Cover Star: Ray Lewis
Year: 2004

Can the Madden series ever approach perfection in a meaningful sense? If a Madden game were to ever truly be perfect, it would render the need for a new edition completely and utterly moot, because a perfect Madden would be the most it possibly could be given the day's technology, and it would also be smart enough to automatically upgrade itself when rosters needed to be swapped out or the game otherwise improved-upon. While Madden 2005 isn't so immaculate that it punches God in the dick or anything, it comes as close as a Madden title ever has. Madden 2005 boned up the defensive elements of the game, including defensive hot routes as well as the "Hit Stick," which set the stage for the hilariously-named "Truck Stick." However, Madden 2005 tends to get overrated especially when stacked up against the relative orgasm of terrible that is Madden NFL 06, so it doesn't take the number one spot on this list.