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Critic Reviews

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1UP (Aug 12, 2008)
Madden's the sports-gaming superpower, though, so it's hard not to nitpick some of this stuff. But even with the listed complaints, this is a football game that one-ups the stakes between the sidelines, and it's so visually impressive that it's likely to stick in your system all season long -- even on Saturdays.
Game Chronicles (Sep 06, 2008)
This is the 20th version of Madden and it is still developing new things that make the game better than the previous year. Once again this year is far better than last year with better online play, your Madden IQ, and if you want to practice before you play the big boys online; you can play a game and use the rewind to help develop your gamer eye. This is a must have for any football fan and why wouldn’t you want a game with a Brett Farve Packer cover and have him play for the J E T S Jets Jets Jets??!!
The animation is also top drawer with individual players moving with fluid and believable actions, and even though the odd time you get a "quirk" here and there, overall the graphics are top drawer. Madden 09, believe it or not is more than just a minor upgrade, this version of the game is the most polished and plays extremely well. I would go as far to say that this is actually probably one of the finest sports games in history. If you are in anyway a fan of American Football then this should be in your list of games to get this month.
GameFocus (Aug 23, 2008)
It’s not easy to find the perfect rating for a Madden game nowadays. But we, the reviewers, can easily tell when a Madden title deserves accolades and when they don’t. This year, we‘re happy to say that the developers have managed to bring a great football experience to the consoles even with its little nuisances, because we know for a fact, that there’s no perfect game. Still, this 20th version of Madden NFL will sure be known as one of best of the series and will sure keep the whole Madden Nation happy…until next year of course. Expectations will continue to grow.
Gamernode (Aug 22, 2008)
Overall, Madden 09 is the best Madden of this generation. It's the first of the series which feels like it actually belongs on these consoles, and wasn't just ported with prettier graphics. It's not without its share of small issues here or there, but in the end it's the most realistic and most satisfying Madden experience yet, and one you can enjoy with a whole lot of people online.
GamePro (US) (Aug 12, 2008)
Madden 2009 remains a top-notch football game. Sure it's the only NFL game in town, but it's damn good. Buy it.
PlayStation Universe (Aug 16, 2008)
Madden 09, EA Sports' 20th installment of the franchise, has proven that the series only gets better with age. The publisher has finally outdone itself by releasing the premiere football title of this generation thus far.
PSX Extreme (Aug 27, 2008)
All in all, Madden NFL '09 is the first Madden game I have enjoyed with very few peeves to complain about. Tiburon has done a fantastic job at bringing us a game that controls superbly well, looks smooth, runs quick, and boasts a horde of enhancements to make this the best Madden game ever. Madden fans don't need me to tell them that this one's worth the purchase, but if, somehow, you're still on the fence and need a push, Madden '09 is definitely worth your time.
Madden NFL 09 is an all-around solid football game. It has everything that the veterans who line up at midnight would want from the game, as well as changes that will make it fun for newcomers or old-timers who might feel like the game has left them behind.
GameZone (Aug 11, 2008)
Football fans and PS3 owners, Madden NFL 09 doesn’t raise the bar but it certainly does a great job in bringing us a game worthy of the franchise and one that is inviting enough to please all pigskin fans. While the main modes feel relatively the same, this year’s gameplay is a clear indication that this franchise is getting closer to perfection.
IGN (Aug 12, 2008)
Madden 09 could easily be swept under the rug by the casual onlooker as being, “just another release.” And, for the most part, it is, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of your cash. Madden NFL 09 is the most loyal translation of America’s favorite sport I’ve ever seen. It looks great, plays great, and despite its few moments of inaccuracies, is still one of the best sports games in memory.
Madden NFL 09 for the PS3 certainly lived up to my expectations and is a significant leap from last year’s version. The graphics and overall presentation has been considerably improved. The core Madden gameplay is back and the new features will likely go over quite well with Madden fans. Madden NFL 09 for the PS3 has its share of issues however this is the best NFL game we have seen on Sony’s slick looking black console to date.
As you can tell, there are a lot of new features this year, but none of them are of much consequence. If you own Madden 08, there is no truly outstanding aspect that makes a repurchase necessary. In fact, the Superstar and Franchise game modes are nearly identical, and the Online Leagues aren't impressive enough to outshine the excellent online play of last year. However, if you've got money to burn, Madden 09 is a great game to have in your collection.
