John Madden Football ’93 – Review

“Red…7…28…hut, hike!!!” John madden is back! Get ready for hard-hitting defensive plays and Hail Mary passes, as we delve into this offering from Electronic Arts.

Screenshot taken by the author

Madden ’93 is another in the line of the Madden franchise. It was developed by Blue Sky Productions for the Mega Drive and Electronic Arts for the SNES. It was published by EA Sports Network, and was released in 1992. I chose to review the Mega Drive version.

Screenshot taken by the author

Ah yes, American Football, that favourite of North American Sports that just doesn’t seem to translate well in the UK. The computer games did however, and this one was no exception.

You have the option to play pre-season, regular season, playoffs and sudden death modes. Although I question the purpose of pre-season as it doesn’t add anything to the team or player stats. You can play either one-player, two-player, or two-player co-operative which is fun to play, as I did with both my brothers.

Screenshot taken by the author

Some of the new features include stumbling, taunting, head-butting and one-handed catches. Although you can play in snow, wind and rain etc., sadly, they still haven’t added a random weather option, which would be a nice touch and there is still no sign of real player names. On another positive note, you no longer need a password as the game automatically saves your progress.

The graphics are pretty much the same as Madden ’92 but the gameplay has been improved. It’s tougher to dominate matches with a throwing game as defensive players intercept and block the passes a lot more. The running game is slightly better with faster runners, but I’d still recommended not bothering and sticking to a throwing game.

Did I complete the game?

In many modern sports games you don’t necessarily complete these sorts of games, as much as win the league and cup titles, and then move on to the next season. Completing early sports games simply means winning a tournament or league once before restarting with a different team. I have won the play-offs many times with several different teams including Chicago, Cincinnati, Buffalo and Philadelphia.

What the critics said:

Computer & Video Games Magazine: “Definitely the worst of the trio, and hopefully EA will learn that ’92 is virtually impossible to improve on. Overall 77%”.[1]

Gamesmaster Magazine: “John Madden ’93 is simply the most sophisticated, intriguing and complex game available on any system anywhere. If you fancy yourself as having a brain as well as a fast trigger-finger, this is the game for you. Overall 90%[2]

Sega Power: “Can’t fault it as a football game, but the differences between this and the ’92 version aren’t that noticebale. If you haven’t got any of the John Madden games, get it. Overall 5/5.[3]

Gamerpro: “John Madden Football ’93 is even more fun to play than Madden ’92…it’s clealy the benchmark for all other football video games. Overall 4.6/5.[4]

Mean Machines Sega: “Not a bad game at all, but hopelessly redundant nonetheless. Go for the slightly better John Madden ’92 if you’re after a definitive American football game and give this one a miss. Overall 89%.[5]

Awards:

Best Sports Game of the Year (All Systems) – Electronic Gaming Monthly’s Best and Worst of 1992[6]

My verdict: “Overall, the game is more challenging than Madden ’92, which is for the better. A step forward for the franchise.”

Rating:

What are your memories of Madden ’93? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame.


[1] Anglin, P., ‘Game Review: Mega Drive – John Madden ’93’. (January 1993). Computer & Video Games Magazine. (January 1993). Issue 124:90. (https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:CVG_UK_134.pdf&page=90 Accessed on 10th December 2019).

[2] ‘Game Review: Mega Drive – John Madden Football ’93’. Gamemaster Magazine. (January 1993). Issue 1:66-8. (https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File%3AGamesMaster_UK_001.pdf&page=68 Accessed on 10th December 2019).

[3] ‘The Hard Line – Review: Mega Drive – John Madden Football ‘93’. Sega Power. (September 1993). Issue 46:97. (https://retrocdn.net/images/b/b9/SegaPower_UK_46.pdf Accessed 17th February 2020).

[4] Weekend Warrior ‘Pro Review: Genesis – John Madden Football ‘93’. Gamerpro. (December 1992). :141-2. (https://retrocdn.net/images/2/26/GamePro_US_041.pdf Accessed 25th February 2020).

[5] ‘Review – John Madden Football ‘93’. Mean Machines Sega. (December 1992). Issue 3:102-4 (https://archive.org/details/mean-machines-sega-magazine-03/page/n103/mode/2up Accessed 13th September 2020).

[5] ‘EGM’s Best and Worst of 1992: Best Sports Game of the Year (All Game Systems) – John Madden Football ‘93‘. Electronic Gaming Monthly’s 1993 Video Game Buyer’s Guide. (1993). :16. (https://retrocdn.net/images/0/04/EGM_US_BuyersGuide_1993.pdf Accessed 21st February 2020).