By the time the Sega Saturn was released in 1995, John Madden Football had made a name for itself on the 16 bit consoles and the synergy between Electronic Arts and Sega was still very much in place. So it should be no surprise to learn that Madden games found their way onto the Saturn in 1996 & 1997. Unfortunately, the two Madden games for the Saturn in my collection are not of equal quality to each other.
Madden ’97 is the winner of the two and an overall solid football game when compared against others from the era. The gameplay is solid, the graphics are decent if unspectacular, all the NFL teams are there and there isn’t anything broken about it. Madden ’98 however, makes unnecessary changes to the gameplay but to the game’s detriment (e.g. kicking mechanics, receiving). This makes Madden ’98 infinitely harder to master and therefore much less enjoyable. John Madden and Pat Summerall’s voices are all over this game, which is a nice blast from the past. I used to watch the NFL pretty religiously at that time thanks to the resurgence of my favorite team, the Green Bay Packers, so it’s nice to hear their voices taking me back to fall Sundays in the 1990s.
Currently in my collection:
Madden ’97 – game, manual, poster of plays, case B+
Madden ’98 – game, manual, case C