One of the early FIFA soccer/football games. It was released for the Genesis, SNES, Saturn, PlayStation and the PC. It was the first FIFA game to include polygonal players, though only for the PlayStation, Saturn and PC versions. The 16-bit versions of the game, for Genesis and SNES, were named "Gold Edition" and kept with the 2D sprites and isometric perspective of the pitch used in previous FIFA games. It was also the first FIFA game to include a 5-a-side indoor football arena to compete in.
David Ginola (a Newcastle United winger) featured on the cover of the European version, and Bebeto (a Brazilian Striker) was on the cover for the American and Asian versions of the game.
The first Nintendo 64 FIFA game FIFA 64 was based on this game.
FIFA 97 is the first game in the series to use polygonal players, as previously the games featured 2D players. FIFA 97 continues to use the virtual stadium system which was introduced in FIFA 96.