Developer: EA Sports
Players: 1 to 8
As of the last few years, Madden Football has been back and forth in terms of quality and features. Someone could always argue that one version of Madden was better than the other. But debate no more as Madden NFL 98 is undisputedly the best Madden ever, and that isn't just hype talking. Madden 98 is the smartest football game I've played, and it's about time that a gridiron game has been this challenging. Usually an offensively slanted contest, players routinely scored in the 40s in five-minute quarters against computer-controlled teams. In this game, scores are similar to what you'll find in an NFL game when the final whistle blows. This isn't the result of the computer cheating, but because defenses react the way they should. Also, there aren't any money plays (that I've found) that work every time. That's the first time I've been able to say that about any football game. Madden 98's graphics are pretty good, but aren't going to knock anyone down. The 2-D sprites are well drawn and shaded, and there's a ton of great animations, such as one-handed catches and various end-zone celebrations. The 3-D football fields are even more impressive as they look very authentic. As with all Maddens, the feature list is extensive, and should satisfy any pigskin fan. This time, the accompanying gameplay is just as awesome.
There's no arguing that Madden NFL 98 is the single best football game ever released for the Saturn (not that there have been dozens, but...). This year's version is better than last year's in almost every way, with smarter computer AI, more options (the Fantasy Draft is a cool feature) and excellent graphics and animation. Support for analog control would've been nice, but I guess you can't have everything. Still, a great game.