The problem with this year's edition is that many of its ideas sound great on paper, but haven't been fully implemented or tested. Madden IQ is a cool concept, but the balance just isn't there. Online leagues have been demanded by fans for years, but the implementation is half-baked. Noticeable improvements in presentation, graphics and strategy go a long way, but they can't justify a purchase on their own. It feels like something is missing from the package, as though there should have been one major improvement to really re-ignite interest in the game. Madden NFL 09 is a good game, but needs something a little more to make it great.