Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Are you surprised to see Madden so low on this list? Yeah, well, so are we.
But EA Sports, in our estimation, has continued to fumble the Madden ball down the field over the last two years: Ever since Madden '11, the game's gone a little soft in the gut. The announcers are drying out; the NBA 2K commentators, for example, make the Madden team look about as insightful to football as a bag of fortune cookies. And about those looks?
Madden players don't want to see Jim Nantz and Phil Simms digitized. It's just straight-up weird. And creepy. Also, the tackle-animations look more like claymation repeats of guys blending into each other than they do the supposedly sophisticated nonsense they've sold the rest of the gaming press on.
Real talk: The graphics have lost some smoothness in their ambition, the presentation is overbearing, the game modes are snoozers (also: maybe the worst training/practice mode we've ever seen), and the gameflow playcalling feature has only taken a turn for the worst in the last two editions. Is it still a great game? Of course. It's Madden. But is it as incredible as it should be? It isn't. This definitely was not a winning season for Madden. And all that said? Those commercials with Paul Rudd and Ray Lewis were pretty great, though.