User Score
3.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 85
  2. Negative: 47 out of 85

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  1. Aug 29, 2013
    6
    This review is based on default settings on All-Pro and a bit of All-Madden, in Play Now and two online games.
    The game leaves a good first impression in being fun to play, but after getting several hours in, the glaring flaws in the game become fairly blatant. The good news is that it shouldn't be that difficult to address, since they're primarily on one side of the ball, and it's mainly
    This review is based on default settings on All-Pro and a bit of All-Madden, in Play Now and two online games.
    The game leaves a good first impression in being fun to play, but after getting several hours in, the glaring flaws in the game become fairly blatant. The good news is that it shouldn't be that difficult to address, since they're primarily on one side of the ball, and it's mainly AI based. Hopefully tuning in future updates can address this issue.
    Overall, the defensive side of the game is a mess to put it bluntly. Stopping the run is harder than it should be since the run blocking is a bit too strong where blocks are being held on to far too long. Receivers pancaking defenders left right and centre is a bit ridiculous. The running game on the outside is stronger than it should be currently since blocks are too powerful at the moment. The same goes for pass blocking. QBs aren't getting hurried frequently enough. Any team that has great blocking is going to be able to do whatever they please, and that's definitely the case in the current version of Madden 25. Offense is too easy since there isn't much physical resistance against it right now.
    But that's also the case for aerial resistance. The defensive AI is brutal at reacting to their assignments. Man defense is guaranteed to leave a receiver open by several yards since the defender reaction to receiver cuts are greatly delayed quite often for some reason. Curls, outs, and slants are over effective due to this. The only route that the AI seems to not have trouble against is the comebacks route, and that's an issue itself since it seems the AI is a bit too fast at reacting to that route, as if they anticipated it the whole. That would be great if it was adaptive AI, but don't believe that's the case here.
    Other defensive AI faults in regards to play reaction is it's reaction to breaking on balls (that it can see) isn't good enough. They kind of react to the ball in a confused way and not too sure what to do. This allows the receiver to make a play on the ball that otherwise should've been disrupted by the defender. Also, the angles the defenders take when pursing ball carrier needs work done. The same can containing the receiver who've just caught the ball; especially off of curl routes or pass near the sideline.
    Other issues I take with the game is games are too clean. Penalties don't occur frequently enough, if at all. The precision modifier doesn't really add much to the game. Trying to get use to holding L2 prior to doing a running move makes the control of the game disjointed. The same results could be down by simplifying the controls to the R stick alone and make use of the stick sensitivity to vary between running move strength.
    Some of the good things that are featured in the game however are appreciated. The improvements done to engagement battles are great. Blocking appears more organic, and shedding off blocks is more fluid which leads to nice looking animations. Pass rushers moving off blocks while advancing towards the QB looks great and can lead to sacks since they're getting to the QB quicker than they would have otherwise. The improvements to tackling look great; heat seeking is a useful feature.
    Fighting for extra yards by shedding off the would be tacklers, maintaining your balance, or lunging forward add a new element to the run game and keeps the player involved in the play until the whistle blows.
    The new audible systems which allows you to shift formations with the personnel on the field is a great feature, and really useful for no huddle offense, which is becoming more prominent in the league these days. I haven't gotten the chance to try out the option offense yet but since that has a role in the NFL now nice to see it present in the game.
    I won't comment much on presentation since there's not much new going on there. Although, I would say that the camera in replays for punt returns is annoying since it loses track of the football when it's about to reach the punt returner, which was the whole point of the replay since it normally occurs from the returner fumbling the ball.
    In conclusion, the game currently feels unfinished unfortunately since the fundamentals of the game itself is broken. The glaring mistakes the defensive AI makes, and overpowered blocking at the moment is killing Madden 25 currently. If both of those issues were addressed, the game would be viewed in a different light.
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  2. Sep 11, 2013
    0
    Worst game in the series. Do not waste your money. EA are lazy and need to purchase licenses to get sales instead of focusing on gameplay. They are an awful company,
  3. Aug 29, 2013
    9
    EA has refined and polished what was introduced last year with the infinity engine, and it feels like one of the most complete games for a Madden game in the last decade.

    The User Interface is intuitive and brilliant. Mobile Quarterbacks also have a slurry of new moves with the addition of Total Control Passing. Also a bunch of new plays and formations with the influx of the pistol sets
    EA has refined and polished what was introduced last year with the infinity engine, and it feels like one of the most complete games for a Madden game in the last decade.

    The User Interface is intuitive and brilliant. Mobile Quarterbacks also have a slurry of new moves with the addition of Total Control Passing. Also a bunch of new plays and formations with the influx of the pistol sets into the NFL!

    Owner Mode made some huge upgrades with the ability to fully control your franchise from top to bottom (literally). Setting prices for everything at the stadium, moving your team to a new city, create new uniforms and more. This upgraded Owner Mode is a much waited Godsend for the hardcore Madden fans that really want the entire NFL experience as an NFL Executive.

    If you haven't bought Madden in a few years there hasn’t been a much better time to hop back on this Madden Bandwagon, they have assembled a great Dev Team I believe this series will continue to trend upward for years to come.

    So grab a cold beer (or cola) and Madden 25 and remember who told you about this year’s great game.

    ~G-Unit (David)
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  4. Aug 31, 2013
    0
    This game is absolutely terrible. I have been buying madden since 1994, and this is by far the worst i've seen.
    1. You will gain 6-10+ yards per running play once you figure out how. online, or against CPU.
    2. Scramble with your QB. it's unstoppable, even with spies. 3. With only 8 people online, my game was a lagfest. Comcast high speed internet. Defensive players are just dumb beyond
    This game is absolutely terrible. I have been buying madden since 1994, and this is by far the worst i've seen.
    1. You will gain 6-10+ yards per running play once you figure out how. online, or against CPU.
    2. Scramble with your QB. it's unstoppable, even with spies.
    3. With only 8 people online, my game was a lagfest. Comcast high speed internet.
    Defensive players are just dumb beyond belief. They take horrible angles, they do not assist one another in making tackles (WHAT? this was implemented in M10 and VANISHED from this version).

    Fun things that returned:
    1. Suction. Enjoy it, it's back.
    2. Clairvoyent cornerbacks. Yup! It's like this game decided to make all defensive players horrible except for when they suddenly know exactly when the ball is flying and make a random 180 jump and catch a ball.

