Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Aug 29, 2011
    100
    For Madden NFL 12 it is truly in the game, it has game, and is the only and best NFL game to date.
  2. Aug 26, 2011
    95
    I have enjoyed my 2 weeks with Madden NFL 12 more than any other football game I have played Bar-None.
  3. Sep 13, 2011
    90
    Although the keyword for this year's Madden surely isn't "revolution", EA Sports has managed to up the ante even further, giving fans exactly what they wanted: more intense football action.
  4. Aug 30, 2011
    90
    Even with an exclusive license and no reason to improve their game, Tiburon and EA Sports continue to refine the best football experience ever made.
  5. Aug 29, 2011
    90
    Although Madden NFL 12 presents some new AI issues, it resolves many AI failings and gameplay shortcomings that have plagued the franchise for several years.
  6. Aug 26, 2011
    90
    Small visual shortcomings and some audio annoyances might keep Madden 12 from being 100% on top form, but with the crazy amount of content and nearly endless gameplay possibilities, these seem like minor grievances.
  7. Sep 25, 2011
    89
    Another top class Madden outing, setting the standard for sports videogames. [Nov 2011, p.94]
  8. Aug 26, 2011
    89
    Another year, comes another Madden game. While this years version once again delivers, and certainly does the NFL proud, it is still however a Madden game. The core game remains the same and despite all the enhancements, Madden NFL 12 looks and feels very similar to last year's iteration. Hardcore fans will inevitably purchase the game, but for those fringe fans who already own Madden NFL 11 it is hard to recommend dropping another 60 bucks on a game that plays almost identical to last years. That being said, on its own Madden NFL 12 is a stunner and is an upgrade, albeit slight, over its predecessor.
  9. Oct 5, 2011
    85
    Madden 2012 is a considerable upgrade to Madden 2011 but there are still areas that EA need to improve in the next installment. Both online and offline the game has enough to keep American Football fans occupied for another year and with a new stat system in Superstar mode you will find yourself immersed as an RB, QB or whatever position takes your fancy. The commentary is without a doubt the game's biggest flaw, but when you get past that you will realise that Madden 12 will simply eat up the hours until EA announces Madden 13.
  10. Sep 1, 2011
    85
    Despite the remaining core gameplay issues and the poor commentary, Madden NFL 12 is a great title. While superstar mode needs some work and online franchise could use some love, offline franchise is simply fantastic and is well worth dozens of hours of your attention. If you enjoyed Madden NFL 11 and are a fan of franchise mode, this game is a must.
  11. Aug 29, 2011
    85
    This is not a revolutionary game by any means, but it builds upon the established strengths of the franchise. Most importantly this is a fun game of football, one that immersed me in all of the elements that make the NFL exciting to watch on Sundays.
  12. 85
    This year's edition quite simply plays better than ever...The gameplay is exceptionally balanced.
  13. Aug 26, 2011
    85
    When you start building a game on such an impressive foundation you're guaranteed to have a quality product in the end, but the longer you play it the more the issues become bothersome. Just like the NFL rookie class of 2011, it should have spent a little more time in training camp.
  14. Shows diminishing returns for the solo gamer. [Dec 2011, p.102]
  15. Oct 10, 2011
    84
    This year's update focuses mainly on the single-player experience and the franchise mode. Additions like player roles and cut days are good, but the lack of a co-op online franchise is still disappointing. Otherwise, it's a solid if slightly unexciting offering. [Oct 2011]
  16. Sep 20, 2011
    83
    Madden 12 does a lot of things very well. I can say without hesitation that the new and improved presentation, animations, movements, and overall NFL atmosphere of the game are enough to warrant the new purchase. Superstar mode was a bit of a disappointment for me, but I cannot justify too much of a hit due to this, as Franchise mode is the cream of the crop for Madden fans – and Franchise mode really does shine. If you are a Madden fan and/or football fan, don't hesitate to pick this one up.
  17. Aug 29, 2011
    83
    All in all, Madden NFL 12 lives up to its franchise's basic standards as a hard-hitting realistic football game. Besides all the new fancy updates and sparkly things that dangle on the screen, loyal Madden-ists and newcomers can enjoy mostly everything Madden has to offer.
  18. Sep 20, 2011
    82
    Beyond mere roster updates, Madden 12 features better tackling animations and visual effects, and gone are any new gimmicky additions; developer EA Tiburon instead focused on improved AI and crafting a more involved franchise mode.
  19. 80
    That's some good footballing sir. [Nov 2011, p.110]
  20. Oct 3, 2011
    80
    If you haven't picked up a copy of Madden in a while, 12 is a lot of fun. If you're still getting fun out of more recent versions, there's nothing here you can't live without.
  21. Sep 29, 2011
    80
    Overall Madden NFL 12 is a great game of football that adds enough new content to warrant fans coming back for more, especially if you're into the franchise mode.
  22. Sep 22, 2011
    80
    The presentation is still an issue, but the gameplay advances make this quite possibly the best Madden game on the current generation of consoles.
