Tag Archives: NFL

How Madden ’96 Changed Sports Games Forever


“Visual Concepts’ original plans for Madden ’96 included full TV-like production, using the added CD space to bolster Madden’s audiovisual components. Many of the video sequences starred John Madden and co-anchor Pat Summerall, performing pre- and postgame routines. According to Rubinelli, Madden remained deeply involved with the franchise, dissecting rule changes and pointing out mistakes in both offense and defense as the team went on. Madden and Summerall’s professionalism continued into the video interstitial scenes, directed and scripted by Rubinelli.

“I wrote scripts for them by watching probably 100 hours of them broadcasting. … John took one look at the scripts that I wrote and said, ‘This is terrible. I would never say these things. Who wrote this shit?’ … He said, ‘You give me an unlimited number of scenarios, and Pat and I will just freestyle. We’ll ad lib.’ I gave them every possible scenario and they didn’t miss a beat. It was color as only Madden can do.”

Read my full feature on Madden ’96 at Polygon

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Madden 25 (Xbox 360) Review


Madden 25 makes cursory edits over on-field sprains, tears, and breaks. Commentating team Jim Nance and Phil Simms make glancing, mournful statements about, “upper body injures,” while cameras pan around digitally recreated stadiums. Sideline reporter Danielle Bellini remains an ethereal voice with a microphone. It is endemic to modern Madden, lacking NFL production bravado despite movements to better represent blockbuster video packages in prime time TV slots.

Nance and Simms are often erratic, oblivious to late game strategies and misguided on downs. Halftime is a statistical shell placeholder, and boxy coaches stiffly show enthusiasm between plays with dire unrealism. EA’s fixation is instead their corporate sponsors; it is amazing how well placed Gatorade bottles are – label out – during post-game interviews.”

Read my full Madden 25 review at Blogcritics

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Filed under Video Game Reviews