Former Detroit Lions and NFL Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders will grace the cover of this year’s Madden football game, designated Madden 25 in honor of the franchise’s 25th anniversary. EA held a fan vote to determine which athlete would be featured on the milestone cover, and Mr. Sanders beat NFL MVP Adrian Peterson in the final round by 58 to 42 percent. Other athletes who received votes include newly-retired Ray Lewis, Joe Montana, and Jerry Rice.
Madden 25 will include new features such as “Run Free,” a new control mechanism for ball-carriers, and Infinity Engine 2, for more realistic physics and collision simulations. Additional new features are being revealed by EA each week throughout the summer. Those interested in following the game’s development can check out its official website.
The first game in the Madden franchise was released in 1988 as John Madden Football for DOS, the Commodore 64/128, and the Apple II. It was ported to the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo in 1990 and has been updated every year since.
The game adopted the Madden NFL name in 1993 with Madden NFL ’94 and versions of the game have appeared on dozens of platforms, including the aforementioned DOS, Commodore, Apple, Genesis, and SNES platforms, as well as Windows, the 3DO, Game Boy, Game Gear, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Xbox, and mobile devices.
Madden 25 will be released Tuesday, August 27, 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Variants of the game are expected to be released on additional platforms, such as the Wii U, PlayStation Vita, iOS, and Android, but no information on the availability and features of these versions is yet available.
The only question remaining for Madden fans is what EA will do when it comes time to name the 2025 version of the game.