It’s hard to believe that the Madden NFL franchise is already 25 years old, as those who have been following the yearly game should distinctly remember playing it on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, though it actually debuted in 1988 for the PC.
It hasn’t always been great, but the 90s produced some great titles, and despite a few rough patches in the 2000s, has returned to glory without question since the 2009 iteration, thanks in large part to some new technology that have improved both gameplay and presentation.
For Madden NFL 25, gamers will notice a few upgrades, albeit not any huge changes, but still a solid entry in the series that does improve upon Madden NFL 13.
While the next-gen versions are on their way in November, the current-gen versions still look pretty darn good, thanks to the Infinity Engine 2, which makes players look quite realistic, while the tackling feels more unique. Though Madden NFL 13 utilized some really nice physics, Madden NFL 25 polishes things up as you don’t see as many noticeable blunders with defensive ends twitching or collapsing like dolls. EA tweaked the engine it seems, to more or less get things right.
One of the biggest differences in this year’s game is the improvements to the running game. Running backs can chain moves such as stiff arms, spins and jukes to create some really cool maneuvers that can earn players a few extra yards. There’s also a new feature called Precision Modifier that essentially powers up a specific stat for superstar athletes, such as breaking a tackle like a champ or jumping higher over players.
Of course, all of the game’s modes are back again this year though in Franchise mode, you can now play as the owner, which lets you control the stadium, the team’s staffs and ticket prices, among others. You can even elect to move a team to another city, which I did when I moved the Raiders back to Los Angeles.
Madden Ultimate Team is also back, which is like a season that you play online, while collecting and trading cards, that unlock players for your team. Team Chemistry is a feature that returns for that mode, which unlocks boosts if you team up players that complement each other, which adds to the strategy of it all.
Easily one of the coolest things about the game is the presentation itself, which makes you feel like you’re watching a telecast on Sunday. The commentating team of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz is great, with spot-on commentary that felt natural, though I do wish there was even more commentary recorded, especially for those long or multiple seasons. I’d also like to see some newer touchdown celebrations added, as they’re beginning to feel recycled, and can hopefully be addressed with the upcoming next-gen versions.
For those most part though, Madden NFL 25 is another solid game, that while not a perfect experience, still manages enough tweaks and updates that should keep longtime fans happy.
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5