Madden NFL 10 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PS2 | PSP
Madden NFL 10 box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Tiburon 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 14, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

All in all, I love Pro-Tak, but it does seem to skew gameplay more towards those who prefer to execute a West Coast offense. I've always tended to use running as my bread and butter to set up the deep ball - this year I found myself passing on first down and setting up lots of draw plays and counters. The new physics have had a great effect on gameplay - mostly to the player's benefit, though there are some who will find the running game somewhat hampered. Hopefully next year greater balance will be struck.

Madden NFL 10 screenshot

Controls in Madden have always been really precise. Building on that precision, the development team has apparently slowed down the action just enough to put even more control into the hands of the player. Rather than relying solely on flawless knowledge of the button layout and then reacting appropriately with twitch reflexes, players now have just a bit more time to see the play develop. This makes angles of approach on defense and the execution of the running game more accessible and integral. Controls in Madden NFL 10 are the best they've ever been, and that's saying a lot.

In addition to standard exhibition play, the devs at Tiburon worked extensively on honing the Franchise Mode in Madden NFL 10. According to EA, "over the past few years it [Franchise Mode] had not received the amount of improvements" the developers wanted. Considering this is the most played single-player feature in the entire game, it's good to know that it has been overhauled. The new Franchise Mode is as robust as always, but the new gameday, half-time, and around the league presentations draw the player deeper into the game than ever before. Also, deep features such as custom draft classes, franchise upgrade bonuses, and better out-of-game CPU logic make building a franchise more realistic and engaging. I also really liked the way drafted players grow under your tutelage exponentially in their first few years as professionals. This really makes it feel like you're leaving your mark on the team.

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Outside of single- and local multiplayer, a couple important online additions keep the series' sticks moving forward in terms of multplayer action. For starters, the Online Franchise mode allows up to 32 players to join in on the action. Online Franchise features live drafts and player transactions, and league message boards which can be managed via your console, PC, or even through an iPhone/iPod Touch app launching on August 18, 2009. For the first time ever, online co-op has been introduced to the Madden frnachise. Unfortunately, the tweaked camera views and occasional glitches make this a less interesting prospect than it otherwise could've been. Nevertheless, it's nice that the option has finally come about despite its shortcomings.

Bottom-line? As it was with all of the game's recent predecessors, there isn't a substantial need for casual fans to upgrade to Madden NFL 10. If you're content with the version you already have, you can get by without picking this one up on day one. Nevertheless, it is definitely an outstanding game - the best the series has ever seen. A great technical foundation has been laid with this year's outing, and true Madden fans will appreciate the package EA has put together. Likewise, if you've patiently waited for a true next-gen football title, now's the time to pull out your wallet.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
5.0
Graphics
Minor framerate issues can't really hold this game's visuals back. The reactive animations and upgraded physics are the best we've seen.
4.5
Control
Smooth as can be. The slightly slowed down gameplay allows the play to develop. While passing is improved, the running game seems to have suffered a bit.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack is of very high quality and Madden and Collinsworth are a star pairing. Too bad the aural presentation takes a big dip when Charles and Flanagan pop up.
4.5
Play Value
This is a great game of football with countless hours of content both off and online. My only real quip is that a bit more balance needs to be struck next year in terms of running and passing.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Pro-Tak: This all new animation technology provides unprecedented control over the outcome of every play. Drag defenders towards the first down marker, including up to 9-man gang tackles, fight for a fumble at the bottom of the pile, and evade the rush with all-new quarterback avoidance actions. Enhanced play at the line of scrimmage features a new blocking system that allows the quarterback to step into the pocket and gives the defensive line more control over the rush.
  • Unprecedented Authenticity: Referees peeling players off a fumble pile, the chain gang rushing in to measure for a key first down, and all-new player equipment ensure that if you see it on Sunday, you'll see it in Madden NFL 10.
  • Fight for Online Dominance: Delivering the most comprehensive online offerings in franchise history, Madden NFL 10 includes new modes to satisfy the competitive and cooperative football gamer. More details coming soon!
  • The Emotion of the NFL: New TV broadcast-style presentation and cinematic cameras bring the suspense and intensity of the NFL to your living room.More details coming soon!
  • Enhanced Franchise Mode: Run each aspect of an NFL franchise: draft players, sign free agents, manage the salary cap - just like a real GM. Enjoy all of the action throughout the league via a new, network inspired highlight show.More details coming soon!
  • Madden NFL Your Way: The most customizable version of Madden NFL to date! Alter gameplay options to adjust the experience to your liking. A revamped play calling system and menu takes you to kickoff faster than ever before. Speed up online matches with accelerated clocks, streamlined presentation and more.


  • Screenshots / Images
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