Madden NFL 10 refines its game of football in its most realistic takedown to date. Yard by yard, Madden takes the player to the field delivering the ultimate game of American football.

The Madden franchise is one streamlined gaming machine that continues to deliever a solid gaming experience year after year. In Madden NFL 10 we see a new graphical flair added to its presentation, along with a few nice gameplay touches that brings you deeper into the game. Gamers who love Madden will immideately feel the buzz as soon as they load their disc up. It's definately that time of year, and like a lot of other gamers, I have the Madden fever.

The new broadcast quality approach feels like a slight rebirth for the franchise as it continues its reign as one of the best sporting franchises in history. Unlike other games, Madden doesn't adding too much, or try to go over-the-top with needless features. In its maturity Madden has actually stepped back and let the game speak for itself. EA Tiburon has been at this a long time and it seems like the company on top of the mountaintop is stronger than ever. Madden has been refined for such a long time (since 1994) it's hard to find many faults within their rock solid formula. Madden 10 might have a few minor issues depending on your knowledge of the game; however at the end of the day Madden NFL 10 delivers exactly what you would want out of a football game. Following last years great edition, Madden NFL 10 is a pure winner all around.

As Seen on T.V.
The development team for Madden had the mantra to make everything you see on Sunday night TV happen in the game. This broadcasting presentation style takes Madden 10 into the sidelines with the trainers and coaches, and then back out to the fans that are lining up to purchase tickets, tailgating in the parking lot or simply cheering for their favourite team with foam fingers held high in the air. The presentation is dynamic and chances with the season, complete with dynamic statistics. Even down to the refs, Madden has made adjustments. The number of referees has increased to seven with all new interactions and animations that will make them avoid and actually collide with players. The logic seems to be improved and by watching someone else play you can really pic this out. Madden 10 also likes to use a lot of scripted scenes scenes where they will check for yardage or call tackles in the end zone. Everything Tiburon changed is for the good good and definitely adds to the replica of a television broadcast. However one gripe with this new style is that after a few games in succession all the extras can become slightly annoying when you want to get to the next play instead of watching the refs bicker.

The player animations have been beefed up as well with over a 1000 animations being updated, including everything from facemask tackles to giant leaping catches. Ever Quarterback has their own unique animations, custom stance, and throwing style added in with a good number of kickers being imitated as well. Blocking and catching animations have also been updated although it is not as notable as the QB animations.

It’s not a surprise that Madden looks so good, EA Sports titles have been getting sharper every year and Madden is no different. Madden NFL 10 isn’t a huge leap over last years edition, but it is a sweet looking game. The camera effects like snow and rain add a new level of depth along with a number of hands held camera effects that come into play. The face animations also seem a little more detailed, however it can still use some work. Zooming down to that level you can also notice a few new pieces of equipment on the players including the small details like hand warmers and hand towels. yes, hand towels... a must have /sarcastic. Madden 10 might be a trying a little too much with the whole broadcast deal, but beyond that Madden has never looked so good and EA Tiburon continues to blur the lines between reality and game, and given the developement time between each version, its remarkable that they can fit so much in.

While I’m on the presentation lets get right into the audio in Madden NFL 10 which plays a big part in how Madden is percevied. The commentary has been refined like every with a little more focus on the conversations about franchise milestones, colour analysis of what’s happening on the field and a lot of chatter about certain NFL star players in Madden 10. Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth pump out a lot of lines to keep the dialog as fresh as possible coming in with 3,000 lines each! Even though they have a lot of lines recorded, it still becomes repetitive in long sittings and shows one of Madden's few flaws. Along with the new commentary recorded for Madden the crowd has been sweetened with specific crowd chants that happen along with the in-game action. This gives Madden a more realistic stadium feel which definitely helps the final product achieve its broadcast quality presentation. Given how hard commentary is in sports game, hiccups can be taken lightly, and overall Madden takes another step in the right direction.

