With Madden NFL being an annual franchise that releases every year right before the beginning of the NFL season, there's always a question as to whether or not it's worth picking up. A game that releases a new version every year has a much shorter development cycle than other games in the market and that changes how it can improve year over year. Whether you're excited for a new Madden every year or see it as a $60 roster update, there's a valid argument on both sides.
Let's now look at five reasons to buy Madden 20 in 2019, and five reasons why you should skip this year's release.
10 Skip: You Only Play Franchise Mode
If you're the type of Madden player who gets lost in the franchise mode and spends years trying to build a dynasty alongside NFL Hall of Fame players that you scouted and drafted, maybe a $60 purchase of the new Madden isn't for you in 2019. As the next entry will talk about, Madden 20's franchise mode is seeing a number of improvements, but it's hard to justify a new game when you're only going to be playing one mode.
Then again value is determined by the consumer, so if it seems worth it to you, then spend your money how you want.
9 Buy: Improvements To Franchise Mode
Two of the biggest complaints leveraged at Madden's franchise mode are that it doesn't have depth and can become stale as a result of that, and why on Earth is the Pro Bowl not in the game. Luckily, Madden 20 is looking to solve both of those issues due to the community's feedback.
The Pro Bowl will return and be playable once again, and there will be a new Scenario Engine that looks to create unique and interesting story-lines around the NFL. There are also a number of changes to scouting and drafting that should improve franchise mode for everyone.
8 Skip: If You're Expecting An Overhaul
Realistically it's impossible for an annually released title to have major overhauls in gameplay or mechanics simply due to the 8-9 months development cycle. EA would benefit from the Call of Duty model where they have multiple in-house studios working on the same engine, but getting multiple years to craft their own Madden experience.
We'll likely never see that type of change until the Ultimate Team mode stops printing money in both the FIFA and Madden franchises, though. Pass on it this year if this type of thing bothers you.
7 Buy: Madden Ultimate Team Missions
Madden Ultimate Team is Electronic Arts' way of legally printing money. The card collecting mode takes advantage of a human's simple ape brain that's obsessed with collecting and improving and puts an NFL coat over the entire thing.
The grind to get better players can be great, and pulling a beast can absolutely make your day. In Madden 20 there will be additional missions added that provided even more opportunities for players to acquire great cards without spending a single dollar on the game.
6 Skip: So Many Games In Fall 2019
It feels like the last 4 months of every year are packed with tons of new AAA video game releases, and considering they're mostly $60 each it's hard to financially afford everything. There's a solid contingent of sports gaming fans that stay exclusively in that sphere and never leave.
This means that the other games coming out are irrelevant as they only purchase the new annual sports titles and nothing else, which is completely understandable. For everyone else, you might want to do some research and find the games you absolutely can't pass up on.
5 Buy: The Most NCAA Football You'll Get For Awhile
With the NCAA currently still fighting off the idea of student-athletes, specifically collegiate football players, being paid for the revenue they bring into these universities, EA's NCAA Football series has all but disappeared. There have been recent rumblings that there might be a way for the popular series to return if the NCAA comes to an agreement with its players, but it's unclear if that will ever happen.
In Madden 20's QB1 mode you'll have the chance to play as a team in the College Football Playoff, which will be the only official NCAAF content you'll play for a while.
4 Skip: You See It As A $60 Roster Update
If you're one of the many people who see sports games as predatory and charge $60 for what's mostly a roster update, then you should probably pass on this year's Madden. That perspective isn't necessarily 100% wrong, but for fans of the sports games they'll tell you that some years are better than others with upgrades and changes, but it's more than a roster update.
Also, if you're going in with that attitude, you'll likely be looking for reasons to justify your stance without taking a non-bias overview of what the game did to improve year over year.
3 Buy: QB1
Instead of the Longshot story mode that burst onto the scene with critical reception before its follow-up destroyed most of the goodwill, Madden 20 is giving players a mode called QB1. This will allow anyone to create a quarterback and become the face of their favorite franchise or a team in need of a signal-caller.
You'll start by selecting a top-tier college and playing through the College Football Playoffs in hopes of earning a top spot in the NFL Draft. The new Scenario Engine in franchise mode will also be present in QB1 and make your experience all your own.
2 Skip: Next-Gen Next Year
At E3 2019 Microsoft announced that the next Xbox would be released in Holiday 2020. This lines up with the PlayStation 5's assumed release date, as Sony gave information about some of its internal specs a couple of months ago. This means that Madden 20 will be the last entry in the series purely on this generation of consoles.
If you're the type of Madden fan who yearns for more drastic improvements, it might benefit you to wait until next year when Madden 21 will likely release on both current and next-generation console platforms.
1 Buy: Superstar X-Factor Abilities
Madden 20's big new gameplay addition is the introduction of Superstar X-Factor abilities. These are special earned and triggered bonuses the best players in the game are able to use once the criteria for doing so is met in the game. Since both offenses and defenses around the league will feature at least one of these special players, the goal is to have a balance so none of them feel too overpowered.
The game will be launching with around 50 players possessing these abilities, and once the season kicks off you'll likely see other players earn this awesome addition.