Cover Star: John Madden (Looking Austere And Full Of Knowledge)
Year: 1993

This is where it all came together. Fuck getting the band back together; Madden NFL 94 is when the band goddamn started. Madden 94 was so technologically groundbreaking that it might as well have been a Star Wars prequel. It was the first to carry the NFL's blessing, as well as the first to feature a smart camera that wouldn't automatically flip around on you right when you didn't want it to. Madden as a commentator was at his most endearing in that he was only capable of saying like four things, one of which was "BOOM!" Madden NFL 94 also allowed you to play a whole season all the way through, as well as call "Bluff Plays," aka you could trick whoever was sitting next to you trying to screen watch on you by highlighting one play and choosing another (Bluff Plays have since been replaced with "Hoping Your Friend Isn't Looking At Your Half Of The Screen" which is stupid). It was the perfect balance of ridiculous and real-you'd pick a team, choose your plays and march the football down the field to glory, or you didn't. Either way, there would be a halftime show.