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Every Year EA SPORTS brings out a new and improved version of the [John] MADDEN American Football arcade style strategy game. This is often accompanied by the Official Guide on how to get the best out of yourself, your players and your team. Some people like to install the game and just go with it, learning the mechanics and plays as they go, after all, you can always start again if you make too many mistakes. This is where the Official Game Guides come into play. Brady Books, now under the umbrella of PRIMA GAMES BOOKS, give you blow by blow, play by play explanations of what you can do and should be aiming for.

The MADDEN 16 Guide does almost everything for you. It tells you how every team plays, so you can select your strategies accordingly, it tells you their and your weak points and better abilities. It highlights their and your star players in Offence and Defence and it gives you professional advice on everything NFL.

What it cannot do, and this is where sports guides are better than arcade combat based guides, it cannot throw, pass or hand off the ball for you, nor can it predict the random acts of illegal play performed by or on your players. It doies not play the game for you, it only assists, the same way a team's playbook assists the coaches play-calling. You can call the optimal play but then it's up to you, the human factor, to execute the perfect move to go with the perfect play.


As you would expect, the guide is based on statistics for the past season and so there are a few places where players or coaches are no longer with the teams the Guide has them in. This happens in every NFL game I have played with the exception of one, I cannot remember which, that uses dice and generic cards throughout and isn't based on actual facts, skills and results.

There are bonuses with the PRIMA Guide, such as the free download for the mobile friendly eGuide which has enhanced NFL video clips and a mock draft with players rated by position. Then there is the MUT, the Madden Ultimate Team where you are shown the best players for each position that fit the style you want to play.

In my opinion this is the best complete guide to the NFL 2015/16 season you can buy. It's worth having even if you don't have the ELECTRONIC ARTS SPORTS MADDEN 16 NFL game.


Filled with hundreds of facts and figures, pictures, illustrations and photographs, all in full page glorious colour, every team, all 30 NFL stalwarts, are takemn to task with no nonsense reports on both their Offence and Defence. Buying this Game Guide is better, in my opinion, than buying the NFL Championship Books that I used to collect. They cost around £30.00 each whereas you can get the same information in the PRIMA Games Guide for just £9.99. I will say that it seems that the paper quality has dropped a little in the past few years - it is still heavily coloured but not as glossy - but to be honest it is still of more than good enough quality that it will stand up to regular use.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015