With the Superbowl well on its way, it feels like the world, or at least our corner of it, has gone football crazy. Most of us like an exciting football game as much as the next person, but there’s something much cooler about getting to orchestrate it. Since their inception as a computer game in 1988, Madden has been the leading football game. The recent release of Madden NFL 20 is on many a Christmas list this year and for good reason; it’s great!

Although this year Oddschecker have the New Orleans Saints as the most likely winners, with Madden NFL 20 you get to decide who’s going to take home the trophy. Working through Franchise mode is great fun, and seeing your team succeed makes this game almost too playable; say goodbye to your weekends!

EA have always been good at storylines, but they’ve taken it to a sophisticated new level in this release. You can choose your player’s name, playing style, his look and even the sound of his voice. Unlike many storyline based games, where if you fail it’s written off and you start again, in this storyline your failure remains an integral part of the story, but you continue and build on it. This realism brings a nice element to this part of the game.

Once you’ve made it to the NFL, then you’ll be seeing a little less of your character. The face to face scenes are gradually phased out over the course of the game, so that once you get to the really tough gameplay, you’re more than invested enough in your guy to not need to see all the cutscenes.

As with the previous versions, the graphics are just about as good as they can be. They’ve sharpened up the edges and made the colours pop, but without the advent of a new console, it’s unlikely that EA could have done much more. Similar to its previous versions, again Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis make two of the most enjoyable commentators from any virtual sports game.

A final note, is that EA have finally got the advantages just right. In previous games the advantages have made players either impossible to beat, or made not nearly enough difference to be worth it. In this game the faster players have a clear advantage over the others, but are still tamable by a great defense.Just one more reason why Madden NFL is the best football game out there right now.

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