EA devs promised the “most polished version” in years. The game was released and it got negative reviews on Steam and Metacritic. In fact, even some NFL pros featured in the game are trashing it. “First game out on Madden 23 hung 50 on a kid…don’t get it twisted tho game is still hot garbage smh,” tweeted NY Giants receiver Darius Slayton a day after its Early Access launch.
Madden 23 has been a lightning rod for all kinds of frustrations. Despite new-gen “FieldSense” technology that’s supposed to make every play feel more organic and life-like, and an overhauled Face of the Franchise career mode, bugs, and other shortcomings remain. “It’s still Madden, for better or for worse,” wrote Polygon’s Owen Good. Plenty of people have decided it’s for worse.
“Madden 23 menus are absurdly laggy,” Madden YouTuber Matthew “MMG” Meagher tweeted recently. “5-second input delay on everything. This isn’t an 8000fps Skyrim mod EA… let’s get it together.” Former East Carolina University safety Warren Saba hasn’t been pleased either. “0/10 Gameplay is awful!!!!” he tweeted at the official Madden account this week.
The negative reactions have been pouring in on Metacritic as well. The PS5 version sits at 68 among critics and 2.0 out of 10 among users. That’s in line with how it’s scored in recent years, but still significantly down from Madden 19 and before, when the series would break into the low 80s. Madden 23 currently has 451 user reviews on Steam, over 300 of which are negative. Many of them complain about the PC version is a port of the last-gen console version of the game, and thus lacks new features like FieldSense.
Meanwhile, clips have come up online that show weird glitches, oversights, or apparent incidents of self-sabotage. Some players have reported an issue in Franchise mode where their progress gets taken back to weeks earlier in the season. Others have complained about the mode accidentally releasing key free agents at pivotal moments.
A video from the TikTok account NotJackKenyon showed a breakout running play headed for the end zone cut short when their own AI teammate tripped them:
— Shane (@FilthyFins) August 21, 2022
Another video from Twitch streamer Logan Samuels showed Madden 23 bugging out on a play celebration. Despite being down after a catch, the game decided the play was still live, and the receiver went from dancing to scoring a touchdown while the defensive tackles went berserk to no effect.
— Logan Samuels (@KobeMentaIity) August 22, 2022
Not everyone is so down on the new game, though they still have qualms. “Madden 23 is 100x better than Madden 22 and probably Madden 21,” wrote streamer Pwny Montana. “With that being said it is the worst I’ve ever seen with online blocking and aggs.”