Two things are even more certain in life than death and taxes: a new Madden release, and the heartbreak that follows. Historically, in those dark days of missed opportunities, I’ve always been able to turn to NCAA Football for my fix. Over the past several years, there have been installments of Madden which were, empirically, better football games than NCAA. But they were never as fun. The variety, disparity, and wackiness of NCAA always made it more unpredictable and exciting.
So, when NCAA 10 released and was a clear improvement over last year’s game, I was relatively certain that the pattern would hold. NCAA is an excellent football game, but the improvements are so subtle that, to anyone who hasn’t poured years into the series, they’re hardly noticeable. Madden, by contrast, has stepped up its game to such a degree that it can’t be ignored. Online franchises, a graphical/presentational overhaul, and the incredible Pro-Tak system (which encourages you to never give up on a play), combine to make this a Madden that brings the fun like no installment since Genesis ruled the gridiron.
About our scale… the number of words in our review reflects the score of the game. In practical terms, you could assume that games reviewed in 49 words or fewer should be avoided, games reviewed in 50-75 words would make a decent rental, and games reviewed in 76 words or more would make a solid purchase.