John Madden returns to the cover of Madden NFL 23 for the first time in decades

Madden NFL 23 cover

There’s actually “three unique covers”

As a kid, I was drawn to the jovial cover of any given Madden game. Seeing John Madden’s friendly face was actually the reason why I picked up the series in the first place on the SNES, and he’s making a comeback for the Madden NFL 23 cover for the first time in a long time.

From 1988 until the year 2000 (when Eddie George kicked off the tradition of players on covers), John Madden himself adorned the cover of the series (from 2000-2005, Madden was present as a little sticker-like logo). After that, the “Madden curse” and the hype of who would be the next star athlete to appear was the next big thing, and became a given: until Madden NFL 23.

This year, EA is doing something a little differently. This morning, the publisher unveiled the cover (which is “three unique covers”), and it’s none other than John Madden himself. Artist Chuck Styles, who did the digital art for the Madden NFL 23 cover(s), had the following to say about Madden’s legacy: “As someone who grew up loving football, playing in the suburbs of West Philly, it’s a full circle moment to now be able to contribute to the culture of the sport by honoring an icon like John Madden, who has influenced generations of football fans through his passion for football and unmistakable energy, through my art.”

EA has also dubbed June 1 “Madden Day,” announced remastered audio of Madden for the game, a Madden mode (with two versions of Madden coaching “All Madden Athletes” in the 1970s), and have dedicated the EA HQ Redwood football field as “John Madden Field,” with Madden family members in attendance. “More ways EA is honoring John Madden will be announced in the coming weeks.” It’s a ‘lotta Madden!

Madden NFL 23 cover 2

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!