In Madden NFL 13, it was all about passing the ball thanks to the highly touted Total Control Passing feature, but in the 25th iteration of the Madden series, EA Sports has decided to concentrate more on gameplay advances, running the ball and improving defense.

"Dives and tackles are far more accurate and artificial intelligence is vastly improved, so we will see less of players being caught out of position."

I had the opportunity to play a full game of a 75% complete build of Madden 25 at EA sports headquarters during their Season Opener event. There is no way I could possibly take in all of the new features in one game but I'll do my best to break down all of the newness in Madden NFL 25.

The newly introduced Run Free feature takes the exclusivity of running the ball from running backs. It applies to any player than runs the ball from running backs to quarter backs to wide receivers on offense. It also includes any player than intercepts the rock on defense. The purpose of the feature is to make the game closer to a simulation than a scaled down version of the sport.

In all, there are 30 new ball carrier moves that can be used individually or strung together in fighting game-like combos utilizing the left trigger and the traditional buttons for moves that Madden players have become accustomed to. There are additional new moves/combos that are accessed thru the right stick as well. In layman’s terms, the left trigger (or the precession modifier), a juke, spin or stiff-arm becomes more effective depending on the players rating in that area. Basically, the best players have the best moves, and if you're going for realism, that's how it should be.

You may be thinking that this sounds way more arcade than it does simulation, right? Well, EA has balanced that out by adding a stamina meter. Players will not just be able to string together incredible beast mode like runs. Once that meter runs low, the ball security and running becomes weaker and mistakes are more likely to happen.

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