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20 Years Of Madden Covers

As you probably know, the newest installment of the Madden video game series comes out next week. And since it’s been around for 20 years, here’s all 20 of the covers, starting when that handsome devil himself was the one who graced the front of our favorite video game ever.


This was also the cover for “John Madden’s Kool-Aid Man Impersonation” video game (which wasn’t nearly as popular.)


As you can see from this cover photo, John Madden really likes football.


The third installment of Madden is also the first to incorporate the soon-to-be-iconic date into the title. Oddly, it was Friday The 13th Part III where Jason got his iconic hockey mask. Coincedence?


’93 was the first to use the “no huddle offense” and “player taunting.” Which meant every 15-year-old who played this spent more time getting in the face of his opponent than figuring out how to complete a skinny post.


When 1994 rolled around Madden dropped the John and got a new sleeker look. If only his body could’ve done the same.


In a controversial move, EA drops the apostrophe before the year. Leaving everyone to wonder, “Is this Madden 1895?”


The first year for the “Create A Player” feature, which saw NFL Teams sign many new players with such colorful last names as “Ass,” “Champ” and “Ass Champ.”


John isn’t pointing at you on this cover. He’s pointing at the turducken behind you.


On this cover, Madden is clearly saying “What can I say? I just love Turducken.”


Awesome glitch: Anytime Terry Glenn makes a catch or a play, John Madden will refer to him winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award.


Madden football entered the new millenium by releasing a version of the game for both Mac and PC computers, causing a new generation of nerds to say, “Mac is better.”


This was the year that Madden trained really hard in the offseason and re-entered the league under the name “Eddie George.” Or…this was the year they stopped putting John on the cover and started using players.


This was the last Madden to be released on N64. A moment of silence, please.


Using Madden Cards, Andrew WK and the guys in Good Charlotte can become players you can sign. I assume that even in pixelated form, Andrew WK’s player still really enjoys partying.


Some guy named Michael Vick was on this cover. Apparently he used to be a football player.


Fun fact: Ray Lewis is the first and only defensive player to ever appear on the cover of Madden.
Funner fact: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is listed as “Ben Roethlisbergr” because of the letter limit.


This year featured the QB Vision Control, which meant you had to have your receiver in your field of vision to make an accurate pass. Which also meant I never threw an accurate pass.


Because this is an E rated game, the beer concessions were replaced with coffee in this edition. Which may explain why there were 99% less pukings and 100% more excited, chatty ramblings in the stands that year (I made that stat up.)


This is the last version to ever be released on the Gamecube. A moment of silence, please.


Some up and coming young gunslinger named Brett Favre is on the newest cover. He’s bound to lead the Packers…or Buccaneers or Vikings or Bears or Packers to a great season this year.

50 Responses to "20 Years Of Madden Covers"

  1. Anonymous says:

    well… there was a white guy on there for about the first 10 games. ;)

  2. Ben says:

    Gage: Way to include 1990 as a year. Hate to tell you bud, but there’s 10 possible values between 0 and 9. Dumbass.

  3. zeeol says:

    “Some guy named Michael Vick was on this cover. Apparently he used to be a football player.” FTW

  4. Eli says:

    Madden looks scary as hell on the first cover.

  5. Marv says:

    Madden curse rears its ugly head again. EA probably thought it finally ended it, but putting a retired player on the cover. The power of the curse was so strong, it got him to un-retire and already beginning to reek havoc BEFORE the season has begun.

  6. fishbone says:

    Um Gage? Are you for real? Dude… seriously. Might want to bust out your Baby Einstein DVD’s. My 3 yr old nephew can count better than you.


  7. A-ron says:

    Ugh….did you mathletes count at all?.. theres 20 box covers!

  8. B0B says:

    Serious, one person says it and every one got a boner for hating.

  9. FaNtAsMa says:

    What about Madden 64?

  10. Jim McDosh says:

    OMG talking about an over inflated windbag! LOL.


