Madden NFL 16
The third iteration of the series on current-gen platforms, Madden NFL 16 continues its growth. There's not a myriad of changes this year, but what has been tweaked is noticeable and makes for a fantastic game of pigskin.
Madden NFL 16 boasts deep and engaging gameplay, a robust tutorial system, and an overall presentation that makes it the best that it's been in years.
As I have reviewed every Madden game these last few years, I saw systems get more and more complex, making the game feel like it was out of my reach. Madden 16 feels like it is geared around simplicity. None of the systems from other Madden games were taken out, but the core of the game has been shifted toward simple mechanics interacting with other simple mechanics. This is a breath of fresh air to me. It makes Madden NFL 16 a fantastic place to start playing Madden, as well as being different enough to warrant a follow up buy after 15.
Madden NFL 16 definitely streamlines the American football experience on the PlayStation 4 with its enhanced gaming mechanics, especially with the new catches and accessible in-game goals. Controls work extremely well and the tweaked gameplay creates a new direction for the series, more so with the next-gen graphics that just boom out of your TV.
It's always a bit hyperbolic to say "best Madden ever" before the community play-style has settled - but in terms of the gameplay mechanics, the franchise is at the most realistic point it's reached to date.
If you have a passion for American football, there really is no better replication of the sport this well designed and executed.
More tactical, more rewarding and much more fun
All the intangibles, streaky in the clutch
Overall, the gameplay for Madden NFL 16 has been refined, simplified and improved. It feels like it's going back to a time where playing a football game was less of a chore and more fun. I think EA Tiburon hit the right notes with this year's Madden and has opened the door for everyone wanting to play a good game of football on their current generation system. Kudos to them for logical and entertaining gameplay improvements.
A few new gameplay mechanics and the Fantasy Draft mode might not seem like enough to make you part with your cash, but the subtle changes are enough to make every game feel like a new challenge. Every catch can be game changing, every defensive counter move pivotal. It's great that a simple tweak can shift the dynamic so much, and it's enough to make Madden NFL 16 a more authentic experience for long time players and newcomers alike.