When a franchise hits its 25th year, it should shelve the run-of-the-mill release until year 26 and roll out something truly transformative. EA Sports clearly had time to prepare.
Sadly, for yet another year, we usher in a Madden game that lacks the innovation even a new gamer to the series would want to see. Considering the level of stupidity the defenses have operated on in this game for the past few years, making it even easier to score highlight-reel touchdowns wouldn't top anyone's list of must-haves for the next incarnation of this game.
No one will argue that Madden remains the best football simulation ever created (not that it has any real competition). The on-field action remains strong, if at times ridiculous with how high the scores can get unless you kick up the difficulty level.
The usual modifications to the visuals make the game look and feel more authentic, and last year's addition of the Infinity Engine has now had time to become the standard -- and it makes controlling players more fluid and realistic, even if the tackling starts looking weird after a season of playing.
The menus still lack cohesion and make navigating around a chore. Madden NFL 25 is worth owning if you are someone who just has to buy the latest in the franchise. But for such a big anniversary, EA could have unleashed a truly transcendent football game. Instead, we just get more of the same.
RATING E for Everyone
PLOT Are you ready for some football?
DETAILS Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $59.99
BOTTOM LINE More of a field goal than a touchdown