Madden 23: The Law of Least Effort

This time last year, I was giving Madden 22 a tougher review after years of stagnation and apparent laziness on the part of EA Sports in developing its exclusive NFL franchise.

Image credit: EA Sports.

You can usually forgive the game, which in the end remains an improvement over the previous year and a fun soccer sim. Except that Madden 22 destroyed something in the community and the grumbling came out strong enough for EA Sports to react.

It needed to change the direction of the franchise and give back to regular players before they completely jumped ship.

Result: This is Madden 23

A little more than a facelift, but nothing more…

Let’s be honest, at first glance, Madden 23 is just a cosmetic update to the same game from previous years. The mechanism (Frostbite) is still in use and the less experienced player will not be able to tell Madden 22 from Madden 23.

This is problematic because year after year, EA always starts with the same damaged base to make their changes.

Then we introduce new features, especially in terms of passes, but we apply everything to the version of the game that was released a few months ago, since the latest updates to Madden 22 did not apply to the engine that was used to develop Madden.23.

Not only are we updating the same flaws, but we’re not adding any real qualities.

The new passing mechanics, for example, are theoretically interesting. It offers players more control and accuracy. In theory, this rewards more attentive players. The problem is that the new mechanism clashes with the artificial intelligence of the defense, which, again, is completely unrealistic because it is so dominant.

Let’s take an example that I encountered a few times in the early hours of Madden 23. Designing a game and throwing the ball as usual. The new transmission emphasizes to me that this is a perfect pass with perfect accuracy. Of course, I hope for a positive result. But no, the ball is in the opponent’s hands while my receiver is on the side of the action, moving in the opposite direction.

That’s the problem with Madden 23’s new releases. They’re implanted into a fundamentally broken game, and as long as EA refuses to erase the Madden engine, players will be captive to these versions, inferior to fifteen-year-old simulations like NFL 2K5. .

The same can be said about all the changes in playing opportunities on the field. Nothing is quantifiable as the game is virtually identical and geared towards a competitive online community that doesn’t care too much about realism. You can even say that every year we are moving away from the football simulator more and more due to the gradual departure from the reality of football and intellectual movements on the field.

Return to players

Where EA is trying to save the day is with the Ultimate Team (MUT) part of Madden 23. .

Thus, in MUT, some parts are now free and allow players to get a competitive team faster without adding in-game money when purchasing virtual currency.

Not to mention that MUT is no longer a pay-to-win mode, EA has softened its stance in the face of public pressure, and for those less familiar with the mode, that’s great news.

On the other hand, online play is always slowed down by the imperfect servers of EA Sports, who, for some obscure reason, don’t put resources into what is the lifeblood of their online game: server stability.

When you leave MUT and Madden’s paid options, you quickly realize that favorable modifications are rarer.

Always the same refrain

It has long been said that Madden year after year is a step in the right direction. But in the end, you will need to get to your destination.

Madden 23 is still a step in the right direction, but there’s no real reason for EA to put everything on the table with their game because there’s no competition. Alone at the top, EA can afford to just release a lazy game and people will still buy it because the NFL is a powerful franchise.

Even too powerful.

So much so that people look forward to the release of the game every summer and forget about last year’s disappointments.

Players forget that the franchise mode has essentially not changed for ten years, even losing options without much explanation. The same goes for the game’s story modes, player faces, and player creation features.

Nothing or almost nothing changes, except for the appearance of the menu and thematic design from year to year.

Madden 23 is a year-long tribute to John Madden, who passed away in 2021. But suddenly the Madden Classic game ended up launching the game for the first time, the influence on Madden 23 is the inclusion of some scenes between games with a good John Madden and his unique voice. Otherwise, it doesn’t change anything.

Especially since, again, the same commentary team has been saying and repeating the same lines ad nauseam since at least 2007.


I have to give Madden 23 a higher rating than Madden 22, if only for the small amount of effort put into it by EA Sport.

But the best game is not necessarily a good game.

Yes, experience in this area is better and there are a few less obvious bugs, but we’re starting so far that a little improvement isn’t enough.

Madden 23 is once again disappointing, and EA’s lack of attention is becoming more and more evident. While the franchise is paid, why change it?

READ ALSO: Death of John Madden: 30 years of Madden NFL career

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