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Madden NFL 09 - Madden NFL 09

By Stuart Andrews



  • Recommended by TR
Madden NFL 09


Our Score:


Long-time Madden aficionados will probably notice a range of enhancements that went right over my head, but the one you can't miss is the BackTrack feature. US sports are notoriously obsessed with post-play analysis and statistics, and BackTrack reflects this with an annotated blow-by-blow look at the last play where commentator Cris Collingwood not only takes you through what you did but also what you might have done.

Again, it's a solid teaching tool that helps you work out where you're going wrong and how to fix it. Weather effects have been improved, too, including some very impressive snow, and Madden now follows FIFA in having an interactive celebration feature, where you can choose how your player handles their self-congratulatory boogie in the endzone.

Needless to say, there's a ridiculous amount of depth here. You can play individual games or take a team through the superbowl – complete with some fairly in-depth management options – but you can also create a player (using EA's established 'GameFace' technology) then take him through the college draft via a series of mini-games before signing up with an agent with the aim of catapulting him into the big league.

You can choose to handle as much or as little of the management and player transfer side as you wish, cut down the superbowl to its minimum or enjoy the whole season in all its stages: the choice is yours. And that's possibly the best thing about Madden 09; it gives new players or the less hardcore fan a way in, but doesn't take anything away from the more committed American Football nut. Miraculously, this even extends to online play. Even with the Madden IQ stuff I couldn't hope to win a game against experienced Madden players, but I certainly didn't get as much of a kicking as I expected (and probably deserved).

EA might not have been able to soften out Madden's steep learning curve altogether – and it's unlikely that anyone with zero interest in American football will have their mind changed – but this is still the most accessible and enjoyable video game take on the sport yet seen. That might not be enough to put it up there with Virtua Tennis 3 in my personal pantheon of gaming greats, but it's more than enough to make it an easy TR Recommended.


By making Madden more accessible, EA has created an American football sim that's almost good enough to convert the uninterested. Well worth trying.

Overall Score


sam 1

August 20, 2008, 5:44 pm

I agree that American Football is a great sport, but this is not a good representation of it. The last NFL game I bought was ESPN NFL2K5 on the PS2 by 2K Games.

It was an outstanding game, unfortunately, it was also the last NFL game that 2K produced as the following year EA paid the NFL a vast sum of money for exclusive NFL rights.

I hadn't bought another NFL game until I bought Madden 09 last week. I assumed that being 4 years newer, and on a next gen console that it would much better than 2K5.

I was wrong, I thought Madden 09 was extremely poor, with jerky graphics and animation, and weak presentation. The game runs too fast, and there is no 'feel' like in 2K5. I really didn't feel as though I was playing the game, making tackles etc. It all felt very artificial.

Finally, for a next gen game, even the graphics aren't much better than that on 2K5. Certainly not the animation, stadiums and crowd. Maybe textures and facial features, but nothing else.

If you want a real NFL game, try and find 2K5 and dig out your PS2 / Xbox. I have just ordered All-Pro Football 2K8, which is apparently 2K5 without the NFL licence. Its a shame, but I'll take gameplay over 'official licencing' anyday.

The best way to sum it up is that 2K5 is Pro Evo to Madden 09's Fifa (maybe not the last Fifa though - that was quite good for a change)


August 20, 2008, 8:58 pm

A good review of a game I would never have thought of buying. However, I still remain unconverted to American Football.. nice try though (spot then pun..? yeh yeh, I know its called a touchdown)

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