Madden NFL 2005


The defense upgrades bring a lot of welcome strategy to the game, and the new AI is simply superb. Its amazingly deep, well thought out franchise mode is the best I've ever seen, while the basic gameplay still can't be beat.


The off-the-field interface is simple and intuitive, but even Madden veterans will need a little time to learn all the new defensive playmaker calls available before the snap.


Madden remains the best in the business at presenting football plays. The playbook and playcalling interface in this year's game are clean, easy to read, and snap to use. [Sept 2004, p.96]

Play Magazine

In its 15th year, this well-oiled machine enters the 2005 season with one of the finest football games ever crafted. Raising the bar to an unheard of level, Madden 2005 is football at its very best. [Aug 2004, p.73]


Madden NFL 2005 is probably the only game that I think deserves to charge more than it does. It's a game that will give you an entire year of fun in single player, multiplayer, online and off.

XGP Gaming

Madden 2005's Franchise mode is unrivaled at any level by any game. The level of creativity that can be expressed in this game is amazing.


I love certain aspects about ESPN, the presentation, VIP, the highlights, but when it comes down to it, the things I like best about Madden are its franchise mode and, most importantly, its gameplay. And in the end, isn't that what it's all about?


Madden NFL 2005 doesn't really take this game to a whole new level but it does slightly rise above the amazing "ESPN NFL 2K5."

Next Level Gaming

In addition to all of the different defensive moves that you can make, EA Sports has improved the defensive A.I. The defensive is much more aggressive, and they really go after the ball. Some of the stupid mistakes that the A.I. has made in the past have been cut.


Once you get sucked into Franchise Mode, you very well might not make it out.


The coolest new [online] addition is the sports ticker. With it you can see the scores of your friend's games on the ticker as you're playing so you can quickly check the results of people on your Buddy List.

Xbox Evolved

The essentials of this game are near perfect.


This is the greatest representation of the National Football League to hit the market thus far and the 2005 additions make the game even more value for money and interesting to play.

WHAM! Gaming

Xbox users benefit immensely from the addition of online play, a feature that was noticeably absent from past games due to a tiff between Microsoft and EA.


Personally, I really enjoy the authenticity and realism involved with Madden's superior AI and gameplay feel. The hardcore Madden fans will love the subtle tweaks, fixes and upgrades throughout the entire game.

Game Over Online

Easily the deepest version of the successful franchise yet. A radically expansive franchise mode and an incredibly reactive defensive control scheme combine to make one of the best updates to a football game to date.

Electronic Gaming Monthly

[Chris]: Madden just plays better than "ESPN." There. I said it. [Bryan]: No, Chris - It plays a LOT better. And and I'm not just talking about the improved defensive play (especially in the secondary) and, with a quick tap on the new Hit Stick, the bone-jarring tackles. It's how Madden replicates the style of play of actual NFL squads. [Sept 2004, p.94]


If you must have only one NFL football game, I say spend the $50 on Madden NFL 2005. I think you will find yourself playing it for far longer than you would the $20 "ESPN NFL 2K5."


Madden's game play gets better each year with new innovations and deeper franchise modes. This year the offense and defense are more balanced.

Xbox Solution

It has a solid playbook and the football engine has to be the best out there.

Inside Gamer Online

A little too much like last year's game...However, its defensive gameplay mechanics are more than enough to warrant that this is a must-play game if you're into football, and it's a lot more user-friendly than ESPN is.

Official Xbox Magazine

Madden's AI is generally solid, but still way too susceptible to an aggressive passing attack. [Sept 2004, p.82]

Xbox World Australia

Despite the fact that some areas feel reused from 2004, and for some inexplicable reason Xbox Live support was left out of the PAL version, there is no doubt that Madden 2005 deserves its reputation as one of the premier sport titles available. If you love NFL gaming, don't wait, grab Madden 2005 now.

Game Revolution

It actually offers less new material than "ESPN NFL 2K5", which struck a chord with its VIP system and Weekly Prep. However, Madden's gameplay is more consistent and more solid than ESPN's, especially in terms of playbook depth and passing, and ultimately that's what distinguishes the champ from the challenger.


The defensive improvements and online leagues are a huge step in the right direction.

Xbox Nation Magazine

Once again, a maravel of gaming. [Sept 2004, p.84]


In many ways, Madden 2005 is just a bit too much like last year's Madden for comfort--but it's still a truly excellent game of football all around.


It's not the best-looking of the football titles out there, but it's the most fun to play and compete with.

Yahoo! Games

Madden 2005 is a benchmark in football simulations, because for the first time, it implements a realistic, versatile, hard-hitting defensive game that will pin you to the chair like a 300lb tackle.


Madden NFL 2005 is my favorite NFL football game of the year and it sacks "ESPN NFL 2K5" in the backfield for a loss. Not a huge loss though.

Game Informer

Madden has a knack of making quantum leaps with each successive title. This new edition, however, breaks the streak. [Sept 2004, p.101]

Gaming Nexus

If you're willing to take a chance I'd say that you should bench Madden and take "NFL2K5" for a spin. In our opinion, it's the better football game this year.

Gaming Age

With all the mixed reviews with some saying "ESPN" is the best, and some saying Madden is the best, this reviewers money is on Madden this year as to me it is worth the extra 30 dollars for what you do on an off the field.


Ultimately, Madden is a sensational game in the literal sense, delivering unparalleled replayability for those with open minds.

Operation Sports

The pinball running, even if you can circumvent it much of the time with the Y button, as well as the aging game engine knock this game 10% for me right away.

American football finally comes across as brutally as it should.


Though it's disappointing the presentation has taken a backseat in the development phase, Madden edges out "NFL 2K5" because, ultimately, it's the gameplay that matters after you've owned a football game for more than a couple weeks.

MS Xbox World

If you own any of the previous Madden games than personally I wouldn't bother buying this game.

The implementation of the Hit Stick (use the right analogue stick for some hard hitting defensive plays) is a nice touch and the rest of the game's mechanics have received a subtle overhaul to ensure it plays better than ever.


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