OS Scores Explained Madden NFL Football Overview (3DS)
New 5-on-5 mode, Madden as a handheld, 3D is awesome.
Season mode has no depth, morphing, tackling is too frustrating
Bottom Line
The 3-D effects are amazing, but they donít make this game worth buying.
out of 10
Madden NFL Football REVIEW

Madden NFL Football Review (3DS)

We recently changed how we do our reviews. Read about the new process here, then check out the new scoring guidelines and revised scoring rubric.

Madden developers get scrutiny from every corner of the nation, and with the release of Madden Football for the new Nintendo 3DS, the scrutiny is about to increase once more.

It’s always nice having a portable Madden title, but this particular version tends to get boring because of the lack of depth and the glaring flaws.


If I had to describe the gameplay in Madden Football in two words, I would use the words slow and choppy.

The game is nowhere near as smooth as its console counterpart. For example, cutting feels more like a slow turn than anything else. But more than anything, it just does not feel like professional football. The player movement is slow, and the speed of players is way off. Once you break free on offense nobody will catch you because everybody becomes Chris Johnson.

One of the biggest and glaring problems with this game is that everyone’s favorite glitch is back. Morphing makes its glorious return to the Madden series, specifically at the line of scrimmage. I discovered that when you want to put pressure on the quarterback, all you need to do is hold the joystick down and eventually the lineman with walk right through the center. Blocking is not very great either. Too many times have defenders shed blockers to take away my open hole.

There is a good variety of plays to call, and the interface is pretty amazing and user friendly, but I always found myself just asking Madden and rushing through since this is just a handheld game.

Another issue is the defense. It is extremely hard to actually play defense in this game. Like I mentioned earlier, everything feels so slow, so you can’t catch anyone in the open field. Even tackling, if not timed right, is terrible. There were plenty of instances where a tackle attempt would lead to the defender jumping off in a new direction.

One final thing about the gameplay that can be both good and bad is that the game feels more like an arcade version rather than a sim version. The player models have huge upper bodies and shoulders, and they are constantly making impossible plays. But being stuck in the middle of arcade and sim is a bad place to be. It gives Madden Football no idenity.


The graphics in the game are very good. I would say they are about on par with the PSP version of Madden.

As mentioned earlier, the player models are somewhat big in the upper-body area, and they all look pretty identical to each other. Even an offensive lineman can look like a halfback without that second take.

One thing I love about the game is the interface throughout. In the menus or in the middle of a game, the interface looks beautiful on the 3DS. Everything is so crisp and clean.

The 3-D Effect

Obviously, the biggest selling point for Madden Football is playing football in 3-d, and to an extent it did not disappoint.

A lot of the 3DS launch games did not really show off the technology Nintendo has developed, but Madden was able to tap in to it a little bit. The developers did a good job of incorporating the 3-D into the game menus and not just the actual gameplay.

During the game, the 3-D looks awesome and is pretty cool, but to be honest, the effect does not really do anything to make the game better. So the effects may be impressive, but this Madden game would be the same without it.


Season mode is the biggest disappointment in Madden Football. It is about one percent of what Franchise mode is in Madden 11.

There are no ways to make trades, but you can sign free agents. The mode consists of your selected team’s 2010 schedule, and it will lead to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. But once your season is done, you will need to start another one. The longetivity and depth do not exist in this game.


This new mode is probably the best part of the game. It is quick and easy, and it's perfect for a handheld. You win by scoring a certain amount of touchdowns first, and trust me the touchdowns will come in bunches.

The mode's one flaw would be the morphing mentioned in the gameplay section, especially because the 5-on-5 mode is where the morphing occurs the most.

Final Thoughts

All in all, this was an okay first effort from the Madden team for a system launch, but the game has so many glaring issues that it’s tough to cut the developers much slack. It’s great to have Madden on the go, but if you want a rich experience, stay away because this game won’t be worth your time

Learning Curve: If you’ve played any Madden, you’ll be fine.

Control Scheme: Hit the right button to hit the right receiver.

3-D Visuals: Freakin’ awesome, but they don’t really make the game any better.

Audio: Pretty solid commentary form the team.

Online: What online play?

Score: 3.5 (Subpar)

Member Comments
# 1 winningsports @ 05/05/11 04:57 PM
Thanks for sharing my friend!
# 2 ccrimson @ 06/27/11 02:29 PM
Wii doesnt do madden justice but it can be used as and excuse for what madden lacks.
# 3 BobbyColtrane @ 06/27/11 02:55 PM
it's weird how EA keeps putting out subpar games for years and years on end. I would think they would be better off not publishing rather than systematically destroying their brand this way.

When I bought a 3DS, the idea crossed my mind for a nanosecond to buy Madden before I thought, "I'm sure this game sucks" and just moved on.

At some point the damage has to add up, right?
# 4 yessam430 @ 08/14/11 08:29 PM
been thinking about getting a 3ds and saw Madden and instantly changed my mind. I still may get one though, but I want to wait for more games to come out. Eventho the price drop makes me anxious

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