Next-gen graphics only go so far – changes to Madden 25's play make control tougher, though it's still good football.
You'll notice some new things in here, but it's not radically different
The definitive versions of Madden NFL 25 excel on subtlety.
All the features from the previous versions of Madden 25 make it into the next-gen, but the upgrades you get with this version aren't that significant.
Outside of instant replays, Madden NFL 25 won't impress the average player on PlayStation 4, as the game's normal play mode doesn't always show off the next-generation graphics. Improved physics and player AI change how the game is played on a fundamental level, making it more realistic, so veteran players will need a period of adjustment. Unlike previous console launch versions of Madden, Madden NFL 25 on PS4 keeps all the extra modes you've come to expect from the series.
Madden NFL 25 is certainly a good foundation for EA to build upon, but some work needs to be done on the player models, the gameplay visuals and the collision physics before a future Madden title can become a true and realistic simulation.
Like we mentioned in our current-gen review, Madden NFL 25 comes across as little more than a stop-gap before the big improvements hit in one or two years time. And the next-gen version is a slightly better playing iteration, with visuals that are more detailed but still flawed. Overall, fans of the series will like how EA Sports has leveraged the power of the next-gen systems, but the casual consumer is better served waiting till the franchise makes more sweeping changes.
Madden NFL 25 is a ton of fun on its own, but certainly not worth the double dip. If you held out this long, go ahead and grab it. All the features are there, and if you have Xbox One (or both machines) CoachGlass is worth it on that system alone.
If you own Madden 25 on current generation systems, you could wait until next year but that could also be a mistake as Madden 25 on the Xbox One feels like a considerable leap over the current generation game. It may be the biggest leap we have seen in the franchise yet.
Occasionally aggravating controls and careless AI aside, the action is largely slick and intense – although some out of place commentary and server issues let the experience down. This is still a strong purchase for fans of the sport, but waiting until the bugs are inevitably ironed out would be highly advised.
The running game is traditional, and NFL enthusiasts will dig into the experience with a gridiron fist. The common issues with past Madden games still linger, but the pros are beginning to outweigh the cons for the first time in a while.
A superb and detailed imitation of TV football, an occasionally exciting gameplay experience, and what can feel like an exercise in monetisation from EA.
Madden NFL 25 doesn't quite herald in the next generation of football, but it is a much more competent debut.
While the announcing for the game is pretty much the same, the in-game atmosphere is hands down the best it has ever been in a Madden title. The crowds of the stadiums will actually react to what is going on within the game itself. If you are a visiting team and are dominating the home team, the camera will show audience people leaving the stadium in disappointment. Home teams that get a critical big play that results in a crucial first down or touchdown will cause the crowd to erupt in excitement. This adds a lot to the overall feeling in the stadiums as you are playing it, and just immerses gamers that much more.
Madden's debut release onto next-gen is impressive and a solid first step.
Don't get even, get Madden.
The improvements are tangible all over the field, but not enough were made to qualify Madden 25(PS4) as an all-time classic just yet.
Is it everything I expected it to be? Yes and no. It plays a lot better than some previous years and there's a good amount of features and game modes to keep you busy until next year, which I fully expect to make huge strides in every aspect of the game.
For the average fan, Madden 25 on Xbox One offers little in the way of upgrades, making it hard to justify dropping another $120 for the game. On the other hand, for the hardcore Madden player (and I know there are a lot of you in New Zealand), the improved realism offered by some of the mechanical changes under the hood make this a hard game to pass up.
One of the biggest complaints about Madden is that the game basically does the same thing every year. This next-gen iteration doesn't carry enough innovation to counter that argument. However, this new Madden perfects the classic formula. With the best visuals for the series ever, and near-flawless gameplay aided by powerful hardware, Madden 25 for the PS4 will satisfy Madden aficionados and casual sports gamers alike.