By: Stephen Duetzmann, editor in chief
ESRB Rating – E for Everyone
Release Date – 08/27/2013
Reviewed for PS3, available for Xbox 360
The NFL season is upon us and with is, has come this year’s installment of the perennial Madden series. This is one of the longest running franchises in video game history and it shows no signs of stopping. If your family enjoys football, then it is inevitable that this game will find its way onto your child’s wish list at some point.
The developers set the goal of creating an authentic experience NFL experience and they have succeeded. Playing the game FEELS like you are watching a game on television. It’s not perfect; there are some weird graphical glitches that are inevitable when you have that any characters moving around on one screen. Some of the commentary by Jim Nance and Phil Simms can get… repetitive if you play more than a few games in a row also.
There are several modes of play for your family to enjoy. The most prominent mode of play is called “Connected Careers” and allows players to play as either a user created player, a coach, or an owner. All three of these options offer their own unique game play challenges. I know that my sons enjoyed calling plays and watching me execute them. I had to rush them along to deal with the play clock a few times, but that was part of the fun of it all!
The Owner mode provided even more decisions for me to let them make. They could set concession stand and ticket prices and then watch the impact. It wasn’t super robust, it wasn’t the best economic simulator I have ever seen, but it was an interesting little experiment.
Overall, I enjoyed my family’s time with the game.
Family Gaming Assessment:
The good news about Madden 25 is that the game is designed to be an authentic Sunday afternoon TV experience. As a result, there is very little to be concerned about.
That all goes out the window if you decide to let your child play online. EA Sports has no way of screening players so you could end up exposing them to some crazy stuff. This is why I usually recommend avoiding online multiplayer in these types of games.
The key factor that needs to be considered when purchasing a Madden game for your child is that this is a simulation. The developers are building this game to try and recreate an authentic football experience. They don’t pull punches on difficulty here. The controls are complex, and, unless your child has a firm grasp of American football rules, they will probably struggle with it.
Players should be very familiar with how to hold a controller and use it. Every button on the face of the controller will be used at one point or another. If they don’t know how to hold the controllers properly, then this game is a nightmare to play.
There isn’t much reading in this game per se, but play calling is a very difficult task if the player doesn’t really understand what the X’s and O’s mean.
If you are a fan of the NFL, then this game is worth a try. The simulation can be tough though, so I recommend grabbing it from a Redbox for a rental first.