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25 years and still Mad for it; GAME OF THE WEEK MADDEN NFL 13 (XBOX 360).

NOT many games can claim to have had a lifespan of over two decades. The John Madden series can.

Not many games can claim to have been developed across 29 different platforms.

The John Madden series can.

Not many games can claim to have sold over 90 million copies worldwide. The John Madden series can.

You get the picture: an epic franchise since 1988 based on NFL hall of famer John Madden, also of coaching glory and figurehead of NFL commentary.

I remember the first Madden games.

They have been there throughout my life alongside the NHL and FIFA franchises.

As a spotty teenager I bunked off school with friends to get in a valuable few hours of crunching tackles before my mum came back from work.

I have to add that I was collared quite quickly and I had to wait until my uni years before I could waste hour after hour sifting through tactics and rosters with my fellow housemates.

Then, as a games editor, I have found myself still surgically attached to the sheen, polish and sheer addiction of the series over the years. Sometimes they offer up very little in the way of change and are merely a tinkering with the previous year's gridiron fun.

But this year Madden 13 has taken a mighty step forward.

I'm not even going to talk about the presentation of the game. It's fantastic.

The gameplay is the area that pulls out all the stops, with precision and complexities not seen before in a Madden game. Every button is vital and the thumb sticks hold so much possibility and importance in passing and movement.

The running is entertaining, the tackles brutal and passing is an art.

If you want to call a vital 'time out' all you have to do is literally call that 'time out' because Kinect will do the rest!

Tactically, the game is epic and as deep as you want to go; the career mode is ludicrously extensive.

This is a fantastic sports game, which takes the franchise to a new level and once again proves that there is life yet in the Xbox 360. SW

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BONE-CRUNCHING: Madden NFL 13.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2012
Words:365
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