I've been playing the Madden NFL series religiously for as long as I can remember (I think the first one I played was John Madden Football on the Megadrive in about 1991) and always buy the update every year. Some years I have noticed some big changes which more often than not do work (for example Hit Sticks were a brilliant addition) and sometimes not (removal of the Sprint button) and I must say that with Madden NFL 13 it is very impressive for the most part.
The first thing you'll notice when starting up this game is that the presentation is the best yet. There are the commentators in the commentary booth to open up the game, motion blurring actually adds to the realism, there are NFL Films inspired cut clips in the game between plays which look fantastic. The controls are more fluid than ever too, with quick action plays you can fly through a game in a more fast paced arcade style if you wish, or you can open up the playbook for a in depth way of playing. Madden Ultimate Teams (MUT) is much more improved this year and is a lot easier to work towards your own ultimate team. Online is much more reliable and faster to get into a game then I can remember before, especially if you sign up to a community where you can sign straight into a game with someone else that you may have played before.
So everything is all good (I actually think that this is the best Madden yet, gameplay-wise) so why only 4 stars? Well, this is a massive issue that many people (myself included) will not be happy about - EA Sports have decided to remove Franchise Mode from this year's addition and have replaced it with Coach Mode. This is a big mistake in my opinion as now other than the new Coach Mode, MUT and the Madden Moments, there is nothing else for people who wish to play offline on their own. It's not a massive issue for me personally as I mainly play this online or head-to-head but I can imagine this will make a lot of people unhappy, so be warned.