All Madden Games In Order Since 1988

By Alex Mercer

January 10, 2019

Madden has evolved over the years for the better. From cheap 16-bit graphics to a real-life motion engine that feels like actual players on a gridiron. Madden has evolved throughout the years to become the leader in football games.

Madden has become a real football simulator through enhanced graphics, realistic player movements, and smooth gameplay for the user. Madden’s playbook, defensive awareness, and artificial intelligence have also improved over the years challenging players from rookie to all-pro difficulty.

In this article, we will show you how Madden has transformed over the years. Here is the fantastic graphical evolution of Madden by History Of Video Games!

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John Madden Football (Madden 1988)

Platforms: MS-DOS, C=64, C=128 & Apple 2

Release Date: 1988

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden

Madden 1988 was the beginning of the revolution for Madden. It was initially named “John Madden Football,” the game introduced customizable weather control, time quarters, fatigue, player injuries, and penalties.

These games did not include popular athletes that we currently see in games today, as licenses from the NFL and the NFLPA were not available. The game simply included a quick play mode where users could play single games.

John Madden Football (Madden 1990)

Platforms: Genesis, SNES, Amiga

Release Date: 1990

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden

Madden skipped a year and released John Madden Football in 1990. This was the first Madden video game released for a console (SNES & Genesis). As with previous games, there were no teams in this Madden either. However, teams had similar colors and skill-sets to current teams, acting and feeling like the actual team. This game is also played from above and behind the quarterback, similar to how it’s played currently. Other highlighted features in this game are audibles and password-saved games!

John Madden Football II (Madden 92)

Platforms: Genesis

Release Date: 1991

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden

Sequel to the John Madden Football game, John Madden Football II introduced instant replay, two-player cooperative play, review of pass interference calls, and even more audibles. New game modes were pre-season, regular season, playoff, and sudden death games. NFL & NFLPA licenses were vacant in this game, leaving only team names to be cities and colors.

John Madden Football 93′

Platforms: Genesis, SNES

Release Date: 1992

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden

Madden 93 was Madden’s first game which included significant improvements to game-play, game modes, and overall football feel. The 93 version of the game includes fifty-five offensive plays and seventy-one defensive plays for the user to pick from.

We also see a breakdown of play selection from formation, personnel grouping, and the defense menu. We also see significant improvements in gameplay, such as the no-huddle offense, overturning specific calls, taunting the other team, and one-handed catches!

Madden ’94

Platforms: Genesis, Sega

Release Date: 1993

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden

This version of Madden is the first game to feature an NFL license. Players could play as their favorite teams, however not their favorite players, as it did not secure a license from the NFLPA in this edition. Season-long modes were also available; however, they required a password to save progress.

Madden 94 was also the first Madden that introduced the phrase “EA SPORTS – IT’S IN THE GAME” in the first loading screen. New features in Madden 94 include the ability to flip the play, switch to the player to catch a pass, and reverse the screen on a turnover or change of possession via special teams.

Madden NFL ’95

Platforms: Genesis, Sega, Game Boy, Game Gear, Tv Game

Release Date: 1994

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden, Erik Williams/Karl Wilson

Madden ’95 is the first game to feature BOTH the NFL and NFLPA licenses. Finally, you’re able to control your favorite NFL player. This was a big deal because it previously had team names but only featured players as numbers.

New game modes and features in Madden ’95 feature stat tracking and season-long stat tracking is introduced. This is big for players who like to show off their scores and passing and running stats to friends.

Madden NFL ’96

Platforms: Windows, Genesis, SNES, Game Boy, Game Gear

Release Date: 1995

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden

We start to see an uptick in AI as they can now hurry in two-minute drill situations, spike the ball, stay tight and react in coverage. These are all significant, as players start to feel like they’re playing against a human counterpart.

Create-a-player mode was added to Madden NFL ’96, which allowed players to create a player then run him through drills to improve his skills. Classic teams were also unlocked by playing a season and winning the Super Bowl.

Madden NFL ’97

Platforms: Windows, Genesis, SNES, PS, Saturn, Game Boy

Release Date: 1996

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden, Cary Brabham, Gordon Laro

Madden NFL ’97 was the first game to use the salary cap when customizing and creating team rosters. This was important because players could not overload teams with all the best players, just like real life.

