The 2014 FIFA World Cup may not kick off until June 12, but for gamers the tournament unofficially begins this week.
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is released on PS3 and Xbox 360, marking the fifth official World Cup game developed by EA Sports.
The history of official World Cup games extends way beyond this though, with licensed titles spanning as far back as the Mexico 86 tournament.
With that in mind, we've put together this list of World Cup games, so you can not only see how long this tradition has lasted, but also see how dramatically the quality of football games has improved in nearly three decades.
Feel free to share your thoughts and World Cup memories in the comments below, and let us know how many of these official World Cup games you actually owned back in the day.
World Cup Carnival (ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC)
The first ever official World Cup game was based on Mexico 86 and was a bit of a disaster. Despite publisher US Gold promising it would "reach new standards in football simulation", in reality it had bought the rights to a rubbish old game called World Cup Football and added the official licensing to it. At the time, CVG released numerous angry letters from readers who had been "duped" into re-buying an old game.
Italy 1990 (Amiga, Atari ST, PC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC)
There were actually three World Cup games released to tie in with Italia 90 (which, incidentally, was the dullest World Cup in recent memory and led to the subsequent introduction of the passback rule). The first, another US Gold offering, was far better than its '86 effort.
Italia 1990 (Amiga, Atari ST)
The second Italia '90 game was this budget release from Codemasters, priced at a reasonable £4.99. It only featured eight teams - bizarrely, none of them were Italy.
World Cup Italia 90 (Mega Drive, Master System)
This is probably the game most think of when they think about Italia 90, however. Sega's brilliant top-down effort may have in hindsight been horribly zoomed in and difficult to play, but its chunky graphics and cheery music made it a joy. It was later ported to numerous home computers as World Championship Soccer.
World Cup USA '94 (Mega Drive, Mega CD, SNES, Master System, Game Gear, Game Boy, Amiga, PC)
Amazingly, despite stuffing things up in '86 and not being able to outdo Sega in '90, US Gold was given a third go at the World Cup license. The game itself wasn't too great, but special mention has to go to the Mega CD version which featured FMV renders of the stadia and, oddly, a soundtrack consisting of two tracks from German rock band Scorpions.
FIFA: Road To World Cup 98 (PlayStation, N64, Saturn, Mega Drive, SNES, Game Boy, PC)
In the mid-90s, US Gold's luck ran out when EA earned the FIFA licence and, with it, the right to make World Cup games. In order to ensure it maximised profits from the tournament, EA added a World Cup mode to its annual FIFA game too, meaning instead of simply FIFA 98 we had FIFA: Road To World Cup 98.
Curiously, the former game also featured a World Cup mode in which players took part in the entire qualification campaign before being able to win the cup, though didn't have all the stadia. On an unrelated note, it also had a brilliant indoor five-a-side mode.
World Cup 98 (PlayStation, N64, Game Boy, PC)
EA's first 'proper' World Cup game was based on the FIFA 98 engine and remains fondly remembered by many. It also had a brilliant World Cup Classics mode in which players could replay 15 classic World Cup finals dating back to the 1930s, complete with sepia or black-and-white visuals and commentary from vintage BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme.
Jikkyou World Soccer: World Cup France 1998 (Nintendo 64)
Here's a bombshell for anyone wishing Konami had the official World Cup licence instead: it did. In Japan, FIFA gave Konami the rights to make World Cup games as long as they were only released there. That's why the N64 game we know in the west as International Superstar Soccer 98 was actually this officially licensed World Cup game in Japan.
World Soccer Jikkyou Winning Eleven 3: World Cup France '98 (PlayStation)
Likewise, the game PlayStation fans knew as ISS Pro 98 was also given its own fully official World Cup version in Japan, complete with all the real teams and players. Yes, the predecessor to Pro Evolution Soccer once briefly had an official FIFA licence.
2002 FIFA World Cup (PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation, PC)
EA's second 'proper' World Cup game, based on the Japan and South Korea tournament, was also a GameCube launch title and featured a classy soundtrack performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. It was relatively well received and sold well everywhere except Germany, where the game was banned after German goalie Oliver Kahn successfully sued EA for featuring him in the game without consent.
FIFA 06: Road To FIFA World Cup (Xbox 360)
With the launch of the Xbox 360, EA decided to try the FIFA 98 trick again and release a stop-gap game to prepare for the subsequent World Cup title six months later. Sadly, this time the trick didn't work and the 360 version of FIFA 06 was a shambles, with barely any game modes, a disappointing 'qualification' mode that ended when you reached the tournament (meaning you couldn't actually take part in the World Cup finals themselves) and an evil-looking version of Sven-Goran Eriksson.
2006 FIFA World Cup (Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC, DS, PSP, GBA)
The actual game for the 2006 World Cup in Germany was released on an impressive eight systems, as well as mobile phones. It was the first to feature a proper scenario mode, featuring 40 different classic moments from World Cup history and setting the player a task to complete in each.
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, iOS)
Featuring a massive 199 nations and an expanded scenario mode with 55 new missions and new DLC ones added after the real-life tournament had begun, the 2010 game also included a new two-button control method for beginners to the FIFA series.
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (PS3, Xbox 360)
And so here we come to the latest offering, with a total of 203 national teams, a Road To The FIFA World Cup mode with the full qualifying campaign included, a new online Road To Rio De Janeiro mode and a surprisingly small number of compatible formats. Will it be any good though? Stay tuned for the full review on CVG soon.