Madden NFL 09 Review
Xbox 360 | PS2 | Wii | PS2
Madden NFL 09 box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Tiburon 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 12, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The Franchise Mode has been given a minor tweak with the addition of a new scoring system called Franchise Decades. It's essentially an extra screen where you can track your progress as a franchise manager by winning games in the regular and post-season, increasing attendance, making smart draft picks in the off-season, and more. It also seems like a pretty unnecessary and uncreative new feature.

Madden NFL 09 screenshot

NFL Superstar Mode has been given a somewhat interesting new feature that puts more focus on fulfilling your contract and building your status as an MVP. Attending all required practices and staying in the coaches good books will be essential to avoid being traded and souring your reputation as a professional. Skill Drills introduces receiving into the mix of drills and Fantasy Challenge hasn't changed much either, featuring three additional teams to beat and a new Champions Stadium.

Visually, the character models and the way the players move look pretty impressive on this older console version. Sometimes, graphics suffer in games prioritized for current generation consoles, but Madden 09 looks bright, clear, and does a great job of simulating the NFL atmosphere on the PS2. That being said, the game isn't without visible flaws, which occur a bit often. You will notice some stuttering and skipping in the animations and half-second pauses, as the console takes time to load up the animations. It's not a major problem, but it is definitely noticeable. It also seems as though not much has changed in the way of new animations, as extremely familiar and perhaps identical cutscenes from last year often make you feel as though you're playing the exact same game. Lack of detail and crowd movement looks somewhat unrealistic when concentrating on the background, though the stadiums all look amazing and incredibly atmospheric. The sound of the players breaking up from the huddle and shouting at each other before coming to the line adds a nice amount of realism to the game, though another complaint I have is that the commentary of Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond is choppy and unimpressive, and it seems John Madden's words of wisdom haven't changed much for this version at all.

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In all, Madden NFL 09 is a wonderful game for football lovers. Heck, EA has the formula so down-pat by now, how could it not be a good title? However, it fails to offer enough reasons for those who spent their money on last year's installment to purchase this one. Where updated titles usually feature upgrades in gameplay and new challenges, Madden 09 takes somewhat of a step backwards in its concentration on offering even more simplified controls and the new Family Play mode. Still, for those who haven't been keeping up with Madden in the past few years, this is a great title, while not offering many improvements since 08.

By Pete Richards
CCC Freelance Writer

Stadiums and character movements look excellent, though stuttering and pauses between and during animations are noticeable.
Simplified offensive controls may be well-suited for first-timers and party settings, but Madden fans might find them unnecessary.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Excellent soundtrack and stadium ambience, somewhat dull and choppy commentating becomes repetitive.
Play Value
Offering little in the way of new features or modes, those who already own previous Madden installments won't find much reason to purchase this otherwise great title.
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Now anybody can dominate the game like a pro with all-new EA Sports Family Play. Simplified playcalling controls and an easy-to-use passing system make Madden NFL 09 the most accessible PS2 football game ever.
  • Players of all skill levels can be competitive by calling plays from three unique playbooks, ranging from Easy to Advanced. Intelligent Coach Tips provide instant feedback to help you become a better player on the fly.
  • Enhanced Fantasy Challenge: Three new league champions with unique special abilities have joined the fray. Defeat each champ in the new Champions Stadium at the end of each league and you'll advance to the next tier.
  • All-new franchise scoring system: Earn points at season's end in Franchise Mode by accumulating a winning record during the regular and post-season, progressing your players from no-name status to superstar caliber, increasing attendance, drafting elite players, and more.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge Madden NFL 09 screenshot - click to enlarge

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