Review of Madden NFL 18

by
Posted August 17th, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Fresh off an especially strong year for the Madden franchise this year’s edition comes across a bit disjointed in comparison. The new story mode Longshot is a winner, as is the return of online co-op with MUT Squads, but otherwise the changes or lack thereof prove underwhelming. Gameplay advancements are subtle but at least areas like offensive line blocking show promise. Franchise mode hasn’t changed much besides injuries playing a bigger role and the new ability to play along with the season and start a franchise from any week current or past.

Check out the full review of Madden NFL 18 at Sporting News. Also take a look through this Twitter thread which includes screenshots, gifs, videos, and notes about the game and check out two full online game videos that have been posted for MUT Squads and MUT Draft.

  • Rich

    I feel like your article and final score are a bit conflicting. In short they added a new mode and nothing much else. And it gets 4 Stars! 🙂

    Felt like you were going to toss a 2 1/2 or 3 star score. I’ll look for it on super cheap during black friday. I hope others do as well to scare EA into making some changes to other things.

    • I thought Longshot was good enough to boost the score. Had I not enjoyed Longshot as much as I did, the score would’ve been lower. It’s always tough to settle on a number that represents overall thoughts on a product.

      • Keith.

        Wonder if you would’ve even played MUT Squads if you didn’t get the game early from EA and play the mode the other day with Rex d$&@$@#% Dickson and Clint whatever his name is. In other words, if you were in the same boat as the rest of us. Probably worth mentioning that in the review, IMO.

        Personally, I’d rather jab hot pokers in my eyeballs than play 4 min quarters with 5 other random MUT players. That’s like spending time on the lowest rung of Dante’s Inferno.

        • I would’ve been able to play it through EA Access and plan to do more of it over the weekend or next week to better evaluate its long term prospects. The key to that mode is teamwork, it’s not going to be very fun if you’re just doing it with random people.

        • SockfulOfNickels

          Is it just me or is Keith’s trolling getting hilarious again?

          • jbstoner44

            Just because he is voicing his opinion, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is trolling.

  • ClubSteve

    no new network presentation? no historic teams? no customization? or to celebrate brady on the cover, maybe a “brady challenge” to replay the incredible comeback in last year’s super bowl? come on, EA. you can do better….

    • Packers96

      That is EA Sports, the most lazy sports games company !!!!

      As far as EA Sports is able to do something better, I have my doubts.

      • ClubSteve

        madden should be the best sports game…..but it just isn’t. it appears they are content being second or third best.

    • The Great Leon

      Madden will likely never had historic teams. NFL teams have around 70 guys on the team and that is a lot of money for likeness. Not that all the players need to be on the team but you would like it to be accurate.

  • Jamie

    Solid review as always Pasta. Thanks!

  • After playing about 6 hours of the trial, I’m going to pass this year. They say franchise is their most popular mode. But they continue to do almost nothing to it year after year. I went to start a franchise and found myself bored of it before I even played a game! Though I haven’t bought a basketball game in several years, I’m gonna support Live or 2k this year. The gameplay is a solid improvement over last year. But the game needs a complete presentation overhaul.

    • hungryandrew

      All EA care about is MUT, since they make millions of morons spending money on packs.

    • RandomDude

      they’ve completely revamped the mode a couple times now. What are you literally smoking? Plus, they’ve said they alternate serious advances. It’s every other year. One year gameplay, the next Franchise, etc.

      • Define completely revamped… Franchise has looked identical for three years now. If you want to make excuses for them, thats your business

        • RandomDude

          Connected Franchise…they introduced it and revamped it in two of the last three years. If you think it’s looked identical you’re not doing something right.

          • Jare Bear

            How has the gameplay been seriously advanced this year? Have you played it? It’s 17.5

            Has the CPU play calling improved, or AI decision making?

          • RandomDude

            who cares? that’s not what we’re even talking about.

  • hungryandrew

    4 Stars Padre? I dunno bout all that!!!!!

  • BravesFan24

    The focus this year was obviously on Longshot and the Frostbite engine. Problem is, the attention given to those two things came at the expense of neglecting to update other parts of the game. Then again, it’s been a long time since a new edition of Madden actually felt fresh, so it’s not surprising.

  • First of all, 5/5 isn’t perfect. I’ve given 5s out before for games like NBA 2K16. Doesn’t mean they are flawless or can’t improve.

    A lot of what you have in negatives are things I did note since it’s important to on annual games, but don’t necessarily detract from way most people would probably view the product. Gameplay is still good for example, even if it didn’t impress me necessarily. Franchise is still decent IMO, and the best online franchise in the genre, but obviously would’ve liked to see something more done there too. Presentation is where I would fall on the negative side since it was reasonable to expect much more from that especially considering Frostbite…

    All that being said I probably would’ve settled on a 3.5 for the game had Longshot not been as good as it is. That lifted it up. Whether Longshot will make that impact for everyone I can’t say. I did score it below last year’s game which I thought was a more well-rounded effort, and it’s under the metacritic average right now. I went 7 with M16, 9 with M17, and 8 with M18. To me that represents the trajectory the last three years pretty well. But scores are always a tough thing to to come up with, and I try to see the whole picture which includes a more casual crowd in that mix when I’m evaluating.

    • Keith.

      It’s interesting comparing your scores from the last 3 years against Metacritic, which went from 83 with M16, to 82 with M17, to 82/PS4 & 79/XBone for M18. The Metacritic scores are a good 10 points too high, IMO, for a game with the resources behind it of EA and the NFL, but at least they’re still well below the NBA 2K’s and the PESes of the sports game world.

  • Kid Fleetfoot

    Do the virtual cards come with virtual bubble gum? If not, chew regular sugarless gum because it’s good for cleaning your teeth. Besides, if you get frustrated with all these virtual cards and start grinding your teeth, the real sugarless gum might help save them.

  • Keith.

    IGN already has the entire Longshot movie up to watch, a week before the game is out…lol.

    And it clocks in at 2 hours 34 minutes, so not sure where the 3.5 hour time is coming from with Pasta.

    • blue_rain_87

      Keith, take your trolling ass out of here, pasta should ban you from madden comments, you and your little “friend” jbstoner.(“not that there is anything wrong with that”) seriously, i do agree that madden has been a let down for years, but it’s also blatantly obvious to anyone, other than jbstoner, who im not sure isnt also you, that you are getting paid by 2k or that someone from ea killed your puppy. Seriously gtfoh, you are a troll, you dont even play madden, and yet EVERY comment you make references it. How fing old are you? Pasta, i was wondering, would you ban keith if we can get a change.org petition with say 10000 signatures? I mean it should be easy. Lmao

      • Keith.

        EA’s been trolling you, me, and everybody else here these last 13 years by overpaying for the exclusive license solely to keep a superior product out of consumers’ hands. This year, they moved all of their franchise devs over to NBA Live and, in doing so, didn’t do anything to improve the most played mode of their game. I’d say my trolling is pretty small potatoes in comparison.

      • jbstoner44

        No one is trolling. It’s people like on why EA doesn’t see a need to improve their products. I know they can do better, I’m sorry I dont except subpar productivity. EA need to be called out.

  • NELL86

    This game is poop

  • Cole A Campbelle

    Is anyone having a issue with custom playbooks like me! I added some shotgun formations and when I was playing couldn’t find the plays until I selected Hail Mary and all the plays were there! But I couldn’t use some of them still! Can this be fixed???