The expansion Baltimore Ravens appear in the game as a playable option. Surprisingly, Madden was the number one game sold for PlayStation in 1996.

This was a significant achievement for the powerhouse system and the EA franchise moving forward.

Madden NFL ’98

Platforms: Windows, Genesis, SNES, PS, Saturn

Release Date: 1997

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden

Madden 98 started to improve on its graphics and overall user interface. 2D sprites were added to the players, playing on top of a 3D field. Players moved more smoothly in run situations as the mechanics were fine-tuned. Criticism over the AI (artificial intelligence) being too soft and easy, the developers at EA stepped it up.

They made improvements to all the vulnerabilities that players could take advantage of, such as deep balls and post routes. the development team dubbed this version of AI “liquid AI.”

Madden NFL ’99

Platforms: Windows, PS, N64

Release Date: 1998

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden, Garrison Hearst

Alas! The first Madden game to be fully 3D! Players were distinguished by height as they moved around the football field. We also hear John Madden himself with Pat Summerall announcing the games.

The newest feature in Madden 99 was the popular franchise mode. Players can compete in games with a schedule, sign/release/trade players, and draft players at the end of the season.

There were a few setbacks as not allowing your created player into the franchise model. Nonetheless, it was ahead of its time.

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Madden NFL 2000

Platforms: Windows, PS, N64, Game Boy Color, Mac

Release Date: 1999

Cover Athlete/Coach: John Madden, Barry Sanders & Dorsey Levens

No significant improvements were made in the Madden game. It was available for the new Game Boy Color. Franchise mode got a bit of a bump by having multiple owners to a team. We also see a feature that allows the computer/AI to auto-pick, sign, or release players.

Madden NFL 2001

Platforms: Windows, PS, N64, PS2, Game Boy Color

Release Date: 2000

Cover Athlete/Coach: Eddie George

The first NFL athlete to grace the cover of Madden, without John Madden, was Eddie George. 2001 was also the first game for the new PlayStation 2, which ramped up all development and set the new precedent for gaming. Customize is the theme for this game.

Users can now customize plays, players, and franchises to collect madden cards which can be used to unlock stadiums and hall of fame/Madden teams. Gamers finally had control over pretty much everything in this game.

Another interesting tidbit that would soon be removed in future games was the ability to give your team an extra down (5th down) or only give the opponent three downs.

Madden NFL 2002

Platforms: Windows, PS, PS2, N64, Gamecube, Xbox, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance

Release Date: 2001

Cover Athlete/Coach: Daunte Culpepper

Who remembers the days of Culpepper to Moss? The quarterback with the monster arm was featured on Madden 2002.

Madden 2002 did not feature Tom Brady, who would win the Super MVP. Later editions did have him included. The Houston Texas are also added to this game for the first time.

Game modes included season, franchise, the ability to play tournaments with friends, and create-a-team mode!

Madden NFL 2003

Platforms: Windows, PS, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance

Release Date: 2002

Cover Athlete/Coach: Marshall Faulk

The first Madden game features “EA Trax,” a way to provide music to the game while navigating the home screen.

We think of this as a must in present-day games, but this one the first time it was introduced to the gaming world. Artists include Good Charlotte, Bon Jovi, Nappy Roots, and Seether.

Madden NFL 2004

Platforms: Windows, PS, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance

Release Date: 2003

Cover Athlete/Coach: Michael Vick

Ah, the game that Michael Vick broke. If you’ve ever played against Michael Vick in this game, you’ve probably broken a few controllers. If you haven’t seen how dominant Mike Vick was, watch this clip to understand better how he was unstoppable.

New to this game was also a new owner mode option. Players could control everything an owner would – including nacho prices, team relocation, and hiring/firing coaches. Training camp mode was seen for the first time here, which helped progress players faster by doing mini drills.

Madden NFL 2005

Platforms: Windows, PS, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Tapwave Zodiac

Release Date: 2004

Cover Athlete/Coach: Ray Lewis

Introducing the hit stick! That bone-crushing hits you make with linebackers in an open field; this was the game that introduced it. What better game to introduce a feature like a hit stick than with one of the most feared LB’s in the game, Ray Lewis, on the cover.

One interesting tactic by rival developer 2K was they released their game for $19.99.

