Once upon a time, video games based on (American) football were incredibly popular. Sports games were resigned to a rather limited set of genres and you could count on the fact that there would be at least one NFL-flavored game out there among packs of new releases. Of the many franchises which have brought gamers the sort of football action they crave, the Madden series is perhaps the most widely known and respected. Needless to say, Madden NFL 25 is certainly good enough to win the admiration of gamers – perhaps even those who don’t even care for football, per se.
This being the 25th installment in the series, developer EA Tiburon saw fit to give fans some choices. In other words, just like with the FIFA series, Madden NFL 25 has also been released on not just the PS4 and Xbox ONE, but also the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well. Naturally, the PS4 / XBONE versions are absolutely stunning, featuring an all-new engine (Ignite) as well as enhanced gameplay. In short, this is the football game that you have probably been waiting for, especially if you’re already deeply invested in the Madden series.
Again, thanks to the Ignite engine, this installment is cleaner, sharper and more detailed than ever before. Now we’re actually being treated to realistic-looking stadium crowds, for example, with loads more models available. Likewise, the players themselves look much more realistic, and this also includes their movements both during and after plays. The general feel or sensation you get from playing Madden NFL 25 is one that’s somewhat analogous to watching a match on TV, although in this case you are directly interacting with the on screen action. You’ll really feel the energy in a packed stadium, especially when you’re pushing through that last play of the game.
The Ignite engine also supplies the fuel for enhanced, more realistic physics and computer A.I. as well. In all honesty, these two facets alone should be enough to entice most gamers to check this title out – with the game taking on a more natural feel in terms of ball movement as well as the reactions of computer-controlled players. Of course the core elements of the Madden gameplay experience remain relatively untouched, although it has clearly been enhanced. This new engine also allows for more equitable and realistic players with regards to their stats. In other words, the relative speeds and sizes of players actually matter, with this becoming more apparent as you progress.
Hands down, this is the game that a lot of dedicated Madden / football fans have been waiting for. It’s nice to see that EA has taken the time to offer gamers a more refined experience as well as a staggering amount of content at one base price, especially when you consider the fact that the PS4 version contains all the stuff in the PS3 edition, plus some additional features. If you’re an American football fan or sports aficionado, you’re definitely going to want to pick this one up.
Rating - 9.2
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