Madden, at this point in time, had established itself as a frontrunner in the NFL industry, with its deep, immersive experience. Somehow, some way, it was about to become even better. This was because of two words: Mike Vick. The cover man became symbolic of the legendary installment to the series. A new owner mode was added to the already deep Franchise mode, and relocation was introduced, along with coaching carousels. This was further complemented by editable historic teams, Create-a-Fan, situation mode, and more realistic Free Agency. AND frontloading.
If Madden had any holes, which barely existed at the time anyway, Tiberon and EA filled them up far more than enough. They even embellished a little, adding Offensive Playmaker Controls, which helped to spawn the most OP video game character of all time. (Source: Me) This all snowballed, leading to 989 and Microsoft dropping out of the Great NFL Race, leaving just 2K and EA standing. 2K was starting to rise over Madden at this point, with a VIP Profile, the ESPN license, and far better player models. The two were at a commercial stalemate regardless, due to Madden’s long-time name recognition. This further snowballed into NFL 2K5 releasing at $19.99, which led to outrage amongst NFL investors, who, naturally, wanted to maximize their profits, thus, they ran a contest that would change video game history:
Whoever bid the most would “win” the exclusive NFL license. It was almost like taking a trip to american online casino sites. EA ended winning the bidding, which led to 2K being kicked to the curb, therefore making EA the sole producer of NFL video games. EA didn’t let up, yet, adding in The Tony Bruno, which is one of the best Madden features ever, easily. Tiberon even added a newsletter. New, highly marketed defensive controls were meant to serve as a nerf to OP offensive characters, such as Mike Vick. The Hit Stick also made its debut in 2004. The following year, would serve to innovate further, with the most drastic addition yet: an entirely new game mode. This mode was Superstar Mode, and, rather than take control of an entire team, you would take control of a single player, which greatly expanded the boundaries of Madden’s depth. Aside from that, the highlight stick was added on offense as a counter to the Hit Stick, and the truck stuck became a thing.
As if that wasn’t enough for the first exclusive release ever, EA also added the vision cone, which ended up being the most polarizing Madden feature of all time. Like a visit to meilleurs jeux casino, the developers wanted gamers to experience all the “bells and whistles” of the great franchise. To combat some of the negativity, EA responded with arguably the greatest Madden of all time. Seriously. They added user blocking controls, a new camera, large and small jukes/spins, and you could now string moves together to make combos, something Madden 21 thinks is new. The EA College All-Star was also added as a discount Senior Bowl. My personal favorite Madden was released as the follow up, with Madden 08 being the peak of Madden as we know it, with the ability to switch cameras mid-game, to play skill drills, spotlight a receiver, feature Player Weapons, and, to top it all off, added a Fantasy Challenge mode. And with that, went the peak of Madden. It, at this point, was at its peak, never to be touched, as the greatest sports video game ever. And that, was what EA was about. What was in the game, was in the game. I certainly admire that.