Madden 97 is the last appearance of the series on the original Game Boy. Coming from developer Tiertex, it is based closely on their Madden 96 for Game Gear, with similar menus and options, but with platform-appropriate graphics and no digitized speech. Like earlier Game Boy titles in the franchise, Madden 97 does not feature an NFL license, so offers only generic team names. Still, teams and stats are based on the 1996 NFL season.
Game modes include Exhibition, Season, Playoffs and Sudden Death. 30 regular teams plus the traditional All-Madden team are available. Besides the usual features like selectable game length, freely definable audibles, flippable playbook, timeouts and substitutions, previously Game Gear-only features making their first appearance on the Game Boy include variable weather and injuries.