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25 Necessary Improvements for Madden 2010

*Not the actual cover*

Now that the NFL season is over (does anyone watch the Pro Bowl?), and I’ve finished my 6th franchise season in Madden ’09, I’ve been thinking of the things that need to be added, changed, deleted, and tweaked for Madden 2010. Even though this year’s product was better than last year’s, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

So in no particular order, I give you 25 things that should be fixed for Madden 2010.

Use the ESPN License! – Why pay for a license you will never use? ESPN could be used to significantly improve the presentation. Imagine: pregame, halftime, postgame, and weekly wrap-up shows, complete with highlights and stats, presented by the NFL Live hosts. Play by play from the Monday Night Football crew.

See more after the jump…

Use created/franchise/fantasy draft teams online – We can export our franchise teams to play an exhibition against our friends on the same console, but what about online? I’d like to see how the 2012 49ers that I have built match up against Jon’s 2012 Patriots.

Online Lag – Due to continuing lag issues that it seems EA will never fix, there are too many times that either a fair catch is not called even though I’ve hit the button 64 times and my returner fumbles the ball when hit, or my opponent has called a fair catch but didn’t actually go into the waving animation, so I get a penalty for fair catch interference when I drill the guy. Same issues with kicking. Online strategy changes so much because the kick meter is near impossible to time because the lag is always different. Short kickoffs, punts, and the inability to even think about trying a moderately long field goal are issues we should not have to worry about.

Celebrations – I actually liked the celebrations this year: team specific celebrations, the ability to steal your opponents celebration, and area specific celebrations. However, the ability to choose and map celebrations to specific buttons would allow me to do the Ocho Cinco river dance or Dirty Bird on demand.

Commentary/Ask Madden – as always, it gets repetitive in a hurry and is sometimes completely inaccurate. How many times have you used the Ask Madden feature to pick your play, you hear something to the effect of: “You just need to run some clock. Remember, the other team still needs two scores”, and the score is 13-10. Or: “The running back got blasted in the backfield” after a 7 yard gain. How hard is it to record some more dialogue? Every game I hear about how Frank Gore overcame his injuries in college to become a superstar type of running back, or my receivers didn’t have great combine workouts, etc.

EA Backtrack – I think this feature is very interesting and can especially help gamers new to the Madden series. My issue with it is that the breakdowns are not usually all that accurate. I’ve been told that a receiver was open, which he was, but only because the DB covering him broke off the coverage after I threw the ball. I think EA can definitely tweak this to really teach people about coverages and timing.

Free Agents – How is it that your offer is only accepted for consideration if its in the top 3, but you can’t see what the best offer is? When’s the last time an agent kept his client’s other offers secret? Some sort of help that allows for educated offers would be much better than blindly increasing the offer in the hopes it gets accepted. Why are there players that I was outbid for available as free agents at the start of the next season?

Trades – I shouldn’t put a player on the block, be offered a draft pick, and then have the trade rejected once I accept it because the other team’s roster is full. A player needs to be included in the deal to come my way, or the other team needs to drop a player to execute the trade.

Salary Cap – Other than my first season, I have not come close the cap. Either I’m the greatest GM ever or the player salaries should increase proportionally to make it challenging.

Salary Negotiations – All contracts should not automatically be back loaded. I should be allowed to front load it or balance it if that fits within my strategy and cap situation. There should also me some mechanism (like a meter) to show how likely the offer is to be accepted. At this point it’s easier to just offer what the player wants rather than try to negotiate to save cap room.

Receivers Running Sideline Routes – Receivers run out of bounds on their sideline routes far too often, or go into some wacky animation where they jump, slide, or don’t put their foot down in bounds. When a receiver runs out of bounds and then comes back in to catch the ball, it’s a penalty. It’s not right when you use the Playmaker to adjust the receivers route and he runs 10 yards out of bounds and ends up wide open when he comes back.

Forward Progress – The ball spots need to be more accurate. When a receiver makes a catch a yard past the first down marker, gets hit and driven back 5 yards, the first down should be awarded. When a receiver runs a comeback in the end zone, catches the ball 3 yards deep but his momentum carries him out of the end zone, it’s a touchdown, not 4th and goal from the one when he gets tackled. Pretty basic stuff.

EA Highlights – Not a bad feature, but I want to be able to just save the replay and adjust the camera as I see fit to better see the play. I frustrating to want to save some wacky play but none of the camera angles give you a good view.

Custom Soundtracks – I really like the idea of having specific songs play in my home stadium. For example, when my team creates a turnover, I want to hear “Been Caught Stealing” or “Give It Away Now”.

Challenges – At this point we should be able to select what we want to challenge. It’s such a waste of a timeout when you challenge a play because you want the fumble reversed, but the game shows a replay of the ball spot. Let’s take the guesswork out of challenges.

