EA Sports announces 'Madden 25,' fan vote

Peyton Manning is one of the great players in the 25-year history of the "Madden" franchise. Courtesy of EA Sports

In celebration of the “Madden” video game’s 25th anniversary, EA Sports announced that the next iteration of the best-selling franchise will be titled “Madden NFL 25.”

According to the news release, the game will launch on Aug. 27 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with the cover athlete again being decided by a fan vote through ESPN.com and SportsNation.

This year, however, the cover vote will be separated into two brackets, with 32 current stars begging for votes on one side while 32 legends compete for a shot at the finals on the opposite side of the bracket. The top vote getters from each side will then square off in a legend-versus-current-star final that should be intriguing, to say the least.

Will we end up with a Hall of Famer going up against a superstar from the same team (think Barry Sanders versus Calvin Johnson), or will we get a rivalry for the ages, like a legendary Cowboy versus a modern-day member of the Redskins (Deion Sanders versus RGIII, for example)? Will Ray Lewis be involved, and if so, does he already count as a legend?

All those questions and more will be answered before the official “Madden” cover vote kicks off on March 11.