It's in the Game
All the presentation pizzazz in the world isn’t going to help Madden if the gameplay isn’t nailed down, and as you probably already know, Madden is rock solid. Tiburon has made a few changes in this year’s edition making the Madden even better. Yes, it is possible. In 2009 the main new feature is the Pro-Take Animation System that gives a new sensibility tackling game which includes “Fight for the Fumble” pile ups, another new mode in Madden 10. These loose ball pile ups are now live encouraging the players to press through a little mini-game to gain possession of the ball. This little touch isn’t a huge deal, but it’s a nice little touch that can make things a little more frantic then normal. Keeping on gameplay changes Tiburon has given a little more depth to the QB with a new rating system that realistically helps match the strengths and weaknesses of the player. This can make things easier depending on your stats and actions such as throwing on the run can be a little harder if you’re not skilled enough. To help you make all those fancy QB throws the controller now rumbles when the QB is being pressured so you will know when you are in the bull’s-eye for the sack.

Under the Hood
Under Madden’s hood, the A.I. has been boosted in little ways to also help the game feel more like the real thing. Receivers will now automatically slow down to try and still in bounds for a reception, passing logic has been deepened to make the QB hold the ball longer to look for the best pass, and saving the best for last, the adaptive A.I. has been improved to make the appropriate changes to match you play style. This makes the team react much like a real team with the coach changing the plays based on your offensive. This helps both new gamers and experts who have found a feel holes in Madden’s defence.  Madden has also added a few new sliders to help gamers find a comfortable game. Game speed, player speed and injury/fatigue can now be toggled up or down.

Let's Build a Franchise
The franchise mode in Madden NFL 10 has finally received the attention it deserves. The franchise mode is a popular mode that was trailing a little behind because of its bland presentation and confusing amount of choices. Now things have changed and the franchise mode is more user-friendly and gives a story to follow. The games and playoff chances are always being reflected to the player through the commentary and the hub is easier to manage. Everything you need is only a button click away. The rookie pool is down right scary to look through with over 8,000 hand crafted rookies! Besides a more effective interface and presence the A.I. is more a little more sharp then pervious versions. Thinking back over the years, Madden 10 makes me feel like finishing the entire season rather than something I jump into only to loose interest.

The online changes for Madden NFL 10 is highlighted with the inclusion of an Online Franchise mode. The franchise mode supports everything you need to get right into a classic online feud, including live drafts, message boards and more. For those who can’t get enough Madden this will be of great interest to those who want to find real competition online. The franchise mode is the highlight, but let’s not forgets that Madden has also included a new co-op mode for the first time in Madden history. I’m not the hottest Madden player around so my time online is only met with humiliation, unless I can sucker some of my less experienced friends into a match up.

The Madden game franchise seems to be on a gradual climb towards perfection that shows no signs of ever stopping. After all Madden EA Sports has produced, you have to wonder if they will ever stop, even when they have perfected their craft. Madden NFL 10 is closer to the real sport of football than anything we have ever played.

That being said Madden NFL 10 isn't a huge leap from last years version. Sure the new features are nice, but after every yearly purchase you have to really question if you need a new Madden every year. I think yearly updates would be a great idea with a new Madden dropping every other year. Even though I question picking up the new Madden, I shouldn't because Madden NFL 10 is still worth picking up even if its not mind blowingly different from last year. Who am I to question the football gods over at EA Tiburon? At the end of the day the new features in Madden NFL 10 drive the Madden experience closer to the real deal. Score another touchdown, Maden NFL 10 is EA Sports most comprehensive package to date.

Gameplay:9.0, Graphics:9.0, Sound:8.0, Innovation:8.5, Mojo:9.0  Final: 8.7 / 10

Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 08.21.09

  • Football never felt so “real”
  • Broadcasting presentation style adds flair
  • Adaptive A.I. makes for a more enjoyable game
  • New Pro-Tak tackling system
  • The franchise mode has been refined, and is online!
  • A few need sliders give players even more options
  • Too many cut scenes during play
  • Commentary still not as perfected as the rest of the game
  • The soundtrack could use some upgrading

Similar Games: Madden NFL 07 (8.0) | Madden NFL 11 (8.4)

Madden NFL 10

EA Sports

EA Tiburon


US Release
August '09


Xbox 360

Player 1-4
Co-Op 2-4
Online MP
D.Digital 5.1
HDTV 1080p
D/L Content