Best: Connected Careers Delivers
Madden 25: Since this is where you spend most of your time, let’s take a moment to talk about Connected Careers. Basically, the gameplay is the same as before, but now you can control a player for one team, a coach for another and an owner for another. So you can run all three modes in the same universe. The only problem is you can’t do all three modes for one team, which I don’t get at all.
Connected Careers ultimately fails is the convoluted menu screens, though. Instead of a drop down menu, there are five screens, each with four or five compartments that lead who knows where. It’s like a game of Memory to recall where to go to find certain information. Want your schedule? Scroll to the fourth screen and hit the “schedule” box on the bottom. But if you want your standings, you have to go back to the first screen. It shouldn’t be so difficult to remember where certain options are in the many, many Connected Careers menus.
The menus also betray a sense of running a season with any other teams. I don’t really follow any storylines with other teams or really know the general standings as the season moves on. I just play my games and end up where I end up. Ironically, I don’t feel connected to much of anything as a coach or owner.
Then there’s the aforementioned Drew Brees fiasco. You know how I found out he retired? I started my preseason and he wasn’t on the roster. Just give me something streamlined with a proper menu and everything will be much easier. And there’s absolutely no excuse for the menu to lag at all times. For real?
Madden 13: Connected Careers Is Even Better Online
Madden 25: Hey, guess what? This is pretty much the same, too.
Best: This All Works Because Online Play Is Seamless
Madden 25: If there’s one place EA has been ahead of 2K, it’s the functionality of online play. I never had any problems and actually opted to play online with complete strangers more than I wanted to play offline.
Best: Ultimate Team Works…If You’re Into That Thing
Madden 25: Actually, Ultimate Team is where they made some nice upgrades to make the process much smoother. Nothing major (surprise,) but I felt the experience was easier to execute this time around.
Madden 13: Madden Is Downright Fun
Madden 25: Okay, Madden isn’t a bad game. We should all know that by now. The folks at EA have been doing this long enough that they don’t totally screw anything up and they can make an entertaining football simulation. The fact remains that, for the last few years, the game became a ripoff. The Madden franchise rested on its laurels knowing we wanted a new football game every year and they’ve been the only place selling it.
If I live in a town and all they have is Golden Corral and the milky sh*t fountain they serve, then I’ll probably end up still eating there at least once a month. Why? Because dammit, I want to go out to eat somewhere and they’re the only place in town. Right now, the Madden franchise rolls out week-old chewy steak and calls it Prime Rib because we don’t have anything recent to compare it to.
This year, maybe more than any other year, I feel insulted by what Madden has offered. They’ve given us the same game and tacked on a $60 price tag on it without putting in the effort to improve. The game plays like they said “f*ck it, they’re going to buy it anyway,” put out whatever the hell they wanted and focused on the PS4 or XBox One versions of the game. And that’s just an abuse of the customer’s trust.
Honestly, just wake me up when 2K is allowed to make NFL games again.