Madden NFL Football 3DS review

Only those desperate for football need apply
Only those desperate for football need apply
Only those desperate for football need apply


  • The 3DS' best (and only) football game
  • The action has its moments


  • The 3D can hurt your eyes
  • Pulling off big plays is mostly luck
  • A seriously truncated version of Madden

DT Editors' Rating

It wouldn’t be a new video game system if there weren’t at least a few sports games to go with the launch, and EA has stepped up to fill that role with a port of the Madden franchise. With the multiple options that the publisher has to choose from, you would expect EA to have a sports game ready for the launch. You just don’t expect it to be this dull.

Madden for the 3DS is an attempt to cram a complex game into a simplistic package, and as a result the video game feels more like an interpretation of football rather than a playable version of it. The game is unrefined and feels more like something you might find on the Super Nintendo than a brand new system. The features are limited, and there just isn’t anything that really pops with this title. It is almost like the game grudgingly included any features other than a play now option.

Madden offers two types of football, either 5 on 5 or 11 on 11. Both options are available in the season mode as well as the play now, and that’s about it. There is no depth at all to this title, which is surprising compared to the massive amount of player data included with the console versions. Obviously you don’t expect to have anywhere near the same sophistication in a handheld game, but this title feels like it should have just slapped on a generic “Nintendo football” name and left it at that.

The actual gameplay is alright, but it feels sluggish and limiting. You just never really feel like you are in control, and when you do pull off a big play, it feels more like luck than skill. The defense is the most obvious victim, and it feels like you have almost no control at all. In fact you can let the game use the game flow option (which picks the plays for you) and then just walk away.

The graphics aren’t bad, and the commentary is alright, although somewhat limited. The 3D is a major part, but it is somewhat odd. With half the game taking place on the touchscreen via the play calling, it can hurt your eyes to have to refocus on the 3D over and over again. Odds are you will find yourself lowering the 3D output to make it easier to see.

EA’s Madden is a solid franchise, but this release is a step back for the series in total. It feels rushed and half complete, and that is being generous. Only the most hardcore of fans that are desperate to play football on their new 3DS should consider this title.

Score: 4.5 out of 10

(This game was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS on a copy provided by EA)

madden nfl football 3ds review 11

Product Review

'Hitman 2' goes in for the kill with more of everything you love

IO Interactive and Warner Bros introduce us to ‘Hitman 2’, a sequel that embraces what made the series so unique and exceeds at delivering a more polished and complex experience.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

‘Tetris Effect’ makes the undying classic feel new again

Tetris is a game that everyone knows. The classic puzzler has appeared on just about every device since 1984. With music and visual flourishes, Tetris Effect remarkably manages to elevate the iconic game to new heights.

Hacker finds Steam bug that unlocks free games, collects $20K for reporting it

Security researcher Artem Moskowsky discovered a Steam bug that allowed him to generate infinite free keys for any game. Instead of abusing the exploit, Moskowsky reported it to Valve, which gave him a $20,000 reward.

‘Overwatch’ gunslinger Ashe is now available on all platforms

Blizzard announced Ashe as the latest Overwatch hero at BlizzCon 2018. The gunslinger has a history with McCree and makes use of a lever-action repeating rifle and a robotic sidekick.

‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Turf Wars’ sees Spidey confront the villainous Hammerhead

The second part of Marvel's Spider-Man's The City That Never Sleeps DLC swings into action on November 20. Titled Turf Wars, the new storyline is focused on Hammerhead, who is waging war across New York City.

Mount up: Latest ‘Fortnite’ update adds powerful turret weapon, Food Fight LTM

The latest update for Fortnite added a Mounted Turret weapon to the battle royale mode. The weapon features unlimited ammunition, but it can overheat if fired too long without interruption.

Xbox One adds mouse and keyboard support, levels playing field with PC

The latest system software update for Xbox One has added mouse and keyboard support. The support is limited to Warframe and Fortnite at the moment, with more games coming in November and December.

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.