Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 100
    The new commentating team, Backtrack replays, soundtrack, and improved graphics really packs that extra punch of realism making this game a must buy.
  2. 100
    The mud-caked Slop Bowls, bustling sidelines, and significantly varied player physiques mean that Madden 09's finally lived up to EA's next-gen target video from three years ago that -- for three years -- looked way better than the games themselves.
  3. Once again this year is far better than last year with better online play, your Madden IQ, and if you want to practice before you play the big boys online; you can play a game and use the rewind to help develop your gamer eye.
  4. This 20th version of Madden NFL will sure be known as one of best of the series and will sure keep the whole Madden Nation happy…until next year of course. Expectations will continue to grow.
  5. Everything from the visuals, audio, and presentation have been bumped up a notch to a level that would make any fan who has turned their heads for the last 3 years take notice.
  6. Madden 09 is a great sports game with its only major flaw being one of many sports games, and that is that it didn’t change drastically from the previous year.
  7. Tiburon has done a fantastic job at bringing us a game that controls superbly well, looks smooth, runs quick, and boasts a horde of enhancements to make this the best Madden game ever.
  8. Madden 09 is the best Madden of this generation. It's the first of the series which feels like it actually belongs on these consoles, and wasn't just ported with prettier graphics.
  9. With new features like Backtrack and old features like Superstar and Franchise mode, Madden 09 is probably the best Madden yet.
  10. A true next generation football experience unlike any other.
  11. 90
    Madden's controls are so sophisticated and complex that I'm surprised more fans of shooters and other action games don't play.
  12. There's more quality sports action here than you'll ever need. [Oct 2008, p.74]
  13. The graphics and overall presentation has been considerably improved.
  14. 88
    Madden NFL 09 is the most loyal translation of America’s favorite sport I’ve ever seen. It looks great, plays great, and despite its few moments of inaccuracies, is still one of the best sports games in memory.
  15. While the main modes feel relatively the same, this year’s gameplay is a clear indication that this franchise is getting closer to perfection.
  16. There are a lot of new features this year, but none of them are of much consequence. If you own Madden 08, there is no truly outstanding aspect that makes a repurchase necessary. In fact, the Superstar and Franchise game modes are nearly identical, and the Online Leagues aren't impressive enough to outshine the excellent online play of last year.
  17. The team behind this year’s Madden certainly has the right ideas for where this franchise should be heading, as Madden 09 clearly shows.
  18. There’s a whole lot of game here, but that was true last year, and for every gameplay improvement there’s something annoying to dampen the enthusiasm. It’s still an excellent football game, but the casual player is going to like it a lot more than the grizzled vet.
  19. Series are hard to evaluate: On the one hand, every sequel should be reviewed as a stand-alone – Madden NFL 09 is a great game on that account, not only in the football-segment, but generally in the sports genre – on the other hand, owner of Madden NFL 08 don’t have to buy the sequel, because the changes are not that big.
  20. EA Sports has, year after year, put out a Madden title that made playing professional football that much more real to the millions who will never get a chance. Madden NFL '09 is no exception.
  21. While it's hard to justify spending 60 dollars on a yearly series, Madden NFL 09 offers up just enough tweaks to make it worth consideration.
  22. Even for all of its faults, Madden NFL 2009 is still a damn good football game and that's what's important.
  23. While the play-to-play action has some awesome moments, the Franchise mode is stuck in a boring rut.
  24. 83
    Another positive step forward for EA’s Madden and one which stands tall against the PS3’s other offerings, including 2007’s entry. No one does gridiron quite like the guys at Electronic Arts. Brilliant.
  25. Even with all the new features and promised tweaks, Madden 09 still feels a bit too familiar and some might even have a hard time separating it from last year’s game.
  26. Ultimately, Madden NFL 09 offers just enough to fans to warrant a purchase. Although meager, the new additions do help the game feel like it's worth the price of admission.
