The Joe Montana series of football games on the Sega Genesis are sort of this weird subplot in retro football history. We talk so much about Madden 94 and Madden 95, but it’s easy to forget NFL Football ’94 Starring Joe Montana was the NFL football game at the time. It had all the teams and all the players, and Madden 94 did not have the real players yet. It also had Lon Simmons doing commentary to piggyback on the old Niners theme even though Montana was now with the Chiefs.
This game was my childhood. I will literally put old raw gameplay of this game on in the background while doing work because it’s this weird dose of white noise mixed with good-vibes nostalgia. Like this video of Kansas City vs. Washington from VideoGaming4U, all I need is the gameplay — nothing more. Fake punts and Lon Simmons (who still to this day sounds like Pat Summerall to me) getting the weather wrong are my happy place. Abusing the spin move and speed burst all bring me back to being 5-years-old.
Am I crazy? Who else loved this game? Who else remembers this game more fondly than any Madden title from the Sega Genesis?