Madden NFL (known as John Madden Football before 1993) is an American football video game series developed by Electronic Arts Tiburon and published by Electronic Arts under their EA Sports label. The game series is named after Pro Football coach Hall of Famer John Madden, a well-known former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Oakland Raiders and color commentator. The most recent game in the series is Madden NFL 22.
The series is the best selling EA Sports series in the United States. The games have consistently been a best-seller and have even spawned TV shows where players compete. Among the game's realistic features include sophisticated playbooks and player statistics, and voice commentary that allows players to hear the game as if it were a real TV broadcast.
The series was originally conceived by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, who then approached Madden in 1984 for his endorsement and expertise. Due to Madden's insistence that the game be as realistic as possible, the first version of John Madden Football was not released until 1988. The second version of the game was released in 1990, with annual versions since then. The series' name was changed to Madden NFL in 1993 with the release of Madden NFL '94 after EA acquired the license to use NFL branded teams. In 1994 EA also gained the NFL Players Association license, allowing for actual player names to be included starting in Madden NFL 95. Despite Madden's retirement as a broadcaster in 2009, he continues to lend his name and provide expertise for the game.
Modern entries are increasingly rated poorly by fans of the series.