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.

Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin stretches it out.
Broadcast vets Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond handle the color commentary this time around, turning in amusing and mostly on-point performances. Of course it takes only a couple games to hear repeats, and things can get weird — for example when a receiver is being triple-teamed, and one of the defenders easily swats away a low-velocity pass, and Collinsworth shouts "He should have had that!" In general, the commentary feels more apt on rushing and defense-dominated plays than on passes, though the quest for dynamic chatter remains as elusive as Reggie Bush. The new EA Sports Backtrack feature supplements the talking game with a "let's look at that one again" replay tool that pops up when a play fits a predetermined scenario (your QB gets sacked when a receiver is wide open, for example, or you run a pass defence against a run offence). The Backtrack feature actually breaks down plays using a television-style telestrator, highlighting players and explaining why something worked (or didn't). Though the canned analyses tend to make obvious points, they occasionally highlight something you may have missed — and they do so with helpful marks and diagrams.

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