madden nfl 24 review
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Madden NFL 24 Review: Superstar Showdown Mode Shines

Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and yearly Madden games. Madden NFL 24 doesn’t feature as drastic an overhaul of last year’s installment, but uses it as a base to meaningfully add depth to its core modes and add some overall polish. This works in its favor, as the on the field gameplay looks and feels great and allows the team at EA Tiburon to add some awesome new additions like the superstar showdown mode.

The biggest additions come in the franchise and superstar modes, which have been revamped in a number of ways. For example, training camps are back and the game includes over 20 minigames that allow for a fun way to improve your team before the season starts. Additionally, a number of smaller tweaks have been added like unique draft generators and a suite of new commissioner settings like trade difficulty and the ability to set home field advantage. The former ensures that yearly drafts don’t get dull and the latter adds even more customizability.

Superstar mode has also been refreshed and is more fun than before. It starts off on the right foot with the player getting to partake in a number of interactive minigames that can boost your draft stock. The path to becoming a superstar continues in the NFL is more varied than ever thanks to the aforementioned minigames and plenty of objectives to complete — giving you a reason to always be invested even when your team is struggling.

However, the best addition is the superstar showdown mode, which is sort of similar to Threes in EA’s NHL games and serves as an extension of The Yard mode from previous years. This arena football mode features three-on-three and six-on-six matches on a smaller and colorful 50-yard field. Scoring is fast with fewer defenders on field, making it a nice reminder of NFL Street. Hopefully, it will continue to get fleshed out in subsequent entries like Three, as it is a blast either solo or with friends.

Madden NFL 24 Review: Superstar Showdown Mode Shines
These tackles look better than ever.

A lot of the other changes this year are under the hood and aren’t immediately noticeable until you’ve played a few games. This includes a new performance skeleton system called Sapien, which further improves thousands of existing in-game animations and overhauls the different body types of players. When combined with FieldSense, which has seen plenty of new tackle animations and even some jump and dive passes for star players, this winds up being the most realistic looking football game yet.

It is worth noting that I had a few online issues during the game’s first weekend, although it got better over time. For example, I was tossed out of my online connected franchise mode several times due to the game losing connection. There are offline franchise options, so it’s an avoidable issue, but it’s always a bummer when outside issues impact a game mode that doesn’t really need to be always online like a franchise mode.

Madden NFL 24 Review: The final verdict

You can’t go wrong with Madden NFL 24 as the new superstar showdown mode is a compelling selling point for fans pining for arcade gameplay. Plus, the franchise and superstar modes have been improved in a significant way, and it has more long-term staying power as a result. With the core gameplay as solid as ever, EA’s latest football game is a triumphant offering that is more than a roster update.

  • Improved polish for animation and gameplay
  • Superstar showdown is a blast
  • Combine minigames are fun
  • Online servers were a bit wonky at launch


Disclaimer: Madden NFL 24 review is based on a PS5 copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on version 1.001.000.