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Madden NFL 2011 game review

The Madden NFL series has been around for more than 20 years now. This year’s feature-filled game is one of the best ever.

Electronic Arts for PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, PSP

Graphics: 8.5
Gameplay: 9.0
Sound: 8.5
Replay Value: 9.0
Overall Score: 8.8
Official Web Site
Pros: The biggest-ever overhaul of Madden; faster games; extensive online play.
Cons: Madden himself is completely gone; animations can be jerky; way too much in-game advertising.

Madden NFL 11 certainly speeds up the game. Gone is the one-hour mode. Games now last 30 minutes—or even 20. That speed is exciting, and it’s made even faster through GameFlow.

Basically, GameFlow chooses the plays for you. But there are various options. On offense or defense, you can choose all the plays your coach calls by choosing them before the game. You can go to a full playbook with more than 350 plays at your disposal. The plays themselves are ranked with up to five stars. This ranking tells you how often a play is used by your team.

Or you can call audibles to change the play right before the snap.

To make things more real, you can even don a headset to experience the game like a quarterback hearing the coach from the speaker in his helmet.


EA claims that it’s not only faster, it’s a deeper experience, too. I really can’t see that, except in one instance. As you prepare for each play, your coach explains a little about why you’re running the play. This should be tweaked to show what exact play you’re running. And it should be more specific as to why you’re running that play. But it’s a very good beginning.

Another small addition I really like is the way you push a button when you pass. If you just tap it, the ball is thrown softly through the air. Press the button and hold it, and the quarterback throws it as quick as a bullet. It adds a lot to the offense.

Since the game is now speedier and time clicks away more quickly, Madden is based more on offense than ever before. I might be wrong, but that seems to give you an advantage if you want to call a running play as an audible at the line of scrimmage. Any defense I played seemed surprised that I called a running play.


This year, you can go directly to the Super Bowl without playing the Franchise Mode. If you want to enjoy all the pageantry of the Big Show without putting in the work to get there, this mode is for you. I even noticed a Holiday Mode in which people in the stands dress up like Santa Claus during the game.

There’s a simplicity to some of the modes that recalls the Maddens of yesteryear. Returning this year is a meter system of kicking off and kicking field goals. Click the button to start. Click it again when it gets to the meter’s far right. And click it again when it gets to where you started on the left. It’s a lot more fun than using the sticks to kick.

In the upper right of your TV screen, you’ll see an icon for the Strategy Pad. By scrolling through plays on your controller pad, you can shift your lines. And you can call up Hot Routes, a way of changing your offensive plays to the receiver.

Another cool addition is the AFL Mode, featuring all eight teams from the grand old league that’s now defunct.

And you can relive and replay Madden Moments, the top plays of last year’s season. This year, the Moments will be available as weekly downloads. If you win online, you’ll have enough free coins to purchase the downloads. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a small amount for them.


While Madden NFL 11 is an above-average effort, there still are the occasional bugs. In one of my first games, the Jets’ Jerricho Cotchery, after catching a pass, was injured badly enough to put him out of the game. But, like magic, there he was on Special Teams after the kickoff. Also, the game sometimes doesn’t run smoothly and the players’ movements can look jerky.

And there’s just too much advertising in the game. You even have fans eating Doritos during cut scenes. You’ve paid $60 for this game, and now you have to watch and listen to advertising? Come on.

Yet there’s nice attention to detail that continues to astonish me. When you’ve blown out another team, the opposing fans get disgusted, shake their heads and leave the stadium during the fourth quarter. You don’t want to rub it in that you’ve won, but it still gives you a little ego boost.

The upshot? There’s a lot more in the game this year, and it has been streamlined to make playing easier and more fun. If you haven’t bought Madden in a while, this is the year to do it.

32 Comments on Madden NFL 2011 game review

  1. looking at this game makes me want to play this game. :0 🙂 🙁

  2. did anyone find pedro??

  3. madden 11 i like it alot.

  4. I’m borrowing the game and my favorite is the Texans

  5. i love madden11 and i play it on my wii whenever i get the chance

    • Packerbacker // December 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm // Reply

      I’m gonna get Madden NFL 11 for Wii. I know Madden NFL 12 is out, but I want to play Super Bowl XLV because my Green Bay Packers won SB XLV and are 12-0 right now (no offense Steelers fans)!

  6. does it have brett farve

  7. i have madden 11 for ps3 i don’t get why it says that you see fans eating doritos because i have played 20 games and i haven’t seen any fans eating doritos yet

  8. eagles rule the nfl so do falcns

  9. GO PANTHERS! I once passed for 1044 yards in a 5 min. per quarter game, with Michael Vick in Rookie mode.

  10. This game is awesome! GO GREEN BAY PACKERS! The Buffalo Bills are also the best team in the NFL.

  11. It’s rocks

  12. i love the steelers

  13. I have Madden 09 for Wii and it’s awesome but this looks a lot better!!!!! Another great game is Lego Indiana Jones 2 for Wii. It’s slightly violent but still a great game! It has a ton of levels and you can make your own guy and level. It’s only twenty dollars at Best Buy.

  14. This game is the bomb digity

  15. Drewmanator // October 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm // Reply

    my favorite thing are apple pie and madden NFL 11

  16. I hope to get 09 all play, I’ve gotten 09 for the ds, but you know that the wii is every madden-lovers’ castle

  17. I love madden 11 I want it so bad

  18. I borrowed Madden NFL ’09 All play for Wii and it was WICKED!!! I’m hoping to get ’11 all play.

  19. Ive played almost all of the versions and every year they get more horrible i like the 05 version. 😉

  20. Mountain Dew // August 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm // Reply

    I like the way this game sounds. My birthday is in October, so at least I have shot.

    P.S.- I have Madden 09 for DS.


  22. monkey killer 2 // August 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm // Reply


  23. I might get it for my b-day, so wish me luck!
    Oh, and this is my first Madden NFL game.

  24. sounds awesome!:]

  25. monkeykiller // August 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm // Reply

    huh sounds interesting. I still want to play the demo first because I have madden 10 and I like it alot.

    • Ive been playing madden since the day it came out years ago. this version of madden is by far the best yet. I think 2011 blows out 2010. pick up the copy and im certain you will agree with me.

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