The club was one of the founding members of the Nordkreis-Liga in 1909, when football started to become more organised in Southern Germany. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, this league came to a halt but a championship for the region was still held, which FSV won in 1917.
The pinnacle of the team's achievement was a losing appearance in the 1925 national final, 0:1 to 1. FC Nuremberg, and the capture of a German amateur title in 1972 in a 2:1 victory over TSV Marl-Hüls. The club contested the final of the 1938 Tschammerpokal, predecessor of today's DFB-Pokal, but was beaten 1:3 by Rapid Vienna.
The club played in the Bezirksliga Main, then the Bezirksliga Main-Hessen throughout the 1920s and 1930s. After capturing the championship of the VSFV (Verband Süddeutscher Fussball Vereine or Federation of South German Football Clubs) in 1933, FSV went on to play in the Gauliga Südwest, one of sixteen top-flight divisions formed that same year in the re-organization of German football in the Third Reich. They consistently earned mid-table results there with the club's best finish being second place in 1939. In 1941 the Gauliga Hessen was split into the Gauliga Westmark and the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau with FSV playing in the latter division. The team finished a close second to Kickers Offenbach in 1943 and in 1944 merged briefly with SG Eintracht Frankfurt to play as the wartime side KSG (Kriegspielgemeinschaft) Frankfurt. The following season the Gauliga collapsed with the advance of Allied armies into Germany as World War II drew to a close.
After the war occupying Allied authorities ordered the dissolution of all organizations in Germany, including sports and football clubs. FSV was re-established as SG Bornheim but had taken on their old identity again by late 1945. The team resumed play in the first division Oberliga Süd where they played undistinguished, middling football until relegated at the end of the 1961–62 season. The Bundesliga, Germany's first top-flight professional league, was formed in 1963. FSV joined the Regionalliga Süd and remained a regular tier II side from the early 1960s through to the early 1970s when they slipped to the third tier. The club returned to the second tier in 1975 a year after the formation of the 2.Bundesliga, playing in the 2nd Bundesliga Süd. In 1981 the northern and southern divisions of this league were combined and as a perennial lower table side FSV was delivered to the third division Oberliga Hessen (III). The club made a single season cameo appearance in the combined league in 1982–83 before once again falling back.
They played in the Regionalliga Süd (III) in 2007–08 after seven seasons in the Amateur Oberliga Hessen (IV). Winning the championship of the Regionalliga Süd (III), the club has been promoted to the 2. Bundesliga for the 2008–09 season, where it has played since with moderate success.
The club's reserve team, the FSV Frankfurt II, rose for the first time above local Hesse level in 2010 when it won the Hessenliga and was promoted to the Regionalliga Süd. After two seasons, this league was disbanded in 2012 and FSV II became part of the new Regionalliga Südwest. It was relegated to the Hessenliga in 2013 and disbanded the following year after a rule change which meant professional clubs did not have to have a reserve side any more, something that previously had been compulsory.
The women's team won three championships and five cups, even completing a double in 1995, but was retired after the 2005–06 season due to financial weakness. In its time FSV had many German top football players, including national record scorer Birgit Prinz, who left in 1998 for local rival 1. FFC Frankfurt.
The 2011–12 season saw FSV Frankfurt play local rival Eintracht Frankfurt in a league match for the first time in almost 50 years. The last league game between the two had been played on 27 January 1962, then in the Oberliga Süd. For the first of the two matches, FSV's home game on 21 August 2011, the decision was made to move to Eintracht's stadium as FSV's Volksbankstadion only holds less than 11,000 spectators and in excess of 40,000 spectators are expected for the game.