Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

Your screen comes into focus showing a high-definition graphic football field with players of your team and the opposing team. The stands are packed with screaming audience members, the referee blows his whistle and with high adrenaline, you are ready to play.

Everything You Need to Know About Madden NFL 21

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

Madden NFL 21 is the latest installment of the Madden NFL series by EA sports, it is an American football video game created by Kris Bowers and founded on the principles of the National Football League. Madden 21’s initial release date was highly anticipated by video game enthusiasts which were 28 August 2020. The most asked question in this context then becomes: “is Madden 21 worth it?” and it is exactly that which we will discuss in the course of this article.

The game is available on platforms like PlayStation 4 and 5, Google Stadia, Xbox One, and Series X and S, and finally on Microsoft Windows. Here then, is also the answer to popular google search madden NFL 21 ps4. Madden NFL 21 mobile version is currently not supported. Other than that, the response to the question Can you play Madden 21 on ps5? is yes. So, people, put your gaming hats on and play. The pandemic gives plenty of leisure time for that.

Key Features of the Game: Madden NFL 21

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

The all-new Madden NFL 21 features the rise of players in collaboration with Nike to bring players a limited edition collection of gear. One can now create their own permanent gaming legacy and rise to fame. New records can be forged and are available for everyone to see in the players’ hall of fame. The game is innovatively designed in such a way to enable you to give a new level of controllability in order for you to create unprecedented new records.

Dynamic new methods of gameplay allow an effective level of controls and enhanced movements. This game is designed for you to test out unprecedented new moves. Its skill stickball carrier system enables all that. New adaptive AI also enables you to diversify your moves and allows a whole new level of precision.

Some of the Innovative Features in Madden NFL 21

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

  1. Rise to Fame: so that players with new records are inducted into the NFL hall of fame.
  2. Enhancements in defense and well as in attack, in running
  3. Live playbooks
  4. New X-Factor abilities: brand new abilities designed for breaking records and diversifying gameplay

The speed of the gameplay is better than the earlier versions. The animations are surprisingly top-notch for limited features like jukes and spins. The Skill Stick which is also a new introduction makes the game smoother for the person who carries the ball. It enables memorable moments in both attack and defense.

Unlike last year’s version, one cannot run over the players just like that, this year the running lines are more accurate and thus it becomes harder. The skill stick combines different moves and makes them more fluid, natural, and easy to execute. The only drawback is that the game is based on canned animation and not “inverse kinematic physics simulation” but the overall effect is realistic and smooth.

In short, it is a new game for a rising new generation of gamers.

Features of The Yard in the game Madden NFL 21

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

Another new feature which constantly cropped up in Madden NFL reviews and its marketing is The Yard. It is one self-glorification of the few good things about Madden 21 even though it comes at the cost of other things. This mode invites top players to compete against each other in a backyard situation. The rules are much more relaxed in this situation as it tries to simulate that schoolboy feeling of playing games after lessons.

This is an innovation in a positive direction with immense possibilities. There is an absence of a time limit and playing space measures 80 yards. There are a lot of new rules in this mode but that is what makes the game more attractive. Instead of dressing up in team gear, everyone wears different sports clothes, making the backyard experience more real and less formal.

Each team gets three attacking positions and the kickers are absent. One gets bonus points for obscure things such as throwing beyond the line of scrimmage and intercepting players. The idea is captivating and innovative yet it isn’t substantial. It allows customization, rule-breaking, and the chance to compete with another gamer of superior abilities but there is nothing more to it.

It really acts as a distraction from the classic franchise mode which by the way, is almost identical to the previous versions. As a distraction, it works but it does not have any story or substance of its own and cannot adequately disguise the botched job on the rest of the modes. It will entertain but will fail to satisfy.

Why should You consider buying Madden NFL 21?

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

Madden NFL is a franchise that is immensely popular among gamers and has built a die-hard fan base over the years. A new and improved version comes out each year which adds something to the previous versions. In recent years, however, reviewers have been complaining of the minor changes repackaged as unprecedented and the increasing mediocrity of the series over time. The fan base is still intact even though critics attribute it to the monopoly that the franchise holds over the market.

The general critical consensus regarding NFL 21 is that while it has one or two new features, it fails to live up to the hype which was created during its marketing and promotions. This year more than ever, fans had been expecting something special in the light of the pandemic making actual NFL games unsafe to attend.

The introduction of the yard mode this year is superb, state most Madden NFL 21 reviews. Despite that, however, there are other, major technical issues with the game. There have been no improvements whatsoever on the previous errors and new errors seem to have been introduced. Refinements have only served to weaken the technical basis of the game.

Madden NFL 21 has a new backstory which is called Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame. It is a stilted, melodramatic story. Beginning as the replacement quarterback in high school, the story focuses too much on the actual quarterback’s health issues and how the backup player has to contend with the feelings of loyalty to the team versus self-glorification.

