The Madden video game series has become a part of the NFL culture since its inception in the early 1990’s. Four Pro Football Hall of Famers have appeared on the cover and the ‘Madden Curse’ is talked about during every season. Here is a look at the top-five Madden versions of all-time.
5. Madden NFL 08 (Cover Athlete: Vince Young)
Thankfully for Madden NFL 08, the game was able to outlive Vince Young’s short and disappointing NFL career. ’08 was the most widely released football game at the time, produced for 11 total platforms. Numerous features like superstar mode, the trophy room, and fantasy challenge made this a memorable version for gamers.
4. Madden NFL 17 (Rob Gronkowski)
The creators decided to do away with the cover athlete fan-vote, instead revealing Rob Gronkowski as its choice to represent the game. ’17 became the best-selling title of the month upon its release. It was the last version released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but the Madden series went out with a bang as this was one of the most complete titles ever created.
3. Madden NFL 07 (Shaun Alexander)
Seattle Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander was the obvious choice for cover athlete after rushing for nearly 1,900 yards and 27 TDs the season before. Unfortunately, Alexander would suffer one of the more famous cases of the ‘Madden Curse’ after being featured. But thankfully for gamers, there was no such misfortune with the actual version. Madden sold 2.8 million units, making it the highest-selling game in the nation that year.
2. Madden NFL 18 GOAT Edition (Tom Brady)
It is extremely hard for a game to top itself more than a quarter-century after its original release. But Madden NFL 18 does just that. The game was widely discussed for its choice to add “GOAT Edition” onto the game title with the inclusion of Tom Brady on the cover for the first time. The graphics were greatly improved in this version (an accomplishment in itself). A new feature called “Longshot” which gives you control of an athlete’s journey from youth days to the pros is a fan favorite.
1. Madden NFL 2004 (Michael Vick)
The legend of Michael Vick stretched far beyond his elusive play on the field thanks to EA Sports. This version of Madden is responsible for making Vick an iconic player in league history. Equipped with an unheard of 99 speed rating for a QB, users obsessively controlled Vick while frustrating defensive opponents everywhere. Vick’s total domination resulted in the Atlanta Falcons QB becoming a video game legend. This Madden version is the most talked about title in the series and the best game overall.