Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26
Buy On
  1. 90
    It's not the best-looking of the football titles out there, but it's the most fun to play and compete with. Maybe next year they'll nail the visual category as well, but as long as the game keeps playing as well as it does, there's no reason to really trip over it.
  2. With Madden on Xbox Live and EA's own network playing so well on the PS2, it is hard to recommend the GameCube version to anyone who owns the other two systems. Still, if the GameCube is the only system you own, Madden 2005 is a great purchase.
  3. The graphics and sound are one area where Madden definitely doesn’t measure up to ESPN. ESPN is much prettier and the sound is better as well.
  4. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    [Chris]: Madden just plays better than "ESPN." There. I said it. [Bryan]: No, Chris - It plays a LOT better. And and I'm not just talking about the improved defensive play (especially in the secondary) and, with a quick tap on the new Hit Stick, the bone-jarring tackles. It's how Madden replicates the style of play of actual NFL squads. [Sept 2004, p.94]
  5. 80
    Though it’s disappointing the presentation has taken a backseat in the development phase, Madden edges out "NFL 2K5" because, ultimately, it's the gameplay that matters after you've owned a football game for more than a couple weeks.
  6. Madden has a knack of making quantum leaps with each successive title. This new edition, however, breaks the streak. [Sept 2004, p.101]
  7. Madden 2005 takes player emotions into account on just about everything. Akin to the emotional meters found in EA’s MVP Baseball (but much more in-depth), the members of your team react to everything from the size of their paycheck and the chemistry of the team to the lack of playing time and number of losses you’ve accrued.
  8. It actually offers less new material than ESPN NFL 2K5, which struck a chord with its VIP system and Weekly Prep. However, Madden’s gameplay is more consistent and more solid than ESPN’s, especially in terms of playbook depth and passing, and ultimately that’s what distinguishes the champ from the challenger.
  9. The game is just put together so very well you’ll be surprised how much it will appeal.
  10. 90
    Madden remains the best in the business at presenting football plays. The playbook and playcalling interface in this year's game are clean, easy to read, and snap to use. [Sept 2004, p.96]
  11. American football finally comes across as brutally as it should.
  12. In many ways, Madden 2005 is just a bit too much like last year's Madden for comfort--but it's still a truly excellent game of football all around.
  13. 90
    The defense upgrades bring a lot of welcome strategy to the game, and the new AI is simply superb. Its amazingly deep, well thought out franchise mode is the best I've ever seen, while the basic gameplay still can't be beat.
  14. Madden 2005 doesn’t disappoint, but it clearly doesn’t improve a whole lot from last year’s stellar version. It is still the best playing football game on the market however, and seems cemented in the idea of the “If it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it” mentality.
  15. With all the mixed reviews with some saying "ESPN" is the best, and some saying Madden is the best, this reviewers money is on Madden this year as to me it is worth the extra 30 dollars for what you do on an off the field.
  16. 94
    ESPN might have plenty of sizzle, but Madden is still the steak...The defensive improvements alone are worth the price of admission, but when you add to that the expanded franchise mode and all of the online improvements, you realize just how different this year's game not only looks but feels.
  17. A little too much like last year’s game...However, its defensive gameplay mechanics are more than enough to warrant that this is a must-play game if you’re into football, and it’s a lot more user-friendly than ESPN is.
  18. 95
    The players move even more fluid than before, a vast improvement over the sometimes choppiness of the visuals during an intense, route-switching play.
  19. Nintendo Power
    A few minor AI quibbles keep it from being a five-star affair, but it's still one of the best and deepest sports titles on the market. [Oct 2004, p.123]
  20. An amazing title that proves once again that Madden is the king.
  21. 80
    The realism that the game provides is shockingly accurate, and whether you just wish to play it for the competitive aspect with mates, or go down the whole route of running your own team, it provides reward throughout.
  22. Play Magazine
    In its 15th year, this well-oiled machine enters the 2005 season with one of the finest football games ever crafted. Raising the bar to an unheard of level, Madden 2005 is football at its very best. [Aug 2004, p.73]
  23. 95
    Once you get sucked into Franchise Mode, you very well might not make it out.
  24. The standard sit-on-the-fence "If you're a fan..." line doesn't apply here. Instead, we say this - buy it, learn the rules and thank us later. Ours will be a pint. Without the mayonnaise, thank you.
  25. While the new look can be a little daunting to a guy who just wants to play a few seasons, it is definitely the most sophisticated simulation ever developed for a console.
  26. 90
    Madden 2005 is a benchmark in football simulations, because for the first time, it implements a realistic, versatile, hard-hitting defensive game that will pin you to the chair like a 300lb tackle.

Awards & Rankings

#73 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2004
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. AdamH.
    Oct 21, 2004
    The defensive additions are superb, and the overall gameplay is unmatched.