A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this football simulation game is appropriate for players of all ages, but if you deem football too violent, then you won't want your kids playing this. Overall, though, it's a great footbal game for kids to play and might encourage kids to play the real sport with their friends. Parents of younger children should be cautious of playing online with a headset because children may hear language that is inappropriate.
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What's it about?
Like clockwork, a new version of Madden NFL kicks off each August, giving football fans new features to play around with while retaining the ones that worked well from previous years. This formula works well for fans -- and EA Sports, too, as the publisher sells a gazillion copies of the game year after year. Here's the basics of MADDEN NFL 10: this is the only football game that lets you play as or against any NFL team, in realistically recreated stadiums, in a handful of single-player and multiplayer modes (including support for online matches). This year's version adds a number of improvements such as more responsive player handling, incredibly fluid animation (including up to nine-man gang tackles) and in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, photorealistic players that would truly cause passersby to do a double-take because this game looks like a televised NFL game.
Is it any good?
While not flawless, Madden NFL 10 is one of the better football offerings in recent memory. While it falls just short of pigskin perfection, Madden NFL 10 won't disappoint finicky football fans thanks to its tighter controls, high production values, and new modes including an online co-op option (tackle the CPU together on the same team) and an impressively deep franchise mode, now supporting up to 32 friends with real NFL scheduling and live drafts -- all manageable from your console, on a PC, or via a downloadable iPhone app. Some of last year's fun features are back, too, such as the Madden Test hologram drills. And for younger children, the Wii version makes playing the game simple with something called "point and pass" as well as other extras including an all-new, four-player party mode.
But Madden NFL 10 still needs work in its defensive Artificial Intelligence (which is inconsistent at best) as well as play-by-play commentary (it sounds bland or repetitive), but overall is an extraordinary game that should yield many weeks -- nay, months -- of football fun for the entire family.
Online interaction: The game adds a number of online modes but be aware that kids could chat with others online using a headset and might hear inappropriate language.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.