COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: EA Sports Madden NFL 25 PS3 Review

Updated: 09/03/2013 1:32 PM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

Photo courtesy of EA Sports
Photo courtesy of EA Sports

It’s hard to believe that “Madden” NFL games have been around for 25 years.  “Madden” came out in 1988 on the PC and has been released on just about every video game console since.

It is amazing how the look and feel of “Madden” has changed over the years.

EA Sport’s “Madden NFL 25” is the best looking game yet in the series, and the graphics are so amazing it’s just like watching a real NFL broadcast.  The players look amazing and look so life-like.  The stadiums and fields are so detailed you would swear you were sitting in Minneapolis at Mall of America Field watching a game.

I also really enjoyed the in-game commentary by Phil Simms and Jim Nantz and thought it sounded great.

I was very impressed by how smoothly everything flowed with each game I played.   I didn’t come across any glitches or anything that slowed the game down at all.

There have been many improvements and new game features added to “Madden 25” that really add to the excitement and realism of the game.

One of the most noticeable new features is that you have more control as you are carrying the ball.  You can now spin, hurdle over players diving at your feet, you can truck and truck spin, and you can do a series of spin jukes.  You can also do a series of combo moves that will make your player dodge and break tackles.

The playbooks have been updated with 351 new plays, plus there have been 20 new formations added along with two new legend coach playbooks (Mike Ditka and Jimmy Johnson) and two new playbooks (pistol, run and shoot).

To be honest, I’m not very good at football games, and I am overwhelmed at all of the different plays.  One nice feature about “Madden 25” is that the computer will choose a play for you that would probably be the best one to do in a particular situation.  The more advanced players have the option to go through the entire playbook and pick out a play they think would be best.  I really liked that you had the option to do both.

The controls were pretty easy to learn.  There were so many new things to try and figure out like all of the new spins, straight arms and jukes and it did seem like a lot to remember, but after a while, I got the hang of everything.  One nice thing is that every so often, a menu would pop up and give you a tip on how to do a particular move in the game.  I thought that this was helpful. 

There is also a “skills trainer” mode where you can learn and practice passing, tackling, etc…  There is a very nice and easy to follow video tutorial explaining the moves and then you have to do it.  You are given medals on how well you do in the training. 

There are so many different game options that you can play in “Madden 25” that will keep you entertained for quite a while.

The “Connected Franchise” mode is back and has been improved.   There are three different modes you can play.  You can choose to play player, coaches or owner franchise.”  In the connected franchise mode, you can now gain XP faster so you can upgrade your players and team faster.  You can also play as legendary players, legendary coaches and legendary owners.  Some of the coaches and players that are available are: Randall Cunningham, Barry Sanders, Mike Ditka, William “Refrigerator” Perry, plus many more.

The owner franchise mode is awesome.  You get total control of everything.  You get to control the day-to-day operations of owning a professional team.  You can determine concessions and ticket prices; you can build new stadiums in new towns and move your team to a different location.  You can choose how to market your team and how to address media.  It is such a great feature and really gives the “Madden” games a new unique way to play.  I really like that.

One neat feature of Franchise mode is that you can upload a picture of yourself to the EA Sports website and you can use your image for a player, coach or owner.  This can be done by linking your PSN account with your EA Sports account.

“Madden Ultimate Team” is another game mode and this is awesome. You get to choose a team captain and then you can build your team by using the players you have available. You can unlock new players for your team by buying packs of trading cards. Whatever players you get in the pack of cards is the players you can add to your team.  To get the packs of cards you need to use your experience points that you earn by completing challenges and by winning games.  I really liked this a lot because it adds the excitement of buying trading cards and also the whole fantasy football element. 

The online is great.  I was able to connect to many different games easily and never had any disconnection issues.  I played about 10 to 15 games online and not once did I have any lag or glitches, which was nice.

Another new feature of “Madden 25” is that you can now share your own rosters and playbooks with other people from around the world.  You can upload them to the server and people can download them to use and they can also rate them.  You can also look and see which rosters and playbooks are the most popular amongst players.

Overall, I really enjoyed EA Sports “Madden 25” a lot.  There are so many different game modes and new features to play such as the Owner Franchise mode and the Madden Ultimate Team. The online is great and fun to play.  I also really liked that you can share your roster and playbooks with other players.  I thought the controls were easy to learn and the games flowed smoothly.  If you are a fan of “Madden” or football games, I would highly recommend that you check out “Madden 25.”

Aaron Chalich is a columnist with KSTP.com writing about the latest entertainment news.