Giantbomb's Alex Navarro says, "In researching my review of Madden NFL 12, I decided to go back and re-read portions of my previous Madden reviews over the course of the last decade. As I read those reviews, a trend emerged, revealing a pattern in the developers' goals that went in a cyclical fashion. One year, the offense was the focus. In another, defense. In one year, casual players were targeted, and in another, the more hardcore set. One year saw major graphical improvements, while another worked on the audio presentation. It's a seesaw effect that, while not directly year-to-year, amounts to a sense of perpetual unrest. Certainly this is true of any game on a yearly development cycle, but with Madden, that cyclical pattern often runs counter to the notion of "yearly progression." If anything, it creates just as many years of depressing regression. With Madden NFL 12, this year is such a year."