Madden NFL 09 Game Poster Image

Madden NFL 09

An excellent Madden game for players of all ages.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As with the real NFL, football players in this game are made up of all colors and creeds.

Violence & scariness

It is a pro football game, though, so there is tackling.

Not applicable

We reviewed a pre-release version of the game, but ESPN and other brands will likely be part of the game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's no inappropriate content in this video game – unless you consider professional football too violent a sport. While some sports games have a soundtrack with off-color lyrics, this game doesn't. Parents will welcome the new adaptive features that help set the skill level at an appropriate level so that all players can have a positive experience.

What's it about?

Are you ready for some football? Twenty years and 70 million units later, EA Sports' popular Madden NFL series is now celebrating a milestone anniversary. Available for multiple platforms, MADDEN NFL 09's slick production values are what jumps out at you when booting up the game for the first time – namely, the high-definition graphics, adrenaline-pumping soundtrack, and a wealth of options available from the animated main menu.

But before you tackle any of the solo or multiplayer modes, you might want to try out the new features that help set your skill level, to ensure a gratifying game-play experience. This includes Madden Test, a collection of holographic drills and minigames that determine your "Madden IQ" in four key areas (rushing, passing, rush defense, and pass defense) and My Skill, a custom skill setting you can select prior to each game instead of general difficulty options such as "rookie" or "all-pro."

Is it any good?


In the Xbox 360 version, the game feels as good as it looks with tight and responsive buttons. As with the previous year's version, the "weapons" system is back, special skills assigned to elite players in the league to reinforce what makes them great. For example, when activated, Ladainian Tomlinson becomes a truck who plows through defenders, whereas a Smart QB, like Peyton Manning, can read the field and expose players who simply stick to their money plays. If you make a mistake on the field, though, you can pull a mulligan by "rewinding" the play like a DVR and trying again (or turn off this feature altogether). On a related note, along with the broadcast-like presentation with play-by-play and color commentary by Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond, Collinsworth can also tell you where a bad move went wrong and how to "tackle" the action the next time around.

When it comes to game-play, number of modes (including the ability to create online leagues with up to 32 teams), and presentation quality, Madden NFL 09 is arguably the finest football game in the franchise's 20-year history.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether an annual sports video game -- such as 20 Madden games in as many years -- should be purchased every year. Are the few improvements offered every year worth the purchase or are publishers taking advantage of consumers?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2
Available online?Available online
Developer:EA Sports
Release date:August 12, 2008
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for Everyone (N/A)

This review of Madden NFL 09 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byGold_medal_champion September 22, 2011


i LOVE this Game for the WII its SO MUCH FUN if you like sports games!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old May 31, 2009
Kid, 10 years old March 31, 2009

An honest review

Madden NFL 09 is much, much, much better than all of the other Maddens. For people who love or just enjoy football I suggest you get this game.