Firing Squad writes: "Another year, another roster update. Or so the conventional wisdom goes when it comes to EA Sports games. And there is some truth in that stereotype. The sports gaming monolith does have a habit of giving us more of the same old, same old every year, throwing in just enough fresh glitz like hot rookies and cool reflective helmets to keep Joe Sixpack plunking down his $50 for another go. At the same time, the company never wants to go too far and create the ultimate football, soccer, basketball, or hockey game, because then the devs have to wonder what they'll do next year. So, one step up, half a step back. Year after year.
Madden NFL 09 doesn't do anything to break the "move along, nothing to see here" formula. Just like last year's game, and that from the year before, and that from the year before that, and-you get the picture-this new boss is a lot like the old bosses. Which means that this us yet another just okay-yet-appealing entry in the flagship football series. True, there isn't much new here aside from refinements like being able to take mulligans on screwed-up plays, on-the-fly advice from receiver-turned-broadcaster Cris Collinsworth, and the usual improved graphics. But the core gameplay remains reasonably solid save some A.I. niggles and poorly implemented online leagues, so once again, it's hard to be seriously disappointed. If you are, then you should probably adjust your expectations, because this is really about as good as an EA Sports game ever gets."