IC-Games (Sep 07, 2008)
Those that have turned their back after the relatively poor showing of the previous titles can safely return and for those NFL fans that have yet to try this franchise, then you could not have hoped for a better introduction. Although for those that have no idea about NFL and haven't seen a game before, then either start watching (Five and Sky Sports cover the televised games in the UK) or try before you buy. One thing that can hardly be denied though is that Madden NFL 09, is the best American Football game out and the best in the franchises 20 year history.
87 (Sep 03, 2008)
Dass über allem wie jedes Jahr weiterhin immer noch der nicht klein zu kriegende "Update"-Geist schwebt, ist nicht zu verhindern. Doch Xbox 360- und PS3-Spieler können sich sicher sein, dass sie ein extrem umfangreiches Update und somit das derzeit sowohl spielerisch aus auch optisch beeindruckendste American Football bekommen. Wenn Tiburon es jetzt noch schafft, den Spagat zwischen visuellen und inhaltlichen Fortschritten zu meistern, dürfte der Weg wieder Richtung Platin führen. Wir sind gespannt, ob es Midways Konkurrent "Blitz The League II" schafft, dem jubilierenden Branchenprimus gefährlich zu werden.
Gamer 2.0 (Aug 18, 2008)
While Madden 09’s the best Madden game of this generation and the best Madden since Madden 2004, it still has some issues here and there that keep it from being the best it could be. Madden 09 has far more successes than failures, enough that any pro football fan that’s been hesitant to actually pick-up the game for the past few should definitely give this game a shot. The team behind this year’s Madden certainly has the right ideas for where this franchise should be heading, as Madden 09 clearly shows. As long as they offer up the leagues its fans wanted and match NCAA 09’s online dynasties for next year, Madden 2010 should be off to a good start.
Gaming Target (Aug 28, 2008)
Even for all of its faults, Madden NFL 2009 is still a damn good football game and that's what's important. However, I know how important your money is to you especially in this economy so here's my advice: if you are a PS3 owner, buy this game if for no other reason than owning a proper framerate running game (I am reviewing this based on the PS3 version btw). If you have a 360 and already bought Madden NFL 2008, chances are you should hold out for a price drop unless you want the newest iteration for the sake of having the aforementioned additions and Brett Favre on your game cover and hey, who doesn't want that?
TotalPlayStation (Aug 22, 2008)
EA Sports has, year after year, put out a Madden title that made playing professional football that much more real to the millions who will never get a chance. Madden NFL '09 is no exception.
In a yearly series like Madden, it's easy to keep track of what's new and what's painfully old, and this version is no different regardless of how fond our memories may be of the old days. There's no 16-0 Patriots-esque regular season for Madden 09. But as a fan, sometimes just being in the playoffs is the first step. Then, anything can happen.
Game Positive (Sep 25, 2008)
Although this year's Madden seems to be missing the major upgrades of last year's title, it still feels like a good step forward for the franchise, even if many of the new upgrades seem to hearken back to older, previously discontinued features. That said, the game's focus on more accessible gameplay doesn't work well enough, so newcomers should approach with caution. Ultimately, Madden NFL 09 offers just enough to fans to warrant a purchase. Although meager, the new additions do help the game feel like it's worth the price of admission.
And if this year's incarnation is a reinvention, a launching pad for 2010 and beyond, the Madden future is bright, even if the old fella himself is piling on the years!
Console Monster (Sep 13, 2008)
Madden has gotten better, but it hasn’t progressed much in my view. Yes there are new gameplay ideas added, and new ways to play, but for some reason I kept wishing I could get the new gameplay with the same game I played in 08. Madden 09 is an incredible football game, but putting it next to it’s predecessors it does certain things right, and other things wrong. It seems to me that if new aspects of the game are added, old aspects have to be taken out. Whether this is because of space on the disc or because they just forgot about it (see my paragraph on “jumping the snap”); it’s not fair to the gamer. Overall, it’s better than Madden 08, but in my mind I wish that EA could stay consistent while offering new content.
