Madden NFL: Evolution of a Video Game Franchise [Infographic]

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August 23rd marks the release of Madden NFL '17, the 29th game in the Madden football franchise. The video game franchise that's been around longer than most NFL players has undergone quite a bit of changes over the years. The original John Madden Football that was released in 1988 didn't even include actual NFL teams and featured graphics that made it difficult to tell which player was holding the ball. Over time, though, the graphics continued to improve and several features were added, such as team and player rankings, new controls, and modes like franchise and owner mode, among many other things. Madden NFL '17 promises to have a bunch of new features relating to offense, defense, and special teams.

Our latest infographic takes a look at the history of each game in the Madden franchise. The games, which have been around for decades and released on more than a dozen gaming consoles, have become the most popular sports video game around. Even for video games in general, it has maintained its role as an annual favorite even though it's virtually the same game at it's core. Sure, the players on the teams change, but most of the buzz is generated from new features, updated player rankings, and reports about which athlete will be featured on the cover. Check out details on each of the games, including the latest release, below!

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Madden NFL Evolution Infographic

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If you grew up playing Madden '96 on Sega Genesis or more recently have enjoyed playing Madden '16 online with your buddies on Xbox One, there's no question that the franchise has been a mainstay in bringing home the action of the NFL over the years. Which Madden game was your favorite? Which console did you enjoy playing on the most? Did you have a favorite cover athlete and, if so, did they fall victim to the dreaded Madden curse? Whether you're planning an epic weekend of playing Madden NFL or settling on the couch for a relaxing Sunday watching football, gear up with some NFL gifts for cheering on your favorite team!

Design Credit: Cody Petersen

Research Credit: Lee Burg, Alex Knobloch, Justin Theis

Devin Rubink

Devin is a Marketing Specialist at What’s fun for him? Devin loves watching movies and playing with toys. His favorites include Marvel superheroes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars. Devin is not one to back down from an epic lightsaber battle or Nerf war, but if you wish to defeat him, just offer him ice cream and he’ll let his guard down.