It is more than fair to say that the last few years, EA has been coasting along with the Madden series. Madden NFL 21 is not a bad game at all, but it is certainly lacking in innovation. It is a game that is going to be enjoyed by hardcore Madden fans no matter what, but many of us with this release started to feel more and more like we were playing the same game over the last few years.
How to Download Madden NFL 21
To download the game for your platform, click on the Download button at the end of this review. Check out also our review of Madden NFL 22.
The Game Review
To be fair, EA did implement a few new features here. One of the most notable things was the new stick skill ball carrier system. This along with some new passing moves and changes to tackling were welcome additions. Overall, EA did give us a bit more control on the field. It was more of a small step than some kind of innovation. I think as far as the on-the-field stuff goes, this game engine has run its course.
Again, that does not make it bad by any means. However, I do have to say that Madden is a series that is crying out for a big engine change to really shake things up. The thing is, as long as Ultimate Team is a massive cash cow for EA, they have no real reason to do this.
While I feel this start of this review could be regarded as negative, there were still many things I liked about Madden NFL 21. Franchise Mode is something I sink tons of hours into every year and in this game, it is as good as ever. Granted it is very similar to what we got last year, but they already had a solid foundation here so I loved trying to make the Eagles the ultimate franchise.
There is also a story mode here called Face of the Franchise. The story mode is pretty fun, you are a rookie trying to become the star on your team. These story modes that EA has started putting in their sports games are way better than they have any right to be. I had a blast with this and would recommend it be the first thing you play.
Another game mode that I had a lot of fun with is called The Yard which offers you backyard/street style football. The idea of playing a game like this in Madden is hilarious and it is actually very well done. I would love to have seen this expanded on a bit and hopefully, it can lead to the return of the NFL Street series at some point.
I cannot believe we have got this far and not talked about the presentation. Say what you want about EA, but their sports games are the best in history when it comes to TV-style presentation. Madden NFL 21 looks great, with recognizable players, and real stadiums.
It would be so easy to say “it is just the same game as Madden NFL 20” and I can get that. However, this is still a damn fine game of football. It may not be moving the series very far forward, but it still plays great. Plus, there are many game modes here for you to sink your teeth into.
- This game looks fantastic
- The story mode is actually very well done
- Franchise Mode is as addictive as ever
- I had so much fun with The Yard
- The series is crying out for some kind of big innovation
- I am not a fan of what Ultimate Team offers at all