Once upon a time, I used to love playing football games. I played the hell out of Madden 08 for PC, and NFL 2K5 for PlayStation 2 is still my favorite. I really dislike Madden 25 though, for a myriad of reasons. It may not be a terrible game but there are problems here that I can’t overlook.
Let’s start with my favorite mode in sports games these days, the career mode. In Madden 25, it’s called Connected Franchise and you can go online or solo, controlling up to one player, coach or owner for each team. I chose my typical setup, a running back for my hometown Browns, and started my first preseason game. It turns out playing running back is too easy; I ate up the defense for 280 yards and 3 TDs in three quarters. RBs have always been a bit overpowered in Madden’s career mode, though, so I go for a quarterback next and I’m blown away by all of the tipped/batted passes I see. My mid-range passes get tipped at the line repeatedly, and I thought EA said they fixed that last year.
That’s my biggest issue with Madden 25 – it seems like I’m playing the same game again, with allot of the same flaws as I saw in Maddens past. My pet peeve is that they still have vacuum blocking. For those who don’t play Madden, it’s a phenomena where you’ll be running past a defender only to get sucked towards them and engage in a game of patty-cake instead of making a play on the ball. If the defender’s in front of you, that makes sense. It’s the defenders off to your side or seemingly out of range that irritate.
The visuals look good in replays but the default camera is way too far away to see anything with any detail. The field, though, has murky textures and the on-field overlays look blurry. The commentary is decent but not without irritation. It has about a number of different ways of saying everything so while the words may change, the meaning doesn’t. When you can predict what the announcers are going to harp on next with regularity, that’s a bad sign
Truthfully, I’m disappointed in Madden 25. I probably shouldn’t be because it’s basically been the same story for the last few years but I am. Dedicated, competitive Madden-heads will probably see improvements I do not, so that’s nice for them, but I’ll continue to stick with NFL 2K5 for my football fun.