After 25 years of Madden NFL video games, we football lovers have had our fair share of triumphs and defeats. We’ve pounded the rock, slammed the hit stick, controlled the vision cone, and succumbed to Gameflow playcalling. We gridiron gamers have seen the Madden curse strike at the knees and careers of many a “season before” baller in what has become an eerie coincidence with real-world implications. Over the years, we’ve seen our game evolve from 8-bit obscurity to a near-perfect capturing of the on the field experience. Even through the hard times, the miscues, and the controversial changes, Madden has always been there, year after year, trying its best to be more than just a glorified roster update. With Madden NFL 25, EA Sports has finally struck the chord they have been seeking for a quarter century.
The Ultimate Team game mode is relatively unchanged, aside from the reintroduction of the Chemistry schemes. With Chemistry, Ultimate Team players can choose what style of offense and defense they want to play and make changes to their lineups based on the chemistry that certain player cards are set to. In addition, smart lineups by position can make your team especially deadly. Other modes, such as the Never Say Never Moments (the best moments from the year before and the current season, updated weekly), Online Head-to-Head, Practice, and Play Now are of course available. In addition, Madden 25 has a Skills Trainer that teaches players how to use the various new functions. It is an absolute must even for seasoned players and can yield Ultimate Team cards after completion. Each of these are pretty standard and unchanged from year to year, and nothing has been done to change it now. The EA Arena is a new addition that pits players against each other in online play for cash prizes. Lastly, a file-sharing function named Madden Share allows for quick browsing, uploading, and downloading of shared rosters, playbooks, sliders, and more.
With all of the great changes and smart moves made this year by EA Sports, Madden NFL 25 is a surprising success in nearly every facet of sports gaming. While there are still small issues that need to be worked out, Madden 25 is a vast improvement over the lackluster entries in the series over the past few years. The game simply delivers. With Madden 25 being such an outstanding release in a long list of yearly attempts, we should put aside our long-standing animosity with Electronic Arts and give them a thankful round of applause. It’s taken 25 years, but they may have finally got it right.