The 2002 iteration of Madden NFL is the first to be released on the Game Boy Advance. Its style of graphics and gameplay mimics that of the 16-bit entries in the series on the Genesis and SNES: the field is seen from an angled overhead perspective with players as sprites; camera movement is achieved through the GBA's scaling abilities.
A "play now" mode offers quick exhibition games, while "season play" offers full seasons or playoffs, with progress stored to battery-backed RAM. Configurable options include quarter length, penalty levels, weather (in exhibition games), two skill levels, and manual or automatic player control on offense or catching passes. Season and playoff modes simulate the complete games schedule - every single one can be either played or the results simulated.
The game includes the 31 teams of the 2001 NFL season, as well as the 2002 expansion team, the Houston Texans, and the traditional All-Madden team. Commentary is provided by the sampled voices of John Madden and Pat Summerall.