Madden 16 vs Madden 15: Key Differences

Madden 16 vs Madden 15 is an interesting comparison. Both games offer a lot of new features and updates, but which one is better?

Madden 16 includes an all-new Draft Champions mode, where you can draft a team of NFL stars and legends and compete in quick, fun matches. The game also features updated rosters and visual enhancements.

Madden 15, on the other hand, offers a more traditional experience. You’ll find all your favorite modes like Franchise and Ultimate Team, as well as updated rosters and visuals.

So, which game is better? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a quick, fun game with lots of NFL stars and legends, then Madden 16 is the way to go. If you’re looking for a more traditional Madden experience, then Madden 15 is the better choice.

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Madden 16 vs Madden 15: Key Differences

Madden 16 Catch Upgrades

In Madden 15 catching the ball is a one-choice option that either happens or doesn’t — and if you are lucky when you catch it you can still pick up some yards. The receiver doesn’t play very differently from one situation to another. 

In Madden 16 you can choose to catch the ball with an Aggressive Catch, a Run After Catch or a Possession Catch. This allows you to pick the right catch for the situation. 

If it’s a long bomb where you need to go high, you can control the receiver and step up to grab that ball for a spectacular to-watch catch. Unfortunately, if you are near the sideline you might end up out-of-bounds and the odds are that you won’t pick up any more yards if you use this in the middle of the field. 

RAC allows the receiver to add yards by catching with the intention of gaining more yards. This is helpful when throwing to a receiver that needs to pick up three or more yards after the catch to get the first down. 

Other times you just need to make a catch so that you can get the first down or keep the clock running. The Possession catch option delivers a catch that you are more likely to hold on to. However, you might not get any added yards, and if there is a lot of pressure you may miss out.

You can control all of these after the throw and it actually works really well.  

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Madden 16 vs Madden 15 – Quarterback Pass Options

When you throw the ball in Madden 15 you have some control over the type of pass, but there are situations where you don’t have enough control. If you have a talented quarterback on your team in Madden 16, you have much more control.

There are now options to throw a lob pass with LB, throw a ball low to the ground out of the reach of a defender with LT, or double-tap the receiver button for a touch pass.

All these options come together to complement the new catch mechanics so that you can make sure you put the ball right where it needs to be. Although this adds some complexity, it is easy enough to learn how to use these options.

Play the Ball or Play the Receiver

EA delivers a new feature that makes it easier to play the ball when you are on defense if you need to come up with a big stop. After the throw tap B and then press Y to attempt an interception or a deflection. The video below shows one way we used this to stop a big play at the end of a game.

You can also choose to press A to stop the receiver. This was used to stop a player with inches to go toward a first down. It was also used to hit a receiver in the end zone and force an incompletion.

With the option to choose and hints on-screen the player has vastly more control than in Madden 15.

More Realistic Penalties

In Madden 15 penalties are random and really annoying. In Madden 16 EA uses enhanced technology to deliver penalties at a similar pace to a real NFL game, with controls in place to add to the realism.

While playing a few games we saw the offense jump in a big play right after they drew us offside. They then got hit with a hold on another play. So far the timing and frequency feel right, not overbearing and forced.

Lovely Pass Physics

In Madden 15 quarterbacks didn’t throw a lot of lame ducks just because they got hit in the pocket. I noticed after a few games that when the quarterback is hit while throwing the ball, the ball comes out like a dropped pass. This is ready for an interception.

Watch the video above to see Ben Roethlisberger hit as he throws and you’ll see an impressive interception, even when it comes against you. This adds to the realistic feel of Madden 16 that wasn’t present in Madden 15.

Madden 16 Gang Tackles

While playing Madden 15 your teammates could help you tackle, but it was often a mess of bodies hitting into a runner. It did the job, but compared to the upcoming gang-tackle upgrade it is not pretty to look at.

In the video above you can see a Cardinals player take off and beat the line. However, one Steelers player grabs on and then another and another to finally bring him down with a gang tackle that is beautiful to watch.

Madden 16 Draft Champions

Perhaps the most exciting new mode in Madden 16 that is not even an option in Madden 15 is Draft Champions. With this new play mode, you get to combine Fantasy Football and Madden for fast-paced pick-and-play teams. Unlike Madden Ultimate Team you are not invested in this team forever. 

With Madden 16 Draft Champions you pick your team and play a short series of games against an online opponent or solo with rewards for the winners. 

The option to switch from one team to another after your competition runs its course is similar to the one-day draft Fantasy Football options. This is a convenient way to make your own team without investing time in Madden Ultimate Team mode.

Madden 16 Shot Plays

EA added over 600 new plays to the Madden 16 playbook including 100 Shot plays. The team says that these are “authentic NFL “Shot Plays.” that allows you to pick a play that is primarily a Play Action with backs and ends in blocking mode and wide receivers running long. 

With these plays, you can take a shot downfield when you need a big play to a playmaker receiver. When you add these focused plays to smarter quarterback throwing options and new receiver catches, you have a recipe for success. Now we just need to find those Madden 16 Money Plays. 

Get Skinny to Get Yards

If you love to use your run game in Madden, this is our favorite upgrade from Madden 15. You can use the right bumper on Xbox One or R1 on PlayStation to “Get Skinny” with your running back. 

Instead of trying to fit through a small hole or spin and juke around the line, push this button to turn your body sideways and, “Get Skinny” to squeeze through a smaller hole in the line. 

EA puts you in charge of the conversion and it is rewarding to pull off in a game. 

Upgraded Madden 16 Presentation

The presentation in Madden 15 delivered an upgrade over Madden 25, but it left a lot to be desired. Madden 16 commentary is better, but even just a few games in we are hearing the same phrases over and over. On the upside there is more talk about the players on the field especially those who are playmakers. 

After a play, we now see on-screen highlights about the player listing the stats for a big play, their performance today, or a similar graphic. There is also a really helpful highlight option that rolls out for the quarterback and replays look really sharp.


Is Madden 16 better than 17?

Yep, for avid madden players there is big difference between 16 and 17. There is less aggressive catch in 17 and more animations. And personally there is more fluke plays in 17. Overall, 17 is better.

What Madden servers are shut down?

EA has announced that the servers for Madden NFL 17 will be closing on December 7th, for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of the game. The announcement was made by a member of the EA Madden team, via EA Answers HQ, and notes that both Madden NFL 17 and Madden NFL Blitz will be retired at the end of the year.

Can I play Madden without Xbox Live?

Xbox Rechargeable Battery + USB-C

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Xbox Live Gold is required to play on Xbox consoles.

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