    I am so disappointed in this game. It has improved NOTHING from the last madden and the gameplay is a joke.
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  5. Sep 5, 2013
    4
    There are not many differences at all versus madden 13 but the new engine improvements make the action feel and look better than last year, however that is where it ends. Im not quite sure what EA did but defensive ai is the worst I can recall on madden ps3 and every match is just a offensive showdown. Actually every match is who can run the pistol better, even my Rams have a version of itThere are not many differences at all versus madden 13 but the new engine improvements make the action feel and look better than last year, however that is where it ends. Im not quite sure what EA did but defensive ai is the worst I can recall on madden ps3 and every match is just a offensive showdown. Actually every match is who can run the pistol better, even my Rams have a version of it in our default playbook! If your like me the only reason you buy madden is for the on/offline franchise and that continues to be this games saving grace. NFL PA please stop selling off to these clowns at EA Expand
  6. Aug 27, 2013
    8
    Madden 25 has hit the shelves and by far has been the best Madden franchise game released to date. With the ALL new engine, it provides the most powerful running attack that one can ask for! The different animation catches that you see and the dive tackling system gives madden 25 a great boost. And lets not forget about the all new Skill trainer that will give you the edge once you perfectMadden 25 has hit the shelves and by far has been the best Madden franchise game released to date. With the ALL new engine, it provides the most powerful running attack that one can ask for! The different animation catches that you see and the dive tackling system gives madden 25 a great boost. And lets not forget about the all new Skill trainer that will give you the edge once you perfect each and every skill set.
    Connect Franchise Mode has took a 360 degree improvement verse last yr. Connected Career mode.
    As we continue to put In the long hours on the gridiron, we are yet to see what else easports has for us with NexGen gaming coming soon. Good Job easports!
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  7. Aug 29, 2013
    8
    So I have had the chance to dive in on Madden NFL 25 for a few days now and would have to say that its a giant leap forward for Madden going into the next gen. The infinity engine has been super polished giving you a much better experience than Madden 13. You may occasionally get a player piled up on a player, resulting in not being down. But not as much of the crazy leg, stumbling actionSo I have had the chance to dive in on Madden NFL 25 for a few days now and would have to say that its a giant leap forward for Madden going into the next gen. The infinity engine has been super polished giving you a much better experience than Madden 13. You may occasionally get a player piled up on a player, resulting in not being down. But not as much of the crazy leg, stumbling action like last year.

    Run free seems to be a big addition to the game. But I feel it still needs more tuning. Even on the skills trainer when asked to attempt certain features, it does not ALWAYS work. I'm not saying it DOESN'T work. Just not all the time.

    Offensively I don't like that a LB or DE can run down a fast WR or RB. Even when you know you should be able to break the corner freely but instead you get caught from behind. I really like the new audible/hot route system. It helps eliminates the un-sim realism that so many gamers try to abuse. Thus giving you a more realistic experience. The pass trajectories are nice! Finally it feels like a lob is a lob and a bullet is a bullet. The ability to lead a target has also been tuned giving you a greater opportunity to catch the ball.

    Defensively I think Man Coverage has downgraded. Too many times you find your defense getting beat on the pass b/c a defender was beat on a cut and couldn't recover fast enough. Then if you play zone, your defender won't continue his responsibilities. He just stops at the end of the route rather then continuing to drop back with the WR, TE or RB.

    Screen pop-ups are annoying at times! You will get a statistic pop-up (ex: 3rd down percentage) and it will cover a huge portion of your screen. And when the game is on the line, this becomes a huge distraction. I'm not sure if this can be turned off or not. Custom PLAYBOOKS and MADDEN SHARE are AWESOME! Now you can take your game to the next level by using the same strategy as some of the top Madden ballers! I also like the fact that your opponent can not see what playbooks you are using during the selection screen. Prevents them from knowing how to play you.

    Overall I'm giving the game a 8. Some future patches may help some of the issue I'm concerned with but overall Madden NFL 25 on current gen is without a doubt probably the best Madden to date. Hopefully there is more to come with the Next Gen!
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  8. Aug 27, 2013
    8
    It’s that time again where guys start to ignore their girlfriends/wives a little more than usual, where going to bed with a loss is not an option, and where the obsession with the NFL is not only felt on Thursdays, Sundays, and Monday but every day. It’s Madden NFL 25 release and this year it’s not just a ‘Roster Update’. Madden 25 features some improvements and features including OwnersIt’s that time again where guys start to ignore their girlfriends/wives a little more than usual, where going to bed with a loss is not an option, and where the obsession with the NFL is not only felt on Thursdays, Sundays, and Monday but every day. It’s Madden NFL 25 release and this year it’s not just a ‘Roster Update’. Madden 25 features some improvements and features including Owners Mode, Precision Run modifiers, Infinity 2.0, foot plating improvement that will have the casual fans pleased and the hardcore fans asking for more.

    Before we continue, I must confess that I’m a hardocre Madden player. I’ve been playing Madden for 25 years and I’ve played over 300 online ranked games last year and that’s not including the games I played in Online Communities and un-ranked games. So if you are looking for a review from a casual fan perspective then this review might not be the one for you, but if you are a hardcore fan like me then keep on reading.

    Gameplay

    Pros Infinity Engine 2.0, Force Impact System, Improved Running Game, Improved Blocking, foot planting, precision modifiers

    Cons Defense lacking, pass pocket not there yet, inconsistent pass pressure

    Presentation

    Pros TD celebrations, better commentary, new zoom camera, stadium sounds in between plays

    Cons Looks like M13,

    CFM/Owners Mode

    Pros Best franchise mode ever, relocate team, tons of tasks for owners, position changes, import ncaa 14 draft classes

    Cons CFM website lacking commish controls, no customization of logos or team name or uniforms

    In conclusion the 25 years of Madden has sparked some innovation throughout the years and the EA Tiburon Studio did a pretty good job of following up Madden 13 when it comes to Madden NFL 25. There needs to be more balance to the gameplay, zones are terrible as players lose discipline and don’t follow WRs through their zone, and WRs block too well. The offense is still a little overpowered with the new additions to the running game, but with the addition of owner mode, you’ll spend more time running your team than running your RB in a game. The addition of Owner Mode in CFM is a welcomed addition, but the lack of commissioner controls have hardcore fans scratching their head.