Rewinds – Eliminate rewinds entirely. It’s not football when you get do-overs.

Animated Sidelines – I want to see coaches, players, and assistants roaming the sidelines. I want to see players catch errant throws out of bounds. I want to see a coach bet bowled over when players go flying into the bench. I don’t want to see generic 300 pound players wearing number 12.

Super Bowl – This should be an event, not just another game as it is now. We need to see celebrations, confetti, the trophy, the MVP award. It’s just not satisfying to watch three players celebrate by putting their hands in the air and then exiting the game. Let’s change the stadium each year too. I don’t want to play the game in Tampa forever.

Game Saves – Why can’t I save a game in progress? Even if it’s just at the end of each quarter or the half, it’s better than losing the game entirely when you get an invite to play another game or your wife insists that you pay attention to her RIGHT NOW.

Practice Squads – It’s hard to keep rookies on your bench. They end up as a backup, and thus don’t improve because they never play. Give us the option to keep a practice squad where players can improve slightly and let us more easily replace injured players. An option would be to increase player ratings similar to the bumps players get from certain coaches. For example, if you keep a WR on the practice squad, his awareness and route running get bumped up because he has knowledge of your team’s system.

Player Names – Record as many name combinations as possible. I don’t want my entire team to be referred to by their numbers because I’ve played so many seasons that all my players have been made up.

Classic Uniforms – I want every uniform for every team. I want the Patriots uniform that only has the three pointed hat on the helmet. I want the 49ers old silver helmets. I want the ridiculously ugly blue and yellow Eagles uniforms. I want the Steelers yellow helmets and the old, plain Green Bay and Detroit jerseys. While where at it, I also want the ability to change the uniform for the CPU controlled team so I can have a true throwback game and the ability to use these uniforms online.

Adjust Sim Game Length – It’s unfair that I play 5 minute quarters and the rest of the league gets simulated 15 minute quarters. The stats just don’t match up when it comes time for awards. Let us adjust it.

Crowd Noise – The crowd does nothing for me in this game. I want them loud when I’m on defense. I want them to boo when I turn the ball over 4 times. I want team specific chants such as Denver’s “In-com-plete, (Wah-Wah-Wah)” and New England’s “That’s good for another Patriots… FIRST DOWN!”

Franchise Score Ticker – I want to know how the other games are going in my franchise. If I’ve got the 49ers in fight with Arizona for the division in the last week of the season, I want to be updated on the Cardinals’ score throughout the game. Give us sense of urgency and familiarity with what’s going on throughout the league.

I know it seems like a lot to ask for 25 updates in one installment, but it’s not. If you’ve been playing Madden for a while, you’ll notice that almost everything on this list has been done before in some fashion. It’s pathetic that so many quality features that have been in football games before have been dropped out of laziness. There is no excuse for dropping a quality feature for a game and then bringing it back a year or two later as an “update”. These features should be in every football game from now on, period. Implementing these features will get Madden on the right track, proving to fans that EA and Tiburon care about more than yearly roster updates.

Discuss: What changes/improvements would you like to see in the upcoming Madden game?

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29 Responses to “25 Necessary Improvements for Madden 2010”


  1. “Adjust Sim Game Length” – yes please! This same “feature” is in NBA Live, as well; I can crush my opponents, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women, but rarely get recognition at the end of the season because everyone else is playing regulation length games.


  2. those are all good points and spot on great research at finding it weak points .i really hope madden improve but if not i cant wait to 2010 for a new espn nfl football game .


  3. @ shamon:

    The exclusive deal between EA and the NFL was extended through 2012.


  4. Take out QB sneak or just fix it. Its way to easy to get a tD for them on the goal line. Make the D line crush the qb like in REAL football.

    If your receiver is beating a CB or FS over the top by 3 steps, how can they have enough energy to run back infront of the ball.

    Evertyime you drop back to far with the QB you cant see the buttons for the recievers X,A,B,Y etc. Change that. I dont know whos open when im scrambling for dear life.

    If you have a bad connection and your up by 51 point you disconnect and get the lost? Or if the game is 0-0 and you disconct and get the lost in the first quater?


  5. Agreed, i have been thinking the same exact stuff. They really need to do this stuff, and not make the price so high. I love this game series. It does need these features. I wasn’t all that pleased with Madden NFL 09. Please Tiburon!!! Please, please, please!!!


  6. Add an active or inactive feature so you can have more than 53 men on a roster. the chicago bears had more than that this season but only activated 53 of them per week …………………… and a practice squad……………….and for the pro bowl have the players team helmet not the afc or nfc logo………………………………………and in all madden dont make it difficult to do everything they should just make like some good big plays and some bad plays with it. have a trophy ceremony and post game for the super bowl. and there should be like fights and ejections… and ocho cinco should have grills and be talking smack.