This put a significant dent into the EA Sports game, even though it still got high praise and reviews.

Madden NFL 06

Platforms: Windows, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Xbox 360, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP, Windows Mobile, Mobile Phone

Release Date: 2005

Cover Athlete/Coach: Donavon McNabb

In 06, Madden introduced Superstar mode. This was Madden’s version of franchise mode but through the eyes of the player. Everything from hobbies to IQ scores depends on where your player makes his next move.

Another feature, which was a good idea at the time but hard as hell to play with, was the new vision cone. It had a yellow cone where the quarterback was looking. More aware quarterbacks had bigger cones to throw the football.

The bigger the cone, the more accurate the quarterback was when looking in that direction. It was extremely tough to play with and was removed in future versions.

The precision passing and the highlight stick are two added features that made it out of Madden 06 and are still in games today.

Throwing the ball high, behind, or leading the receiver was seen as revolutionary. The Highlight (truck) stick was the offense’s answer to the hit stick. Players could truck other defenders in the way.

Madden NFL 07

Platforms: Windows, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP

Release Date: 2006

Cover Athlete/Coach: Shaun Alexander

NFL Europe used to be the foreign counterpart in these games. This was the last time they were seen in any Madden Game. Former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander was featured on the cover.

Loads of new features in this game featured lead blocker control. Players could assign lineman in front of them on who to block. It was tough to use but effective when done correctly.

The highlight stick catered to your player’s running style. A bigger back would try to run over defenders while smaller backs would engage in a spin or a juke.

Madden NFL 08

Platforms: Windows, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP

Release Date: 2007

Cover Athlete/Coach: Vince Young

Madden 08 features a new animation system that runs on 60 frames per second. Players are no longer stuck into animations when they engage a defender but rather more player-controlled.

For example, if you’re trying to jump in the air, you may flip or turn a certain way based on the player’s tackle. Most importantly, a fatigue system was implemented, not allowing players to just run with the quarterback every time.

Fatigue also played a factor in the cold weather games in December and warm weathered games in September.

Madden NFL 09

Platforms: PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP

Release Date: 2008

Cover Athlete/Coach: Brett Favre

Brett Favre is the athlete of this edition, which was weird because five days before the game’s release, Favre was traded to the Jets! Players could go to the Madden website and print off a Favre cover of him in the Jets uniform if they wished.

Madden NFL 10

Platforms: PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, iOS

Release Date: 2009

Cover Athlete/Coach: Troy Polamalu

A whole mess of features was added to Madden 10. New “PRO-TAK” animation technology allows up to nine players to be involved in a tackle. If the ball is on the ground, a new “fight for the fumble” technology will enable players to hit a string of buttons to recover the fumble.

Quarterback throwing motions are now simulated to match the quarterback selected, player momentum and cuts are improved, and the ability to customize jerseys.

One of the most notable features was the game speed slowed down. This allowed for more precise cuts from the running back and a more realistic feel.

Players can also run the popular Wildcat offense by having a running back as the quarterback.

Madden NFL 11

Platforms: PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, iOS

Release Date: 2010

Cover Athlete/Coach: Drew Brees

Introducing “GameFlow,” a new playcalling system that helped players call plays faster and more in-tuned with the situation. GameFlow also helped speed up gameplay, so users didn’t have to spend so much time picking plays.

Online Team play also supported 3v3 cooperative play for players to join together. Scouting reports on other online players are also available ( favorite play, run/pass tendencies, etc.).

One of the biggest modes introduced in the “Madden Ultimate Team” mode allows players to build a team by purchasing “player packs.”

This mode is prolific even in today’s game.

Madden NFL 12

Platforms: PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, iOS, Android, BlackBerry Playbook

Release Date: 2011

Cover Athlete/Coach: Peyton Hillis

The quickest rise to fame and fastest to fall athlete on the cover of Madden, Peyton Hillis. For those who don’t remember, Peyton Hillis was A BRUISER for the Cleveland Browns.

Fullback size but track speed. He was an absolute force, and his buzz caught on at the right time.

Game-play was enhanced with a new collision system that uses momentum to produce authentic and real-life hits. Zone and man coverages were updated for defenders to react more realistically. To support awareness for concussions, players who have a concussion cannot be back in the game.

