I really really enjoy this game. Before I go ahead and give my opinion, I just want to say I don't play online, haven't had XBL for ages.
- running game is greatly improved from previous versions, it feels so much more realistic, the momentum-based style makes you think totally differently than the standard Madden 'employ juke move now' mentality.
- the 'news' screen when you are playing your manager/player career is AWESOME. They have a fake twitter feed where people such as Skip Bayless put up their opinions about games in the league, and there seem to be storylines about every team not just your own.
- the draft is very fun even if the method of scouting players in the upcoming draft means you really can't get much info past your 1st and 2nd picks.
- also, and this is probably my favourite aspect of the game, they made up a metric tonne of fake histories of all the new draft players that come out every year, that the draft commentato actually says! I'm in 2019 and whenever I draft, the commentator guy still comes out with fresh new tales about some of the big names in the draft, for example that one of the guys was highly lauded and looked to be a shoo in to the top 10, before his reputation as a party boy started to exceed his on field reputation and he slid down the draft.
- the fact that all your players earn XP and you can spend it developing them however you wish is fantastic
- something really amazing, it seems the AI of the computer adapts to your way of playing!!! It's like, there is film going around in the league and everyone learns your favourite plays. It's crazy, I used to run loads of plays where my WRs go up and then turn around on the spot, but the AI started to bring OLBs to undercut the route and stop me pumping the ball there. So I changed and brought in two top TEs, making them run straight up and firing the ball left or right of them depending on the safeties. It took me to a superbowl, in one game I racked up 370 yards with one of the TEs, and then in the final the AI finally cottoned on to what was going on, and Green Bay intercepted me 3 times on that exact type of play before I realised they were on to me!
- They sped up the game transition between halves and quarters, so it really is fast, which is great.
- When you win the superbowl in career multiple times, they don't acknowledge the previous times you won it in your career. For example, I won the SB 4 times with Indy, and they repeatedly said 'for the first time since SuperBowl 41, the Vince Lombardi trophy is coming back to Indianapolis!'. Sigh.
- Also, the game designers haven't prepared for the fact that rookie QBs, you know, grow up and become multiple superbowl MVPs!!! Every time Andrew Luck comes on the field, even after having won the SB 4 times...the commentators still say 'coming into the league out of Stanford...' etc. Also, in the twitter news feed, every time I throw a good game with him, people often say 'expect good things to come from this kid' even though he has already become a Montana-esque legend o.O
- You can't make your own team in career mode. Let me repeat that, you CAN'T make your own team in career mode. After all the great things about this game, this is what prevents me from giving a 5 star.
All in all I think it's worth buying if you really love Madden, but if you absolutely have to be able to make your own team, I advise you pick up Madden 12.