Madden 23 Review + Gameplay

Madden NFL 23 Review

Madden NFL is an American football video game series developed by EA Tiburon for EA Sports.

It is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and commentator John Madden and sold more than 130 million copies by 2018.
It is also the only officially licensed National Football League (NFL) video game series, and it has influenced many players and coaches of the physical sport. Among the series’ features are detailed playbooks and player statistics and voice commentary in the style of a real NFL television broadcast. As of 2013 the franchise has generated over $4 billion in sales.

Electronic Arts (EA) founder Trip Hawkins conceived the series and approached Madden in 1984 for his endorsement and expertise. Because of Madden’s insistence that the game be as realistic as possible, the first version of John Madden Football did not appear until 1988. EA has released annual versions since 1990, and the series’ name changed to Madden NFL in 1993 after EA acquired the rights to use NFL teams and players.

Madden NFL 23

Critics have been praising the added gameplay tweaks to the 2022 edition of the long running Madden franchise.

They have pointed out that the small additions to the gameplay, such as improved passing and the new FieldSense system, are welcome, creating smoother and more refined gameplay. Some critics have disagreed with this however, calling these tweaks minor. There have been mixed comments about the different game modes, Franchise mode has been well regarded, whilst Face of the Franchise has received more mixed response, stating it feels directionless.

Presentation is said to be a step up from previous iterations with added animations being a standout, however, menus have been picked out as lacking refinement and having bugs, with longer load times than necessary. It has been noted that the graphics haven’t made as big a jump in quality as some of the other features have though. Some critics have pointed to the soundtrack as being good, but there are noted issues with commentary not matching on screen activities.

Multiplayer is playable in a number of game modes, however critics have pointed to the lack of cross play with previous generations and other systems, but hope that can be included in the future. Microtransactions in the MUT mode have also been criticised as being more like gambling, however, it has been noted that with patience, the same goal can be achieved without them.


  • Run game is truly outstanding
  • Precision passing makes sense
  • Face of the Franchise is better
  • Deeper team-building in Franchise
  • Plenty of strong presentation


  • MUT’s menus have regressed
  • FIELDSense doesn’t add much
  • Lightweight compared to competing sports games

Madden NFL 23 is a clear step up over Madden NFL 22 in many ways

with some key gameplay and animation improvements making the game feel weightier, more precise, and less stilted. That said, other issues that have plagued the series for years are still here. The simulation aspects of Madden NFL 23 aren’t as deep as they should be. Some bugs are gone, but other terrible ones popped up in their place. Core modes feel ignored, as EA can’t seem to balance both gameplay fixes and feature improvements during its annual development cycle. While EA might have slowed the Madden series’ freefall slightly with some pleasing gameplay changes, Madden NFL 23 is not the franchise’s turnaround season (although I hope it is for Justin Fields).

How Madden NFL 23 Differs on PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Note that this review is based on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 versions of Madden NFL 23. And while Madden 23 will be once again be available on previous-gen consoles, including PS4 and Xbox One – and PC as well – there are some significant differences you should be aware of before you choose which platform to play on. As before, the previous-generation and PC versions will include roster updates, but will otherwise be lacking many of the standout features available on the PS5 and Xbox Series X releases. This includes the updates to the passing game, running game, and AI, as well as the ability to play in 60fps (PS5) or 120fps (Xbox Series X). It’s not a complete copy-and-paste job compared to Madden 22 – playbooks, X-Factors, and balance changes are all present – but it will generally play the same as it has in previous years.

Asked why the PC version isn’t being updated in line with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, an EA representative told IGN, “We have a passionate group of players who enjoy Madden NFL on PC. It’s important to our team that the PC version of Madden becomes comparable to the current generation versions, and we’re working towards that in the future.”

It’s also important to know that purchasing Madden 23 on PS4 or Xbox One won’t entitle you to a free upgrade to the PS5 or Series X version unless you pay for the $99.99 All-Madden Edition.



– Be a part of the action! Participate alongside the biggest moments during the real-world NFL season
– Kickoff Weekend, the Super Bowl, and the NFL Draft – experience celebrated NFL events and control your destiny!
– Compete in Pro football matchups against top NFL teams for football fame!
– Authentic NFL Teams, Players, Uniforms, and Stadiums bring real-world Football competition to mobile and the palm of your hands!


