Madden NFL 06 review

We reveal all on the latest update of the slick American Footie game

This year's Madden has gone on the offensive, and not just with an even more accurate depiction of big, beefy guys (or tiny guys with body armour) in indescribably tight pants.

After revamping the defensive options last year, it's the offense that has undertaken a serious overhaul. The hit stick now doubles as a truck stick to help you on the ground, enabling you to smash into oncoming would-be tacklers or pull up, sending them flying.

And when you're airborne, a precision stick helps you send the ball away from defenders and more accurately into your receiver's hands.

The biggest change is with the new quarterback view. You now have a cone of vision that you'll need to keep trained on your chosen receiver for a successful throw. This can be moved on the right stick, or by holding right and hitting the button for your runner.

It takes a little getting used to, but it improves this area of the game significantly, increasing the tension when the ball is snapped and bringing a greater sense of realism to your offensive play.

As ever, Madden's presentation is oil slick. Commentary that once again shows all games how it should be done, coupled with superb and well-chosen replays and big-boned cutscenes, help to turn the game into a true event - as befitting the most showbizzy sport in the world.

EA continues to lead the way with licensed tunes, too, with well-selected cuts from the likes of Hot Hot Heat, Nine Black Alps and the Foo Fighters providing a rock soundtrack that doesn't fall into the sort of generic crap trotted out in the likes of Forza Motorsport.

Animations have improved further and the real-time sun creates faultless shadows and a genuine feeling of presence.

The improvements contain their own learning curve, making this accessible stuff and as deep as you want it to be.

For an exhaustive NFL package with stats, glitz and awesome gameplay, it's difficult to top this.

More Info

PlatformXbox 360, GameCube, Xbox, PSP, PC, PS2, DS
UK censor rating3+
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 2 December 2005 (UK)