Madden release night is upon us aka one of the best nights of the year. It’s amazing a videogame can still give you that kid on Christmas Eve feeling. It’s also weird when I look back on my Madden career I’ve been doing this for 16 years now. I remember copping my first Madden back in 2000 for N64, with Eddie George on the cover. The game was blue and I remember it like it was last year.
Now here we are, 16 years later, 4 game systems later and nothing has changed. I am still counting down the hours to midnight in my parent’s basement to what has become an official holiday in my book.
As I consider myself a Madden savant, putting in thousands of hours over the years, upping my knowledge about football and players across the league. This game is the reason I could tell you players on the Jets from over 10 years ago. Will it ever help me in life? Probably not but hey, oh well.
Here are the top 5 Maddens I have owned from 2001 on (No specific order)
Madden 2004 – Made famous with the most dominant player in Madden history, 2004 Michael Vick. Vick was just plain unfair. Everyone and their mom played with the Falcons online and Vick was impossible to defend. One of the fastest players in the game with a cannon for an arm. Madden never quite figured out how to make a realistic version of pre-prison Mike Vick. This edition also featured the deepest owner/franchise mode.
Madden 2011 – The first Madden ever with my favorite game mode, Online Team Play. “OTP” is 3 on 3 Madden online. It was shamefully taken out of the game after Madden 25. I need this game mode to come back. My friends and I had some epic games playing together on the same field. I still don’t get why it was taken out in the first place as no explanation was given, but hopefully it makes a return one day.
Madden 2009 – Probably my favorite Madden ever. I played this version the most by far. Since I always play with the Jets, this was the first year I had a very good quarterback, Brett Favre baby! The legend even graced the cover of the game. I remember being ranked in the top 200 in the world, and playing a disgusting amount of games, over 300 online. What a year for the kid. It must explain my poor performance in school for the 10th grade. Take me back.
Madden 2005 – Another great Madden that often gets overlooked because of the ESPN NFL 2k5 that came out the same year for $20, and even I’ll admit that was a great game. Back to Madden. This edition introduced some groundbreaking features like the often unrealistic “hit stick”. It was fitting with Ray Lewis on the cover to add a lot of freedoms to the defensive side such as making individual player adjustments, much like “hot routes”.
Madden 2003 – The first Madden to feature John Madden and Al Michaels on the broadcast. This was also the first edition to have the famous “EA Trax” with your classic punk rock from the early 2000’s on the soundtrack. Marshall Faulk graced the cover for the unfair St. Louis Rams and their “Greatest Show On Turf”.
Happy Madden Season Everyone!