The annual release for EA Sports’ Madden series came recently and we enjoyed many aspects of the game, as you can see more in-depth in our review for the game. Far from everything is all bright and shiny in Madden 21 though, with there being some issues that may ruin parts of the game or the game as a whole for you. For that reason, we have come up with a list of the top five worst things about Madden 21 to help you potentially decide whether you want to pick up the new game ahead of the new NFL season’s debut this week.
Few Gameplay Upgrades
Annual sports franchises are often hit and miss when it comes to gameplay changes, as there isn’t too much you can change while still maintaining the core gameplay of the sport. Madden has definitely mixed things up over the years, but Madden 21 is definitely a case of mostly diminishing returns when it comes to the gameplay. A new pass rushing system was introduced, but it’s far from something that completely overhauls the gameplay like we’ve seen in the past with say quarterback changes and such. There is nothing inherently bad with this pass rushing addition, with it in fact being rather neat, but we were definitely hoping for more in the gameplay department with a new game.
This has easily been the most contentious part about Madden 21, with it sparking its own Twitter campaign months before the release of the game with fans asking EA Sports to fix franchise. Unfortunately, the Franchise we got with the release of Madden 21 is another major disappointment that hasn’t changed hardly at all for a number of years now. On the plus side, EA Sports has promised that Franchise will be treated like a live service this year and will get updates throughout the season. However, the Franchise we have at this point is still a massive disappointment.
Face of the Franchise
Many sports series have tried to implement a story mode of some sort over the last few years, with some having more success than others. The two year ongoing story start with Longshot was actually quite enjoyable and pretty well written, but that was not the case with this year’s Face of the Franchise. From the very beginning, the story seems very forced and feels like nothing more than a means to an end to get you on the field. You get decisions at times that really don’t mean anything and the only good part is playing a little college football along the way. On top of that, the facial animations in the mode are absolutely horrid, making you wonder what Tye Sheridan was expecting when he signed on to play the role of your rival in this mode.
The MUT Grind
This one could really go with most any sports game these days, as the idea of an Ultimate Team has become a core part of the genre. Madden Ultimate Team has you collecting cards for players that you can then use to put on your team that you use to complete challenges and get more players through unlocks or opening packs. It is possible to play Madden Ultimate Team without ever spending a dime, but it is a massive grind that will take you forever to build up without paying some money for packs. This is the mode many people dedicate themselves to over time, which helps alleviate this a bit. However, it’s a going to feel like a slog for more casual players that just want to play the mode for a bit.
Bugs and Glitches
For the most part, Madden has has glitches here and there over the years. You can easily go to YouTube and find some of the funniest ones that have popped up over the years. Madden 21 though seemed to be a little less polished than the usual Madden release though. It wasn’t downright overridden with bugs, but there were some pretty frustrating ones there. One of the worst was a bug involving kickoffs where the game would lag on the meter almost as if you were playing online. This didn’t seem to be as prominent on field goals and extra points, but it’s still a pain on the kickoffs as well.