  23. Sep 21, 2011
    80
    All up, and if you are interested in NFL football, Madden 12 is a great game to get you into the sport and you will most certainly have a much better understanding of American football if you are not that well versed in the game.
  24. Sep 19, 2011
    80
    However, it is hard not to think more could have been done to capitalise on the improvements that have been made and make this year's Madden a milestone title. Instead Madden NFL 2012 is, well, 'just' another Madden title.
  25. Sep 19, 2011
    80
    Anyone with a passing interest will find a lot to like. [Issue#76, p.90]
  26. Sep 16, 2011
    80
    Electronic Arts has improved Madden NFL 12 at some crucial points with the additions to the Franchise mode and the addition of online communities. Even though we would have liked some more improvements, Madden NFL 12 is the best American Football game out there.
  27. Sep 14, 2011
    80
    A severe lack of additional game modes and revolutionary new features means that many of the tweaks will only really be noticeable to hardcore fans. Casual onlookers can rest assured, however, that Madden NFL 12 is one mighty fine football game and worth checking out if you've been on the bench for a few years.
  28. Sep 14, 2011
    80
    If you are looking for just a fun time with some friends and don't care about franchises or online play, you might be better off with a previous version of Madden. If you want to control your own franchise or build your own team, then there have been enough enhancements to justify the purchase. Just realize that some on-field issues still exist.
  29. Sep 12, 2011
    80
    Madden NFL 12 changes, just a little. It's faster, smarter, more realistic and its defensive AI is improved. If you are a football fan, you'll play and enjoy yourself for another year.
  30. Sep 6, 2011
    80
    Tiburon continues to refine one of the best football video games of all time, and though there is more than a fair share of skeptics, the dissent is unwarranted. The action and visuals on the field are the best they've ever been.
  31. Aug 31, 2011
    80
    Only buy Madden NFL 12 if you're a hardcore football fan. You'll find everything you're looking for in a pigskin simulator and then some. The casual fan will likely ignore most of the new features in favour of just tossing the ball around for some NFL action, which will be just as well served by any other previous Madden title for a fraction of the price.
  32. Aug 26, 2011
    80
    While we're happy overall with Madden 12, and it's a notch better than last season's game, it remains a far-from-perfect experience. Those of us that plan on spending a hundred hours or more playing online franchise and community games will surely compile an enormous laundry list of issues – but in the end, we'll still play all those games. Even so, we're left wanting much more than we're getting from EA's venerable football series.
  33. Aug 26, 2011
    80
    The improvements to Madden NFL 12 are small, but they're spread over every facet of the game. Madden fans are getting a tighter, more finely tuned game.
  34. Sep 21, 2011
    79
    Since EA owns NFL rights, you won't be able to chose between Madden and the 2k franchise anymore. Madden NFL 12 is a good game, but still it's got some issues that prevents it from being the definitive NFL sport sim every fan would love it to be.
  35. Sep 12, 2011
    79
    This game isn't THE must get in the history of football games, but it's still a very good one, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it if you need your NFL gaming fix this year.
  36. Nov 15, 2011
    78
    A fun game with very few major flaws, but by the same token it brings absolutely nothing new to the table other than the welcome online community option and enhanced player traits and consistency. That aside you will be playing the same old Madden and on that front, Madden NFL 12 just doesn't do enough to hold your interest for very long.
  37. Sep 19, 2011
    78
    With an overwhelming amount of possibilities and great new features, Madden NFL 12 is a must-have for all American Football fans.
  38. Sep 21, 2011
    77
    There are enough new changes, small and refined as they are, to recommend this game to the yearly throng of loyal fans who are likely going to buy Madden NFL 12 regardless of what I say. For everyone else, I'd wait until next year and see what happens.
  39. Aug 31, 2011
    75
    Get past the fact that a lot of problems Madden has had for years are still there and you should have a great time with Madden NFL 12.
  40. Aug 30, 2011
    75
    Madden 12 has an awful lot going for it and in many ways it's the best the series has ever been, but in others you can see it still trying to break the shackles of the past. In the end, you get a mix of the two: a lot of great new ideas combined with issues that should have been dealt with a long time ago.
  41. Aug 27, 2011
    75
    Few offseason improvements mean that Madden 12 is another fun but flawed entry in the stagnating series.
  42. Aug 26, 2011
    75
    It's disappointing that many of the new features fail to bring value to the table, but elements like last year's excellent motion system are at least in place to make the game exciting from moment to moment. Although I wasn't in awe of the new player hot/cold streaks, I liked the player roles and how they changed from year to year and gave your players a career progression arc. Other bright spots are the online communities that help weed out the riff-raff from your online multiplayer (thanks to stronger griefing rules), and the accompanying leaderboards also offer a larger structure to the experience. This is especially useful since the online franchise feature is still a bust.
  43. Oct 3, 2011
    70
    Last year I raved over Madden NFL 11 and loved most of the features in the game. This year is either a transition year with small adjustments or my great score from 2010 was a product of my absence from the series for over ten years. If you are a hard core NFL fan that craves every small adjustment Madden NFL 12 may be for you but the rest of us can wait for a price drop or just go and play Madden NFL 11.