    Madden NFL 25 doesn’t look like a lot from first glance, but when you put the controller in your hand and start playing you’ll be glad you didn’t make a judgement on just looks.
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  9. Sep 28, 2013
    3
    It's the same game as always, with a new cover. A disappointment for the 25th anniversary. EA either start trying or give up your monopoly. Barely worth a rental.
  10. Nov 20, 2013
    0
    This madden is by far the worst madden ever!!! I mean reaction time is horrible!! If you press jump, dive, juke or anything it takes like 5 seconds to react! And I'm talking about offline! Not only that but I have videos of the most unrealistic crap that I have ever seen on madden like I'm on defense in front of a WR and I press triangle to intercept and my guys arm goes through the WR andThis madden is by far the worst madden ever!!! I mean reaction time is horrible!! If you press jump, dive, juke or anything it takes like 5 seconds to react! And I'm talking about offline! Not only that but I have videos of the most unrealistic crap that I have ever seen on madden like I'm on defense in front of a WR and I press triangle to intercept and my guys arm goes through the WR and he still catches it!! I just don't feel like its in the game at all!! One the main problems is if I'm on defense and going after the ball carrier and I press the button to switch players, it will switch to someone nowhere near the ball carrier and there is clearly enough time and a player closer to the ball carrier! This the 25th anniversary of madden and the creators screwed it all up!! Even madden 97 was a lot better than this crap!! Expand
  11. Aug 27, 2013
    9
    I will refrain from the typical this is the "Best Madden to date" review because the same people saying it its the best are the loudest ones crying in a 3 months, but I will say this. The game is very polished visually. Graphics are were they should be for current gen. The gameplay feels great in terms of how all the new engines come together. Add the new moves and precisions moves itsI will refrain from the typical this is the "Best Madden to date" review because the same people saying it its the best are the loudest ones crying in a 3 months, but I will say this. The game is very polished visually. Graphics are were they should be for current gen. The gameplay feels great in terms of how all the new engines come together. Add the new moves and precisions moves its def a step up from previous Madden titles. The only negative is the game doesnt flow fluidly with the controller in my opinion. I dont feel like I have much control over the ball carrier and find myself mushing buttons to make highlights happen. Besides that Menus are improved and the speed at which you flow through the menus is very much improved. I give the game a 9 because I love the game and my problems with how the game feels thru the sticks may just be adjusting from 13 to 25. The bottom line is if you buy this game to feed your competitive appetite you wont be able to give the game a breather for a few moths. ENJOY!!! Expand
  12. Aug 28, 2013
    7
    After playing Madden 25 for a bit I am happy to see that the graphics are where they should be on the current console. Being able to use custom playbooks in online CC mode and in online ranked games is something that I am really enjoying as well. This year it seems that many of the problems from last year were addressed and are no longer present gameplay wise (keep in mind I play onlineAfter playing Madden 25 for a bit I am happy to see that the graphics are where they should be on the current console. Being able to use custom playbooks in online CC mode and in online ranked games is something that I am really enjoying as well. This year it seems that many of the problems from last year were addressed and are no longer present gameplay wise (keep in mind I play online only).
    The addition of Run Free is very nice as well as the blocking receiving much needed attention running has been alot more fun for me than ever before ,with that being said the offense is very overpowered in this years version of Madden. You may find yourself setting in the pocket for 4-5 seconds while facing a 4 man rush many times which is fun while you on offense ,when your on defense it is a headache as it seems that players in a zone will watch the opponent run right through there zone with little to no reaction to the player in there zone, while in man coverage there is so much time for your opponent to throw the ball that the coverage simply breaks down. While i'm glad that the blocking received a much needed overhaul ,it is also overpowering elite pass rushers seems to get little to no pressure in a base 4-3 defense and you it really does not matter to much who your running back is ,they will gain alot of yardage more times than not. The defense just can't keep up with the offense in this years version so in many cases while playing a friend or online ranked you the game may end up being a score fest with no defense as the defensive players just do not react to the plays like they should.

    I am a defensive guy who like to play defense and watching the other defenders have little to reaction to manyy plays is very disappointing. With that said EA has done a great job with the sliders in communitiesand online CC mode so if those are tweaked some it does become alot more fun and has for me and many friends of mine as well as the leagues I play in so you can get the sliders to create a more realistic feeling gameplay experience. I only wish these sliders could be used in ranked online games as I love playing ranked and after using the sliders we have set ,it is a different game online.

    The addition of owner mode is a very nice addition you can relocate your team rebuild stadiums set prices and try to keep your fans happy which in online CC mode gives you more to you can do while waiting for your league to advance and it has been alot of fun (this applies to offline as well).

    Being the online player that I am ,the toughest thing is going from what seems to be a more realistic slider set to an offensive scoring fest where the defense needs to be more aware when I plat ranked.

    I do like the sharing options as well it is nice if you want to create an all-time team using Madden Share you can ,you may also share these files with your friends the same goes for custom playbooks as well. If you are in need of a custom roster or playbook you will find many created by users that you may download which is a very nice option for the users who may not have the time to create a playbook or roster.

    All in all there are many great options added to this game that gives it a breath of fresh air the main thing for me is that the defense seems to almost non-existant which is very huge for me.
    If you can grab some sliders using Madden Share and do not play ranked than its alot of fun ,if you are ranked player only than it may a frustrating experience for you.
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  13. Aug 27, 2013
    7
    Madden NFL 25 comes at a crossroads for NFL video games; at the close of the last console generation, EA SPORTS and 2K Sports were locked in a bitter competition for the market share. Nearly 10 years later, Madden NFL is the lone game remaining and set for a dual release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as later this year on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As the franchiseMadden NFL 25 comes at a crossroads for NFL video games; at the close of the last console generation, EA SPORTS and 2K Sports were locked in a bitter competition for the market share. Nearly 10 years later, Madden NFL is the lone game remaining and set for a dual release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as later this year on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As the franchise celebrates 25 years of existence, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on what the game has achieved and what still needs to be done for the game to be as great as the league it represents.

    As a single game trying to carry the history of 25 years, Madden NFL 25 is a difficult entry to assess. The revisions of the Infinity Engine from last year’s Madden NFL 13 result in a better overall gameplay experience, but the introduction of the “Precision Modifier” to the running game controls—part of the overall #RunFree marketing for the game—actually serves to needlessly complicate the experience of playing the game. For many, it may prove easier to use the left and right analog sticks for ballcarriers—just as in previous football games from EA SPORTS, like this year’s earlier NCAA Football 14 release—to achieve success moving the ball on offense.

    Unfortunately, additions and improvements to offense in Madden NFL 25 have not truly been met with equal improvements to the defensive side of the ball, leaving gameplay unbalanced in favor of the offense; a common complaint in football video games, for certain, but frustrating here nonetheless. Heat Seeker tackling and Ballhawk interception assists try to keep the defense on equal footing, but CPU quarterbacks can still too easily post completion percentages in the 70-80% range, making games a battle of attrition instead of the chess game that football should be.

    The game continues to look great visually, but Presentation remains stale, particularly when compared to the statistical tracking and broadcast elements of NCAA Football 14. Commentary features some new lines from second-year duo Jim Nantz and Phil Simms—supplemented by new commentary from sideline reporter Danielle Bellini—but the overall presentation is still lacking in terms of being able to convey the gravity of important games over the course of the season in Connected Franchise Mode, save for the Super Bowl; even then, the presentation for the biggest game of them all will be all too familiar for anyone who has played Madden NFL in the past three or four years of release.

