Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

Madden NFL 15: Features Fans Wish Were in The Game

Fans of Madden are never without criticisms and suggestions.
Fans of Madden are never without criticisms and suggestions.

This past week we decided to poke and prod the beast that is the Madden community to try and figure out what features Madden 15 could add to make its game a whole lot better. As you might expect, we got plenty of passionate responses.

Madden NFL is a yearly sports title, which means it opens itself up to an immense amount of criticism each year as a result of a short development cycle, and in this case, an exclusive NFL license that stifles competition. Criticism towards Madden has always been a polarizing combination of fair and unfair remarks, but there’s no doubt that just as any game, it could certainly improve.

Here I’ve put together ten of my favorite suggestions for Madden NFL 15 and beyond that I’ve gathered from the community, predominantly the guys over on /r/Madden and our followers on Twitter (@GoMadden). In no particular order, and with varying importance, here we go!

10 Features Fans Want in Madden NFL 15

10. Deeper Superstar Mode
One recurring suggestion from fans is a deeper superstar mode. Currently, Superstar mode is a bit of a dead-in-the-water feature that is waiting to be resuscitated. There are still Connected Franchise details to be revealed for Madden 15, so it’s not entirely out of the ballpark that this has been addressed as early as this year. We’ll have to wait and see what’s set to be revealed (if anything) on this matter, but many fans point to recent editions of the NBA 2K series for references on the kind of superstar depth they’d like to see in Madden.

9. Gang Tackles
Gang tackles were a well-touted addition to Madden just before it made the leap to the Infinity engine, but since then gang tackles have not been in the game, likely due to technical reasons as the development team tries to move forward in a physics-heavy generation of football games. Currently, the game gives off the impression of multiple tacklers influencing a play, but it’s mostly just show. This needs to find its way into the game soon, because it’s a big part of football.

8. Franchise Roster Export
Players want to be able to export their rosters from online & offline franchise modes right into their regular rosters. This would make practicing with your roster much easier than it currently is, and also potentially open the door to playing unranked games with unique squads in order to prepare for your next online franchise match.

7. Man Assignments
Pre-defined man assignments have been missing from Madden for a few years now, and it was one of the game’s most beloved features. It’s believed they had to remove this because of players who were exploiting techniques used to break the assignments and leave players running wide open. It’s hard to imagine EA putting this feature back into the game until they feel they’ve resolved this issue, but it definitely should be on the priority list if it’s not already.

6. Custom Music Playlist
The days of custom music inside Madden seemed to have disappeared as quickly as they appeared, but I wouldn’t mind it making a comeback. Madden’s theme songs tend to get quite tedious after a while, and a custom playlist based on songs on your harddrive would help break up some of the monotony of extended play sessions over the course of a season.

5. Better WR/DB Interactions
This is something that Madden 15 Creative Director Rex Dickson has come out on record to say he hopes to have in the game soon, ideally as a focus in next year’s title, but for now it looks like Madden won’t have intricate interactions between these position groups. Proper hand-fighting and jostling for position on passes is a big deal, especially in the now pass-happy NFL, so this couldn’t come too soon.

4. Better Way To Handle Quitters
Alright, so this is more of our own idea, but I thought I’d go ahead and sneak it in here. Quitters have been a problem in Madden ever since we entered the online era, and I feel like now is as good a time as any to push forward on solutions. Madden could learn a lot from competitive team games like DotA and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in this regard.

3. More Penalties on Overmatched DBs
Cornerbacks who are outmatched should be far more likely to commit holding or pass interference. This would give the game more diversity and realism, particularly in press coverage where a “beaten” player is always burnt for six. With more functioning penalties, sometimes players who get burned badly will try to compensate by holding a receiver, perhaps with the logic tied to increase the chance if there is no safety over the top when the burn occurs.

2. Deeper Week-to-week Strategy Options in CFM
While I realize most players who play Franchise mode prefer to actually play the games, for long-time veterans of Madden it’s more about simming games, and drafting and developing your team. This is because long-time players will find it quite easy to dominate the computer in solo franchise and win every season almost regardless of roster, so the challenge of simming the games and only relying on your talent acquisitions and gameplanning makes things fun again. Unfortunately, there are little-to-no strategy options for this. Things like being able to decide which player to target more with your passes, which side of the line to run to more often, how often to blitz and how much you want to play man vs. zone coverage and more are all important strategy aspects that aren’t represented in the options.

