Nothing captivates sports fans and gamers alike more than the Madden franchise. With Madden 15 having already hit shelves, there has been no shortage of opinions regarding the new video game.
There are plenty of people who buy Madden on a yearly basis regardless of how the game changes from one year to the next. With Madden officially making the jump to next-gen consoles Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this year, though, the changes are more obvious than they have been in quite some time.
Here is a closer look at some of the most comprehensive and relevant reviews from across the web along with overall scores and ratings for Madden 15.
Brett Molina (USA Today)
There are several Madden 15 features that jump out at Brett Molina of USA Today, but he is particularly impressed by the transition to next-gen consoles. Molina felt as though Madden's last similar transition didn't go very well, but he believes things are much different this time around.
Fortunately, the shift to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has gone more smoothly, as shown with the release of Madden NFL 15. Unlike those early releases for console predecessors PS3 and Xbox 360, this year's NFL video game boasts stunning looks, impressive depth and mostly consistent action on the field.
Molina admits that Madden 15 didn't undergo a massive overhaul in terms of gameplay, but he isn't disappointed due to the fact that moving to the next gen was a tall task in its own right.
With that said, the gameplay isn't a complete carryover from last year. In fact, a major change was made from a defensive perspective. A vision cone has been added for would-be tacklers, giving players the option to play it safe or go for a big hit.
Gamers also have more options in pre-snap situations than ever before on both sides of the ball. Molina also cites several other minor improvements that make the entire package more palatable for gamers.
While Molina acknowledges that even more can be done to enhance the gaming experience in future editions, he is happy enough with the finished product to give it a rating of 3.5/4.
Matthew Kato (Game Informer)
Much like Molina, Matthew Kato of Game Informer provides a largely positive review of Madden 15. Although he does point out a few potential flaws that he would like to see rectified moving forward, he seems to be of the belief that this year's edition of Madden is the best in recent memory.
One of his favorite aspects is what he considers to be an improved passing game. Many seem to think that passing has gotten more difficult, but Kato views it as a fun challenge that helps keep gamers engaged throughout.
Quarterbacks have better passing controls at their disposal, allowing you to throw away from defenders, and even though Madden 15 has varied its incomplete passes, the passing game is a fun challenge. Sidelines pull like magnets, receivers slide into catches, and they still don't fight for the ball enough, but the concentration needed to be a successful passer had me laser focused from down to down, and I liked it.
For those who continue to struggle with finding rhythm in the passing game, EA Sports Madden NFL on Twitter released a tutorial video to help gamers out:
Along with that, Kato likes the implementation of skills-trainer drills in order to improve both offensively and defensively from a strategic standpoint. In that regard, Madden 15 is arguably more in tune with the X's and O's of football than any of its predecessors.
By and large, Kato is satisfied with the game and gave it a solid rating of 8/10.
Alex Rubens (IGN)
Among the most notable people to review Madden 15, Alex Rubens of IGN.com may be the most positive. His outlook is essentially glowing, and that relates primarily to the defensive enhancements, as well as the new play-calling system.
Like Molina, Rubens enjoys the tackling advancements, and he is also a big fan of the new camera angles that provide a different defensive perspective than ever before.
As for the play-calling, Rubens likes the way that it uses statistics, tendencies and personnel to generate sensible play suggestions.
EA Sports Madden NFL on Twitter points out that the new play-calling is basically tailored to the thinking man's gamer and football fan:
Because of the close attention that EA Sports has paid to those particular aspects of the game, Rubens is quite bullish when it comes to Madden 15.
The increased emphasis on defensive play, a great new play-calling system, and the return of long-time favorites makes this year's Madden one of the best in recent memory, even if it could still use work in regards to its stale commentary and longstanding bugs. As a lifelong Madden and football fan, I'm impressed. This year's game is both exciting and reassuring that EA Sports isn't wasting opportunities to improve the series.
Overall, Rubens labels the game as "great" and scores it 8.7/10.
The prevailing thought seems to be that Madden 15 is a success in terms of transitioning to the next-gen consoles, and the developers have made a concerted effort to make positive changes in several areas.
In addition to the obvious aesthetic improvements, Madden 15 provides a renewed emphasis on defense, a more engaging passing game and a more complex play-calling system. All of these factors are things that should have football purists jumping for joy.
Madden 15 takes simulation football to another level, and it should serve as a fantastic building block as EA Sports continues to fine tune the Madden franchise with each passing year.
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