User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 69
  2. Negative: 11 out of 69

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  1. 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 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.) Expand
  2. BillK.
    Aug 18, 2004
    0
    First off, let me say that both games are incredibly fun. I am sensing that a lot of people (read "kids") on here bought one game and feel the need to rip the other one. I have both. Enjoy both. Here's the honest break down: Graphics are WAY better on Madden. Gameplay is more realistic in Madden. It is FAR, FAR easier to sit back and chuck it deep in ESPN 2K5. Guys are open everywhere and if a WR is in single coverage its so easy to get a TD...and running is easier in 2K5 as well. Not so in Madden. The D is tougher this year. Also, you can get away with calling the same play all game in 2K5, but Madden makes you switch it up. You have more options when you're on D as well AT THE LINE...like double-teaming a particular receiver, blitzing, spying, etc. Conversely, audibles are better in 2K5 because you have different ones for EVERY FORMATION...and you can switch them on the fly. Unlike Madden where you have 6 (and 6 for D) and you have to pause to change them. Ironically, pausing is how ESPN does Defensive assignments...both games should borrow from each other and allow these changes to be made at the line of scrimmage. My other beef with Madden is the cheap AI...I shouldn't be punished with INTs and fumbles just because I'm winning. In the end, ESPN might be more fun (and the Crib is a far more fun incentive than Madden Cards)...but it might be a bit too easy and too unrealistic (and I'm playing on the same levels on both games.) You can't go wrong with either game and neithr game is perfect, but if you can only buy ONE, I'd say probably get Madden, even at $50 its still the better game. But again, both are great. Collapse
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 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]
  2. [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]
  3. 56
    Sure, the series succeeds in the atmosphere department, but atmosphere is more needed for the spectators than the guys playing the game. Madden, to me, is a warm, fluffy roll without the hamburger. Yo EA, where’s the beef?