  7. “Super Bowl – This should be an event, not just another game as it is now. We need to see celebrations, confetti, the trophy, the MVP award. It’s just not satisfying to watch three players celebrate by putting their hands in the air and then exiting the game. Let’s change the stadium each year too. I don’t want to play the game in Tampa forever.”

    Um you don’t.
    No idea what you did, but I picked franchise have done 4 seasons and played the superbowl in 4 different cites. Tampa, Miami, Indy, and Dallas.


  8. sometimes when you sack the quarterback he fumbles the ball, but its called a “dead ball” and the play is over. loss of no yards. no fumble either. come on thats crazyness. either give me the fumble or the sack.

    hit stick needs to have more control. better and harder hits. if im ray lewis and i hit carson palmer or whomever hes gonna get hurt.

    on kickoffs, there are always 3-4 players in the endzone or near it while your trying to run it back. give me better blocking at least.

    too many players get injuries online. way too much.

    qb sneak is a cheap way to get 2 easy yards.
    works 99% of time for 2 point.

    bring back make your own plays. id like to make my own playbook off and def.

    throwbacks online is a must.

    oh and the most important one. actually use the madden iq online. id like to increase or decrease it. and have stats for whos is the highest. come on!


  9. I only have two requests for 2010…

    1. Add a practice squad feature for franchise mode…I am one of those guys that likes to draft a guy in the 7th round of the draft and still make them a significant part of the team, but sometimes if i just have too much talent at the position. I would at least like to have a practice squad to hold and develop players in for the future.

    2. Make it easier to train a drafted player. In 08 there was a well known glitch that made it possible to to bring a player’s average up like 20 points after only training him once. I admit I used that glitch to my advantage but it was fixed by the time 09 came out and it’s almost impossible to make a late round pick any good without it. I hope in 2010 even if it’s not a glitch that there is a way to more easily boost a player’s average…


  10. madden needs harder hits and what happened to QB vision its never used anymore the line needs to be stronger and corner backs need to play better like when someone throws it to the corner it caught and they end up catching it and breaks the tackle come on make it better and realer next time please !!!!!!


  11. You missed out on a big one! They need to be able to say your name for example ur name is tommy right they should be able to say tommy right runs for a gain of 13 yards or something!!!


  12. madden 09 does have the eagless yellow and blue uniform it alsoo has alot of other classic uniforms…but yess the more uniforms the better


  13. hi nfl is my fayvert sport so as game!!!!!!!!


  14. I play Madden on my Wii because I don’t have an XBOX 360. When I got Madden 09 Wii it was just this stupid ALL-PLAY. The Graphics were terrible and the rest was exactly the same as Madden 08. I understand they want to make it family friendly but my family doesn’t play Madden only I do. I want the choice of either the really bad, easy game or the good quality, more challenging version. (And I want John Elway on the cover. GO BRONCOS).


  15. in madden 08 when the players would come out of the tunnel there would be close ups and they would freeze to show thir key attributes which was a really cool thing.Also the players could come out of the helmet before the game and celebrate eg.shawn merrimans infermous “lights out” dance.thanks matt


  16. I would like if you could use your created Off. & Def. playbooks in franchise mode. I would like for you to have more coaching abilities & position coaches like in Head Coach. I would also like for mini-camps & training camps be like the real thing. It would also be nice if you could import coaches or cordinators like you can from NCAA.


  17. in franchise have the players re-evaluated every couple weeks and the idea of having practice squads is really good too becuause the backup qb usually knows the playbook better than the starting qb as we learned in real life with the chicago bears’s kyle orton and rex grossmen
    another cool feater would be harder and more detailed tackles like when the computer makes a tackle and i come up and try to make a big hit while hes still goin down doesnt work cuz hes already bein taken down and you go rite through him


  18. ‘Crowd Noise – The crowd does nothing for me in this game. I want them loud when I’m on defense. I want them to boo when I turn the ball over 4 times. I want team specific chants such as Denver’s “In-com-plete, (Wah-Wah-Wah)” and New England’s “That’s good for another Patriots… FIRST DOWN!”’
    -As a Redskins fan, I wanna hear “Hail to the Redskins” blared throughout the stadium–and it would be cool to actually see the band in the stands(like in NCAA Football)–u know things that would add to team specific stadium atmospheres (just like how they already have that annoying blowhorn in Minnesota); Like u said the crowd needs to be smarter–im tired of being booed when i give up a long kickoff return even when im up 35 pts in the 4th


  19. ‘Animated Sidelines’ — Yes; they really need to have the chain gang on the sidelines and the red first down yard markers (its hilarious to see the ball spot replay challenges where u have no idea where the first down marker is, lol–and speaking of replay challenges, give us angles where we can actually see something!); Also bring back cheerleaders and make the coaches, players, and photographers on the sidelines look and act more realistically

    ‘Super Bowl’ — totally agree; another pet pieve of mine is the field art–the endzones need to have each teams name art, logo/helmet, and the NFC or AFC logo…and in the Probowl the players should wear their teams helmets

    I honestly love each and every one of your points…EA please make it happen!