  44. Sep 21, 2011
    70
    Madden NFL 12 is a two-edged sword. On one hand it offers new players, post-trade rosters and some new features. On the other hand it is essentially very similar to the Madden games released over the last years, but if you are a fan, you will probably not be disappointed.
  45. Aug 26, 2011
    70
    After years of claiming that they have to get the "gameplay right" before moving on to other issues, it seems that Tiburon has, for the most part, done just that. So, the foundation seems to be in place, but as with the Detroit Lions, Madden 12 is probably still a year away (sorry, Lions fans). But take heart: it'll be a good year nonetheless.
  46. Aug 26, 2011
    70
    Every year, the series brings a balance of improvement and ongoing flaws. Considering this year's game as a whole, improvements like the new presentation style and lack of player suction heavily outweigh the more minuscule issues that remain. It's a good kind of frustration for players, the kind where this year's game is definitely better than last year's, which may actually be enough incentive to give it a shot.
  47. Sep 4, 2011
    67
    That's ultimately Madden's greatest problem, though. It replicates watching the NFL more than it does playing NFL football. While that serves the millions who play year after year, it leaves NFL fans who want something more waiting for EA's exclusive contract with the league to end.
  48. Aug 26, 2011
    67
    The biggest problem for Madden at this stage in its existence, though, is that it seems to lack a clear direction or vision of what it should be. Instead, it's listing back and forth, rudderless, between attempts at being a serious simulation and trying to attract a more casual audience, and it's not doing great service to either.
  49. Sep 20, 2011
    65
    Madden 12 isn't a disaster. It is however, a story about a game full of uncertainty, a game that doesn't know where it wants to go or how it's going to get there.
  50. Sep 19, 2011
    60
    Not many innovations compared to last year's editions. Madden NFL 12 still remains a good simulation with most of what the sports' fans are looking for. With a better implementation of impacts with improved animations and prettier graphics, this version is an honest update of the license, without prompting '11 owners for a necessary purchase. Only beginners will appreciate the Gameflow feature, which improves the accessibility of the game.
  51. Sep 15, 2011
    60
    It's probably the lack of competition for the Madden series that starts to make it look old and outdated. The core game still offers good fun, but besides new rosters, you can just as well stick with last year's edition.
  52. Sep 13, 2011
    60
    Perhaps more than any other long-running series that has featured on the current generation of hardware, Madden NFL 12 has that classic end-of-console-era feel to it. The team have seemingly stopped trying to improve the game in any major way and are waiting for the next generation to take things to the next level.
  53. Sep 7, 2011
    60
    Quotation forthcoming.
  54. Sep 6, 2011
    60
    Madden NFL 12 is not the greatest football game ever made, but it's definitely not the worst. Fans of the Madden series are sure to enjoy themselves, but others should approach with caution.
  55. Aug 29, 2011
    60
    That Madden NFL 12 feels like a less passionate endeavor than even other yearly sports titles, less a labor of love and more a labor of necessity, is a criticism that likely won't mean much to either type of player. It's still video game football in a competitive and compelling environment, especially when played online with friends. It has more content than you will likely ever touch over the course of the next season of real football. In some ways, Madden NFL 12 is a better game than its predecessor. In others, not. It has significant flaws, and it has significant strengths.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 38
  2. Negative: 14 out of 38
  1. Aug 30, 2011
    4
    Worth $59? Nope. EA needs to just call it Madden and then have yearly updated DLC (for like $10 or so) instead of charging loyal gamers an armWorth $59? Nope. EA needs to just call it Madden and then have yearly updated DLC (for like $10 or so) instead of charging loyal gamers an arm and a leg for a game that's pretty much a REHASH of last year, and the year before, and the year before that, etc. I pretty much paid for same gameplay, new music, commentary, color schemes, and roster :( Full Review »
  2. Feb 7, 2012
    4
    How does this game get progressively worse each year? NO COMPETITION. EA is running a monopoly and it's killing sim football fans. I'mHow does this game get progressively worse each year? NO COMPETITION. EA is running a monopoly and it's killing sim football fans. I'm pretty sure the graphics were better last year. This casual, piece of stink is an embarrassment. Madden 2001 had a better franchise mode. It's still as bare bones as ever. I understand that they're trying to make the game accessible for everyone but it is coming at a price. NCAA 12 is better by far but doesn't get the sales. Maybe they should let those guys do the next Madden. Just a suggestion. Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2011
    2
    they didnt touch online dynasty at all. How do you go a whole year and not have time to make some tweaks? this boggles my mind. I think EAthey didnt touch online dynasty at all. How do you go a whole year and not have time to make some tweaks? this boggles my mind. I think EA should hire all new developers.
    the new OT rule is not in the game. First team to score in OT wins. Yes, I tested it in playoff game! I have challenged plays where cpu was clearly out of bounds and the play stood. looks like defensive pass interference has been toned down big time. I have intentionally ran into guys and no call at all. This game got worse.
    Full Review »