Madden NFL 19

Game review by
Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media
Madden NFL 19 Game Poster Image
New season of football tackles fun, improved gameplay.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Players learn basics and intricacies of play calling, use of certain plays and schemes in games. Training sessions walk players through formations, why coaches call certain plays, and give hints about why some play schemes take advantage of some player and team strengths. Some players will be able to recognize these schemes in the game or in real college and NFL games after playing.

Positive Messages

Promotes teamwork, sportsmanship, working together to accomplish a goal. The Longshot story brings up themes of self-sacrifice, working for others instead of yourself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Many NFL athletes are role models for kids and their community. Colt becomes a larger role model for his hometown and stepsister, sacrificing his dreams to lead his high school team. But he doesn't want the responsibility until he's forced into the positions he gets into.

Ease of Play

Multiple difficulty levels, so all kinds of players, from newcomers to vets, can pick up and play the game. Revamped ball control mechanics can take a number of sessions to get used to, because the timing for sprinting is slightly more complicated this year than in previous installments.

Violence & Scariness

Players go through some punishing, bruising hits, which is part of the sport. No blood or gore is shown, but some injuries can be seen because of collisions.

Language

Unmoderated multiplayer means that gamers could be exposed to inappropriate content.

Consumerism

Latest installment of long-running football franchise. Team logos, endorsed stadiums, advertisements are constantly promoted. There are even commercial sections promoting brands like Snickers and Gatorade. Players can use real money to purchase packs and items for the Ultimate Team mode to improve their squads.

What parents need to know

Players need to know that Madden NFL 19 is the latest installment of the popular football franchise for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Gamers can expect to see some punishing hits during gameplay and some occasional injuries during some games, which is just part of the sport. While players grab the affected portion of their body and roll around on the ground, no blood or gore's shown. Gamers can also expect to see lots of corporate branding and logos, from stadiums and uniforms to inserted commercials for products like Gatorade and Snickers. While the game has multiple difficulty levels and is designed to be accessible to gamers with varying levels of experience with Madden, the updated control scheme for ball carriers could frustrate some gamers for a while until they've put in a lot of practice with these new moves. Finally, unmoderated multiplayer could potentially expose players to inappropriate content.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Teen, 13 years old Written by3lliot November 11, 2018

Good for kids, but the music is a little inappropriate

In every Madden Game you can hear music in the lobby or pretty much anywhere. Your kids will probably not hear most of the bad stuff in the music, but if you li... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 26, 2018

Better than past Madden’s

I have played madden since Madden 15. This is the best one I have seen in a while. Easy controls to play with and Colt/Devin from long shot are good role models... Continue reading

What's it about?

MADDEN NFL 19 returns to digital stadiums with a ton of new content for players to dig their cleats into. The major focus this year is on ball carriers, who can now take advantage of the new Real Player Motion system to make a quick cut and break a run or a catch for extra yards. Players also have refined hesitation and juke steps to throw off a defender's timing, which can be the difference between a tackle and a touchdown. On top of the ball carrying, gamers can set new offensive and defensive schemes, particularly in the Franchise and Ultimate Team modes, to take advantage of the strengths of the athletes on your team. That means you can focus on run defenses, West Coast passing offenses, and more. Ultimate Team has also been fully revamped to focus on the single-player experience. It now has new Solo challenges and battles that pit players against created squads from other players. Depending on how many people you defeat in a week, you'll be placed on a leaderboard, which results in additional coins, bonus packs, and characters. Plus, you can upgrade players and teams with new archetypes and schemes, giving you more customization over your team of athletes. Finally, the story mode, Longshot, returns with the second chapter of Devin Wade and Colt Cruise's story. Devin tries to remain on an NFL team, while Colt tries to break back into the league, only to discover that his path may be a bit more complicated than he thought.

Is it any good?

This year's football installment scores with lots of revamped features, but the story mode should've stayed on the bench. Madden NFL 19 brings many enhancements, with some of the strongest added to the Franchise and Ultimate Team modes. In Franchise, the ability to set offensive and defensive schemes gives coaches more control over their teams, like the pass-focused West Coast Offense. This year, you can also find players that perfectly fit your scheme, enhancing their stats to make them superstars. Ultimate Team mode builds on these features, making it the most engaging that it's ever been. Instead of hunting for powerful versions of athletes in game packs, gamers can spend training points to upgrade members of their squad, making them better offensive, defensive, or special teams players. On top of this, the addition of Solo Challenges pits you against members of the community, without being dependent on another player's online connection. It's nice to see how your squad stacks up against another gamer's collection of players, and thanks to the enhanced difficulty levels and leaderboards, you're rewarded for taking on and defeating curated groups on a weekly basis. This keeps this mode fresh and exciting.

But Madden NFL 19 has some issues. Some gamers will hate the sluggish movement for ball carriers. That's because the Real Player Motion system has changed the running mechanics, so instead of holding onto the sprint button (which players were accustomed to), you now hit the button for quick boosts and acceleration. This lets you chain together juke moves or hesitation steps to cut through defenders with a burst of speed. If you're a veteran of Madden, it takes multiple games to unlearn what you've gotten used to playing over the years. Once you do, the gameplay feels surprisingly more tactical than before. But what's worse is this year's installment of Longshot, the story mode, which feels like the underdeveloped second act of last year's tale. Your gameplay doesn't affect the plot, unlike the first game, so you're being driven toward a specific ending -- one that isn't particularly good. Devin's portion seems like more of an afterthought compared to the focus on Colt, which is odd since he's actually in the NFL and struggling to make a squad. Colt's tale, on the other hand, feels like an Afterschool Special, complete with predictable character development and ending. It should've been cut out. But if you overlook the horrible story mode, Madden NFL 19 tackles football fun with excellent gameplay.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids. Madden NFL 19 packs in a ton of advertising and product logos, and even pushes for some in-game purchases, but is this just a way to get more money out of players? Do the advertising and offers make the gameplay feel more like a TV broadcast?

  • Do you think that Madden NFL 19 could get kids interested in playing football or watching the game in real life instead of sitting in front of a screen? Could the tutorials and lessons found in the game be used in real games of football?

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