Madden NFL 13

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PS Vita, iOS

Release Date: 2012

Cover Athlete/Coach: Calvin Johnson

Featuring one of the most dominating receivers of the generation, Calvin Johnson blessed the cover of Madden 13. The new Madden contained Nike’s jerseys, which also had alternates that could be unlocked.

New enhancements to the animations included a more realistic pump fake, shovel passes, newer pass trajectories, and a new system to help the quarterback avoid being sacked. Receivers were also lit up when they were open in what Madden calls “timing windows.” If it’s zone coverage, throwing in a window (similar to real life) will be more of an accurate throw, and it will reward the offense. Poorly timed throws result in incomplete passes and interceptions.

Madden NFL 25

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, iOS, Android

Release Date: 2013

Cover Athlete/Coach: Barry Sanders, Adrian Peterson

The 25th anniversary of Madden featured 2 of the great running backs of all time: Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson. The two versions of the game were offered to different console generations.

A more real-time physics engine shows a reactive environment with the running surface, including grass and mud coming up, newer running controls, and a new pass blocking to protect the system. The pass blocking in previous years typically just blocked the most dangerous player.

Now schemes can be set to slide and block exactly who the player wants to be blocked.

Madden NFL 15

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4

Release Date: 2014

Cover Athlete/Coach: Richard Sherman

Fittingly so, the game’s cover featured the leader of the legion of boom, Richard Sherman. Madden 15’s theme is all about defense and enhancing the defensive gameplay.

A “player-lock” system, similar to that played in the NCAA games, was implemented in this game. A cone (similar to the passing cone used in previous games) was added for tacklers to determine if they could use an aggressive tackle or not.

Better players equaled bigger cones for bigger hits.

Madden NFL 16

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4

Release Date: 2015

Cover Athlete/Coach: Odell Beckham Jr.

No significant developments or game-changing effects were added to this game. Instead, this game was a “fine-tune,” enhancing the game’s aesthetics, goal, and achievements. On and off the field, Cameras were also a big focal point before they put Madden 17 in the works.

Madden NFL 17

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4

Release Date: 2016

Cover Athlete/Coach: Rob Gronkowski

In Madden 16, OBJ beat out Gronk for the cover; this year, Gronk secured his spot on the cover with his famous Gronk spike. The announcements were made via the Sportscenter Twitter account.

The game had a few significant improvements, primarily based around game modes and helping the player navigate through traffic after the run/catch. Ball Carrier prompts and path assists were generated to help you gain as many yards as possible.

Madden NFL 18

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4

Release Date: 2017

Cover Athlete/Coach: Tom Brady

Madden 18 introduced one of its more popular modes over the years, “Longshot.” It involved a player named Devin Wade, who went through the ups and downs of being a high school and college player. It details the fictional journey of having to go through life struggles and football struggles.

It’s a heart-wrenching story as it plays out like both a movie and a video game. Madden also introduced “game styles.” Three game styles would be available to the user based on their skill level. Arcade was an easier skill level. Simulation mode simulated an NFL game as it would typically be played.

The final style was competitive, which only god-like Madden players would be able even to compete on!

Madden NFL 19

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4

Release Date: 2018

Cover Athlete/Coach: Antonio Brown, Terrell Owens H.O.F. Edition

The latest and most up-to-date Madden, featuring one of the game’s biggest stars on the cover, Antonio Brown. Despite some popular mainstream criticism, the hall of fame edition featured Terrell Owens in a Cowboys uniform.

Madden 19 features real player motions, allowing ball carriers to push lead blockers to gain more yards and realistic cutting and footing. Touchdown celebrations are now player warranted and controlled, a feature missing for years! So that’s our list – what’s your favorite Madden? Let us know in the comment section below!

What Madden Games Are On PC/Mac?

Unfortunately, the last Madden game to be made for PC was back in 2007, when Madden 08 came out. That’s the last time EA made a game for either Windows or Mac.

Why Is Bill Belichick Not In Madden?

To be in Madden, similar to how EA Sports needed the NFLPA’s permission, Madden needs the NFL. Belichick, unfortunately, is not part of the NFLCA and therefore is not eligible to be in the game.

Who Is John Madden?

John Madden is a Hall Of Fame coach, primarily for the Oakland Raiders. John also had an excellent broadcasting career where he commentated prime time and Super Bowl games.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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