Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 100
    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.
  2. 100
    The off-the-field interface is simple and intuitive, but even Madden veterans will need a little time to learn all the new defensive playmaker calls available before the snap.
  3. 100
    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]
  4. 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]
  5. 95
    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.
  6. 95
    Once you get sucked into Franchise Mode, you very well might not make it out.
  7. To say that Madden 2005 is the best of all the games is accurate, but is it the strongest year-to-year improvement? To that, I say no. Nonetheless, Madden is king.
  8. The defensive playmaker stick adds so much depth to this game, just like the offensive playmaker did last year.
  9. 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.
  10. The largest change comes within the Draft section, which is much more defined and realistic for players wanting to track their prospects.
  11. [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]
  12. One of Madden's weak points has always been its commentary, and after fifteen years, it still needs work.
  13. 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.
  14. The defensive improvements and online leagues are a huge step in the right direction.
  15. Still packed with Madden greatness, but not as ambitious, advanced or enjoyable as "ESPN Football 2K5." [Sept 2004, p.16]
  16. It still doesn't own the grahics category, but Madden controls better with that same great pace it's known to have. [Sept 2004, p.86]
  17. 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.
  18. 90
    Their new defensive tactics coupled with fluid gameplay make for a superb football experience.
  19. Too many returning (though greatly enhanced) elements from last year’s version, combined with some ill-advised new additions (anything involving the obnoxious Tony Bruno!), conspire to bring Madden 2005 down a notch from the all-around perfection of the previous season.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. It's still great, great football, and al the new stuff makes it the best one yet. I'm just not so sure it's worth 50 bucks if you already have last year's edition. [Aug 2004, p.87]
  23. It's a fine effort, and the additions to the game generally improved the overall experience - but it just doesn't feel like enough.
  24. Madden has a knack of making quantum leaps with each successive title. This new edition, however, breaks the streak. [Sept 2004, p.101]
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 55
  2. Negative: 6 out of 55
  1. Nov 5, 2014
    10
    I think this was the Madden that revolutionized the whole series. This was the year they introduced the hit stick and the actual speed made aI think this was the Madden that revolutionized the whole series. This was the year they introduced the hit stick and the actual speed made a difference. In the previous years a player with 95 speed could be caught by a player with 80 speed, not in this case. The graphics were amazing for the era of the game and the defense was the king of this game, so long as you knew how to utilize the players. I played over 500 games while this game was online and I don't think I ever got bored of it. I think most players jumped on the Patriots bandwagon or the Eagles too if I'm not mistaken. This was definitely one of the best Madden games produced. Full Review »
  2. Oct 31, 2013
    8
    (updated review): Although some may argue that this game doesn't compare to ESPN NFL 2k5 in certain respects/aspects, it seems to me at least(updated review): Although some may argue that this game doesn't compare to ESPN NFL 2k5 in certain respects/aspects, it seems to me at least that this is a decent improvement over last years Madden specifically to say the least, (not that last year's game necassarily needed noticeable improvements.) It is easy for some fans to argue or at least think that ESPN NFL 2k5 is better just because it is something different than what most are used to. (2k5's tackling system was arguably 7 years ahead of it's time considering it wasn't until Madden '12 could match it's realism and feel, the crib featured offered some addicting milestones/acheivements to keep you playing and wanting more.) Madden 2005 ought to be thought of as a defensive upgrade to last years award winning Madden NFL 2004. Although last year's game was arguably the biggest year-to-year improvement in the entire series, (or at least for the PS2-Xbox-Gamecube generation,) the improvements in that game were heavily offense oriented, (mainly offensive pre snap adjustments such as changing the direction of a run, leading your fullback to a key block for a big gain, directing your receiver to an open spot on the field for a big passing play.) Madden 2005 had some fairly effective defensive improvements such as committing to the run/pass, double team coverage and changing individual player assignments that it basically countered the offensive spark Madden 2004 offered to it's football frenzy gamers. Factor in storyline central which beefs up the excitement of franchise mode, slightly improved graphics and even more animations than it's predecessor and this is much more of a definite buy, (at least to gamers whose most recent purchase was madden 2003.) Full Review »
  3. BryanM.
    May 17, 2007
    3
    Joe what the hell are you talking about its now 2007 and my Madden 2004 is still working. so I have no clue what your talking about. and how Joe what the hell are you talking about its now 2007 and my Madden 2004 is still working. so I have no clue what your talking about. and how is this game better then NFL 2K5? Full Review »