    Speaking of Connected Franchise Mode, this year’s revision of the career mode—where gamers can assume the role of Players, Coaches, and Owners—helps to build a lot of goodwill with longtime fans of the franchise. The ability to control Owners and make decisions big and small for their team—ranging from which player’s jerseys are marketed, to the prices of concessions, to big decisions like relocating a franchise and choosing a new name, uniform set, and stadium—helps to provide plenty of off-field tasks for players to be engrossed in, especially with the ability to access all of these experiences in a full 32-user online league. While one would like to see a more persistently-updated XP notification system like what was present in NCAA Football 14’s Dynasty mode this year, the career offerings of the Madden NFL franchise continue to trend in a positive direction.

    Fans of modes like Madden Ultimate Team will see some new additions to their favorite part of the game, including Chemistry and Head-to-Head Seasons which have been brought over from FIFA Ultimate Team. Not all modes have seen improvements like these; indeed, “GMC Never Say Never Moments” (rebranded from the previous mode title “Madden Moments Live”) and Online Team Play (a focal addition to Madden NFL 11, largely untouched since its debut) are tucked away from the main menu, not nearly as touted as the Play Now, CFM, and MUT experiences.

    Madden NFL 25 on the current-generation of consoles—specifically the PS3, in this case—is by no means a bad game, or a game unworthy of being played by fans of video game football or the NFL. It is, however, caught in a difficult position; its launch coincides with the start of the NFL season—a key time for any fan of the league—but the game’s release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 lies less than three months away. With good trade-in programs being announced for players wanting to upgrade their experience heading to next-gen, Madden NFL 25 on current consoles can certainly be a stopgap or holdover until the franchise debuts on a new console generation. However, the start of this new generation will hold high expectations for Madden NFL as a series, and results will need to exceed what was achieved in this year’s game in order for those expectations to be met.
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  14. Aug 27, 2013
    8
    Madden 25 is hardly a worthy celebration for such a storied franchise. While many reviewers believe the changes made this year were granular in nature, I couldn’t disagree more. I feel strongly the development team shot for the moon, but failed to secure the shuttle before doing so. By ignoring the development of many fundamental facets of both gameplay and franchise mode, the gameMadden 25 is hardly a worthy celebration for such a storied franchise. While many reviewers believe the changes made this year were granular in nature, I couldn’t disagree more. I feel strongly the development team shot for the moon, but failed to secure the shuttle before doing so. By ignoring the development of many fundamental facets of both gameplay and franchise mode, the game struggles to impress despite some very nice additions.

    It is worth noting, however, that many of the gameplay concerns can be resolved through slider adjustments, which seem to all work this year. While it’s important to recognize the functionality of sliders, it’s even more important to ensure they don’t become a crutch for developers. Sliders should be a tool to make subtle changes based on player preference, not to make major changes out of necessity.

    The game, to me, continues to reward stick skills, while discounting strategy. Most frustrating is the fact that some of these game play decisions can’t be blamed on the current generation of hardware, as NCAA Football 14 does them much better. This leads me to believe that the emphasis was off for the Madden team as it seems they built a game that has some great looking bullet points on the back of the box, but fails to deliver on the field.

    Hits

    + Infinity Engine 2.0 is a huge upgrade over last year’s version
    + Owner mode is well executed and an overall blast
    + Improved blocking logic, foot planting, and the precision modifier make the running game a blast

    Misses

    - Coverage on the whole is horrendous
    - The offensive line is far too dominant
    - Contract renegotiations and free agency remain stale and unrealistic
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  15. Aug 29, 2013
    8
    I have been reading some of the "reviews" posted on Metacritic from users about Madden NFL 25 and I have to say it's a travesty that people who obviously haven't even played the game are able to submit reviews in an attempt to keep the scores low. These are people who have clearly not even played the game and are just reading off the features list submitted to the press.

    After nearly 3
    I have been reading some of the "reviews" posted on Metacritic from users about Madden NFL 25 and I have to say it's a travesty that people who obviously haven't even played the game are able to submit reviews in an attempt to keep the scores low. These are people who have clearly not even played the game and are just reading off the features list submitted to the press.

