|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP||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|
Beyond the business of playing on the gridiron, the usual suspects of features are back. Family Play is back with its simpler controls for gamers with various amounts of experience or familiarity with Madden and the NFL. Franchise mode, the stalwart option for Madden diehards, is back in similar form with mostly cosmetic changes over any real game altering differences. The real downer is now the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions have online Franchise mode support. When nobody had it we all dreamed of it together, but now that it's out there PS2 users will undoubtedly opine for franchise competition with their friends online.
For a game with as much history and consistency as Madden has had on the PS2 platform, there are not many surprises for a gamer that is looking to make the purchase. With most games the question is, "Is this game worth the money for enjoyment?" In this case, 99% of gamers already know what is in this package and if it is for them. The real question here is, "Do I want to continue on my PlayStation 2 or save and upgrade to a newer console?" At $40, the PS2 version is certainly more affordable than the $60 for PS3 or Xbox 360 users. But as we are nearing the end of the PS2's cycle, it may be more prudent to invest for the future and save the $40 towards a new console, particularly with the recently announced PS3 Slim and price drop.
At a time when the focus is on the improvements and additions made exclusively on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, PS2 users can feel forgotten. Even the Wii version, as drastically different as it is, has received wholesale changes. Yet the PS2 version keeps on chugging away, doing what it's done while tweaking things as it goes. What it comes down to is this: if you're not the type who needs to "keep up with the Joneses", doesn't own a newer console nor has plans to do so anytime soon, then Madden 10 for the PS2 is a solid and respectable game that you'll undoubtedly enjoy. But if the PS3/Xbox 360 is on the horizon, hold off on Madden 10 until then; it's superior in every way and worth the twenty dollar price difference.
CCC Freelance Writer