Keith for his reckless spendthriftery: for just 89 new pence, a brand new set of knee pads could have saved both my leg from breaking and our place in the junior league. “FIFA, you idiot, Keith!” they screamed. “FIFA doesn’t apply to amateurs, Terry!” screamed Keith back at them. “It’s a universal principle, Keith! Football in, football 'aht!” added Manky Paul, the groundsman, by way of explanation. “If yer don’t invest, you’ll never see a return!”. And he added: "You plonker!".

“Piffle” said Keith, before an angry mob kicked his head in. And from that day to this, I’ve understood a fundamental principle of life: you only get out what you put in. Whether that’s funding, enthusiasm, or taking the time to leave little five star reviews of your favourite gaming podcasts so the people involved can continue producing this wonderful content.

Welcome to VG247's The Best Games Ever Podcast: Ep.19 - The Best Game With An Acronised Name Like 'FIFA' That Isn't FIFA.

Please do let us know what you think of the show – and if this is your first time listening, do go back to listen to the previous episodes.

“What is VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast?” you ask while wondering if the intro story is what you think it is and if it really happened. Yes and yes. I don't recommend it. Anyway, this podcast, which is why you're on this page, is essentially a 30-minute panel show where people (me and some others on VG247) decide on the best game in a specific category. That's it. It's good. Listen to it.

We’ve got some details on the show’s content below (if you want to get a refresher before heading to the comments to make a wonderful, considered post or don’t want to listen but do want to know what games we picked), so if you want to avoid spoilers, don’t scroll past this fan-made creation of what Chris Bratt would look like if he was the ball in FIFA 23. (Support friends of VG247, People Make Games, on Patreon).

chris bratt as the ball in FIFA 23

The Best Game With An Acronised Name Like 'FIFA' That Isn't FIFA

This is the topic of Episode nineteen of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast. Here’s a rundown of who picked what.

Alex - SSX Tricky

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Before we get into if we're morons for choosing games that have an acronym rather than an initialism, let's put that to one side for a moment and talk about which of these games are the best. It has to be SSX Tricky, right? Hailing from an era when it was just cooler to have an abbreviated name, SSX actually stands for Snowboard Supercross. As well as being a good game, it abbreviates 'cross' into X - which is even cooler.

It is the obvious winner based on that alone - tack on the soundtrack and a generally killer feel-good attitude, and it's tough to argue against.

James – DDR (Dance Dance Revolution)

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The ultimate party game, the ultimate arcade game, DDR is as much kinetic fun whether you're playing on a giant silver stage with credits on the line or a crinkly dance mat in front of the TV.

With tons of classic pop songs and funky original numbers building out an awesome roster of tunes you just can't help but stomp along to, there's no better game for getting up, getting down, and moving all around (especially when there's booze in your body).

With myriad entries over a 20 year history, Dance Dance Revolution is one of gaming's great underrated franchises; instantly recognisable and loved by all ages, casual and hardcore gamers alike.

Sherif - F.E.A.R.

I expected there to be some argument about acronyms vs initialisms in this episode, and I was going to stick to my guns all the same. Of course, I love many games whose titles are initials and not acronyms, but they don’t belong here so I didn’t choose any of them.

Outside of being the only technically correct pick (the best kind of correct), F.E.A.R. is one of my favourite shooters of all time. It narrowly edged out STALKER, because I continue to play it to this day and remain surprised at how well it holds up. It’s carnage in first person. If you played it, you know. You’ll also know that there’s no modern game that’s quite like it, which is sad.

Come back in a week for another episode of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast.

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