AceGamez (2008)
So we come back to the question of who Madden NFL 09 is for. Well, to virtually steal a quote, "The Madden development team are who we thought they were" - serious American football fans who make titles for likeminded people and who are now trying to provide for newcomers without alienating core gamers - that apparently is what the Wii is for. Yes, the Madden IQ is a miscue, and they've fumbled the online leagues, but Madden 09 is a much more rounded and refined game than 08. It has all the basic components for perfection but can't quite bring them together so, in this respect, it's much more like the 2004 Steelers than the '72 Dolphins. The thing is, if you get this last analogy then you've probably pre-ordered the game anyway...
DarkZero (Sep 07, 2008)
This is a game that has successfully changed my opinions on American Football, and could do the same for you.
GameSpy (Aug 12, 2008)
You can pick up a standalone copy of Madden NFL 09, or a special collector's edition version that includes a copy of NFL Head Coach and a full version of the retro classic, Madden 93. With the high cost of being a football fan, once you add up NFL Sunday Ticket and entry fees in fantasy football money leagues, it's going to have to be your call as to whether or not it's worth ninety dollars for you to splurge on Madden NFL 09. The core game is a lot of fun, though, warts and all.
GameDaily (Aug 12, 2008)
Despite the gimmicky Madden Test/Madden IQ features and slight issues with the gameplay (defensive players still lock on to running backs like magnets), Madden NFL 09 has enough yardage for the first down. Enjoyable on field play, combined with all those modes, makes it one of this year's best sports games and must buy for anyone excited about the upcoming NFL season.
GameSpot (Aug 11, 2008)
The Madden series has been so good for so long that the bar for each yearly release is extremely high. And it's because standards are so high that, while it's still great, Madden 09 could have been better. For every addition, like the backtrack feature, Collinsworth, or improved visuals, there's a problem that rears its ugly head, like the unchanged Superstar mode, poor pass coverage in the middle of the field, or underwhelming online leagues. Newcomers will still face a steep learning curve, but if you're a football fan or series veteran, you can't go wrong with Madden 09.
GamesRadar (Aug 12, 2008)
Without a doubt, Madden 09 is still a day-one purchase for gridiron junkies. We’ll happily play all season long, during which we’ll invent a thousand more reasons to love and hate it all at the same time. No matter what, though, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t a tad disappointed that this year’s version didn’t make the same jump we’d gotten accustomed to the last two years. We were ready for the ’73 Dolphins, but got the ’84 ‘Fins instead.
77 (Oct 01, 2008)
Abgesehen davon bietet Madden NFL 09 s dem American Football-Fan sicher alles was man sich wünschen kann – vom eigenen Spieler oder eigenen Team bis hin zum Entwerfen von eigenen Spielzügen ist alles möglich und durch die verschienenen Schwierigkeitsstufen sowie die adaptive Spiele-Engine werden sich auch Anfänger recht schnell zurecht finden. Somit ist der Madden Serie auch heuter wieder ein Touchdown gelungen.
The A.V. Club (Aug 20, 2008)
Final judgment: As ever, new bells and whistles add distraction, but EA is still looking for Madden's sweet spot.
Destructoid (Aug 28, 2008)
As you can see, Madden NFL 09 is a mixed bag. It’s vastly better than its predecessors in many ways, but there are a few areas -- big ones -- where it falls flat. Still, I can say without hesitation that it’s easily the best Madden game since the franchise entered the high-definition era. Definitely check it out if you need your virtual football fix.
FiringSquad (Sep 02, 2008)
Madden NFL 09 is pretty much exactly what you would expect. EA Sports generally doesn’t offer any surprises, and this game is no exception to that rule. It provides just enough football bang for the buck, although if you’re happy with last year’s model, or a little less than revved up over the looming real NFL regular season, you can safely sit this one out.
Game Shark (Aug 12, 2008)
What you are left with is a great 2-player game, a lot of features that the well established fan base most likely won’t care about (even though Backtrack and Rewind are both pretty good ideas), a half-baked online league system, and gameplay that is at times highly polished and entertaining yet also plagued by AI issues. Considering the state of the game it’s easy to recommend for online gamers and those who have access to play against a buddy on the same machine. For solo players it’s a tough call. It’s probably best to wait for EA to issue its patch (which they are working on as I type this) to see of some of the quirks are ironed out.