    A couple other things:
    -BRING BACK OWNER MODE!!
    -The player ratings for imported NCAA draft classes needs to be seriously reworked and toned down–in my franchise, Tim Tebow had a 96 OVR rating (99 Throw Power and 92 Accuracy, not to mention 87 SPD!!)…most players in the first round were in the mid to low 80s..i realize theres gonna b a ratings overhaul in general, so this should b looked at as well
    -Gameplay in general could use work–but specifically goaline/short-yardage situations are so terribly unrealistic…and that goes for loose ball pileups too

    Overall good game, but could use a lotta work


  20. I just played the 2008 season with the Patriots in madden 09… Maroney had a fantastic year but his overall did’nt change at all. and when the draft came, 16 quarterback went in the first round… how often do that happen in real life? the best QB in the draft had 83 ovr, and the QB at the 8th overall pick had 70 ovr. I mean come on… gutierrez had around 70 ovr as an undrafted QB in madden 08. The only undrafted players are OL, FB, TE, LB, K/P. and their ovr is 50-65… they are not gonna get very far. Come on… Kurt Warner was never drafted and look at him now!

    The computer nearly never draft what it needs and the rookie overall is out of control(ether it’s to high or it’s way to low).
    Where I’m getting at is that the draft needs to be more realistic

    It would be awesome if you could watch the combine(see the players in action before you draft them)
    and maybe more realistic bodies on the players(just look at rookies DT Pressley(Saints) and DT Powell(Broncos))

    Please add practice squads and position coaches…
    Just add all 25 things and add some more animations…

    I have a lot more but i don’t think I bother wright any more….


  21. For nfl superstar i think you should be inside the helmet for a more realistic game.


  22. I really try to enjoy madden;however,its just dosent feel like football.It has to many gimmicks and bugs instead of solid game play.Get ride of hitstick, ad more group tackles,better special teams play, pre-snap physics need to be added..I want to move my DT by tapping with my middle linebaker,I want to move my DE’s and have them stay where placed instead of the cpu putting them back in place…I want the players interacting with oneanother talking trash…MLB the show& NBA 2k9 and yes NFL 2k5 made good sports sims why wont madden. I still play madden championship edition on my sega genesis and tecmo superbowl,2k5 on my xbox,even play madden on my 3DO because it has the best looking grass and stadiums ever.Ea just dosent care anymore…I will not play a sports game that dose not have real player faces and alternate uniforms in 2010, almost leftout sony first to gamedays on PS0ne..Ea may have an above average madden game by 2015
    You never hear people talk about previous maddens because after the season you realize how poor that they are, and hope that next years will be better


  23. PLEASE insert some type of eiher animated picture or something for players you draft. i hate seeing a blank picture with just a name for a player i traded up to select #1 overall in my draft on franchise mode. how cool would it be to be able to take a picture of your face using the xbox live vision camera and have it appear on the statsheet of your newly drafted franchise quarterback?


  24. This is a must,too many people run across the field with thier QB and then throw across thier body to have it perfectly thrown, you guys have got to fix this bull#### there are only a hand full of QB’s that can make this throw on the run, come on guys get it right.


  25. On this next game I think you need to reward people that stay the pocket, the quicker you run out the pocket your pass protection should break down unless you call a roll out, not slide protection either thats suppose protect you from the blitzing OLB thats not roll out protection but thats what people use it for its being exploited.


  26. I think this year’s game should have not only amazing Super Bowl celebrations with confetti, the Superbowl trophy, MVP award and amazing coach, fan, and player celebrations, but I believe there should be an NFC and AFC Championship Game celebration as well!! Bring a new meaning to the name celebration so the game can be more exciting and more realistic!!!!!!!


  27. they need to stop putting so many big name free agents on the market after the first season in the franchise as well


  28. Agreed completely with every statement you made…most important…sports games are supposed to be the most life like games…but i completely agree bout the 300 pound dude standing there…and one standing next to him that looks exactly the same…and i hate it when the QB throws the ball and the receiver is wide open…but some how 10 steps behind him…the CB comes out of nowhere and intercepts it…that’s just a little ridiculous…come on now…these changes arent hard at all to make…but i think that Madden 10 would be a much much better game with these changes


  29. i like all of the ideas but they should also have a stamina percent like blitz the league2 and the stamina percent shuold slightly go down with good tackles and the defenses stamina bar should go down with jukes broken tackles and stiff arms

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