If you're not a fan of American football, then the
Madden series of games will probably have not featured
much on your games radar.
For: PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita
Four stars out of five
Back in the day, they came with a thick manual packed with
indecipherable diagrams and terminology only hardened
gridiron fanatics would understand - enough to put you off
before you even start.
If you did have the dedication to fire the game up, you were
faced with a baffling array of options and a playbook the
size of a phonebook.
But, and it's quite an important but, if you managed to put
all that behind you and learn the basics, the gameplay was
actually pretty good, especially playing against a mate.
Over the years, Electronic Arts has pumped out a new version
every year and, with a couple of exceptions, each one is
But if you weren't there at the start, it's probably passed
Which is a shame, because this version, Madden 13, is
easily the best of the series and one of the best presented
and best looking sports games of all time.
Going through the blurb from the makers, they mention
improved physics, new trajectories, new animations but the
biggest thing is (and I realise this is going to sound daft)
it feels different.
EA's new Infinity engine has actually made physics a big
part of the game. Not schoolboy ropes and pulleys, but the fact
that big players will flatten smaller ones and the quick guys
will bounce off the fat ones incredibly realistically.
Visually, the game is stunning.
The on-screen presenters look a bit wooden (but they may be
like that in real life) but once the game-time graphics start
and the match gets under way, you'll be blown away.
For the uber-geeks, there are options aplenty and the chance
to not only play through the season, but also coach a team as
I've only briefly touched on the Connected Career mode but it
involves gaining experience points for things such as
practice and planning. You can then use those points to
improve your team.
Exciting stuff, if it's your kind of thing. The manual is
still huge - although now you have to download it from the
net or read it in-game - and it can come across as a bit
If you enjoy sports games, I'd highly recommend you try it.
Still not sure of the rules?
Just remember you get four attempts to move 10 yards upfield;
if you make it, you get another four, if you don't, you're on