    After nearly 3 weeks of play time I would say that Madden NFL 25 is hands down the top down of football gaming. No other game has even come close! No other sports game has a career mode that has the depth of Connected Franchise Mode. Taking over as the the owner and crafting your team/stadium/Coaching staff to build a winner is a great experience. On the game play side of things we are finally seeing the attempt to help differentiate between players with the tiered special moves from the precision modifier controls. Overall this is a very good game with only a few negatives (not enough defensive improvements for one) that will keep true football fans happy all year long. True football fans and students of the game must have this!
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  16. Dec 31, 2013
    4
    You would think after 25 years they would know how to fix some of the major flaws in the franchise. However, this is not the case. On the first day, like any new game, you find it enjoyable. The game does make a good first impression.
    As I continue to play it day by day, more flaws keep coming up. Here are a few out of many examples. On the kickoffs and running plays, my own team runs
    You would think after 25 years they would know how to fix some of the major flaws in the franchise. However, this is not the case. On the first day, like any new game, you find it enjoyable. The game does make a good first impression.
    As I continue to play it day by day, more flaws keep coming up. Here are a few out of many examples. On the kickoffs and running plays, my own team runs into me, either knocking me over or blocking me while someone on the other team tackles me. Then, while on defense, the secondary seems to drop every ball thrown directly into their hands. It is hilarious to watch the replay of the cornerback or safety struggle with an easy interception, but it is frustrating as well. There is a button that is supposed to pick it off, but never seems to work.
    EA never ceases to disappoint me in all their games. Instead of working on the actual gameplay, they decided to screw with the graphics. Yes they did well with the graphics (except there is an occasional camera shot of a close up to the ref's pant-leg), but EA forgot that games are for playing, not looking. Penalties are mostly random things you have know control over, but this has been in every Madden game.
    This game has no plot-line (well, it is a sports game), but EA manages to find a way to put DLC into it. On the Ultimate Team part of the game, you can buy more players, for get this, real money! Why have skills when you can buy your way to the top. I'm not paying an extra 30 bucks just to be a little better at this game.
    In my opinion, Madden 10 is probably the least "problem-having" of the franchise. DBs chances of intercept the ball when it's thrown at them are high, graphics certainly can be lived with, and the player feels like he can control his team, not just one player. All of these things are problems in Madden 25.
    Goodness sake's, there is so much more problems with this game but I do have to talk about the "good" parts of the game as well. The presentation, meh. The Super Bowl, however, gets me pumped up somehow. I don't know whether the presentation is thrilling, or I just like my favorite team to win the super bowl no matter if it's a video game or not. I also like the atmosphere of the stadiums you play in and the weather, but heck, that's been in the franchise for a long time. I'm glad they (EA) know how to perfect the parts of the game that were perfect last time.
    Yes the game is playable, frustrating but playable. You do feel like the coach, picking each play and a great audible system is added as well. Passing is the least part of the game where you feel you have no control. Running isn't that buggy, but as I said before there is there occasional "running into your own guy strategy" that benefits the defense. Speaking of defense, when on defense you have little to NO control. The other team can run the same play every time and since you can't tell your team, "Hey they're running the same exact play again, it's kinda hard to stop your opponent. Did I mention you can never seem to intercept it? Oh yeah, if you plan on using your playbook, have fun with lag every down. Seriously every time a open the playbook (even in a local game) the game slows down for a second.
    Overall, 4 out of 10. Reasons not to buy this game: very similar to past installments, mistakes you cannot help, heavily favored on luck rather than skill, and easy to tell graphics had more effort put into them then the actual gameplay experience.
    Reasons to buy it: play with your favorite team with updated rosters and if you want to look at how pretty the game is.
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  17. Jan 15, 2014
    2
    EA needs to make a lot of corrections to the server for anyone to really be able to enjoy the game. I can't play a single game in MUT without it kicking me cause I have lost connection to the EA server. Then when I try to re-connect I am unable to do so. It has been like this for at least 3 weeks now and there is yet to be any improvement. The servers are terrible!!!
  18. Feb 15, 2014
    0
    This game is horrible. When u play online the computer cheats for the other team if your record is better than theirs. I have great connection...but my players will start lagging. I will throw a fast pass and it will b a slow lob that will cause me an interception. Line men are faster than my running back...(really). Then players run that damn screen pass that is unstoppable for a bailThis game is horrible. When u play online the computer cheats for the other team if your record is better than theirs. I have great connection...but my players will start lagging. I will throw a fast pass and it will b a slow lob that will cause me an interception. Line men are faster than my running back...(really). Then players run that damn screen pass that is unstoppable for a bail out play that gets them a TD or 20+ yards. When running back a punt...my guy will hit the sidelines and be all alone running for a TD.... then out of nowhere comes a lineman flying across the field to make the tackle. (really). You challenge somebody that's" on chat" and the game doesn't even count toward your record. And to top it off...you should be able to play your created players online. At least on the chat site. Pissed I wasted my money on this game. I ejected it and folded it like a piece of paper & shot a three pointer with it right into my trash can. Because it's trash. Disappointed in Madden game creators. Hope the next one is better...or I'm done with Madden. I miss GAME DAY. Expand
  19. Feb 22, 2014
    0
    I opened a metacritic account for the sole purpose of warning people how terrible this game is. EA went their typical route. No innovation. Lagging servers. Poor programming. This game is gaming at its worst. The only good news is I rented it for a day rather than purchase but this wasn't even worth the 2 bucks.
  20. Feb 22, 2014
    0
    One has to wonder how a company worth so much money can poney up so little in a game. I'll take a drop kick to the head rather than play this junk again.
  21. Mar 9, 2014
    4
    the worst thing about about this game, which is saying a lot, is that during load screens, it reminds you of ps2 maddens that had more features and were more realistic than this nfl blitz gameplay.
  22. Mar 18, 2014
    0
    THIS IS THE WORST MADDEN OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! I REALLY HOPE THE CREATORS GET THEIR HEADS OUT OF THEIR ASSES. IT IS WAY TO EASY TO RUN BACK KICK OFFS, YOU REALLY THINK IN THE NFL YOU CAN RUN BACK KICKS WITH THIS MUCH EASE? YOUR ATTEMPTS TO IMPROVE THIS GAME IS PATHETIC. YOU CAN RUN THE BALL EVERY PLAY AND FOR SOME REASON NO MATTER WHAT DEFENSE YOU CALL THE RUNNER WILL ALWAYS GET 4-6THIS IS THE WORST MADDEN OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! I REALLY HOPE THE CREATORS GET THEIR HEADS OUT OF THEIR ASSES. IT IS WAY TO EASY TO RUN BACK KICK OFFS, YOU REALLY THINK IN THE NFL YOU CAN RUN BACK KICKS WITH THIS MUCH EASE? YOUR ATTEMPTS TO IMPROVE THIS GAME IS PATHETIC. YOU CAN RUN THE BALL EVERY PLAY AND FOR SOME REASON NO MATTER WHAT DEFENSE YOU CALL THE RUNNER WILL ALWAYS GET 4-6 YARDS, **** MY WR CAN HAVE EVERYONE BURNED AND WHEN THROW TO HIM, THE DB COMES FROM 10 YARDS BEHIND AND INTERCEPTS???? **** WHOEVER GAVE THE OK TO LAUNCH THIS GAME NEEDS TO FIRED!!!!! THIS GAME SUCKS COMPARED TO ALL OTHER MADDENS. Expand
  23. May 12, 2014
    2
    I am a foot ball guy. A big DEFENSE thinker. I've spent so many hours on football games perfecting my style of defense and approach to play. This, Madden 25, football game has completely thrown that out the window. Cut scene, after cut scene and interruptions to just about every bit of flow to the game. It makes it feel like I'm sitting on a cloud above the field WATCHING a football game.I am a foot ball guy. A big DEFENSE thinker. I've spent so many hours on football games perfecting my style of defense and approach to play. This, Madden 25, football game has completely thrown that out the window. Cut scene, after cut scene and interruptions to just about every bit of flow to the game. It makes it feel like I'm sitting on a cloud above the field WATCHING a football game. This has none of the feel of actually playing the game. The audible control system is clunky, the defensive adjustments don't exist. The flow of managing the game is hard to find, let alone use. I'd rather play Madden 2k7 on XBox than this. Owner mode and out of the gate want to make changes? Good luck, this side scrolling interface with every option locked is atrocious. If I have the points to spend, let me spend it.
    I'd rather be on **** than deal with this game.
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  24. Oct 2, 2013
    5
    If you pick choose madden, or choose your own plays, or hit random buttons while you choose a defensive play- it makes no difference. what you do on defense is irrelevant. I can't believe I'm giving this a passing grade. It's because everything else is good.
  25. Sep 3, 2013
    8
    Madden NFL 25 hit stores last week, and I just wanted to run down some of the pros and cons.

    Pros * The run game is as fun as it ever has been with the updated Infinity Engine. It rewards you for making the right decisions on cuts, jukes, and when to use that extra burst of speed. * Owner mode within a Connected Careers is a nice addition for comparing and contrasting with your
    Madden NFL 25 hit stores last week, and I just wanted to run down some of the pros and cons.

    Pros

    * The run game is as fun as it ever has been with the updated Infinity Engine. It rewards you for making the right decisions on cuts, jukes, and when to use that extra burst of speed.

    * Owner mode within a Connected Careers is a nice addition for comparing and contrasting with your friends on what you're doing to improve where you are or if you decide to relocate.

    * While I still wish for more depth in the commentary, it is much improved over the past few years. I will actually listen to it during some franchise games, when I would never have the audio on in the past.

    * Ultimate Team is still a great mode. The cards look really sharp and there are a great variety off the bat even before the season begins. There are a TON of solo challenges to do, and the Head to Head Seasons mode that was first made famous on FIFA is the biggest addition. There is so much to do, and so much more coming on the way.

