Cover Star: Mike Vick
Year: 2003

The big draw of this one was EA introduced the world to Ownership Mode, basically turning Madden into The Sims, letting you control everything from how much it costs for people to park at your stadium. While it didn't have anything inherently to do with football, it did give a generation of lonely teenagers (*raises hand*) a premature lesson in microeconomics-if your team was awesome, you could charge whatever you wanted for a tuna melt; if they sucked, eh, it might be a good move to make the parking free. If I recall correctly, this is also the year that EA said, "Fuck it" and made Mike Vick the most powerful football video game player since Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl.