Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
Buy On
  1. Because of its tight game-play, depth and dizzying amount of features, Madden is still the one to beat.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    Adding a mind-boggling level of depth is the Owner Mode, which lets you negotiate salaries, build a stadium, and - for the detail obsessed - even set prices at the concession stands. [5 Sept 2003, p. L2T 22]
  3. 100
    Knocks the chin strap up around the nose of the competition. It's simply the most realistic simulation of football available, and once again, the industry standard.
  4. Game Informer
    There are still gameplay additions, but without the Madden 101 tutorial - found in other versions - you're kind of on your own. Also, a difficulty level between Pro and Rookie would be helpful. [Sept 2003, p.113]
  5. There is more virtual football reality available in this game than you could ever hope to find on TV, in the newspapers or on the internet. The lack of online play is a disappointment and keeps this version a notch below the superior PS2 one, but even so, this is a great football game.
  6. 100
    This 2004 edition maintains the traditional love affair with the NFL that football gamers have come to expect from the series while adding some dynamite new features.
  7. With the depth of its franchise mode and the abundance of game modes, Madden 2004 has loads of replay value that you will treasure.
  8. Covers nearly every facet of professional football, but what makes this year's entry in the series so special is the fact that it ties all its components together seamlessly. Even the new gameplay features have been integrated incredibly well.
  9. 87
    With added depth to the on-field action and expanded management options, Madden 2004 is a game worth picking up regardless of whether you're a rookie to the series or a diehard veteran ... even if the GameCube version isn't quite as good as its Xbox and PS2 cousins.
  10. This is the National Football League with all its unpredictability, athleticism, spectacular plays and game day challenges.
  11. With airtight controls, improved defensive and offensive AI, more animations, a deep and rewarding franchise that allows you to actually own a team this season, John Madden football looks to big in a great position to continue their reign as the undisputed champs of video football.
  12. 94
    It has taken 14 years to get to this point, this peak of performance, and I can say, as someone who has actually played all 14 years of the series' various incarnations, that Madden NFL 2004 is the best playing, deepest, most complete Madden to date.
  13. Nintendo Power
    Hard-core NFL fans will love it, but the intricacies may be lost on casual players. [Oct 2003, p.140]
  14. Practice makes perfect and EA Sports is bloody well as near as it gets. All of the AI holes, specific playbooks and overall tight feeling of the game comes across as a polished and excellent version of the best sports game out there.
  15. I would highly recommend a rental, and around December, if history repeats itself, you should be able to find it for a fairly discounted rate and two months of season still ahead of you. That way, everybody wins.
  16. With a host of new features both on and off the field, Madden 2004 is simply the most complete football game ever.
  17. Play Magazine
    If you demand the ultimate in presentation and extras, look no further than Madden NFL 2004. [Grade = A+; Sept 2003, p.86]
  18. Playboy
    Looking for more depth? Take the owner's seat and relocate your team, set concession stand prices in your new stadium and hire your coaching staff. Ditka: Send us your resume. [Sept 2003, p.33]
  19. 90
    Just about the only bad thing about Madden NFL 2004 is the bar that it sets. EA Sports has one hell of a challenge waiting in the wings, trying to improve on a masterful title like this.

Awards & Rankings

#55 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2003
#3 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2003
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 4 out of 19
  1. AndreB.
    May 14, 2004
    This is the best football game ever.
  2. AlexanderJ.
    Jan 1, 2004
    It's an awesome game But I don't know a few things Like how I get to owner mode.
  3. PenisPump
    Nov 20, 2003
    Absoloutely great gameplay and graphics. It's great fun too.