Madden 15 Review
Ah the Fall. It’s the best time of year for video games as new releases are made available just about every week. But, with the Fall comes sports and with sports comes the latest iterations of the Madden, NBA, NHL and FIFA franchises. Last year was a bit of a slop fest for Madden 25 as the game was really just outdated for the series’ first next-gen release and the lack of any real improvements to the game’s formula didn’t help either. Fans of the franchise have been longing for some real improvements to the game, does Madden 15 deliver? Let’s find out.
Right upon starting up the game for the first time, you’ll notice the presentation has received some ample changes. The game’s colors and detail has been kicked up a notch and is quite a step forward from what previous Madden titles have offered in the past. Compared to Madden 25, Madden 15 looks like the first real next-generation football game. The lighting and character models have easily seen the most improvement, along with some nice little touches like snow moving about the field when you’re players run through it, creating dry patches from tackles and so on.
The Ignite engine still creates some wonky and stiff animations which plagues all of EA Sports games, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was back in Madden 13 or 25. Madden 13 used the Infinity Engine which was just quite laughable for animations after tackles and play set up. Other than a few minor gripes here and there, the game looks like Madden obviously, but just with lots of nice little details here and there and some much crisper visuals.
The hard part about reviewing sports game is the gameplay. I’ve played a lot of Madden over the years. Sometimes I don’t notice all the changes that are there simply because they’re so subtle. Luckily, this year, Madden has received a quite noticeable change on the defensive side of the game, which is what a lot of fans have been begging for, for years.
An all new camera angle lets you literally view things from the defensive side of the field. Instead of being behind the quarter back like you would be during an offensive play, this new camera switches things around and allows you to face the quarterback, giving you a better and more realistic view of what’s happening during the play. It’s a camera view that you’ll certainly have to get used to at first, but really changes your view (pun intended) of the defensive side of the game tremendously.
This camera angle cannot be used in split screen multiplayer, just an fyi.
There’s also a tackling cone now giving you a look at the range and direction of your tackle. It’s not really needed, but it’s a nice touch for less experienced players like myself. In addition to that, you can also use button prompts to break free of a block during a play. If you press the prompt at just the right moment, you may be able to get through for the sack. Having tried it numerous times, it mostly felt like a game of chance for you to actually make it through the line.
Play calling has also received some changing around. The online community of the game will help decide what plays work best and will assign certain plays a rating based on their completion rate.
As per usual, all of the expected game modes are available in Madden 15. Ultimate Team, Connected Franchise, Play Now and so on and so forth. There’s even a Skills Trainer section for those of you looking to hone your skills online and offline.
The real reason for you to pick up Madden 15 this year is simply because of the changes to the defensive side of the game. If you’ve been holding out and waiting for a Madden that had incremental changes, this would be it. Sure, it’ll be refined even more for next year’s iteration, but Madden 15 is a step up from the downgrade that Madden 25 was last year.
PS4 version of Madden 15 was used for this review. Review copy provided by EA.