    * Downloading of community files is a great addition. Find a great set of sliders from someone you know, you can just download it from them instead of manually having to enter them in. Same goes for a great custom playbook.

    Cons

    * The owner mode addition to franchise is a nice re-addition to the game, and fun to talk about when you're competing with friends on Connected Careers, but it could use a lot more depth to make it more enjoyable for all users.

    * Freezing is running rampant in the game right now, hopefully a fix is on the way soon. It has really turned off a lot of gamers.

    * Menus are slick and responsive on the front end, but still really laggy in Connected Careers.

    * The defense is a little tighter than NCAA, but still needs a lot of work. Especially with zone defense.

    * They should have brought the coin formula from NCAA's Ultimate Team over to Madden's. It was a perfect balance where you could play a fair amount and still earn coins for new packs or auction items. The amount given, especially on head to head games seems to be half of what you got in NCAA.

    Overall the game is a blast to play, but there are still some of the same old issues that keep it from being a perfect game. This generation of Madden is going to go off on a really good note, and hopefully they can take the next step in the next generation of consoles.
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  26. Sep 2, 2013
    8
    With next-gen consoles coming in a couple of months I didn't expect to see changes with the game BUT I DID. Of course it's not perfect but after last year the transition is decent. Last year you could not run the ball without tripping over your lineman. This year with foot-planting can ensure your runner can possibly break a tackle or two!

    Connected Franchise Mode is a blessing in
    With next-gen consoles coming in a couple of months I didn't expect to see changes with the game BUT I DID. Of course it's not perfect but after last year the transition is decent. Last year you could not run the ball without tripping over your lineman. This year with foot-planting can ensure your runner can possibly break a tackle or two!

    Connected Franchise Mode is a blessing in itself with the return of owner mode! Also online EA SPORTS gave commissioners the ability to reset cap penalties!

    All in all EA SPORTS delivers in this current gen and shows promise for next-gen outside of a few mishaps I think that will be corrected in the near future
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  27. Sep 5, 2013
    9
    I tried to give this game all I had before I reviewed ot and it helped me keep it fair to the work they've obviously put into this game. Infinity engine 2 is way better but still weird. A lot of people are complaining about the defense but if you know your team and plays you can position your players manually. I tired of kids who pick the same plays saying the D sucks you are picking theI tried to give this game all I had before I reviewed ot and it helped me keep it fair to the work they've obviously put into this game. Infinity engine 2 is way better but still weird. A lot of people are complaining about the defense but if you know your team and plays you can position your players manually. I tired of kids who pick the same plays saying the D sucks you are picking the wrong defense that's all. Also love all the new spread plays and now I can use my beloved Carolina Panthers effectively. I love it!!!! Also online at first was lagging pretty hard but the last couple of nights its been great. Have to rate it a nine because it is definetly the best playing Madden this generation. My only gripe and not a huge deal but why does NCAA have a decent haltime show and great stat overlays but Madden doesn't and the replays are just terrible on a long pass all it shows is the reciever cathing the ball that's was a miss but not a big deal. Anyways just get it and meet me online I'm shawnomite just the same as on here. Last thing the Panthers are rated way too low but if they can get on a roll I guess that will change with updates. Let's get it!!go Panthers!! Expand
  28. Nov 5, 2013
    8
    I don't understand why all ratings are so low? The game is very good and show a lot of progression from Madden NFL 13- better graphics and better mechanics. Really good new owner mode, trainings and etc. I give to this game 8/10, because of online. Still bad multiplayer realization and boring Ultimate Team mode
  29. Aug 29, 2013
    8
    Madden NFL 25 adds on the momentum created in Madden NFL 13. For the seasoned Madden veteran, refinement is the name of the game. The game is strong in many categories but falls short of perfect all around.

    The gift of being the only NFL Football game on the market is you get to sell to all styles of gamers. The curse is that you can't entirely perfect any aspect of the game for one
    Madden NFL 25 adds on the momentum created in Madden NFL 13. For the seasoned Madden veteran, refinement is the name of the game. The game is strong in many categories but falls short of perfect all around.

    The gift of being the only NFL Football game on the market is you get to sell to all styles of gamers. The curse is that you can't entirely perfect any aspect of the game for one particular gamer. Because of that, Madden NFL 25 meets the criteria of being a really good game in many aspects but not a perfect game in any one particular area.

    Overview:
    For the casual gamer, changes to gameplay may not be as entirely evident. The intricacies of player movement, running mechanics, blocking schemes and physics as a whole have been refined to better represent what you see on the field ever Sunday.

    The re-addition of owner mode adds a huge level of depth to franchise mode. In theory the mode is great the mode gives you full control over almost all aspects of franchise finances and ownership. While the level of depth is there, I can't help but feel a disconnect from the rest of the game mode. Tweaks in owner mode don't seem to drastically change the outcome of franchise and team success. This will leave the true micro-managers crying for more feedback, control and options. Raising tickets prices to astronomical levels should yield a few fans in the stands not the case in Madden. Throw up the million dollar consulting fees to Jerry Jones here, EA.

    Positives:
    - Running the ball as a whole feels more rewarding and potent.
    - Offensive line play is greatly improved.
    - Infinity Engine refinements seem to make a strong contrast between superstars and bench players.
    - Online, Online, Online. Connected Franchise is deeper than ever and will provide endless replay value for those in Online CFMS. Stable EA servers make play now a fun and quick fix option.
    - New CFM online website is a great improvement to last version. Much more responsive, easier to use.
    - Return of offline franchise multiple user option.
    - Improvements to commentary their is greater depth. Keeping the same announcing team from last year and adding to the library enhances emersion.
    - Sliders for infinite gameplay customization.

    Negatives:
    - Run defense suffering from increased blocking. Linebackers seem lost at times and take bad angles. Sliders help.
    - Pass defense can cause a huge level of frustration. Certain routes by WR are at times impossible to defend by season madden players without manually covering the route.
    - Commissioner controls, while enhanced, still lack key features in online CFM. Most notably is the ability to reset scores and set scores.
    - Owner mode crys from more connection with team success and in-game presentation. Changing hot dog prices is cool but the connection to team and game is blurry.

