Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The defensive playmaker stick adds so much depth to this game, just like the offensive playmaker did last year.
  4. Madden has a knack of making quantum leaps with each successive title. This new edition, however, breaks the streak. [Sept 2004, p.101]
  5. 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.
  6. 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]
  7. One of Madden's weak points has always been its commentary, and after fifteen years, it still needs work.
  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. 90
    Their new defensive tactics coupled with fluid gameplay make for a superb football experience.
  10. The largest change comes within the Draft section, which is much more defined and realistic for players wanting to track their prospects.
  11. 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]
  12. [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]
  13. 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.
  14. 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]
  15. Still packed with Madden greatness, but not as ambitious, advanced or enjoyable as "ESPN Football 2K5." [Sept 2004, p.16]
  16. It's a fine effort, and the additions to the game generally improved the overall experience - but it just doesn't feel like enough.
  17. 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.
  18. 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]
  19. 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.
  20. 95
    Once you get sucked into Franchise Mode, you very well might not make it out.
  21. The defensive improvements and online leagues are a huge step in the right direction.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 57
  2. Negative: 6 out of 57
  1. Mar 28, 2015
    8
    Here we go again. Time to sink your hard-earned money in another installment of the Madden series. But hey, I'm not complaining. I loveHere we go again. Time to sink your hard-earned money in another installment of the Madden series. But hey, I'm not complaining. I love football till it hurts and the Madden games have proven year after year to be nothing short of spectacular. Full Review »
  2. Feb 25, 2015
    7
    This was the first Madden game that I ever played and certainly made me start getting into the NFL. Felt like real football during the timeThis was the first Madden game that I ever played and certainly made me start getting into the NFL. Felt like real football during the time when I played this game. Ooooooh the memories! Full Review »
  3. 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 »