Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 100
    The defense upgrades bring a lot of welcome strategy to the game, and the new AI is simply superb. Its amazingly deep, well thought out franchise mode is the best I've ever seen, while the basic gameplay still can't be beat.
  2. 100
    The off-the-field interface is simple and intuitive, but even Madden veterans will need a little time to learn all the new defensive playmaker calls available before the snap.
  3. 100
    Madden remains the best in the business at presenting football plays. The playbook and playcalling interface in this year's game are clean, easy to read, and snap to use. [Sept 2004, p.96]
  4. In its 15th year, this well-oiled machine enters the 2005 season with one of the finest football games ever crafted. Raising the bar to an unheard of level, Madden 2005 is football at its very best. [Aug 2004, p.73]
  5. Madden NFL 2005 is probably the only game that I think deserves to charge more than it does. It's a game that will give you an entire year of fun in single player, multiplayer, online and off.
  6. Madden 2005's Franchise mode is unrivaled at any level by any game. The level of creativity that can be expressed in this game is amazing.
  7. 95
    I love certain aspects about ESPN, the presentation, VIP, the highlights, but when it comes down to it, the things I like best about Madden are its franchise mode and, most importantly, its gameplay. And in the end, isn't that what it's all about?
  8. Madden NFL 2005 doesn't really take this game to a whole new level but it does slightly rise above the amazing "ESPN NFL 2K5."
  9. In addition to all of the different defensive moves that you can make, EA Sports has improved the defensive A.I. The defensive is much more aggressive, and they really go after the ball. Some of the stupid mistakes that the A.I. has made in the past have been cut.
  10. 95
    Once you get sucked into Franchise Mode, you very well might not make it out.
  11. 95
    The coolest new [online] addition is the sports ticker. With it you can see the scores of your friend's games on the ticker as you're playing so you can quickly check the results of people on your Buddy List.
  12. The essentials of this game are near perfect.
  13. This is the greatest representation of the National Football League to hit the market thus far and the 2005 additions make the game even more value for money and interesting to play.
  14. Xbox users benefit immensely from the addition of online play, a feature that was noticeably absent from past games due to a tiff between Microsoft and EA.
  15. Personally, I really enjoy the authenticity and realism involved with Madden's superior AI and gameplay feel. The hardcore Madden fans will love the subtle tweaks, fixes and upgrades throughout the entire game.
  16. Easily the deepest version of the successful franchise yet. A radically expansive franchise mode and an incredibly reactive defensive control scheme combine to make one of the best updates to a football game to date.
  17. [Chris]: Madden just plays better than "ESPN." There. I said it. [Bryan]: No, Chris - It plays a LOT better. And and I'm not just talking about the improved defensive play (especially in the secondary) and, with a quick tap on the new Hit Stick, the bone-jarring tackles. It's how Madden replicates the style of play of actual NFL squads. [Sept 2004, p.94]
  18. If you must have only one NFL football game, I say spend the $50 on Madden NFL 2005. I think you will find yourself playing it for far longer than you would the $20 "ESPN NFL 2K5."
  19. 92
    Madden's game play gets better each year with new innovations and deeper franchise modes. This year the offense and defense are more balanced.
  20. It has a solid playbook and the football engine has to be the best out there.
  21. A little too much like last year's game...However, its defensive gameplay mechanics are more than enough to warrant that this is a must-play game if you're into football, and it's a lot more user-friendly than ESPN is.
  22. Madden's AI is generally solid, but still way too susceptible to an aggressive passing attack. [Sept 2004, p.82]
  23. Despite the fact that some areas feel reused from 2004, and for some inexplicable reason Xbox Live support was left out of the PAL version, there is no doubt that Madden 2005 deserves its reputation as one of the premier sport titles available. If you love NFL gaming, don't wait, grab Madden 2005 now.
  24. It actually offers less new material than "ESPN NFL 2K5", which struck a chord with its VIP system and Weekly Prep. However, Madden's gameplay is more consistent and more solid than ESPN's, especially in terms of playbook depth and passing, and ultimately that's what distinguishes the champ from the challenger.
  25. The defensive improvements and online leagues are a huge step in the right direction.
  26. Once again, a maravel of gaming. [Sept 2004, p.84]
  27. In many ways, Madden 2005 is just a bit too much like last year's Madden for comfort--but it's still a truly excellent game of football all around.
  28. 90
    It's not the best-looking of the football titles out there, but it's the most fun to play and compete with.
  29. Madden 2005 is a benchmark in football simulations, because for the first time, it implements a realistic, versatile, hard-hitting defensive game that will pin you to the chair like a 300lb tackle.
  30. Madden NFL 2005 is my favorite NFL football game of the year and it sacks "ESPN NFL 2K5" in the backfield for a loss. Not a huge loss though.
  31. Madden has a knack of making quantum leaps with each successive title. This new edition, however, breaks the streak. [Sept 2004, p.101]
  32. If you're willing to take a chance I'd say that you should bench Madden and take "NFL2K5" for a spin. In our opinion, it's the better football game this year.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. AdamV.
    Apr 29, 2005
    10
    04' was better, but still great.
  2. Arthur
    Apr 29, 2005
    10
    I've had this game since about when it came out, but I need to say something. This game is the best football you can play. Defensive I've had this game since about when it came out, but I need to say something. This game is the best football you can play. Defensive playmaker makes this the only football game you can completely control your D. The offense is the most balanced it has ever been. All you EA haters out there, try this game and you will never go back to the 2k series. Full Review »
  3. AdamL.
    Feb 11, 2005
    10
    Great game but ythey need to have more penalties and challenges in ranked games.