Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 100
    Kudos to EA Sports for not being afraid to juice the complexity factor of an already complex game. Rookies will have to pay their dues, but veterans get treated to a brand-new challenge. [Sept 2005, p.82]
  2. Kiss the rest of your summer (and your loved ones) goodbye and get ready to spend all your waking hours indoors, sitting next to a giant bag of Fritos, agonizing over 4–3 blitz packages.
  3. 95
    Once again, EA and Madden manage to do the impossible: They made us fall head-over-cleats in love with this frigging game all over again.
  4. Instead of resting on its laurels, the Madden franchise takes a big step forward with Madden 06.
  5. It delivers with an innovative new mode of play and superb in-game additions. The overall presentation is drastically improved as well, and Madden 06 has the best soundtrack of any EA Sports game to date.
  6. Superior controls and artificial intellect go a long way to making this a quality simulation of NFL football on the field.
  7. Madden NFL 06 is still an outstanding game, but EA needs to re-think the reality and practicality of its Superstar mode, and it has plenty of work to do to make QB Vision both effective and enjoyable.
  8. Recent releases have seen plenty of tweaks, but they merely nudged the gameplay. This year's implementation of a quarterback's cone of vision really changes things by rethinking the foundations of passing the ball.
  9. The only thing is that it will take a lot of time to get used to the QB vision and precision passing, and you might fumble with the controls more than you are used to. While it is nice that this game is now more realistic, this sort of brings down the gameplay slightly making it not as fun, or just a lot harder than in the past.
  10. Overall, it's the best football game they have made to date, but it's hard to gauge how it has advanced compared to the competition, for as previously mentioned, there is no competition.
  11. Whether it's the first steps of an online franchse via your EA Locker or your life as the equivalent to Budweiser's Leon in NFL Superstar, Madden's exploration of new areas is not to be missed. [Sept 2005, p.92]
  12. Still excellent despite the fact that its biggest innovation really amounts to an unnecessary step in the passing game. I'm more impressed by the little tweaks--precision passing, smart routes, the "truck stick" for those Jerome Bettis moments--that improve the overall experience.
  13. For the first time in years, the game has been redesigned which completely alters the gameplay at its core. Tiburon appears not to be satisfied with just creating an entertaining representation of video football but to advance the realism so that the experience brings players that much closer to what it feels like being on the gridiron. They've succeeded.
  14. 90
    It is far and away the most cerebral sports title ever released, forcing both the offensive and defensive coordination to methodically attack each other in order to achieve their respective goals. Careful and well thought out strategy is the name of the game, much more so than relying on frantic, on the field playmaking.
  15. 90
    If you love NFL football, then you HAVE to check out this game.
  16. If you like your NFL Madden 2006 is an absolute must have.
  17. Electronic Arts took an amazing product, and instead of slacking off, they added a bunch of things to make this the most addictive Madden yet.
  18. 90
    Although it's true that the QB Vision system changes the game dramatically, it's not always for the better, especially when you're still trying to learn how to use it properly. If you can get over the steep learning curve (and trust me, it's a doozy), you'll probably learn to love it, as it makes the game feel much more realistic.
  19. 88
    For those gamers who only buy Madden as their one game a year, maybe this could be your favorite installment yet, but for everyone else, 2006 feels like a stutter step or experimental addition to the franchise that has failed to outdo itself for the first time in recent memory.
  20. Madden NFL 06 ultimately turns out to be a mixed bag of tricks, and your impression of it will likely depend on a few different things - not the least of which will be your previous experience with the series.
  21. This is still a great game and it is the only licensed NFL game out there whether you like it or not.
  22. While the inclusion of the vision cones and the concept of the Superstar mode were creative ideas, the actual implementation of the features ranged from inconvenient to improperly constructed.
  23. The new options certainly were needed but some may need to be tweaked a bit in future version to retain the true football gamers.
  24. The best addition, the QB Vision cones will is also a definite change that will at least warrant NFL fans this game a rent.
  25. No different from previous versions in terms of having much more pre-existing content than new, but the features introduced in this version make it worth a serious consideration from football game fans.
  26. At least the game makes you feel more like a quarterback than ever before, and that's reason enough for one hell of an end-zone celebration.
  27. Ultimately, Madden NFL 06 is a highly playable game of football, but in comparison with the leaps forward the franchise has made in previous years, 06 feels like a false start.
  28. A superb game that'll only alienate those who don't really get American football. As that's loads of people, we're unfairly knocking off a point. [Xbox World]
  29. The problem - Madden is merely good. If you're the only NFL game in town, Mr. EA, you better bring it in spades, not in drips. [Sept 2005, p.78]
  30. No matter what you think about the other players in this game, tip your helmet to the folks at Tiburon. They did their job and they did it well.
  31. But, and this is the worst of it, EA has once again cut the Live element from the European release, leaving Madden fans in the UK without the opportunity to play online. Why? As the best and only official NFL game for 2006, why drop such a huge element for European Live subscribers? [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  32. 80
    The big addition to the series, QB vision, is a love it or hate it proposition, and we're not convinced it even adds to the realism. Most of the other additions are the result of EA playing catch-up with the "NFL 2K" series.
  33. It doesn't all quite come up roses (QB Vision isn't all it's cracked up to be), but Madden, EA, and Tiburon still know how to produce a marvelous game of football.
  34. Unfortunately, the game's visuals don't have any noticeable improvements from the last game; it looks like Madden 06 uses the same graphics system from last season.
  35. Why risk changing an already perfect passing sytem? I guess when you're the only game in town, you can do what you want. [Oct 2005]
  36. 75
    While Madden NFL 06 has a few nice extras, for the most part, it feels like Madden 2005 Version 2.1. Sometimes being uncontested isn't such a good thing.
  37. Not the huge advancement many might expect from a new year and especially a year when they are the only game in town, but the game still plays solid, the rosters are updated, and the new modes may appeal to those coming over from the competition.
  38. With the Madden 360 version looming on the horizon, the swan song on the current Xbox is a solid game with some of the same old frustrations combined with some sharp new features.
  39. 70
    Tiburon have added a reasonable amount of new material for the 2006 edition of Madden, but we really feel as though they could have done more.

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