A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn how to play professional football, as the game mirrors the real NFL (and looks just like it). Players also can learn core concepts such as codes of conduct, athleticism, city pride, teamwork, and healthy team-based competition. They'll learn how to choose (or design) and execute offensive and defensive plays and how to analyze and adjust to action on the field. Madden NFL 16 wasn't designed to be an educational game, but its accessible tutorials and easy-to-grasp concepts teach football strategy to newcomers and veterans alike.
Encourages team play, sportsmanship, team pride, athleticism.
Positive Role Models
Players in game look, move like their real-life counterparts; most NFL players here are positive role models for kids.
Ease of Play
Improved controls make gameplay easier; easy to pick up with tutorials, drills to teach the sport.
Violence & Scariness
This is a contact sport, complete with hitting, tackling. All players wear protective gear.
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Products & Purchases
Offers many optional in-game purchases (such as the $15 Playmaker Pack); many in-game brands, logos on field, players, stadiums. This includes team logos, apparel brands, billboards, broadcast graphics and sounds, licensed music from known artists.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Madden NFL 16 is a professional football simulation. Gamers can play as or against their favorite NFL teams or even create a player from scratch -- even based on their own likenesses -- in some modes. Football is a contact sport, but players wear protective gear. There isn't any controversial content, but be aware of lots of advertising (on billboards, on apparel, and so on) and the fact that, if they're using multiplayer modes, kids could talk online to complete strangers.
Is It Any Good?
If it's been a while since you picked up a football game, you're in for a treat. Across the board, improvements have been made in the areas of gameplay, interface, control, modes, and presentation. It builds upon last year's underrated Madden NFL 15, and the most significant update is in the new Playmaker controls, which give you more options in both offensive and defensive plays. Along with more options on where and how the QB throws the ball down the field, you'll have three options: a possession catch, a run after catch (RAC), and an aggressive midair catch (which is harder to pull off). The replay videos are now more fun to watch. Three new defensive moves earn you more Playmaker clout, as well. When it comes to new modes, the über-customizable Draft Champions is garnering quite a bit of buzz online -- and for good reason. Draft Champions brings fantasy football into a whole new direction, making it even more rewarding. As with Madden Ultimate Team, you're tasked with creating the best team possible through 15 rounds of draft picks.
Also in this new game is Skills Trainer, an optional mode with more than 60 tutorials and drills, all designed to teach tactics behind different passing and run concepts. Gauntlet mode also returns with all-new Boss Battles and Extra Life challenges. In other words, there's a lot of meat on the bone here. Football fans, Madden NFL 16 is worth the investment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.