Madden 21 is now officially available in next-gen formats!
EA has received a lot of attention for this year's edition of the game. In our original review, we were pleased with some progress but recognized it has been buggy and franchise mode ignored.
So what does Madden 21 on the next-gen consoles play like?
Credit where it's due. We are impressed.
You get loaded into the same game time situation as Lamar Jackson trying to make a comeback against Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Championship game.
Initially, you think to yourself "have I reloaded the old Madden?". This is just at the point the 'Next-Gen Stats' visuals kick in and you get into the action to see it's very different.
Graphics & Display
The first thing you notice is the step up in visuals.
This is to be expected from next-gen consoles, but don't take it for granted. The colors are sharp and it's the next step in ever-increasing realism.
But it's not just the graphics, its the overall look and feel.
EA has done a great job of changing the play selection screens and adding statistical information on the screen to make it feel even more like a new game.
You can now select plays based on superstar players, and these new menus will take some getting used to, but it definitely feels freshened up.
Some of the buttons for audibles and play clock management have changed which will catch some people off guard, but nothing that you can't get used to.
Gameplay & Feel
The next thing you notice is the smoothness.
We were skeptical how much of this update would be actual gameplay changes and to be fair to EA - we were wrong.
Routes and animations are a lot smoother. Rather than the robotic style motions, players glide in their runs.
The haptic feedback on the PS5 also takes it to another level when you feel every tackle.
If you want a complete experience we highly recommend using a gaming headset too as even the audio seems to have been optimized to give the feeling of being in the stadium.
The last major change worth noting is the loading speeds. In the marketing of the new consoles, this was a major push.
It's not quite the instant jump in that some were expecting or were sold on, but it's noticeably quicker.
We are talking 1-2 mins to get into a game rather than 4-5 mins previously.
What Can They Work On?
This is technically an update and a free one at that. So this is why we are so happy with it.
There are still things missing from the development plan that a lot of fans will be unhappy about but EA can only work on so many things at once.
Madden 21 may go down as one of the buggiest games in recent history, with new updates continually being released to try to maintain server integrity and remove bugs.
It remains to be seen how well Madden 21 fairs on Next-gen with this - but in several hours we saw no issues.
Franchise players will of course see little to no developments that they are interested in, but this was never promised. They will be focusing on plans for January improvements as well as Madden 22.
Is there Cross-Play on different generations?
Madden 21 on next-gen downloads as a second game, which is important to remember as there isn't cross-play functionality.
If you are in a franchise league or playing a friend on the current-gen version, you will have to make sure you are on the same generation.
Cross-platform also isn't an option but it's something that might come in future versions of the game.