November 21, 2012 by khrisgolder
There is a reason year in and year out Madden continues to be a top seller in the industry. I am an avid sports fan, and I am definitely an enthusiast when it comes to sports titles. Despite constant backlash from gamers who believe the titles never change, EA’s Madden and NCAA industry titans are always at the upper echelon of video games for a plethora of reasons. It’s their user friendly game play, their dynasty/franchise modes, and more recently, their online fantasy leagues. As far as the Madden franchise is concerned, there was one particular title that really propelled them into a league of their own. It stood as the largest improvement from its predecessor, and it came out almost ten years ago. I’m talking about Madden 2005.
The younger generation of football fans paid little attention to the defensive side of football, and developers were arguably responsible for it. Prior to 2005, consumers were spoon fed an offense-centered Madden title. The introduction of Madden 2005 placed a strong focus on the allure of the NFL’s defense. It was old news to hardcore NFL fans, but eye opening for the younger gamers who hadn’t yet been introduced to the addictive rush of a great defensive play.
When Madden 2005 hit the shelves, future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis (first ever defensive player featured on the cover of Madden) was modeled on the cover. Fans of Madden knew this game would be a new breed of animal. Madden 2005 introduced a new feature called the Hit Stick, which allowed the player to utilize the right thumb stick to implement jarring tackles. It brought a whole new element of user-forced turnovers, and it breathed new life into the instant replays.
In addition to this upgrade — one that would later inspire offensive controls like Truck Stick and Highlight Stick — the 2005 edition of Madden also introduced numerous defensive strategies and play calls by allowing to audible your defense in numerous ways. Pinch your defensive line to stuff the run up the middle or drop your defensive backs for deep pass protection. Madden NFL 2005 took a large step forward in making the series much more strategic and much more complete. It was a pillar in Madden history, and one of my favorites to this day.