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THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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REVIEW: ‘Madden’ game franchise fails to live up to its former glory

Staff+Writer+Jack+Cheney+writes+that+while+the+Madden+NFL+video+game+franchise+used+to+be+a+fan+favorite%2C+the+series+has+become+boring+and+overpriced.
Courtesy Electronic Arts
Staff Writer Jack Cheney writes that while the Madden NFL video game franchise used to be a fan favorite, the series has become boring and overpriced.

Although EA Sports’ Madden NFL has been one of the most popular video games since its release, the game just isn’t as good as it used to be. This football game used to be the talk of the lunch table in past years, but is now boring and overpriced.

Ever since its release in 1988, Madden has been one of the most popular sports video games, becoming the second-highest-selling sports game franchise of all time with over 130 million copies sold. The game is named after legendary NFL coach and color commentator John Madden, who sadly passed away in 2021. Madden has several distinct game modes: Franchise (control your own team through many seasons), Madden Ultimate Team (collect cards to build a team with), Face of the Franchise (make your own player and play their career out) and Exhibition (team vs. team mode). 

After playing Madden for the past five years, I have found it enjoyable. It’s fun to play when I’m bored because it rarely, if ever, gets repetitive. Since there’s no storyline, there’s no theoretical end to the game. However, my friends, most of the Madden community and I have one big problem with the game: it’s basically the same game every year.

Is the $70 price tag really worth it for a simple roster update and a few animation changes? Ever since Madden 20, the first version I played, it feels like the game has been getting progressively worse. The arcade feel of the game during the COVID pandemic solidified its spot as one of my favorite games, but it hasn’t been the same since.

Another problem is EA doesn’t respond much to community feedback. Every time I look at a Madden post on X (formerly Twitter), all the replies are complaints like “When is this getting changed?” or “Stop ruining the game,” and EA does nothing about it. I’ve tried to contact EA customer support about a few things, but they take ages to respond, and even in the one-on-one text chats they don’t seem to be able to do much, which is disappointing for a company that brings in billions of dollars each year.

Inside the game, Madden 20 added superstar abilities to players. This is where they get special abilities that reflect how they play in real life. However, the issue is even though they nerfed some of the overpowered abilities, they do nothing to balance the weaker ones and continue to make the formerly overpowered abilities worse and worse to the point where they almost do nothing. Some of the best abilities in Madden 20, Juke Box and Human Joystick, now do almost nothing, and the worst abilities in the game have not been changed at all—no buffs, nothing.

I think it would be in Madden’s best interest to listen to some of the community feedback, especially since most of the complaints are about the same things. Madden 20 was rated an 8.1/10 by IGN, a popular video game and entertainment website, and this year’s Madden 24 was given a 6/10, which I agree with. The game hasn’t changed much in the last few years, and there are definitely many changes to be made if Madden wants to establish itself as a top game overall.

Do you play Madden NFL?

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Jack Cheney, Staff Writer
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