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I just want football.

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    Madden NFL 19

    Rating: 2.5 – Playable

    I just want football.

    There was a period of time when I was buying the new Madden game every year on release. EA eventually bought out the NFL license exclusively and I felt like the franchise became stale. That was all long time ago of course but I also followed football less and less over the years as well. The 2019 release is only the second Madden I have bought since those days. Mostly because I have gotten into the current season and decided some football sounded fun to play. Unfortunately it seems like Madden has changed into something quite different from what I remember.


    As always the newest iteration of Madden is still a good looking game. I’ve been gone from the franchise for a long time and all the animations and faces have never looked better. There is a lot of face shots of the players and I recognize all the ones I would on TV. EA delivers on the presentation front.


    All of the sound effects are also great. Everything from tackling to catching the ball sound just like they should. That said I could not stand the announcers. I immediately found them annoying and turned them off. They only had a few lines and repeat themselves often within even just the first couple games I played. I also did not like all the music in the menus and turned it off as well.


    Gameplay wise the newest Madden is just a realistic recreation of football. In this regard the game does not seem very balanced. If your team has a good running back it is easy to average 150+ yards per game and dominate time of possession in an unrealistic way. While with passing I never really felt in control. Whether or not a pass completed seems more dependent on behind the scenes stats rather than what I was seeing on the field. Defensively it was the opposite. I was regularly holding my opponent to less than 1 yard per carry running. But the CPU player was marching down the field through air regardless of how I played. Rushing the quarterback also seemed too difficult. My biggest problem though is with the modes. There is no "season" mode. All I really want out of a football game is to simulate a season picking 2-3 teams to play racking up stats for my favorite players. Instead the closest to mode to this was franchise mode. In this mode you can only play games for one team the whole season. There is also a bunch bloat content busy work in between game weeks. None of this extra stuff is fun and a poor replacement for how I used to enjoy the franchise. There is also a story mode that was well received but I did not touch it.

    I admit a big reason why I did not like this game is that it has changed in way that I can’t play it the same way as 10 years ago. That’s probably not a realistic way to go in but just wanting to play football in a football game should be a safe expectation.

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