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Madden NFL 25
John Madden's video game has come a long way in 25 years. The latest silver anniversary version has everything and more for those fans with an unquenchable thirst for NFL football.

In a 2012 Grantland.com interview, John Madden said his video game was initially intended as a way for people to learn about football and "participate in the game at a pretty sophisticated level."

Twenty-five years later, "Madden NFL 25" has offered more to fans than they may be able to handle.

Madden's silver anniversary game is a fan's ultimate virtual experience, as long as you follow the sport and know the fundamentals of video game football.

If you have heard of the read-option and the pistol offenses, you'll be excited to know both are in the game. There are 351 new plays overall.

A ball carrier also has an unprecedented amount of moves — spin, dives, hurdles, stumble recovery, stiff-arms and jukes — to elude defenders in the "Run free" mode.

Defensively, game programmers have sought to provide more ways for defenders to tackle, rush the passer and strip the ball. The collisions are ferocious.

Of course, the animation and physics of the game are as realistic as they've ever been.

Video-gamers have the option of becoming a player, coach or owner. Also included this year are more than 50 legendary players and coaches to choose from in the "Connected Franchise" option. Imagine a game involving names like William "Refrigerator" Perry, Barry Sanders, John Elway, Ronnie Lott, and Lawrence Taylor, coached by Bill Walsh, Tom Landry or Vince Lombardi.

As part of owner mode, you can oversee finances, the stadium, staff, marketing and the fan base. You may also become bored with the city your team is playing in and relocate to a new city. It many send shock waves through the league to move your team to London, Mexico City or Dublin. I would choose Salt Lake City.

Regardless of the new features, you are limited if you are unable to play online. For the first time ever, I managed to create an account and actually play a game online against a skilled opponent. If you can maintain your Internet connection and avoid being blown out by your opponent, this is how to have the most fun on Madden NFL 25.

Comment on this story

It's a far cry from the versions produced in the early 1990s, according to USA Today.

The E for Everyone rating is accurate — there is nothing inappropriate that should concern parents.

Even with all the new features and improvements, the game hasn't changed a ton in recent years. But that won't slow gamers down. Madden still provides a fun, time-passing experience that will satisfy customers.

Publisher: Electronic Arts

System: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Price: $59.99

Rating: E for Everyone

Score: 3 stars (out of 4)

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