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"Madden NFL 15" - like Richard Sherman and the Seahawks, defense wins

"Madden NFL 15"


The St. Louis Rams have generated a lot of buzz this offseason, mainly due to rookie DE Michael Sam. Sam was even going to have the Oprah Winfrey Network videotape him on and off the field, since he was the first active openly gay NFL player, but OWN let Sam focus on making the team, which he recently was cut from.

Front cover art for "Madden NFL 11" for the PS3.
Front cover art for "Madden NFL 11" for the PS3.
Photo: Amazon
Front cover art for "Madden NFL 15" for the PS4.
Photo: Amazon

Speaking of the Rams, they are one of 32 playable teams in the newest, longest-tenured football video game franchise.

Madden NFL 15” was recently released on August 26, 2014 in the U.S. for the PS4, One, PS3 and 360. “Madden 15” was available for EA Sports Season Ticket subscribers for three days starting on August 23. “Madden 15” was developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA Sports, and it is rated E (Everyone).

The genre of “Madden 15” is an American-football sport simulation game. Single-player, multiplayer and online are the major game modes in the game. Also, the announcers this year are once again the guys from CBS (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms).

Richard Sherman, current CB for the Seattle Seahawks, is the cover athlete for “Madden 15.” Sherman beat out current Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, who was the runner-up in the cover player contest that was voted on by the fans.

There will definitely be more establishments in the series, and its predecessor is “Madden NFL 25” (titled for the franchise’s 25th anniversary). “Madden 15” is the twenty-sixth installment in the “Madden NFL” series. The first game came out in 1988 and it is called “John Madden Football.”

The official announcement for the four consoles came on April 28, 2014, and the game was shown during EA’s press conference at E3 2014 (IGN). Impact is the game engine on the PS3 and 360 versions, whereas Ignite is used on the PS4 and One versions. Pre-order bonuses were available at several stores.

The biggest change from last season’s version is a new defensive system that makes it more fun and easier to stop your opponent’s offense. A brand-new camera points at the QB, which helps when pass rushing. The face buttons are pressed to get by the offensive line. In addition you get to try and tackle the ball carrier up high or down low and with a certain force.

Improvements from past “Madden” games include play calling, defense, presentation and the little things, such as the skills trainer. The game gives you hints on what would be a good play to select. The presentation element has brought back the halftime show and has improved with official NFL team graphics, Jumbotrons and dynamic scenes have replaced the cut-scenes after the play.

Connected Franchise and Ultimate Team is still going strong. However, the reserve deck in Ultimate Team is no more.

Positives for “Madden 15” include better graphics, great player/uniform textures, improved lighting, realistic stadiums, great gameplay, impactful defense and realistic tackling. The fact that the developers are still trying to improve the franchise, even though it has no competition, is a nice gesture.

Negatives for “Madden 15” include terrible commentary, awkward physics system, awful crowd graphics, repetitive sideline players/people and bugs, such as players falling down after the play without being hit hard, or touched at all. The fact that online team play doesn’t exist anymore on the PS3/360 versions, and the fact that the defensive camera doesn’t work on local multiplayer are two minor critiques.

Metacritic gave it a Metascore of 82 out of 100 for the PS4 and 80 for the One (the PS3 and 360 have yet to be reviewed). Even though “Madden 15” has some upsides, it is not worth buying, unless you are purchasing your first game in the series for PS4 or One or didn’t buy “Madden NFL 25.”

“Madden 15” is about $60 for all four systems at Target, Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, Hastings and GameStop. The Ultimate Edition is about $70, which also includes free Ultimate Team packs, and is available at Amazon.

The One bundle that includes the standard edition is also available for $400. The PS4 bundle that includes the standard edition and a $20 PSN code costs $460 at GameStop.

A pre-owned game from GameStop and Hastings can be purchased for about $55. The official game guide is also available for only $9 at Walmart and Hastings, $13 at Best Buy and GameStop and $25 at Target. Check each link for exact prices, carried versions and in-store/online-only purchases.

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