  27. Yes, the Madden IQ is a miscue, and they've fumbled the online leagues, but Madden 09 is a much more rounded and refined game than 08. It has all the basic components for perfection but can't quite bring them together so, in this respect, it's much more like the 2004 Steelers than the '72 Dolphins.
  28. We’ll happily play all season long, during which we’ll invent a thousand more reasons to love and hate it all at the same time. No matter what, though, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t a tad disappointed that this year’s version didn’t make the same jump we’d gotten accustomed to the last two years.
  29. A couple of the newer additions don't work as well as they should, such as the unbalanced Madden Test and the cheat-happy EA Rewind. Others, though, are spectacular, such as the Virtual Training Center and the new Online League play.
  30. American football mixes brain and brawn like no other sport, and it's something Madden 09 reflects beautifully. [Oct 2008, p.96]
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 37
  2. Negative: 18 out of 37
  1. DonM.
    Aug 27, 2008
    This game does not deserve the outstanding praise that its getting from the major review sites. The AI is completely broken, your teammates This game does not deserve the outstanding praise that its getting from the major review sites. The AI is completely broken, your teammates will either be catching long bombs without looking or bobbling easy passes to the chest. The adaptive difficulty doesn't work the way its suppose to, it rewards you for playing well by making your teammates play horribly. Superstar mode is a tedious affair, you don't feel that you're making progress as your stats go up since the game makes you play horribly no matter how good your guy is. Online is full of whiners and quitters, about 90% of my games resulted in the other person quitting or leaving it on pause. The graphic are alright, not the best but not horrible enough to distract. The animation is poor, especially the running (watch in slow motion). The menus are good, sometimes poorly laid out but usable. Controls are overly complex and sometimes are not responsive, this makes passing a hassle and could make you miss a good throwing opportunity. Also, sometimes my QB would run for a false start when I fake hut the ball (probably a glitch with the AI). This is a very unpolished game with major problems, mainly bad AI and controls, some may be fixed through patches. This is a rental if you like football games (though there's not much choice), anyone else should stay away. Full Review »
  2. Mar 24, 2011
    First Madden game since 06 and I think it'll be my last. This series just doesn't capture the essence of football anymore. The difference inFirst Madden game since 06 and I think it'll be my last. This series just doesn't capture the essence of football anymore. The difference in game play from rookie to pro is huge. I'm either throwing eight touchdowns a game or throwing eight interceptions a game. I do pass a lot because the run game in almost non-existent no matter how high a level my runner is. The menus are horrid to look at and the announcing is very, very, very, very bad. Please NFL commish, don't give EA unlimited rights anymore. Full Review »
  3. TylerH
    Mar 22, 2009
    I was just looking around at different scores of games and realized that I still own this game that I regretfully purchased 2 or so days afterI was just looking around at different scores of games and realized that I still own this game that I regretfully purchased 2 or so days after its release. I give it a 1 because its score is too high on here, its probably a 3, only a 3 because it has a little bit of fun against a friend, but thats it. Player progression in franchise mode is non-exsistant, computer teams are stupid, will have 4 wideouts all 90+ but have a 70 overall qb for 3 years. Drafted players suck. Actual game play at first looks nice because its HD, but after 10 minutes, its boring and the cpu is cheap as hell. your teammates dont help at all. continously spot the ball a couple yards off from where your actually at. you can watch replays and completely know that you've won the challenge, only to have the refs say you didnt. game is crap. I think i'm done playing Madden. It was best in the day on my now sold ps2. Its just a past memory now, now more will my PS3 be subject to playing this trash, no more will my precious blue ray lazer need to waste energy on the Madden series :p So long Madden, no more for me. If they took longer than 4 or so months to copy and paste each year, maybe the game wouldnt be crap. Madden should go to an every other year formula, with a $10 roster upgrade in the off year. that'd be the only way i'd get it again. Full Review »