John Madden Football (1990)
In the 80s, Trip Hawkins had a dream of bringing NFL action to home consoles. Inspired by a pen and paper football simulator he had created, he set out to make his dream a reality. Hawkins sought the assistance of former Oakland Raiders head coach, John Madden.
At the time, other football games could only offer up 7-on-7 gameplay, but John Madden didn’t want any part in the development of the game unless it could replicate the 11-on-11 action fans watch on Sunday. “I’m not putting my name on it if it’s not real.” he famously said about the project. After a lot of work, Hawkins was able to make this wish a reality, and despite containing no official licensing to use team or player names, John Madden Football became the very first 11-on-11 football game to hit the market.
Outside of the 11-on-11 action, the inaugural release also featured an isometric camera. Where other football games, such as Tecmo Bowl, had a top down view from the sidelines, Hawkins placed the camera behind the QB creating a much better depth of field. This angle has become the gold standard for football games.