I want to comment on Garnett's take on Madden versus the increasingly loved NFL2K5. Garnett touched on some of the reasons why some people feel that 2K5 is the best NFL video game ever made. I would like to elaborate a bit.
The presentation in 2K5 is still among the best in sports games. The Show series and the 2K basketball games may have surpassed it but Madden has yet to equal it which is surprising given it's now been 7 years since 2K did it. The half time show in particular really sold the video game as being a great representation of watching Football. The announcing was so so but still pretty tolerable.
I also agree with Garnett that it seems that EA tiburon is more concerned with features than the game on the field. I'm an avid FIFA player and for years PES was considered the best. The feel of the game on the field blew FIFA away. A couple of years ago FIFA started to make minor, nerdy changes to the game on the pitch on now FIFA is on top. Were are the sports nerds at Tiburon?
The biggest reason that a lot of people still think that Madden has not surpassed 2K5 though is the game on the field. Madden, like Garnett said, has always been ruined by the need to do big impossible plays that should not work. I remember games I played were Linebackers somehow intercepted balls thrown out of reach of their hands as I'm driving down the field to score the death blow. I remember some games were I called the right play on critical plays yet somehow the running back was just able to truck my LB to a first down despite it being a clean hard hit. When you play Madden you just can't help shake the feel that the game is having some influence on who wins. 2K was never about that. Random crazy, unexplainable plays didn't happen like they do in Madden. The game just got out of your way and let you play.