Feature Article
Adjusting To Madden 25 Next Gen
For years, Madden players have been accustomed to playing EA’s NFL franchise a certain way, and rightfully so. Due to the games shortcomings and exploits, gamers foundMadden to be less of a sim, and more of battle of “who can exploit the most – me, random online guy, or the AI?” That is never a good thing, and definitely not what players are looking for when they want a true NFL simulation experience - one they can feel great about when dropping $60 – on a yearly basis. Madden fans found it routinely easy to exploit the AI defense, the return game, the lack of a pocket (or need to stay within it), and the patterns that the AI typically displayed on both sides of the ball.

According to the developer(s) a lot of these issues were due to hardware limitations and followed up the dreaded promise of “it’s on our list to fix next year”. So what did this mean for the loyal consumer that felt Madden was a necessity in their household every year in August? It meant that rarely did they have to adjust their playing style year to year, and the “honeymoon” phase of the game seemed to get shorter and shorter with each annual release. 

As the new generation of consoles approached we were told how the ease of development based on the architecture design (X86) would be, and gamers would see the instant impact even in the launch titles. That’s a hard message, especially when it comes to Madden, for players to buy into without some reluctance and apprehension.Madden fans have been spoon fed promises of improvements, redesign, new modes, and realistic game play. While there were some improvements over the course of the last generation on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the impacts were never enough for core NFL gaming fans to buy into or claim Madden had turned the corner. 

Obviously both the PS4 and Xbox One have both been released, and we all have had time to sit down with next-gen Madden 25 and form our own impressions, and what you are about to read below are some of ours. 

Offensive-Defensive Line interaction 

The changes that have been implemented in the trenches of next-gen Madden 25 are a huge step in the right direction. Whether it’s edge rushing, double teams, pockets forming, or simply each individual down the line having their own intelligence, the changes are dramatic and in a good way. The user now has to respect the edge rushers while on offense, and understand their offensive lines strengths and weaknesses. This a huge adjustment over last-gen Madden, as it requires one to have a working comprehension of both teams and what they are capable of.

Whether you are throwing, running, or controlling someone on the defensive line, you need to understand who you are going up against and who the play will run through. If you have Duane Brown or Joe Staley manning the tackle position, you can feel confident versus having Gino Gradkowski at center, or J’Marcus Webb at tackle. So finally a Madden game truly forces you to adjust your play calling and style based off the personnel that’s on the field – and for the most part it feels organic. There is still room for improvement is this area, but the difference from last gen is tangible.

Running Game 

The adjustments that need to be made in controlling a runner in Madden 25 is almost impressive at the line interaction we spoke of earlier. With the EA’s new true-step technology making its debut on the new consoles, it forces the user to rethink how they run in the game. For the most part, gone are days of running blindly without the rules of physics having an effect to the situation. One now has to take in into account the situation and flow of the play and exude a bit patience – especially at the running back position. When you combine the line play with the new running mechanics it forces you as a runner to see and or wait for the hole to open up, and you better hit it quickly once it does before it vanishes. 

No longer can you cut on a dime and blast full speed ahead, and heaven help you if you try because more times than not the player you're controlling is going to get crushed. You need to have the ability to cut, weave, dance, and see two moves ahead to be consistently good while running with the ball. 


If you played NCAA 14 or Madden 25 without slider adjustments on a last-gen console then you know full well how atrocious the effort was on the defensive side of the ball. Secondary players would routinely run away from the play or not even recognize it, and even the best linebackers in the game were fooled way too often by any type of play-action call. Basically the defense was too dumb too often and allowed the user to exploit them in multiple areas. Thankfully that has changed to a large degree inMadden 25 on the PS4 and the One. 

For the most part the secondary plays much smarter and the lack of play and coverage recognition is the exception, and no longer the rule. Linebackers are much more capable of following play calling and tendencies and it results in a much more enjoyable and challenging experience, depending on the difficulty level your playing on. This change definitely requires one to adjust on offense, and trust the digital teammates on while playing defense.

Honorable mention – Return Game

The improvements in this area is not as large as the other areas we spoke of, but they are there. In last-gen Madden, all you had to do is basically run up the middle on a kick return and cut to the outside to routinely reach the 40, 50, or even the end zone. At times one felt they could have broken Deion Sanders and Devin Hester’s combined return record of 20 in just two seasons of franchise play. EA has addressed that issue, and it does force the user to adjust how they return the ball now. Kick-off returns for a touchdown are still possible, but it requires you to take notice of the kicking teams approach and locate the gunners. There may be some success on the outside, but you can just as much starting outside and kicking it back inside towards the middle. Now if we can get them to revamp the kicking the game, special teams may be something that all Madden gamers can finally enjoy. 

