Madden NFL 25 – Video Game Review
Being the only game in town is a good and bad thing for the Madden franchise. It’s great because you never have to look over your shoulder. However, looking over your shoulder often requires you to push harder to ensure that you’ll never be caught. Nothing is wrong with a little competition. At any rate, it’s hard to figure out if Madden is great because it is truly a good game or if it is because it is the only football game with an NFL license.
For those that have played last year’s iteration, not much has changed aside from a few tweaks to game play and a roster upgrade. If you’re a 49ers fan like myself, the roster upgrade is a big deal. For other gamers, the roster update barely matters. The fine tuning of the animations and getting rid of the goofy physics from last year go a long way. Also, the running game has been enhanced a great deal due to the left trigger button becoming a modifier of sorts. For the NFL’s top running backs, this makes things like hurdling over players and slipping through tackles feel like an accomplishment rather than an automation. But this can make things a little too easy as you can exploit defenses with this mechanic. With last year being the year of the mobile quarterback, seeing the Pistol offense put into play is another enhancement that matters if you are playing with the Seahawks, 49ers, Redskins, etc. But if you play as the Broncos or the Patriots, it won’t matter much.
And that’s the problem with Madden. Aside from the extremely clunky menus that annoy and aggravate, Madden doesn’t get enough of an upheaval to separate it from last year’s installment. Game modes like Connected Franchises are back and add an Owner Mode, but it’s just a minor upgrade that doesn’t hold attention long enough to matter. It’s more novelty than mainstay. Playing Franchise as a created character offers more ways to earn XP but ultimately makes your player a superstar in less than a full season.
The presentation is also somewhat the same. The opening is great the first couple of times you watch it, but there are far too many spots that are replayed to really capture the uniqueness of a NFL game. And the commentary flat out stinks. Phil Simms and Jim Nantz repeat everything and often get things wrong. I blew out the Jaguars 42-0 and with a minute left the commentating team made it seem like Jacksonville had a chance to come back. News recaps and tweets also repeat themselves and get a few things wrong. It’s annoying more than anything else and something you would think that EA would fix by now. Even the touchdown celebrations are largely the same with the exception of Colin Kaepernick kissing his bicep and a few others.
Aside from these miscues, Madden 25 still provides a great football experience. It looks good and will hold gamers over until the next generation installment of Madden comes along. So we’ll just chalk it up to much of the focus being put on Xbox One and PS4 and give this one a passing grade.