Madden returns with unlucky number 13. However, with all the superstition around this franchise, it would be nice for superstition to take a break, at least for one year.

Madden 13 is still Madden. Yearly editions continue to perfect this slow build into the ultimate football simulation videogame. Yes, Madden 13 is an enjoyable game, filled with skillful innovations from the years prior. However, the habitual blending of minor year-after-year touch-ups makes getting into a new Madden a tough catch. Thankfully, Madden intercepts its own pass to create a refreshing take on its own perfected format. EA Tiburon isn't out of ideas yet, and Madden 13 proves this with a few new tricks in its playbook.

To infinity and beyond
Forming this digital sport to reality is the new Infinity Engine. This contemporary engine brings some extra (and very physical looking) life into the game; mainly with tackling, the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Feeling more organically strong you will notice a smoother/aggressive Madden; especially with the animations and collisions. Only in a few spots does the engine show frailty, mainly with sloppy tackles and pile-up removal. More so the new engine help refines the control over the ball once snapped. The passing game also feels better thanks to enrichments like waiting to display your receivers until they are ready to pocket a pass. Simple always works, and Madden 13 definitely feels like it's working for a better game.

Are you yelling at me?
Microsoft gamers Kinect has been wiggled into the mix. Using Kinect is something that takes some getting used too, however can be an asset once mastered (according to second hand reviews.) Personally, I didn't get into the Kinect support too much mainly because I felt it detracted from the normal “feel” of the controller game, and because I felt a frustrating of not memorizing or Kinect recognizing calls during the game. Sure, call me a traditionalist, but it feels like an unnecessary add-on. Still, if wanted, you can control your players with your voice by issuing commands to direct tackles, change players direction and more.

Hello friends
New to Madden 13 is Phil Simms and Jim Nantz step into the commentary line up as Madden says goodbye to Johnson and Collinsworth. Simms and Nantz aren't as in-your-face with fake/over enthusiastic chatter leaving more room for the game to breath, although with every transition you are bound to hear some questionable calls and odd remarks, and yes, they are present. New commentary is a big plus because it helps bring a notable adjustment to the game. It might not be messing with the core gameplay, but verbally, it's a fresh switch. However, ultimately it comes down to a question of taste. Either you will enjoy the rhythm of the new CBS duo, or miss the old team. Furthermore, please can we chill on the product placement, not only visually, but you'll forced into hearing slogans over-and-over. I understand we all need to make a buck, but toning it down couldn't hurt.


A spotlight has been shined on the career/franchise mode this year, with a nudge spiced up for connected gamers. Offline things are much the same, but when you head online, the game opens to the world with the new “mega-franchise” mode called 'Connected Careers'. This new mode lets you be a created (with face-mapping included) or existing player or coach, which includes legendary icons like John Elway. And a note to the wise, the higher the draft pick, the more you'll be on the field; lesson learnt.

On or offline 'Connected Careers' has you creating or joining leagues that can include up to 32 players over 30 seasons. Dedication is needed to pull of an online league, however if you find the right people (or gather enough friends) it takes the game into another zone of amusement. To keep you motivated XP is earned via earned objectives that you gain each week. It's a slow grind, but one that will provide more than enough substance if you're looking for that long, drawn-out experience.

This remains true for coaching where the game feels more like traditional Madden. Good micro-management and comprehension of the game will help here, although be prepared to be bombarded with data and looking for the A.I. for help. Yup, it's a slow, but self-sacrificing grind of love for the game that you can enjoy 24/7 thanks to some friendly connectivity.

Staying in total control, Madden 13 receives the challenge to make a better game and runs with it. A new engine, bigger-and-badder modes, and new commentators make a sophisticated advancement for the series. While it's totally fumble-proof, what we have is a very solid edition of Madden. Madden 13 is worth the upgrade and a look for those who haven't touched the series in a while, take a look. The future looks bright as EA Tiburon continues to push the series forward.

  • Infinity Engine looks great and feels more organically strong
  • More options on how you control the game
  • Mega-Franchise mode engaged; Connected Careers is here
  • What that i hear, new commentary? welcome Simms and Nantz
  • Some “bugs” to be worked out in the new game engine
  • Choice of taste; new commentary – ya or nay
  • Kinect support can be wonky and feels unnecessary
  • A little too much on the product placement
Quote: "Staying in total control, Madden 13 receives the challenge to make a better game and runs with it."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 09.12.12 | Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360

Similar Games: Madden NFL 07 (8.0) | Madden NFL 10 (8.7)


Madden 13

EA Sports

EA Tiburon


US Release
August '12


X360, PS3

Players 1
Co-op 2-4
Online MP 2-6
5.1 Surround
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content
Kinect Optional