Madden NFL 23
Madden NFL 23 is an American football video game based on the National Football League (NFL), developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA Sports. It is an installment of the long-running Madden NFL series.
Why It's Not All-Madden
- The game is almost a copy-paste of the past few Madden installments.
- The menu music is explicit (and heavily censored) rap music. There's only one rock song, which plays in stadiums and not the menu: "Give It Away" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
- Like the previous installments and other EA Sports games, Ultimate Team is where most of the effort was going to, as EA mostly earns their money from players buying the premium points currency, and using the points to buy packs, which many gamers continue to do as they are desperate on getting the best MUT cards.
- MUT for this season is more pay to win compared to previous installments in the early part of the season.
- The game still uses the Frostbite 3 engine, which is a poor fit for sports games.
- A few features only appear in the Next-Gen version, such as Next Gen Movement, Stats, Graphics and FieldSENSE, but not for the PC which get the Old-Gen version instead.
- In Ultimate Team, certain players use incorrect/outdated art, such as Khalil Mack (of the Los Angeles Chargers) being pictured in a Raiders uniform (his team from 2014 through 2017), instead of the Chicago Bears (his team from 2018 through 2021), or a training camp photo of him in his new team (Los Angeles Chargers) uniform.
- As with the past few Madden installments, certain players on new teams had their art photoshopped in their X-Factor/loading screen images.
- The commentary team (Brandon Gaudin & Charles Davis) has not been changed, and mostly re-uses lines from Madden NFL 17 and subsequent installments where they recorded new lines, and can get repetitive at times.
- False promises: The dev team claimed that they had removed hundreds of glitches, but the game is still polluted with bugs, such as an office room appearing in the middle of the field, or the ball jumping around on its own.
- When the game was released, the defense was overpowered, as players were throwing nine interceptions per game.
- Blocking is still weak, as whenever a lineman misses a block, it looks like the player is blocking a ghost.
- It is not possible to use the character made in Face of the Franchise for The Yard and vice versa.
- Franchise Mode still remains mostly untouched, with only a few changes to scouting and free agency.
- Face of the Franchise still plays similarly to previous installments:
- The Yard is still a copy paste from previous installments, and still does not transfer over from the previous year, and is still infested with cosmetic microtransactions.
- EA wanted to "honor" former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden (who died in December 2021) by placing him on the game's cover, but using his likeness on a terrible video game is completely disrespectful.
- There are still no real-life referees, with EA claiming that they could not afford them, despite the company making more than a billion dollars from Ultimate Team Points.
- Superstar KO has not been updated either, with the player pool still the same as previous year, and the teams were reduced from 8 to 3.
- The John Madden Legacy Game is an all-star game with active and retired legendary players, without using Ultimate Team.
- Many of these players had appeared in John Madden's past All-Madden teams (from the 1980's through 2021).
- The Legacy Game is between players from both conferences, the AFC and the NFC.
- The Oakland Coliseum, the Raiders' longtime home field before they moved to Los Angeles and finally Las Vegas, makes its return to Madden NFL. As the Coliseum appeared in the 1970's.
- The commentary talks about Coach Madden's life and career. The game also features some of Madden's old commentary about the players.
- The half-time show explains Coach Madden's view on the sport and the video game series.
- The game's intro is tolerable. The theme song is an instrumental version of "Cold" by King Green, with a video tribute to Coach Madden, with video footage from older Madden video games and a random quote from him every time you start the game.
- Free Agency has been overhauled, giving motivations for each player, meaning you'll need to meet a player's demands, though there is contract flexibility.
- Scouting has been updated with more details, with more important attributes being revealed first.
- Ultimate Team introduced the Field Pass, which offers rewards by leveling up without spending money.
- The Opening Day patch (September 8) addressed over 90 issues, such as improving the offensive line's blocking, rookie likenesses, and alternate helmets.
Madden NFL 23 received "mixed or average" reviews from critics, according to Metacritic.
In its 7.0/10 review, IGN wrote: "Madden NFL 23, though, provides a glimpse of a light at the end of the tunnel with a handful of smart enhancements to animations, AI, and passing mechanics that make subtle but meaningful improvements to the moment-to-moment football on the field… After playing Madden NFL 23 I finally have a little optimism that the series is on the right path — maybe not an emphatic 'Boom!', but clear forward progress for a series that so desperately needs it." Also giving the game a 7/10, GameSpot said: "This year's Madden is a lot like the past decade of Madden in that it suffers a number of self-inflicted wounds and returns features that were unpopular in years prior. However, it's crucial to reiterate, on the field, Madden genuinely feels great for the first time in a long time. The changes to Franchise are helpful but not revolutionary, the MUT Field Pass system is promising but janky at launch, and other modes are largely forgettable… The improvements on gameday make Madden 23 a flawed game, but clearly an improvement in the series' most important way: the actual playing of football." GamesRadar+ gave the game 3 out of 5 stars, saying: "Some fun improvements make this playable – yet Madden still features too much carryover. Not just from last year, but the last decade." Shacknews rated it 3 out of 5 stars calling it "a poor pro football simulator".
- This year's installment is the only EA Sports game which does not use crossplay matchmaking within the same generation platforms (PS4, XBO & PC; or PS5 and XSX/S).
- EA Vancouver's games (FIFA 23 and NHL 23) both use crossplay matchmaking within the same generation. FIFA 23 for the PC is based on the next-gen version except for the transfer market, which is separate.