– Complete challenges and upgrade your NFL team to climb the leaderboards!
– Unlock players to level-up your roster and build your dream team
Play football games and train to earn points to reach the highest OVR!
– Train your football stars in the Weightroom to unlock your player’s maximum potential!


– Play General Manager and lead your team to victory
– Trade and upgrade your roster with top quarterback, running back, and wide receivers
– Build a dynamic roster of NFL Football Superstars that fits your playstyle
– Compete with your favorite NFL teams and players compete for a Super Bowl!


Madden NFL 23 Gameplay

Let’s not pull any punches right out of the gate. Madden’s new FieldSENSE feature makes it the best-feeling game in the series by a rather notable margin.

There are a lot of little things baked into the new system, but the hit stick getting an upgrade is one of the biggest. It permits players to throw hits mid-air and better emulates the real-life game by throwing weight into a pile to assist in bringing down a ball-carrier.

Battles on the boundary feel refreshed, too, with clear work done to give players more options when it comes to cutting. Players can now use specific button prompts to release off the snap with hops or footfire cuts, while control of defensive backs now includes which direction they press. All defenders now have an interesting ability to evade blocks with the sticks or even try to blow them up.

Of course, it wouldn’t make sense for Madden to not keep fine-tuning the passing attack in today’s NFL. Players have more specific control over ball placement than ever as they can now enable a target reticle that displays where a pass will go, plus the addition of power and accuracy matters.

That’s a great thing especially this year too—because the upgrades to defenses have made things suffocatingly difficult at times. Madden 23 promises better A.I. adaption of pass coverages which is true and realistic for the most part (It seems the series will never fully escape spotty interception-attempt logic or humanity-defying displays of athleticism on some picks.). This will eventually make the player base adapt and improve as a whole, though its effectiveness upon the game’s launch might cause some negative reactions.

Connected Franchise evolved in Madden 22 with an updated scouting system and an overhauled interface.

This year it’s more of a refinement. The addition of Motivations and Tags adds a nice sense of humanity to the players in the league. Motivations include the desire to play with a franchise quarterback or in a fair-weather stadium. If you have what a free agent is looking for, you may be able to attract them with a team-friendly deal. Otherwise, you may need to overpay to land your man. I worry how that will play out in competitive leagues; it won’t be clear if it creates a significant imbalance immediately, but the potential is there.

The overall presentation is a noticeable step forward

From boot up, everything is awash with the legacy of the late John Madden – a fitting tribute to the man behind the name. Updated scans of equipment and players look excellent, and the gameday presentation features more vibrant graphical overlays and cinematic camera work that feel more like an NFL broadcast. The authenticity is appealing; I skipped fewer transitions during games to enjoy the presentation.

The much-ballyhooed Skill-Based Passing adds an interesting (and optional) wrinkle to throwing the football. Having a target area and aiming reticle takes a bit of getting used to, but the additional control over ball location does make a difference, especially for avoiding defenders while throwing over the middle of the field. It quickly became second nature, and I sorely missed the fine aiming controls when I went back to play a game in Madden 22. The passing meter, on the other hand, is a non-factor. Generally, my muscle memory for how long to hold a pass button lined up with perfect passes and turning the feature off or on didn’t make a noticeable impact on the field.


Madden NFL 23 is the best gridiron game on PS5 to date, but the series is taking toe-taps forward rather than big, confident strides. There’s no doubt that both Franchise and Face of the Franchise are better this year, and we like the improvements to the run game and the addition of precision passing. But is this enough for a series that’s been accused of stagnation over the past decade? It feels like EA Sports is settling for the easy five-yard gains, rather than the deep ball down the field.


Is Madden NFL 23 worth buying?

Madden NFL 23 makes a lot of good gameplay improvements targeted at its hardcore players. Sadly, that approach also exacerbated some of the series’ other lingering problems. If you really need a Madden game for your next-gen system, this is the best option. That doesn’t mean it’s a good one, though.

Should I get Madden 23 or 22?

We’d say Madden NFL 23 is completely worth it if you’re playing on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S. It appears to be a more realistic and immersive experience than its predecessor, Madden NFL 22. However, if you’re gaming on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC you can’t utilize the new FieldSENSE features.

Who is the best player in Madden 22?

In Madden 22, there are five players in the “99 Club,” a group of players who carry a perfect 99 overall rating in the game. These players are Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Donald, Travis Kelce, Jalen Ramsey, and Myles Garrett.

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