The Madden NFL gaming franchise is one of the longest and most storied sports series in the history of video games.
For more than thirty years, fans have been treated to a plethora of Madden games. While some are better than others, the Madden franchise can always be counted on to offer a solid football simulator experience for players.
While the series has not seen the same highs as it produced in the 2000s, the selection of games between 2010 and 2019 has a few notable winners.
We will break down and offer critiques to every version of Madden that is on the list, and then rank them best to worst based on our opinion.
I will be the first to acknowledge that Madden NFL 25 is not a perfect football game.
However, the overall package and the satisfaction you will get from game to game is so massively genuine and makes the game so much to play.
If you’re willing to overlook its flaws and realize that it’s about as good as it gets for virtual football, then you’re guaranteed to have some fun with it.
While Madden 10 came out on the previous generation of consoles, we can’t deny its status as one of the best Madden games between 2010 and 2019. As a matter of fact, many critics believe that this is the best game of the franchise.
It took the number two spot on our list due to its enhancements in terms of player collisions, tacking, animations, and authenticity on the field in general. Along with the plethora of content available in various game modes, Madden 10 shows players how the franchise looks when it shoots all cylinders.
Coming in third, Madden 16 is one of the most groundbreaking games of the whole series.
Introducing numerous gameplay improvements that focused on passing game, defense, and penalties. The air Supremacy feature revolutionizes passing and catching from both sides of the ball with the new user and AI mechanics.
There is also a new multiplayer capture interactive system with over 400 new two-player capture animations with different results. In the past, players had only one option for catching the ball. Now there are three different types of catch to choose from: the RAC (race after catch), the Aggressive Catch, and the Catch Possession.
On defense, you can choose the play ball (Ball Hawk) option to take the more of an aggressive route to the ball or the new Play Receiver option. Madden NFL 16 delivers the most dramatic tackles in franchise history with a new, fully organic, physics-based gang tackling system.
They have also listened to hardcore simulation fans, that have been asking for realistic penalties for years, and penalties will play a bigger part than ever before. In addition to several new penalties, they have updated all pre-existing penalties and placed a system to control the frequency of penalties.
What the players loved most about this addition to the franchise was the tight rope it walked between providing a hardcore football simulator experience while still being accessible to new fans.
Madden 11 made major changes to the game’s execution and reception aspect, which became the gold standard for the franchise. With the addition of Game Planning and Game Flow, Madden 11 became innovative and helped to, literally, change the game.
Madden 17 was not a revolutionary addition to the franchise, but EA Sports did an excellent job of polishing all aspects of the game.
From the structure of gameplay, Madden 17 scored a notable improvement in the series’s common flaws, as a balance between attack and defense.
At the time, Madden NFL 13 did something that the franchise had not done in a while, leading up to its release; It made the player want to keep playing the game.
Despite a few small problems, Madden NFL 13 is the best version of the same base game in years.
But these changes never exceed what one would expect on an annual basis. And although the aesthetic has been improved, the basic gameplay lacks the dynamic changes that make the true sport so exciting to watch. Madden NFL 13 is definitely enjoyable, but the shortage of evolution is more noticeable as each season goes on.
While this game in the franchise did not redefine the Madden experience, it does take full advantage of the PS4/ Xbox One’s graphical power. Madden 19 takes the series’ technical, realistic details to a whole new level.
The “Real Player Motion” feature creates an experience that is less like player control and more like life itself. The realistic animations and moves that players interact with each other are as close to the actual NFL as Madden has achieved so far.
This is the first time since Madden NFL 10 when I realized that all I want to do is play the game. It’s not because of a career-mode roleplay device or a clever collection of uniform options.
It’s because the gameplay is focused on improving my knowledge and skills instead of accommodating or minimizing the absence of it.
The blocking course took a critical hit the year before, and instead of bolting on a solution such as “steering,” a lead blocker. They improved on that mistake, which created running possibilities as reliable ways to run through holes at the line of scrimmage that you could exploit in critical moments in the game, and especially on winning drives or game-tying drives.
Madden 12 introduces new features in franchise mode that enhanced the game mode experience as a whole.
The players enjoyed a faster free agent bidding process, which created more tension during the cuts in the team’s formation.
While this game has offered many improvements on almost all sides of the game, they are minor and do not have a good effect on the entire game.
As a result, the reviews on Madden 12 do not withstand the other games this decade.
There are some nice things about Madden 21. The Yard sounds like a breath of fresh air. The new gameplay mechanisms to run the ball and play the defensive line really work fine. And the X-Factor capabilities add goals to the game and allow elite players to break away from regular players.
That said, knowing that an entire fashion has been ignored, called, and then apologized for while being promised to be updated in previous years is daunting.