The most important part of any Madden game will be the on the field product. The PS4 entry of Madden 25 is no different. It seems like the developers went all in on bringing a realistic play style to their fans.
Madden NFL 25 on the PlayStation 4 was released as a launch title for the aforementioned console in November of 2013. Published by EA Sports, Madden 25 is one of the newest entries in what has to be considered one of the most important sports video game franchises of all time. Thankfully the product has only gotten better with age and, as you will see, there are many reasons to keep your fingers glued to the controller. This marks the 25th release in the storied Madden franchise and it may also be the most important one. While Madden 25 existed on the last generation consoles, Xbox 360 and PS3, it wasn't until it hit the current generation that it truly reached its peak.
Another entry in a long line of success.
If you are not a sports fan then you will receive the news of another Madden installment with a snort of derision. How often can EA Tiburon, the developer for '25, pump these games out? The truth is that for the casual fan there is very little reason to jump to the new Madden title. But if you are playing Madden 25, then you likely are not a casual fan. Madden NFL 25 brings to life some of the greatest moments on the gridiron and it does so by creating a framework of gameplay that is both fluid and realistic. TO put things simply, this PS4 adaptation of Madden may be the closest thing to the football field that you can get without leaving your living room.
Laying the groundwork.
Being that this entry was a launch title for the PS4, it was absolutely imperative that the game nailed the basics correctly. Madden has a history of jumping the shark with some of their features (the horrible Vision Cone should come to mind) but they've also been able to successfully dial in exactly what their fans want. EA Tiburon has put their primary focus on making Madden 25 one of the more realistic NFL simulators on the market. That means that, out of the box, you shouldn't be experiencing 75 - 55 point games. No tinkering with the sliders. No messing with the options. Turn the game on and get into the exhibition.
A refined product.
The most important part of any Madden game will be the on the field product. The PS4 entry of Madden 25 is no different. It seems like the developers went all in on bringing a realistic play style to their fans. When you first turn the game on you will notice right away that something is different in the way that the game feels. Players run more fluidly and they make, and break, tackles in a way that they've never done before. This is thanks to the EA Ignite Technology. Every runner has their own style of play. Darren Sproles won't take the ball up the middle like Adrian Peterson will, for example. It is in this sort of individualism that the game most readily finds its identity.
The Run Free System.
As we touched on above, every player in the game plays unique to their style. This is especially true when it comes to offensive players. A guy like Adrian Peterson, utilizing EA's 'Run Free System', will be able to use the L2 button to truck opponents out of the way during a mad goal line dash to the endzone. Guys with quick lateral cuts, like LeSean McCoy, will be able to hit their own button combinations to employ vicious sidesteps and juke moves. It is this attention to detail that makes the game so fun. In fact, it makes every single match you play feel unique. You will also notice that the PS4 version of Madden NFL 25 has fully embraced the 'stumble' feature. When you were hit in older versions of Madden you typically went straight to the ground. Now your player, depending on the veracity of their hit, may stumble. There is a split second window where you can hit the right button to regain your balance and keep the run alive. There is nothing quite like trucking a guy and catching yourself before you get thrown to the turf on your way to a big gain.
So what's new in '25?
One of the greatest things about the PlayStation 4 is the online network that comes, for free, with every console. As long as you have an internet connection and the game you want to play you will be able to share the experience with your friend. It seems like EA Sports honed in on that collaborative feeling when they brought back their 'Connected Franchises'. This is the first time since Madden '12 that we've had the ability. What a 'Connected Franchise' is, is a game mode wherein you and a host of other friends can control individual teams in a giant league. It's like the normal franchise mode, only your best friends will control the other teams. If you don't have enough friends to run the league then you can get matched up online, no problem. Connected Franchise allows you to run through as many seasons as you want, trade players, and even relocate your team to a new city. It's a full fledged experience that sets the bar for franchise play on the PS4.
It's all in the game, baby.
Madden NFL 25 on the PlayStation 4 is more of a product now than it ever has been. The game feels complete and iconic in a way that old entries simply didn't. The game looks smoother with a higher polygon count rating on the players. The plays no longer feel scripted and it doesn't seem like you are reliving the same handful of moments over and over again. The presentation of the game is beautiful, thanks to Madden holding the sole NFL license, and the audio is spectacular. Sure there are a few issues with the entry as some sideline and background animations look funky. And maybe the game isn't worth a purchase for players uninterested in the connected franchise dynamic. That being said, Madden 25 is the perfect way for the PS4 to launch its sports section.