Review: ‘Madden 24’ Is The Only NFL Game That Matters
The latest installment of the beloved NFL franchise is better than ever thanks to huge improvements to AI and gameplay.
The annual release of Madden has become a bittersweet affair. Madden 24 is a new entry in the long-running franchise that’s earned its way into history and fans’ hearts many, many times over while selling millions of copies along the way. The game has depth and realism. It has modes for any NFL fan. it’s the only way to get gridiron action on an Xbox or Playstation. That doesn’t make it a bad game. Far from it, actually. It just begs the question; does the world need a new Madden every single year? After playing (and enjoying) Madden 24, the answer very well might be no.
That sounds at odds considering how good Madden 24 actually is. Huge effort has gone into this year’s release with player animations vastly improving to mimic familiar players and their unique styles. The realism that creates is researched, accurate and, for fans who notice, downright impressive.
Similarly, there’s the feeling of a genuine leap in AI-controlled, off-the-ball play where offensive players no longer bungle coverage. The improvement to blocking – a component players are forced to relinquish while controlling ball carriers – significantly kills the frustration of getting tackled while watching your own offensive linemen do something they would never do in real life.
There are also significant improvements to the character models, off-field backdrops, QB and RB AI and almost every control system, on both sides of the line of scrimmage and both on and off the ball. If a Madden game could ever be considered a football simulator, Madden 24 would be it.
These gameplay improvements join vast playbooks and detailed controls at every position that make Madden 24 one of the most enjoyable NFL games ever and since these upgrades exist in the core gameplay, it raises the bar for every single game mode in Madden 24.
That means, whether playing minutes of mini games or months of franchise mode, the game is better than ever. And there really is a mode for everyone. Ultimate team returns for those seeking a fantasy football style experience where tinkering pays dividends. Franchise mode is here for those who prefer a season-over-season long haul. Online crossplay means the gamer looking to whoop some ass has a bigger pool of asses to whoop.
What the longtime Madden faithful are left with is the one and only NFL game delivering an excellent experience that will last them through this football season and months beyond. The problem is, Madden 24 could scratch that itch for years. If games like GTAV, Fortnite or Rocket League have taught us anything, it’s that annual releases just aren’t necessary anymore to keep players engaged. Regular updates will do.
Madden 24 sets the perfect framework for the NFL experience in a football video game. Why change it yearly and risk janky or gimmicky improvements? When Madden 25 comes around next year, does it really need to be more than an update to what EA has captured here? Hopefully, with FIFA now becoming EA Sports FC 24 next month, perhaps EA has some changes in store for Madden as well but that’s an answer we won’t know until pre-season next year.