Madden NFL 09: The best Madden yet

Two decades of Madden are nipped, tucked, and stitched into the finest version ever of this venerated franchise.

A visored Clinton Portis jukes left to avoid Eagles middle linebacker Stewart Bradley's diving attempt to take him down.
Hate the way sports games lock you into pre-sequenced moves once you've triggered them? Madden NFL 09 remedies this by changing how animations interact. In past versions, triggering jukes, jumps, and spins caused the game to load arbitrary animations that you couldn’t break out of, reducing tactics to second-guessing the time it took for those animations to complete. With Madden NFL 09's elegant new procedural physics system, you can realistically shift from a jump to a juke to a dodge or spin without waiting for a sequence to process — just the way real players move, in other words. You’ll still see a touch of field glide and player stutter, of course — especially during major pile-ups, as the procedural system tries to sort who rolls where. But the best thing about the new mechanic has to be "breakaway tackles," which allow you to twist and thrust away from clutching defenders by triggering the right move at the right time. Not to worry: The CPU suppresses daisy-chain exploiting by bringing multiple defenders to a tackle — again, just the way a real defence would.

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