The replacement does eventually get his shot in the NFL albeit with constant mess ups which seem artificial. The animations and voiceovers aren’t that great either. One good thing about the story is that it is not narrated at once but as a sort of highlight over the years, in retrospect which is an interesting and engaging format.

Not everything’s bad though. There have been significant improvements in graphics, making it appear very modern and cutting edge, in the zoomed-out version at least. The new backstory is also interesting. Other improvements include smoother running controls and an introduction of X- factor abilities which can pose a significant challenge to even the most talented gamers out there.

There still remain issues regarding animations but the coming versions are sure to make an improvement, optimistically speaking. Overall, the game is a step in the direction of making it even more efficient but considerable work needs to be done still. The latest version doesn’t feel all that different from the earlier ones.

How true is the Game to the Original NFL?

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

Since the game is based on the NFL, the typical rituals make up a big part of the game. This is not replicated true to form in the video game version which does the NFL a disservice. The highlight reel which happens before the game shows players celebrating even though the game hasn’t even begun and misses out on a number of important statistical information which is always shown in the beginning of each actual NFL game.

Another important ritual of the halftime show is missing from the video game. There is a brief discussion of the games played till that point in the league and a few cursory slow-motion replays of game highlights but a detailed commentary on the playoff and a discussion of the tactics used by both the sides and commentary on how to improve these tactics is missing. Not only the commentary, but interviews are also absent. Thus, it is not accurate or even a good imitation of the National Football league.

Specific Pros of the New Version Madden NFL 21

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

There have been many Pros for this game. In  this section, we will look into some of the specific Pros that this version of Madden NFL 21 has to offer:

  1. One can try out skillful moves with ease such as the stutter step, stop-on- a- dime, and dead-leg.
  2. One can also combine these moves to create innovative new moves.
  3. Madden 21 engenders a whole new level of difficulty since the opposing team can now generate resistance to similar moves which will force you to think of new ways to get past them and create diversity in your gameplay.
  4. There are over 50 new abilities that have been built into the game to cater to a new generation of video game enthusiasts.
  5. This game will necessarily have you fine-tune your game-playing skills and leave you on edge with excitement.
  6. You can build a whole new fantasy team and train it from scratch and create your own history to transcend the existing NFL history in order to be inducted into the hall of fame. What’s more, you can experience all this in high definition!

Specific Cons of the New Version Madden NFL 21

Like every other game, this game has some issues too. Let’s explore the cons in the Madden NFL 21:

  1. The franchise mode which represents the most important part of the game and the part in which most innovation should ideally happen is neglected in Madden NFL 21.
  2. This version is identical to its previous iterations.
  3. The classical franchise mode is one of the most played modes that should have received more attention than it did.
  4. There are other superficial features such as The Yard which do attract customers but in reality, are not substantial.
  5. It does not add anything to the quality of the game and makes it look just innovative enough to fool the buyers into buying it.

In addition to this, there are significant performance issues. There are more bugs than usual in the latest version. These bugs lead to wrong moves and missed opportunities for passing and goal-scoring which becomes quite frustrating for the player since errors are happening through no fault of their own. In some modes, Madden NFL 21 would hang and stop loading and if the progress is not already saved, it could be lost. It also requires frequent rebooting due to constant internal glitches. These performance glitches are the biggest drawback of the game.

Critical Reviews over Madden NFL 21

Madden NFL 21 Review: EA Sports’ Worst or Best Football Game?

Critics opine that since new NFL games come out every year, there is scope for only limited improvements, and let’s see what are the specific points:

  1. The last major change in the Madden NFL series happened in 2017 with the introduction of the frostbite engine.
  2. Afterward, changes have only been limited, just enough to keep the series moving, the audience excited and revenues flowing.
  3. The major issue with Madden 21 is that if one plays with the zoomed-out mode, it looks realistic and true to the original.
  4. The graphics stand out and look almost real. On a closer look, however, literally, in other words, when one zooms into the game, the players look hazy and distorted and their movements become stiff and deliberate.
  5. The audience too looks quite lackluster and nonrealistic. This is an area that has been requiring improvement for a long time and NFL 21 could have been a chance for EA Sports to redeem themselves, yet it did not happen.

Take Away from Madden NFL 21 Reviews

As mentioned earlier, due to the Madden franchise being the only one on the market, it has virtually no competition and hence less incentive for innovation. Each year, the factors added in the game are mere frills in order to boost sales. Concrete structural innovations are imperative. As to the question is Madden 21 worth it, I am going to have to say no because despite new features, there is no substantial addition to the game and gamers can do just as well with the older, cheaper versions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When can I buy Madden 21?

Answer: Any day after its release date i.e. 28 August, 2020

How much does Madden 21 cost?

Answer: 58-73 Dollars depending upon the version and your gaming system.

Can you play Madden 21 on ps5?

Answer: Yes

Madden NFL 21 PS4 controls

Answer: Motion player: LS Left or Right (Hold), Player lock: Double Press LS, Pass protection: L1, Show play art: L2

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