Bale, who scored two goals in Real's triumph in the final of the Champions League against Liverpool, joins his club teammate Karim Benzema among the first wave of 30 nominees for the year's best player.
During the turn of the decade FIFA and Ballon d'Or merged together and was presented as one prestigious award but that association came to an end in 2016.
The victor of the prestigious Ballon d'Or organised by France Football magazine will be announced on December 3.
The Juventus forward, now facing allegations of rape dating back to 2009 that he strenuously denies, has already won the Ballon d'Or five times and is the current holder of the award.
Antoine Griezmann is one of the great favorites to take the prize due to his triumphs in the Europe League, the UEFA Super Cup title and, above all, the World Cup in Russian Federation, where he was one of the most outstanding players.
Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, two key members of the France national team that sailed to their second-ever World Cup trophy are also likely to finish with high tallies, as are Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, members of Belgium's star-studded side that came third at Russian Federation 2018.
Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Frenchman Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani completes the five-man list.
The Ballon d'Or is considered the most coveted personal accolade a player can achieve and this year's awards ceremony will take place in Paris on December 3.
Mbappe scored 21 goals for Paris Saint-Germain last season before starring in France's triumphant Russian Federation 2018 campaign, netting three times on their way to the final and then again in the 4-2 win over Croatia that sealed their second World Cup triumph.
In another first, the best under-21 player will receive the Kopa Trophy.
Thirty players will be announced on the shortlist for the 2018 award.