AceGamez: "Almost anyone with even a passing interest in American football has heard of the Madden curse - the videogame voodoo by which an unfortunate fate seems to befall many of the players who appear on the front of the game. After featuring on the 2006 box, Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb saw his stats drop as he tried to play through a sports hernia, while the next year's choice, Seattle Running Back Shaun Alexander, broke his foot. Then there was this season's selection, the supposedly retired Bret Farve, whose hopes of a dream return were dashed when the milk of human kindness turned sour in Greenbay and he and the Cheesehead nation saw a parting of the curds and the wheys. Lost behind the media's desire to put these strange events into an athletic X-File with the Sports Illustrated cover jinx lies a much more important phenomenon though; almost the exact opposite of a curse, it could be called the Madden blessing, because no matter how good or bad the game is, how many or few improvements it includes, it always sells in huge numbers thanks to the legions of loyal fans suffering from the Farve syndrome of always wanting to come back for more. This, however, is no longer enough for EA; they want a game that will become the people's pigskin. One built for the novices and the hardcore in equal measures, Madden NFL 09 doesn't fully succeed at either end of the spectrum but it's still one of the best games in the series to date."