Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  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. The game will satisfy the appetite of both casual and hardcore football fans and its mixes those two worlds together very well.
  4. 91
    The most accurate description of American Football on a videogame console that I’ve ever seen.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Madden NFL is a series which feels like Pro Evolution Soccer did in its peak. It’s a game which every year you wonder how they could improve it in any way other than basic graphical updates and the odd new mode, however unlike the former, Madden is a series which on its twentieth anniversary is still taking large strides every single year.
  8. It's online that Madden 09 really comes into its own. [Oct 2008, p.88]
  9. The game looks great, there are a ton of little nuances football fans everywhere will love, and most of all, it’s fun to play. Despite some issues with the AI, I think this is the first must-buy Madden for next-gen consoles.
  10. We're happy to report that Madden NFL 09 represents the pinnacle of the modern Madden era. [Sept 2008, p.68]
  11. 90
    Madden has finally entered the next-generation with a fierce new look and some ability to flex some powerful new features like Madden IQ.
  12. 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.
  13. EA have this year won the Superbowl this year by providing the best NFL experience to date.
  14. Additions to this year's Madden title have truly made it shine. The franchise just keeps getting better and better!
  15. A real solid sports game that does not disappoint.
  16. 90
    The controls are tight and responsive, and the overall flow of an NFL contest feels realistic.
  17. Players will love the new features in this game and will come to long for them if they pop in an older game for nostalgia sake.
  18. Parity's finally come to Madden multiplayer, though - the new difficulty-balancing feature works great, and it allows me to finally play competitive games against better players. [Sept 2008, p.80]
  19. Madden NFL 09 is far from a perfect game but at the end of the day this one is the best versions in its 20 year run.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 88
    I've not played many of the previous Madden games, and I wouldn't call myself an American football enthusiast by any stretch of the imagination. But this game really managed to capture my attention. Its addictive; its fun, and its very easy to get sucked into.
  23. Enormous US football sim that isn't as hard to get into as some of the previous versions. [Oct 2008, p.82]
  24. Even though Madden NFL 09 is not perfect in any shape or form it is the best football experience available on the Xbox 360 and should be checked out by new fans of the series as well as twenty-year veterans. The new features tossed into the game give Madden 09 a bit of everything for everyone who enjoys football.
  25. Madden 09 has far more successes than failures, enough that any pro football fan that’s been hesitant to actually pick-up the game for the past few should definitely give this game a shot.
  26. 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.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 122 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 33
  2. Negative: 18 out of 33
  1. Oct 16, 2010
    Ok this game has absoulotly nothing to say for its self Id rather have the first madden game ever. The first place this game goes wrong is when I boot up play now mode excited to play my first madden game on the 360 and I her chris conlinsworth. I hate this guy and this is the worst decesion EA has made with madden so far. EA tiburn had alot of competion this year also because NCAA 09 turned out great. Id rather spend less money to buy the game on my psp and lose the commentary of chris and be a pro mode. The franchise mode also stinks and I can go online with my psp. EA DID NOT GET THE JOB DONE THIS YEAR. Full Review »
  2. MohS.
    Mar 2, 2009
    Alright, I'll be honest, this madden is an improvement, but nothing will top the 2k sports games. NBA 2k9 is way better than NBA live 09. ESPN 2k5, way better than madden 05,06,07,08,09. That is real serious. I mean it's the best nfl game out there, thats because its the only one. NCAA 09 is better than this game. I just love it because i love football, and i love smashing on cats in this game. Full Review »
  3. jb
    Jan 25, 2009
    09 sucks!!! I have been playing a long time and still go back to 2002. good graphics do not always = good play. Seems like people are more interested in cool looks instead of playing a good game. in past maddens I would get into the game but 09 is the most boring game I ever played. DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!! Full Review »