Like many others I have been a long time fan of the Madden football series. It has provided a chance for children and adults alike to live out their gridiron dreams and bring our favorite teams to the pinnacle of sports. For those of us who have been loyal fans of the series we have seen a disturbing trend over the past few years. There has been less and less added to the series, and more and more it seems like each new iteration is just a glorified roster update. I have said in the past that I am swearing off Madden and at those times I truly believed it. Playing Madden 25 was the last straw though. I don’t know what made me do it. I don’t know why I would have bought this game after so many years of disappointment, but I did and boy did I live to regret it.
I was in my local Gamestop looking for something new to play while I eagerly awaiting the release of GTA V. It was still a month away and I was itching for a new game. There wasn’t anything jumping off the shelf at me and in that moment of weakness I did it, I made the mistake of purchasing a full priced Madden title. I got home semi-excited and popped the game in. For the first couple of sessions I was having fun. There were some decent tweaks to the running game and it was nice to be controlling my favorite team with a new roster of players. However, I was probably 5 or 6 games into my first franchise season when it happened. The game started to show all of its ugly flaws and my hatred for the series started flowing back faster than I knew how to react to. Commentary was awful, the duo in the booth would make comments that weren’t even relevant to the action on the field and presentation glitches served to break the experience beyond repair. For example, it was my teams turn to take the field for the first time and the commentators were making comments about my quarterback, but it wasn’t my quarterback taking the field… it was my kicker. These things may seem small and unimportant to some players out there, but to me it was something that tore down the entire experience.
Maybe it’s me and this series is something that I have outgrown. Maybe it’s because I no longer have the big Madden gatherings at my house that allow me and my friends to showcase their skills. Maybe it’s because my gaming focus has shifted to more complex titles that have given me a set of expectations that the Madden series simply cant live up to. Should I try to look past these issues and enjoy the title the way I used to? To me the answer to all of these questions is not as simple as yes or no. Why is it acceptable for Madden to coast by year to year and sell tons of copies just because they’re the only NFL game on the market? Why is it acceptable for fans of the series to just blindly and routinely buy this title year after year simply because they’ve always had the newest version of the game? To me, none of these things are acceptable and I am taking a stand! Until EA and the Madden series as a whole can show that they care enough about their fans to put together a product worthy of a full-retail price tag, I am done. This time I am serious, I am swearing off Madden!
Yes the series has failed to completely blow the doors off, but try this. Any sports title is going to feel stale if you play it year to year. They simply dont have the resources to make a genre breaking game every year, the development cycle doesnt lend its self to that. I rotate my sports games. One year I get MLB, then the next I try NBA then ill go madden. When you take time off from the franchises you get to appreciate how they progress.
I love Madden 25. I havent played since Drew Breese was on the cover, whatever year that was. I am having a blast with this years game. There are far to many game hours for commentary to keep up. I always listen to music when I play these games anyway. I play the crap out a game, try every mode. Then I take a break for a year or two. Really helps keep it fresh. How much more can we expect out a sports franchise anyway? They’ve done a lot. Im just glad Madden 25 is a culmination of all those advances.