I can almost feel my opponent’s cleats digging into my side! Wait...I’m just sitting on my keys. Never mind.
If you’ve not already picked up your yearly copy in the iconic Madden franchise, I’m assuming it’s because you’ve been in some horrific accident that has left you bedridden. Otherwise, why else would you pass up an opportunity to have some serious bone-crushing fun on the grassy fields of the NFL? We recently reviewed the latest iteration, and came away with that usual warm and fuzzy feeling only a high-impact quarterback sack can bring! If you’ve not yet taken a moment to read up on the details and get our thoughts, take a moment to do so right here!
And as they say, the devil truly is in the details!
I’ve expressed before how easy it is for game developers to sink into a sense of complacency when they’re on top. Let’s face it. The EA/Madden combo has been so strong, it’s consistently reigned as king of the hill for decades. Also, there hasn’t been much in the way of competitors coming along to knock it off the heap (save for 2K that is). This is partially due to EA locking up an exclusive deal with the NFL regarding their rights at one point. As a result, churning out the same old title with just minor tweaks each year would be the easy route to take. However, Madden has continually tried to improve upon itself, in the hopes of providing the best experience possible. I’m not saying they’ve always achieved that goal mind you, as some years certainly seem like a step backwards from previous releases. However, the same cannot be said for Madden NFL 15. With updated play mechanics focusing on risk/reward tackles, and an effort to provide a Sports Center-esque presentation, we definitely can recommend this title for any football fanatic (both casual and the die-hards).
And in honor of the current release, I thought I’d throw out a few of my all-time favorite non-Madden picks from my gaming past. I’ve not spent as much time in the end zone as some of my other brethren, but I have enjoyed a handful of titles over the years which I feel deserve honorable mentions. So strap on your helmets as I blitz you with this retro-football onslaught.
NFL Sports Talk Football ’93 Starring Joe Montana:
While I prefer to refer to him as Joe MANTEGNA (Waterboy reference for those paying attention) this game makes the list for one very special reason. This was the first football game that transformed my interest in the sport from vague curiosity to full blown obsession. Hell, now that I think about it…it could be the first I ever owned! While I’ve been into the scene since the days of Atari (and played many footballers over the years leading up to this point) I can’t remember buying one until I received this as a birthday present. The simulated announcer’s commentary was fairly innovative for the time (but sounds like Steven Hawking’s older brother by today’s standards). Still a favorite and a reminder there were other names in the world of football as popular as Madden back in the day.
NFL Street Series:
For those familiar with NBA Street in the world of basketball, probably know EA expanded the series to include the old pigskin as well. NFL Street was a stylized version of the game, harkening back to the arcade days of Blitz and NBA Jam. Inclusions of elements such as turbo jukes, and the ability to run on walls, added a campy element not seen in traditional entries. Also, the Gamebreaker (well known in other Street titles) offers a huge advantage in the short-term which almost always guarantees a TD. This is a perfect example of how style over substance CAN sometimes be a good thing!
Tecmo Super Bowl:
This is a game that truly needs no introduction for any NES player out there. If you are a gamer born before 1990, you probably cut your teeth on this classic. While tame by todays’ standards of photoreatlstic stadiums and 10,000+ polygon count player models, Tecmo Super Bowl has resulted in many a lost weekend from my youth spent glued to the television. While I didn’t own it, I must have paid for its cost three times over in rental fees from my local video store. In hindsight, here is where my cousins and I probably learned more about the facts of life than the actual show The Facts of Life. Think about it, competition, sportsmanship, strategy…what more can young boys ask for in learning these types of character building skills! Thank you for being our own personal Mr. Rogers Tecmo Super Bowl!
While I can highly recommend any one of these listed above, Madden NFL 15 is really where gamer’s focus should be at right now. With it being one of the first NFL projects developed specifically for the next-gen consoles, we’re getting an experience unlike anything seen before! If you happen to have a Gamefly subscription, you won’t go wrong by throwing this one into your delivery queue. Although don’t expect a speedy turnout, as it’s currently in VERY high demand.
Already played Madden NFL 15? What are your thoughts? Did you enjoy the updated features, or do you think it’s just more of the same? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!