Whether you’re a fan or not of Madden 25 on the PS4 or Xbox One doesn’t matter to me at all, because I think we can all agree that there is still a ways to go for this game to become of true simulation of the NFL experience. The fact remains though that this title does finally require an adjustment in the way you approach and play it – and that my friends is a welcome addition.

Madden NFL 25 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 kackle85 @ 12/10/13 03:04 PM
Im really loving playing on-line with this game. In the past it was nothing but a frustrating experience. People finally have to play a half way smart game of football to be competitive. I played a guy last night that played as the Cowboys. He went to Jason Witten on literally every pass play. Witten ended the game with 150 yards and a couple of touchdowns but i was able to pick off two passes that went his way due to the coverage being light years ahead of what is was on last gen.
# 2 iceberg760 @ 12/10/13 03:21 PM
Great Read/gm plays well on the One....really enjoying the defensive side of the ball---Lineplay is a Plus compared to prior gen...my thinking is that you have to put thought into your choices on both sides of the ball instead of just flinging it or Bullrushing into the backfield...again, Great Read...
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# 4 Dolphin_17 @ 12/10/13 05:06 PM
Great read, thanks. I really think Madden finally is heading in the right direction. Now they only have to fix presentation/commentary and player models/movement and give us all the freedom back that we had in franchise mode of Madden 12 (editing ratings and appearances was fantastic). What I'd also love would be a draft class editor like NBA 2k has, because importing draft classes is impossible now.

My only worry is that, because EA can get bad ideas from time to time, they remove offline franchise and you can only play online or exhibition games, kinda like FIFA next-gen right now (yes, it has career mode, but no tournaments, online h2h,...). Would suck, because I only play offline. But I don't think that's gonna happen. Right?
# 5 RACZILLA @ 12/10/13 05:09 PM
Good stuff. I agree about the point of not having to adjust a ton year to year in gen 3. A lot of what went into an offense would work regardless of the team your opponent chose.

I've already noticed myself making mistakes with this gen 4 game just out of habit. Already been picked a few times throwing that corner route against man that I knew was there for me in the past. I dig it.
# 6 BBallcoach @ 12/10/13 07:06 PM
I have noticed everything mentioned and it feels good. I laughed when the IGN reveiwer in his video review was too SIM lol
# 7 TNBassMan10 @ 12/10/13 08:19 PM
Are you kidding me?

Madden Next Gen is awful.

Yes, they fixed the secondary. However, it's way too far the other direction. All too often I have a LB intercept a pass when his head was turned looking away from the QB. Also, CPU DBs intercept anything that isn't exactly spot on. If your QB throws it a little off (I mean just a tiny amount) it's an interception. In the NFL, a 1 step lead is open. In Madden 25, you're WRs aren't open unless they've got 5 yards on somebody.

The running on the other hand is out of hand. You can't stop a nose bleed on defense. Neither can they. You could call nothing but runs plays and easily end up with 400 yards and a 40-something point game.

Madden 25 is broken. (I play on All-Madden. Anything else and I win by 30+ every game. All-Madden I still win 90% of the time but the stats are so unrealistic. Each RB for both CPU and HUM average 9-11 YPC).
# 8 Jarbeez @ 12/11/13 10:48 AM
I'm prefacing this comment with this is not a complaint. Even though it may sound like one.

I just threw 8 interceptions in a game with a rookie John Elway. This was after completing 73% of my passes in the pre-season.

This is definitely an adjustment from PS3 Madden 25 where you could basically count on certain routes, etc to be open. What I have found is that you really cant count on any one route to be there every time. So I agree, there is definitely a learning curve here, and it is basically that you really have to read things quickly and gambling on a deep ball against good coverage is really not a gamble at all, you will get picked!

I have not played a head to head game just yet, only against PC, but so far I like it.
# 9 bwright25 @ 12/11/13 11:37 AM
I absolutely LOVE the gameplay, its been years since Ive played this much Madden. There is pretty much a counter for every cheese play and smart intelligent football tends to win out.

Now if they can only fix the stupid desync disconnect on online play. So many sad sacks who can no longer cheese to wins gotta cheat.
# 10 jukeum445 @ 12/11/13 04:06 PM
i have been playing on all pro for a while now and have noticed that running the ball is very easy// i think its time to make the jump to all madden , but in the past all madden has been a cheesing joke w/ the cpu dominating w/ unrealistic reasoning....

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