Madden NFL 06

Deep and immersive, keeping everything intact despite its own downsizing

If you've ever wished you could a) play your own version of Yank football instead of watching over-excited jocks on Channel 5, and b) take it with you wherever you go, Madden NFL 06 is just the job.

But before we go any further, we should stress that you need patience. You'll have to make like a saint to put up with the ridiculously long loading times. To start a game takes ages; playing one takes longer.

For every stoppage around 13,000 menus must be fought through to get back to the game. It's bewildering, and combined with those loading times it's hellishly
frustrating, but we can't fault the attention to detail. Every permutation of tactic is covered, and if you get confused good old John Madden himself is there to guide you.


Play itself is engrossing. At first it's stopstart, but an hour or so later a free-flowing game can be had full of running, crunching and kicking. Everything from the less mobile versions of the game has been included on PSP, and one brilliant new feature is Superstar mode, which covers a player's life off the field.

This is one for the fans, since the complicated gameplay and ultra detailed stats make it intimidating for nonenthusiasts. It's a quality game, but it may test your easy-going nature.

The verdict

Deep and immersive, keeping everything intact despite its own downsizing.

PlayStation Portable
EA Sports