Madden 20 was a relatively large step change for the franchise. Superstar KO was a whole new game mode and Superstar and X-Factor Abilities introduced a new development system.
With the arrival of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, Madden 21 will be the first Madden on the new next-gen consoles. The pressure will be on again to step up another notch.
We've listed out the things we think would make Madden 21 a gamechanger.
With their main rival, 2K Sports, arranging a deal with the NFL for the first time in over a decade - now is the time for EA Sports to bring back NFL Blitz.
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FIFA made Volta part of its sales pitch and a large part of the game. Developers have learned the hard way that customers don't want to spend the money on a standalone version, but that doesn't mean they don't love a fun arcade game style.
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Superstar KO game mode has paved the way, but they can bring back wall jumps, customizable outfits, and arenas - much like 2k have done for their NBA franchise.
A recent article by Madden School tested an OL made entirely of QB's and it actually did a better job of blocking than the team's official starters. It is often rumored that areas of the game aren't as good as others, but never before has an area of the game been shown in such bad light.
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It completely throws off the valuation of OL for both Franchise and MUT players, meaning people can be short-changed when going after a top OL talent.
Improvements to gameplay are always welcomed, but this is the area that needs the most focus.
Enforced FG and Punts on MUT
Madden Ultimate Team has taken over as the most popular game mode on Madden. It's fast, fun and you feel huge ownership of your team and cards. But it can be infuriating. There are a lot of cheesy players, and almost none of them punt on 4th down.
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It takes MUT away from an idea of any kind of realism and puts off a lot of players. Adding a game mode within MUT where players were forced to punt or kick a field goal on 4th down apart from the final quarter would bridge the gap for a lot of Franchise players to play MUT more.
Another element aimed at improving realism. To prevent opposition players from spamming the same plays or players over and over, there should be the option to install playcall limits.
This was introduced by EA this year as an Ultimate Team House Rules, and it went down extremely well. It would make sense to roll this into Franchise mode options too.
Improved Story Mode
The huge success of games like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption has shown the desire for games to take cues from movies, and sports games are no different.
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NBA 2K turned its career mode its first stages into something of a movie, along with star names like Idris Elba, and received amazing plaudits.
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Madden 20 took its cue and added Face of the Franchise (FOTF) mode which was well received - but it wasn't deep enough. It was over far too quickly and felt like EA Sport were onto something but didn't have enough time to finish it properly.
Deeper Scenarios and Contracts in Franchise Mode
Another element that feels incomplete is Franchise mode. Again, there's some good stuff but not enough depth. There are breakout scenarios where a player can have a good game to get bumped in development trait - but they all read the same and don't always work.
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To be fair to EA Sports, they added 5th-year options during the year. But the contracts are still basic and inflexible versus what happens in real life. NBA 2k shows how it could be done with the ability to front and backload contracts.
Head Coach Mode
Just like NFL Blitz, there is a part of the Madden community that misses NFL Head Coach. The game was present between 2006-09 and allowed players to step away from the playing of the game, and focus on everything that goes into a team before game day.
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Despite the fact, it was never an enormous success but it did garner it's hardcore fans along the way and had generally good reviews. It would be another game mode that would create a holistic experience for players.
Given the success of games like Football Manager it feels like the NFL is missing a trick here.