Publisher: EA | Developer: Tiburon
Playing this edition of Madden was our second opportunity to take a look at the finalised Ignite engine running a sports game and much like FIFA there are some discernible enhancements to enjoy. Unlike FIFA however it doesn’t look like there’s as much of a leap going on in this game.
There are some mild graphical improvements that pop through. For instance, the crowds look a little nicer and the stadiums in general have a few extra details. Textures are perhaps a little more detailed too, but character models don’t seem greatly improved and while the addition of a full sideline with coaches is nice, there’s still something a little off about their models and movement. If we had to guess we’d say it’s because they used the same animations or models of the players, which without pads doesn’t work. It’s a small detail, but it’s something that pulls you out of the immersion Tiburon has been attempting to get right here.
The minute-to-minute game remains very strong for the most part. Improved AI for the offensive and defensive lines means you see lots of excellent reactions on the field and you get really good protection as a quarterback for making a pass. That said, the right pressure and move can still be used to break through and grab the sack if you’re smart and persistent enough.
As has been the case for many years though, it’s the running game that feels like it has the most nuance and improvement in Madden 25. Patient progression up the field, spotting the hole in the lines and breaking through is as satisfying as ever. The way players can ride challenges and seemingly improvise movement is fantastic and looks incredibly realistic. This would be a great leap forward, if it didn’t also feel like it took a little of the control of your player from your hands.
The fight for possession in the lines, the speed of the game and all the usually strong elements of Madden stand tall as ever. Of the new additions, the relatively throwaway SmartGlass support for Coachglass is a lot of fun, but doesn’t really add much to the equation. It’s worth a play with, but it’s not really a game changer. And as you would expect from a 25th anniversary game there are plenty of cool modes and throwbacks to Madden history to please anyone who has been following the series.