    Final Thoughts:
    Barring any bias, Madden NFL 25 is the most complete game in the series to date. As a whole, M25 has navigated it's way to catering every style of Madden gamer out there. The focus on fundamentals may have an unfortunate side effect as seeming stale to the casual Madden gamer.
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  30. Sep 9, 2013
    5
    The game itself looks great and the animations are amazing. However, the menus and the response to the controller is lacking. Animated sequences between plays cannot be skipped through, which effects the experience and can cause problems. The game menu's move at a snail's pace, which is completely unacceptable.
  31. Nov 26, 2013
    1
    They took defense completely out of the game. Every game that is played will come down to who has possession last! Rushing 4 down linemen will never get you a sack. Kick returns are stupid if you cut hard to the left around the 15 yrd line and get to the sideline its big yards for any player who doesn't already know that. The only strategy left now is making sure you maintain the finalThey took defense completely out of the game. Every game that is played will come down to who has possession last! Rushing 4 down linemen will never get you a sack. Kick returns are stupid if you cut hard to the left around the 15 yrd line and get to the sideline its big yards for any player who doesn't already know that. The only strategy left now is making sure you maintain the final possession and burn the clock on your opponent. Expand
  32. Dec 29, 2013
    3
    If Madden 25 was the first game in the series you had played you would think Madden 25 was great game. That said, when compared with Madden 13 the game is garbage. The gameplay is marginally improved but otherwise is worse pretty much across the board.

    I primarily play offline CCM as an owner and I do enjoy a few of the new features. Despite being a little limited the Relocation feature
    If Madden 25 was the first game in the series you had played you would think Madden 25 was great game. That said, when compared with Madden 13 the game is garbage. The gameplay is marginally improved but otherwise is worse pretty much across the board.

    I primarily play offline CCM as an owner and I do enjoy a few of the new features. Despite being a little limited the Relocation feature is actually a massive success. If I were to buy another Madden game I would sincerely hope this feature was included and expanded upon. Other than the ownermode/ relocation feature I cannot think of anyway in which CCM mode has been improved. First off the draft classes are horrendous. Being a player whose defense is always built around speed it is nearly impossible to find Cornerbacks and Safeties with high speed, agility and acceleration. In terms of speed for Safeties it is extremely common to find Safeties with speeds in the 70's. That said there are defensive players with high speeds. Unfortunately for my defensive style I don't need speeds in the high 80's by my defensive tackles. The same problems exists on offense with Running Backs and Wide Receivers.

    Another massive failure with the CCM mode is how little exp it takes to improve players. I was using the Jaguars and by the end of my second season with Matt Scott as a backup QB his rating had improved to an 85 without taking a single snap. Unfortunately the only area where attribute upgrades are not vastly underpriced are in the underrated draft player ratings of speed agility and acceleration.

    Navigating the menus in Madden 25 is absolutely brutal. Options are buried in menus and the menus are very slow to load. Trying to navigate menus in CCM mode or the main screen actually make this game nearly unplayable. Loading and saving takes an absorbent amount of time. Even more curious is that if you choose to autosave after loading that it does not overwrite the file you loaded. I guess this could be advantageous to prevent my file from being corrupted and lost if the power in my house happened to shut off while I was in the process of saving but, in my near 20 years of lifetime gaming this has never happened to me.

    As i had previously stated the gameplay is actually improved over Madden 13. I do enjoy the new running controls and the improvements to the running game in general. That said I do not enjoy the super diving ability the cpu seems to have in order to take my Runningback down from behind despite being about 5 yards away. Two other issues are that the offense line play is horrible by both CPU and user teams resulting in too many sacks. The other issue is the insanely high completion percentage achieved by the cpu on the higher skills despite the overall ratings of my defensive backs. Richard Sherman should not be consistently beat by Pierre Garcon.

    In recent years I have started only buying every second Madden game. But after the massive success of Madden 13 and the fact that this year was the 25th anniversary of the Madden franchise I thought EA Sports would have worked harder to make a great game. Instead Madden 25 is a festering turd of a game. I would say they must have focused all their attention on the next-gen versions for the PS4 and XBOX1 but I've heard no better reviews of those games. I recall when the PS3 versions of Madden were first released that the PS2 version were still well done. Unfortunately EA Sports just dropped the ball and created a game not worth playing for any system. I will go out on a limb and say with 100% confidence that I will not be purchasing next years Madden game and have no intention of purchasing another Madden game until Ea has shown they are actually making an effort to make a great game in stead of an annual cash grab.