  11. slutnuts says:

    time for hatin. sorry buddy but 2005 wasnt first defensive player on the cover. look closely at the 1997 cover: reggie white breaking through blockers. more technical #40 on carolina in 1996

    hahaha im a dick

  12. awesomeo says:


  13. Gregg says:

    Brett Favre is the first white person other than madden to be on the cover…but i don’t see color

  14. VY says:

    Hey Gage, count the covers!! 20. Count em – 20!!

  15. biglamb says:

    Thats a tight article man. Get all the latest ratings from Maddenfans.com


  16. john says:

    Madden realized that this year was possibly the last chance to put his homoerotic fantasy lover Farve on the cover, even if he was retired at the time of the decision.

  17. -dan says:

    i still have the first john madden version for the pc, not even sure if i could even load it on the desktop i have now.


  18. Bob says:

    and I’m guessing you can get the Favre version here:


  19. Jimmy says:

    1990-2009 (assuming 90 was released in 89) sounds like 19 years to me. This cover would of course mark the beginning of the 20th year. It would not mark it as 20 years old.

    The title does say 20 years of covers, but then the article claims it is 20 years old.

  20. pinay sexy says:

    i like the 1999 cover

  21. sdfsedf says:

    finally a white player on the cover.

  22. Brett Favre says:

    I have requested that my picture be changed on the cover of Madden ’09. I fucking hate those Green Gay Packers!

  23. Please stop picking on Brett, he is an old man. Below is something funny to get your minds off of old men.


  24. your balls says:

    haha ive been waiting along time for a white guy on the cover

  25. Anonymous says:


  26. Venus pagina says:

    go giants btw ap shouldve been on the cover

  27. Anonymous says:


  28. Anonymous says:


  29. Font says:

    Could you help me. Well done is better than well said.
    I am from Thailand and also now am reading in English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “Eye catching fonts and interesting styles are an important , heck, almost necessary , part of every site.Pixel fonts and super pixel fonts for flash developers.”

    Best regards :P , Wade.

  30. Anonymous says:

    JETS JETS JETS… next QB on the cover is Mark Sanchez

  31. David says:

    Fantastic article! It’s crazy how much this has changed.

    I hope Madden 11 is just as good. We cover it on our site http://gomadden.com

  32. Anonymous says:

    that was 2k5 dude

  33. Anonymous says:

    wasnt terrel owens on the cover of one as an eagle?

  34. maddenbible says:

    great article, for more john madden content check http://www.maddenbible.com

  35. Anonymous says:

    Goodness. AP? his nickname is AD!!! stands for ALL DAYY!! AP was allen patrick. Anywho, why is it that in 08 they decided to start adding animated artisticness to the players…stupid, just have a normal, undoctored picture of them please, this isnt MAdden football presented by Marvel Comics.

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  37. Pratik says:

    Oh for fuckin sakes… the dumbass bots have infiltrated HT. Put in a verification code to type in after each post.

  38. hook says:

    cool guy,does he still hook up with those tall beauties on the tall dating site ____Tallmingle.c o m____ ???The last time I saw his profile is last monday, hope he does not leave.

  39. shtfkr says:

    who gives a fk about this….waste of my life.FAIL

  40. Gage says:

    Oh for Christ’s sake, are you really that hard up for a story. 1990 to 2008 is not twenty years. Shut and go away until 2010.

  41. Stephen67 says:

    Holy crap, its like a swarm of angery 12 year olds who found out they didn’t get the Ding Dong they wanted in their lunch.

  42. John says:

    Madden is gay.

  43. Dick Hunter says:

    whats with the nintendo bashing

    they dont mention the last one to be released on Sega Saturn

    or Playstation 1

    i dont get it, you come out with a new system, thats what happens…they stop making games for older ones.

    so not a funny joke.

    oh i get it, these people are sony fan bois. well you cant play madden 1992 on a sony box!

  44. T.J. says:

    I didn’t know they used Chunk from the Goonies on the cover of the first Madden.

  45. tool says:

    someone does not know how to count
    1990 to 2009 = 20 versions.

  46. maddenbible says:

    GREAT Article, for all those looking for more madden info, strategy, articles, and videos. Check http://www.maddenbible.com
    Love the covers and the evolution of the game!

  47. mkrob.com says:


  48. mattresses says:

    could favre be the one to put an end to the curse?