1. Basic Measurables While Drafting
The scouting system in Madden wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t leave you completely in the dark about every player you don’t scout personally. That might sound realistic on its face, but in reality it’s not. NFL coaches have everything from game film to combine numbers to evaluate prospects, even if they didn’t watch them directly at the time. With the current system, you are basically throwing darts blind at prospects as soon as your scouted players are off the board. Things like 40 time, 10-yard shuttle and the like need to make a return with the simple caveat that these numbers aren’t always entirely representative of the player’s abilities on the field.

These certainly aren’t all of the suggestions from fans online, but they are some of the more common, or more interesting ones I’ve seen cropping up lately. What do you think Madden needs most? Add your thoughts to the comments below.

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  • El Tigre Azul

    In reference to #2.

    I don’t play online much, I’m a guy that requires a solid Franchise mode. 25 had some solid improvements with the owner part, but a lot of things missing. A small example is when they took out RFAs. I will never understand how you could take out something like that..

  • Steel226

    -I’d personally love to have back the old Madden 2005 single player training camp.Where you could pick one of your qbs and have him throw the ball through the bronze,silver, and gold hoops.Defensive backs would go for swats and picks etc.Then after you can add those skill points to better his rating before each season started.Really enjoyed doing that.
    -The Tony Bruno show
    -Player emotions during contracts and playing time were great too.
    -Powerful hits leading to helmets coming off.Damn I loved that.
    -Would be nice to have the team entrances back as well
    -A practice squad incase you had a player get a minor injury
    -My biggest thing I would love above all is a louder,realistic sounding crowd.You make a clucth play,you should hear and feel it.I think they should take NCAA’s idea of when you play an opponent and they look at their play art, it gets all wobbly and hard to make out what you called due to such a loud crowd that you can’t communicate with you team.So realistic and such a great touch.

    How do you feel about this David Light and GoMadden followers?

  • jordon

    I play everything but online…I don’t understand how the my player features are so basic outside the game and how bad the realism is. I want espn specials. 30 for 30, able to buy stuff with money, and most important… when your mvp of the league u get contracts worthy of it, and endorsements… a mix of 2k, the show, and Madden would help…but right now it’s terrible overall. Fut in fifa is probably my favorite mode of all time… I wish madden wa close to that

  • steelgatez

    #5 and #7 matter the most to me. Man assignments helped so much and even tho i know people broke them with glitches they still helped a lot for 99% of games. also WR & DB interaction is really important i am tired of seeing all the same stuff

  • coltsfanbrasil

    connected career so disappoint… madden need good franchise mode with real scouting.

  • Kendavion Jones

    I think they should make superstar mode like real life like the combine,today,and the draft

  • rcp225

    Many moons ago, I was a guard and linebacker in High School. I remember when we used to run a dive up the middle or an off-tackle trap, I used to end up somewhere at the bottom of a pile. This aspect of the running game has never, isn’t now, and probably never will be in any Madden football game. If you take the time to notice, most runs in the game feature offensive linemen who stand almost straight up during a run block. Any coach will tell ya that’s not the way it’s done…pitiful! Likewise, on defense it doesn’t take a genius to notice that most tackles in Madden are made by one guy…that’s right, ONE GUY! If there is/are any other defender(s) in the area they pull up and head the other way…once again, pitiful! And even more annoying, is what I like to call the banana peel animation – ya know, when in the rare occurrence 2 or 3 guys do hit the ball carrier, they bounce backwards and fall on their backs like a beetle in distress…ridiculous! And one more thing, I don’t care what system the game is on even the mighty PS4. most running animations are still way too mechanical. Something always bothered me about the way backs and receivers run and quite frankly, I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out. If you watch any real football game, besides the obvious bending, leaning and bobbing, the runners’ arms and legs are pumpin’ something fierce. Now go back to Madden and watch. The runners may be going down the field at a good clip, but their arms and legs are movin’ in slow motion…physics 101 – this is impossible. Bottom line, if you think I’m being nit-picky, good for you – enjoy! But for me, I’m tired (and I think so are a lot of gamers) of this franchise. Folks, this is 2014, there are no more excuses. I still play NCAA 2004 (PS2) – decent game with at least some sort of gang tackling and Madden 12 – to me, still the best Madden. This franchise has literally gone backwards. And ya know what I love (hate) the most, when they talk about the upcoming Madden and emphasize how you can see every blade of grass…oh gee, that’s just wonderful. Maybe the developers should give up on football, and make a landscaping simulation instead. One last comment (I promise). So far I’ve seen only videos of Madden15. Ya know, the one the developers have had ample time to work with the next gen systems. Well, in regard to the aforementioned faults, it’s the worst offender yet… one last time. PITIFUL!