    To date I have not even discussed the issues many players encountered with freezing during online play. I did not address these issues because I did not encounter them myself as I am not an online player. That said this issue only furthers my previous comment about EA producing an annual cash grab instead of trying to make a worthwhile football simulation. Do not buy this game not even at a discounted second hand price.
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  33. Dec 29, 2013
    5
    I have not found too much different in this game from Madden 13, not that that is necessarily a bad thing. However, I have commonly encountered a glitch in the game where players turn invisible, and dealing with that is incredibly frustrating. Other than that, gameplay is rather good, and owner mode is good. I give this a 5 only because of the annoyance I've suffered due to Russell WilsonI have not found too much different in this game from Madden 13, not that that is necessarily a bad thing. However, I have commonly encountered a glitch in the game where players turn invisible, and dealing with that is incredibly frustrating. Other than that, gameplay is rather good, and owner mode is good. I give this a 5 only because of the annoyance I've suffered due to Russell Wilson being invisible. Expand
  34. Jun 25, 2014
    2
    Madden 07 beats this game hands down. Madden 25 is too slow between plays, unbearable sideline shots (should be an option to opt out), no hurry up after an incomplete pass, more steps when you change an individual assignment, defensive playbook has no contain D, receiver hot routes are lacking doubt and up and hitch corners, the running stick is too sensitive, and you can't create your ownMadden 07 beats this game hands down. Madden 25 is too slow between plays, unbearable sideline shots (should be an option to opt out), no hurry up after an incomplete pass, more steps when you change an individual assignment, defensive playbook has no contain D, receiver hot routes are lacking doubt and up and hitch corners, the running stick is too sensitive, and you can't create your own team. Almost forgot, you can't direct the football on onside kicks and the view sucks for punts and punt blocking ability. Last thing, why can't you change controller layout? Please go back to the Madden 07 format.See Madden 07! Expand
  35. Jun 26, 2014
    0
    This is by far the worst Madden game I have ever played. The new running controls are the only good thing about the game, and even they aren't that great. Most of my experiences with ball hawking mode have ended in myself wanting to throw my controller across the room. High arcing lob pass waaay down field, Richard Sherman standing there, waiting, almost like the ball was thrownThis is by far the worst Madden game I have ever played. The new running controls are the only good thing about the game, and even they aren't that great. Most of my experiences with ball hawking mode have ended in myself wanting to throw my controller across the room. High arcing lob pass waaay down field, Richard Sherman standing there, waiting, almost like the ball was thrown directly to him, in ball hawking mode, jumps up, an invisible force field about 3 inches from his hands blocks the INT. In one game, 12 attempts to get an INT while ball hawking, 11 dropped INT's. 12 passes that appeared to have been thrown at my defenders instead of their receivers and still 11 dropped INT's... no, not against Seattle's secondary. Here's another example of their major failure with this game. Running play breaks through on the sideline, Bruce Irvin is running side by side with the runner (Adrian Peterson) All Irvin has to do is veer to the left to wrap him up, so i move the thumb stick to the left, Irvin continues to run straight forward, i move the stick all the way to the left, Irvin continues running forward, I repeatedly move the stick to the left, he continued forward, touchdown Peterson..... no, absolutely unacceptable. Here's yet another unacceptable aspect of this horrendous game. Making a pass down field, Harvin is there to make the catch, defender comes in pushes Harvin completely out of the way, jumps up and gets the INT, no pass interference call... Really?!?!?! This next one didn't happen to me, it happened to the computer instead, benefited me, however was still a major glitch that needs to be addressed. QB drops back, survey's the field, throws right, arm glitches, goes through his mid section, ball is released in an awkward position and ball only travels maybe 3 yds before hitting the ground... REALLY?!?!? Was there NO testing done on this game at all??? No quality assurance whatsoever? Just as another review i read earlier stated, this game is nothing more than a pathetic cash grab. Once again, BY FAR THE WORST MADDEN GAME I HAVE EVER PLAYED!!! And i've been playing them since the early 90's. I'd rather play the original Techmo Superbowl on the NES than this piece of garbage. If next year's game isn't any better, and they don't prove that they're trying to make a good football simulation game, but instead just throw out more garbage as a pathetic cash grab, I will refuse to buy, or play, a single Madden game again. This game, brand new ,with how horrible it's game play really is, shouldn't have been priced any more than $15. EA, pull your heads out of your @$$'s and do Madden justice. With how much money us fans have thrown away on your games, you owe us that much. Expand
  36. Jul 17, 2014
    2
    This game is a complete mess. Tight ends are as fast as wide receivers, line backers are as fast as corners. Wide receivers like Larry Fitzgerald dropping passes that should easily be caught. When you throw a hail marry pass only the receiver you threw the ball to will go to it while all the corners crowd around him. Game lags constantly. Defenders will just stick their hands up perfectlyThis game is a complete mess. Tight ends are as fast as wide receivers, line backers are as fast as corners. Wide receivers like Larry Fitzgerald dropping passes that should easily be caught. When you throw a hail marry pass only the receiver you threw the ball to will go to it while all the corners crowd around him. Game lags constantly. Defenders will just stick their hands up perfectly to intercept your pass with out looking, or they will drop the easiest interception. Everything I mentioned doesn't just happen 2 or 3 times a game they happen constantly and it totally kills the game. And I don't feel in control of the person I am playing as because ill will press/hold triangle and the defender wont go up and try to get the ball or press/hold square for my defender to dive tackle. I don't care if the play I am trying to make wont work at least give me an animation to make me feel in control. Expand
  37. Aug 27, 2013
    0
    Madden NFL 25 comes at a crossroads for NFL video games; at the close of the last console generation, EA SPORTS and 2K Sports were locked in a bitter competition for the market share. Nearly 10 years later, Madden NFL is the lone game remaining and set for a dual release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as later this year on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As the franchiseMadden NFL 25 comes at a crossroads for NFL video games; at the close of the last console generation, EA SPORTS and 2K Sports were locked in a bitter competition for the market share. Nearly 10 years later, Madden NFL is the lone game remaining and set for a dual release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as later this year on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As the franchise celebrates 25 years of existence, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on what the game has achieved and what still needs to be done for the game to be as great as the league it represents.

    As a single game trying to carry the history of 25 years, Madden NFL 25 is a difficult entry to assess. The revisions of the Infinity Engine from last year’s Madden NFL 13 result in a better overall gameplay experience, but the introduction of the “Precision Modifier” to the running game controls—part of the overall #RunFree marketing for the game—actually serves to needlessly complicate the experience of playing the game. For many, it may prove easier to use the left and right analog sticks for ballcarriers—just as in previous football games from EA SPORTS, like this year’s earlier NCAA Football 14 release—to achieve success moving the ball on offense.

    Unfortunately, additions and improvements to offense in Madden NFL 25 have not truly been met with equal improvements to the defensive side of the ball, leaving gameplay unbalanced in favor of the offense; a common complaint in football video games, for certain, but frustrating here nonetheless. Heat Seeker tackling and Ballhawk interception assists try to keep the defense on equal footing, but CPU quarterbacks can still too easily post completion percentages in the 70-80% range, making games a battle of attrition instead of the chess game that football should be.

    The game continues to look great visually, but Presentation remains stale, particularly when compared to the statistical tracking and broadcast elements of NCAA Football 14. Commentary features some new lines from second-year duo Jim Nantz and Phil Simms—supplemented by new commentary from sideline reporter Danielle Bellini—but the overall presentation is still lacking in terms of being able to convey the gravity of important games over the course of the season in Connected Franchise Mode, save for the Super Bowl; even then, the presentation for the biggest game of them all will be all too familiar for anyone who has played Madden NFL in the past three or four years of release.

    Speaking of Connected Franchise Mode, this year’s revision of the career mode—where gamers can assume the role of Players, Coaches, and Owners—helps to build a lot of goodwill with longtime fans of the franchise. The ability to control Owners and make decisions big and small for their team—ranging from which player’s jerseys are marketed, to the prices of concessions, to big decisions like relocating a franchise and choosing a new name, uniform set, and stadium—helps to provide plenty of off-field tasks for players to be engrossed in, especially with the ability to access all of these experiences in a full 32-user online league. While one would like to see a more persistently-updated XP notification system like what was present in NCAA Football 14’s Dynasty mode this year, the career offerings of the Madden NFL franchise continue to trend in a positive direction.

    Fans of modes like Madden Ultimate Team will see some new additions to their favorite part of the game, including Chemistry and Head-to-Head Seasons which have been brought over from FIFA Ultimate Team. Not all modes have seen improvements like these; indeed, “GMC Never Say Never Moments” (rebranded from the previous mode title “Madden Moments Live”) and Online Team Play (a focal addition to Madden NFL 11, largely untouched since its debut) are tucked away from the main menu, not nearly as touted as the Play Now, CFM, and MUT experiences.

    Madden NFL 25 on the current-generation of consoles—specifically the PS3, in this case—is by no means a bad game, or a game unworthy of being played by fans of video game football or the NFL. It is, however, caught in a difficult position; its launch coincides with the start of the NFL season—a key time for any fan of the league—but the game’s release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 lies less than three months away. With good trade-in programs being announced for players wanting to upgrade their experience heading to next-gen, Madden NFL 25 on current consoles can certainly be a stopgap or holdover until the franchise debuts on a new console generation. However, the start of this new generation will hold high expectations for Madden NFL as a series, and results will need to exceed what was achieved in this year’s game in order for those expectations to be met.
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Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Oct 20, 2013
    71
    Decent, but a fair way off Super Bowl calibre. [Dec 2013, p.73]
  2. Anniversary features disappoint. [Nov 2013, p.94]
  3. All-in-all the features add up to a game that is one of the best replications of the real thing thus far, especially with some top notch presentation. Just watch out for those damn ghosts. [November 2013, p83]