The Madden franchise celebrates 25 years with “Madden 25”

Video game reviews
Courtesy of MCT

Having hit the shelves just a few weeks before kickoff, “Madden 25” gives football fans the action they were craving all summer. “Madden 25” celebrates 25 years of the Madden video game franchise and has many special features to commemorate the journey of sports-based gaming.

Having only played “Madden 13” briefly, I wasn’t sure if I would notice many differences between the two. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I didn’t have the urge to throw my controller anymore because of the improved fluidity of the movements and improved control you have over the players.

The new game expands gameplay action with the Infinity Engine 2, removing glitches that were present in “13” and adding new tackling animations. One particularly fun feature is the “run free” option that offers ultimate control to the player, with controls to adjust acceleration, hurdling dives and stiff arms. Instead of just running forward, the player decides the course of action for the best chance at a touchdown.

The “connected career” mode has been renamed “Connected Franchise,” and offers more than just the player and coach options of previous games. There is now the option to play in “owner mode,” where one has the ability to move the team to a new location, improve the venue and raise ticket prices, all in the name of improving the franchise.

This type of flexibility is not often seen in video games. Madden allows the gamer to choose exactly how they want to play. If one chooses the “player” mode, they will follow that individual player throughout the season. If “coach” mode is chosen, the player gets overall control of the team as well as multiple players.

Because “25” is a celebration game, there is a new team, called “All-25 Team,” featuring the game’s favorite players throughout the years. This team gets a rating of 99 percent rating (the highest in the game) and has a roster full of strong players. Football fans will already know this, but for those who don’t, the skills of the NFL teams in the game are only as good as their real-life counterparts.

That means that some team ratings have gone up or down based on the last football season. For example, in “Madden 13” the San Francisco 49ers had an 89 percent rating and when “Madden 25” was released they had a rating of 91.

Multiplayer features allow online play against real opponents and improvement of skills as well as a co-op mode.

The game is exciting and feels like more than “just a sports game” for once. I would recommend purchasing this game even if it is just for the novelty of it. The loading screen features screenshots of previous “Madden” games, all the way back to the block figures that made up “John Madden Football,” released in 1990. It’s remarkable to see how far the games have come, making one appreciate the improvements even more.

Some will argue that it isn’t fundamentally different from “Madden 13” and that it’s not worth the $60, but any fan of the franchise that has played previous games will be able to see the differences. It is a great way to commemorate this powerful series of games and with 1 million copies sold in the first week, it’s looking like a winner!