When the opportunity to review Madden NFL 24 came about I was incredibly excited to take on the task. As a Brit, American Football isn’t a sport I’ve ever followed up until fairly recently.
Last year I decided to try and get into American Football and with no prior knowledge decided to choose the Kansas City Chiefs as my team. In an unexpected twist, Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl earlier this year, an excellent start for me as a fan.
As I continue to learn the fundamentals of the sport, I figured Madden NFL 24 would be a great way to help me do that, so let’s check out the latest entry in EA’s long-running franchise.
A British NFL Fan?
Yes, we actually do exist. Despite the NFL being founded all the way back in 1920, the sport is only really beginning to catch on overseas and has seen increasing popularity over the past few years. Still, it is far from a mainstream sport like football (soccer), rugby, or tennis.
I began my journey as an NFL fan with Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals being my first game, but really I just wanted to watch the Dr. Dre half-time show.
This past season was my first time watching an entire season as a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs. And now Madden NFL 24 has released just before the start of the new season, making it a perfect opportunity to get into the series and use it as a means to learning the sport because, as a Brit, American Football is incredibly confusing.
If you’re new to the sport, I do recommend using Madden NFL 24 to learn the spot as it helped a lot as I’ve dived into the vast amount of content on offer.
A Next-Gen Upgrade
Madden NFL 24 marks the first time that the PC version of the game has received the next-gen treatment.
This version of the game is based on the PS5 version, which means there is a huge graphical upgrade compared to Madden NFL 23, which makes the stadium, crowd, and players look fantastic.
Animations have been overhauled with over 1,700 tackle animations being added and adjusted.
The player AI has been dramatically improved, with Quarterbacks using Skill-based Passing, Defenders being able to figure out plays and formations that the opposition gravitates toward, and Running Backs using Frostbite Navigation Grid capabilities to allow them to make better decisions.
With Madden NFL 24 being the first game to use the next-gen version, it could take some time to iron out any kinks and hopefully, we continue to see the performance increase over time.
EA Still Have A Lot Of Work To Do On Its PC Ports
The PC port of Madden NFL 24 is undoubtedly let down by significant performance issues. Despite having a PC that greatly exceeds the recommended requirements, I find myself constantly becoming frustrated by excessive frame drops.
You can use some tricks to help performance, so if you’re frustrated by it too, try these.
Turning the shadows and crowd down to low does seem to make the frame rate more stable despite not greatly impacting the overall visual experience of Madden NFL 24.
The second is to play in borderless windowed. I’m not sure of the technical reason why this works but this is a very common fix in many PC games and one to remember if you’re having trouble with a game in the future.
READ MORE: Most Demanding PC Games
While there are some fixes out there that help improve performance, it is still a glaring issue in the game and it really does dampen an otherwise fun experience. EA seems to have issues with its PC sports games and optimization. This only further highlights that when games are released on a yearly basis there simply isn’t enough time for issues to be addressed. Developers could take a leaf out of 2K’s book and take a year off to fix the game.
A $70 Madden 23 Roster Update
One of the biggest downsides of yearly releases is it becomes hard for the developers to innovate and eventually we tend to see the latest release being a slight update with a fresh coat of paint. Franchises such as Call of Duty have been guilty of this, but sports games are often the biggest culprits.
As Madden NFL 24 is the latest release in the series and is focused on the upcoming season, there isn’t really much that has changed compared to Madden NFL 23, at least on a surface level.
The rosters have changed to reflect the latest draft and the Franchise mode is focused on the upcoming season, but that is the same every year.
Diving deeper into the game will reveal the various mechanics that have been updated and improved.
There are also over 500 new plays and over 70 new offensive formations, which helps to make each play more realistic to how the Head Coach of the team plans a game.
Despite these changes, there are many issues with the game, such as performance, as well as the game not bringing a big game feel and a level of excitement that I expected to feel when playing Madden NFL 24. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for developers to spend a year overhauling the game to make a fresh game and fix all of the issues in the game.
It is understandable that many publishers shy away from doing this as it leaves a lot of money on the table. But, it worked wonders for the WWE 2K series when 2K canceled WWE 2K21 in order to overhaul the game which resulted in a vastly superior game when WWE 2K22 was released.
Madden NFL 24 Is Packed Full Of Content For Fans Of The Sport
Now we’ve taken a look at the technical side of Madden NFL 24. Now it is time to check out the gameplay as the most important question you will have is, is the game any good?
When it comes to the content on offer, Madden NFL 24 is packed with so much on offer and a large variety to suit all types of gamers.
The main modes in Madden NFL 24 are Franchise, Ultimate Team, and Superstar modes, with Quick Play and Training available too.
Franchise mode is my personal highlight of Madden NFL 24 and it serves as the game’s career/season mode, where you will take a team of your choice from the pre-season all the way to the Super Bowl (hopefully).
When playing Franchise mode you will have the option to play online or offline, with online being recommended. But don’t worry, you won’t be playing against other players and will still face AI during the games.
You will have the option of using the real roster for that team during the current season or using a fantasy draft team. One aspect I really like is the season emulates the 2023 season with each game being the same that the real teams will play. This is more of a simulation management mode and has an incredible amount of depth as you manage the team and coaching strategies as well as playing the games.
Ultimate Team will be familiar to any EA Sports fans as it shows up in multiple of its IPs. This mode lets you create your dream team and go toe to toe with other players online or offline. If you want to become the best of the best in Madden Ultimate Team then expect to open your wallet to purchase many players.
Superstar mode lets you take an individual player on a journey to reaching rank 99 and becoming the greatest of all time.
Quickplay lets you play single matches either against AI, and other players offline, or by going online and facing players across the world.
Finally is Training mode, which includes various mini-games and tutorials to get you used to the game and all of its mechanics. There are 26 mini-games included to help you improve your skill as a player before jumping into the other modes.
Is Madden NFL 24 Worth Buying?
So, now it is time for the million-dollar question. Should you buy Madden NFL 24? And the answer is, yes.
If you’re a veteran of the series then you may not see the value on the surface as it can feel like an overpriced roster update. But, diving deeper into the game reveals a new added depth that looks to be the start of many great things as the series heads into the next generation and beyond. If you’re a regular player of Madden then it will make sense to buy the newest version, but if you only play occasionally you may not see the $70 value and could wait for a sale.
However, if you’re new to the series or the NFL, like I am, then Madden NFL 24 is a great entry to dive into and it would feel like a step back to purchase an older version to save some money. Madden can be very overwhelming for new players, but it makes sense to be learning with the latest edition and there is a lot of value to be had here.
Despite its glaring performance issues, Madden NFL 24 is still a very enjoyable experience. It has helped me learn American Football’s fundamentals ahead of the new season. This is certainly a game I will be playing throughout the upcoming season.