25 years of Madden, the video game that changed football forever

In 2004, my friends and I made a rule: when we played Madden, no one was allowed to be the Atlanta Falcons. With them, you were unstoppable, because quarterback Michael Vick was unstoppable. Thanks to a 95 speed rating and 97 acceleration, he was the best rusher in the league and a near-lock to score any time he sprinted to his left. And if the defense against all odds managed to contain him, he had a 98 throwing-power rating and would just heave the ball downfield from any of a dozen awkward body contortions. He was all but flawless, dominant, perfect: he’d probably have been the league’s best defender, kick returner, and punter if he’d tried. In short: he broke Madden.

Deion Sanders was similarly unstoppable in Madden ‘95: I…

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