Madden Football, a franchise which celebrated its 27th installment with Madden 16, continues to produce updated games every year, and boasts multi-million numbers in copies sold. But as a Madden fan, do you truly need to buy Madden every year it’s released?
Normally, a new video game costs around $60, not including any potential add-ons, downloads, or extended features. For limited franchises, a sequel to a game may be long awaited. Developers have to spend time on a story, in addition to the production of the game itself. Purchasing the second or third game in a story arc is worth the $60 because of the continuation of the adventure. A game like Madden, however, sees annual releases and updates of a different variety.
If you’re an online Madden-player, someone who needs to play as a team with an updated roster, or simply a collector of the franchise, obviously the costs may be worth it. But for others, how much do game modes and graphics update annually? In the early 2000s, Madden was updating their games rapidly, with improvements in graphics, gameplay, and modes. Recently, however, players may find the changes to be more stagnant. Since the 20 year anniversary in 2008, year-to-year improvements on the game may be difficult to notice.
Roughly every two years, Madden introduces something that can add to the game more drastically. These include ways improving the speed and flow of the game, an updated graphics engine in 2012, and the emergence of Ultimate Team as a main game mode. For those who don’t play online frequently, Ultimate Team will not provide as much entertainment. Yet, when Madden 16 was released, it boasted Fantasy Drafts, it’s Ultimate Team mode, playing as the General Manager of a team, and updated controls. These game modes have already been present in several previous iterations, and players who found the controls for the previous game satisfactory may not find updated controls fit the $60 value.
From this information, it seems that Madden truly updates, and even overhauls, the game every two to three years. With that, players may even want to give Madden a year or two, as an updated graphics engine may not have been perfected. Furthermore, building a multi-Super-Bowl-winning franchise with your favorite team, or creating the next NFL superstar with a Hall of Fame career can take longer than one calendar year of casual playing. That being said, somewhere around three years seems like the best time to update your virtual football experience.
Perhaps most important is that the best Madden for trash talking, settling arguments, or simply beating your friends is whichever Madden is available.