The Madden NFL 13 Wishlist

by Matthew Kato on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Unlike previous years, EA Sports and developer EA Tiburon aren't going to talk about upcoming title Madden NFL 13 during the Super Bowl. But that's not going to stop us from unveiling our wishlist for the game.

Apart from the usual baseline of bug fixes and improvement tweakings, Madden 13 has a long way to go to improve upon Madden 12. We don't know what EA Tiburon's focus is going to be this year, but we hope that as a whole the spotlight is on getting this series back on track instead of adding new features nobody asked for.

This year the Madden franchise faces a particular challenge in trying to move on after the departure of long-time development veterans like Ian Cummings, Phil Frazier, and a host of other personnel that have left. There's no way to know how this will effect the series, so here's hoping that the new blood will be good for the franchise.

Feel free to post your own ideas in the comments section – we know you've got plenty.

+Items italicized where also specifically mentioned in last year's list and have yet to be implemented or fixed!


  • No more fan voting for the cover athlete. We don't need another Peyton Hillis debacle
  • A better menu system. The current system obscures info onscreen, buries other menus, and is confusing in general 
  • Better crowds and sideline players
  • Create-A-Play feature
  • Fix numerous bugs


  • AI that can accurately throw short passes to the flats and sidelines
  • QBs take too many sacks instead of either getting the ball off or throwing a wobbly pass
  • More information on the GameFlow plays so you know when you're choosing a 4-3 Cover 2 formation vs. a 3-4 one, for instance. Could we get a thumbnail of the play art?
  • An improved kicking game taking more variables into account and which is more challenging overall
  • The ability to create offensive and defensive player packages outside of a game situation
  • A better range of penalties called and fixes to the challenge system. Challenges aren't available when they should be, and the final calls can be baffling (like real life, we guess!)

+ New blocking logic for the second level so fullbacks and pulling guards put their hats on the immediate threat
+ True gang tackles
+ New passing trajectories to cut down on linebacker interceptions over the middle and scaling down of jumping linebackers
+ More ball awareness by players in the passing game, including better head tracking
+ Receivers come back for the ball and more jostling between the DBs and WRs – including the importance of the pass interference penalty
+ Make the fumble animations, minigame, and outcome match each other. Too many times what you see and who comes up with the ball is completely different
+ Defensive ends aren't effective in rushing the passer: A far cry from their importance in real life
+ Too many gimme INTs dropped
+ Better special teams blocking
+ Fewer canned animations and more real physics-based movement

Read on for more of our opinions on how to improve the series.

Franchise Mode

  • Create a new Scouting system that allows you to better prepare for draft day so you're not taking total stabs in the dark at players. Accordingly, the low-level scouting info you've accrued before draft day must give you a relevant thumbnail sketch of the player (like Combine numbers), and you should have more hours to scout more players
  • Although the free agency biding creates a sense of urgency, there should be more tools to help you in FA, such as a way to tab players you're interested in beforehand and notices when your bids are topped during the process
  • The ability to sign undrafted free agents yourself as well as cut any player during the pre-season cut process. The positional rotations of players also needs to be fixed in pre-season so your starters aren't filling in at weird spots in the second half of games
  • AI could improve its resigning/FA signing/draft logic. In Madden 12 it drafts some weird first-round picks like QBs in back-to-back years, and it seemed to rely too heavily on young and inexperienced players for spots (like backup QBs) instead of signing vets to fill the gaps. Moreover, your own players often don't ask for enough money in the resigning process
  • Player hot/cold streaks that are reactive to events during a game and not just before and after. Players should also be allowed to have more than just two roles

+ Practice squads and restricted free agents
+ Better free agent contract offers that you can tweak. The game also needs more customizable contracts when resigning your own players
+ Reintroduce a player morale/decision making system to affect free agency and trade demands (including holdouts) like The Association in NBA 2K
+ Steal a lot of stuff from NFL Head Coach, including the staff skills tree, and fix the broken coaching contract offer system in general
+ A separate Owner's Mode


  • Browser-based access to your Franchise, and basically anything NCAA does in this space!

+True online franchise options, including contracts, salary cap, etc.


  • Commentary needs to synch better with the action, and provide more contextual info like relevant stats, what's going on in the season, etc.
  • Give us a good highlight show (the Extra Point was taken out of Madden 12, but should have been improved instead)
  • The game should track stats better so it's giving out post-game awards and highlighting appropriate players during games

Superstar Mode

  • Anything to actually make your player feel like a superstar, including glitzier presentation for monumental career achievements like making the Pro Bowl. Could the series craft a narrative-driven experience like Fight Night Champion?
  • Fix the points system so you're actually getting points for actions you're performing and that they are better tailored to your position

+Better AI playcalling

Items From Last Year's Wishlist Were Fixed Or Implemented By EA Tiburon

  • Pre-season roster cut down days
  • The Create-A-Playbook feature
  • A sense of urgency and frenzied bidding during the free agency period
  • An NHL-style trading block system letting you tailor your trade block needs, as well as the ability to trade future draft picks (sort of taken care of, but not exactly like NHLs)
  • Character progression that happens multiple times a year
  • No more magnet catches where receivers, defensive backs, or the ball itself shoots into players' hands
  • Stronger defensive logic for GameFlow that better accounts for multiple receiver sets
  • A loss penalty for quitters before halftime in online games and stronger griefing rules