Too many gamers jump right to the same old modes they know and love when they pick up a new sports video game. It's understandable, but they don't give themselves a chance to enjoy any of the new features a game might have to offer.
As a hardcore fan of franchise modes, I'm guilty of it. Gamers who simply love online play are probably guilty of it as well. Seeing as though you've probably paid your hard-earned money for a game, you owe it to yourself to explore a title a little.
When you get your hands on Madden 15, here's what you should do when you boot it up for the first time. You may not decide to stick to all or any of these options, but it's at least worth it to give each of them a look.
Play the Tutorial
Most experienced Madden gamers will scoff at this notion, but there's a reason the tutorial is recommended this year. There are actually a few new gameplay mechanics that will take a few repetitions to get used to.
Assistant producer Anthony White of EA Sports writes:
As the gameplay in Madden gets more realistic and authentic, the development team recognizes the need to teach our fans not only the core mechanics of the game, but also teach real-life football strategy and tactics.
One of the biggest is the way you control pass-rushers. This year, the process has been simplified, and it makes a lot more sense than in years past.
You simply engage the blocker with the R2 or RB button and use either the X (A) or square (X) button to make a move toward to quarterback.
You can also choose to stay engaged with the blocker in an effort to guide him in a direction that obstructs a ball-carrier. It also allows you to delay your commitment to a lane. It's one of the most subtle, yet sensible changes to gameplay the Madden team has made in a while.
This is just one of the new wrinkles you can get acclimated to by playing the tutorial.
Start a Connected Franchise
For hardcore franchise-mode guys, this suggestion is like preaching to the choir. For many, a franchise mode is the most important aspect of a sports video game. For some, it's something they never even touch.
While you may not be transformed into a franchise-mode guy or girl, it's cool to experience what it's like to run your own virtual football team for multiple seasons with a draft, trades, injuries and free agency.
Madden allows you to play the role of an owner, a coach or a single player. In Madden 25, I started a Connected Franchise with three teams, and I played a different role with each one.
It was probably the most fulfilling franchise-mode experience I've had in any of the recent Madden games.
Start an Ultimate Team
It took a long time for me to get into this mode, but this year I plan to be on board from the beginning. In case you're not exactly sure what it's all about, here's a brief explanation:
Ultimate Team blends the card-collecting phenomenon with the fantasy football craze and puts a controller in your hand as a means to have you participate in the action on the field.
Players are acquired by winning their virtual cards, and gamers are charged with managing their roster to put the best team on the field.
You can check out a deep dive into the mode in the video below.
Play at Least One Online Game
Some people are hesitant to play online.
There's several reasons for that: Jerks with cyber courage and potty mouths discourage decent people from wanting to play, server issues negatively impact the gaming experience, and some are intimidated by what they expect to be elite gamers who will crush them 44-0 in every game.
I can't tell you that you'll never encounter any of that stuff, but I can say that some of the best and most fun games I've ever played have been online.
There's nothing like going head-to-head against someone in another state. The competition gets cranked up to another level. Every gamer should have at least one of those games before they give up on the online experience altogether.
Follow Brian Mazique, the Sports Video Game Journalist on Twitter.