Three Things We Hope To See From ‘EA Sports College Football 25’

We are inching ever closer to finally having a college football video game back in our lives, as EA Sports College Football 25 is expected to release this summer, ending a decade-long stretch without the glory of virtual college football.

We’ll get full details on the release and an actual look at the game (beyond the little teaser they gave us a couple months back) at some point in May, and now that we are finally close to getting some real information, we decided it was time to revisit the things we, as avid fans of the original NCAA Football series, really hope to see in the new version. I personally haven’t been this excited for a video game launch in some time, but there is a bit of apprehension they’re going to try and reinvent the wheel.

Instead, I hope they take a fairly simple approach to the first version of the game that was so beloved, but update and expand it to be representative of modern college football.

Invest The Most In Dynasty Mode

I’ve said this before: I want to emphasize that the reason the game was so successful for so long was because people loved Dynasty mode. It was the best coaching/GM career mode of any sports game on the market and it’s because that was what the game was built around. That’s not the case with a lot of games anymore, but hopefully they realize the unique nature of college football in needing that. You can’t have a 10-plus year career in college football as a player (although, some recent guys have managed to go seven with the COVID year/injuries), and as such the player modes, while fun, aren’t able to go as deep. Beyond that, coaches are as big of stars as the players in college football, and everyone loves to play out the fantasy of running their own program, recruiting players, and developing a team into a contender.

There are other modes we hope to see in the game (we’ll get to one in particular momentarily), but what we’re going to invest our time and energy into most is Dynasty mode. As such, I hope they put the majority of their time and energy into building a great version of it for the modern era. In the old game, there was a great rhythm you could strike between recruiting during the week and then playing the games on Saturday, and I’m excited to see how they handle the transfer portal and the new free agency aspect that’s brought to the sport.

Given how basic the recruiting process used to be, I’m curious to see how much they expand it. There are a number of ways they could update and freshen up the old recruiting process — for example, adding NIL promises and dealing with an NIL budget. The transfer portal is also guaranteed to play a bigger role than it used to when it was just a brief stage of the offseason schedule. How involved all of that is remains to be seen, but I hope they really spent the time to get to understand those processes to provide the most entertaining version possible.

However, if they do really open things up and make some big additions, making it customizable in terms of how in the weeds you have to get will be important. The old game let you automate recruiting if you wanted to, and I hope they continue to allow you to toggle what will be your responsibility and what will the game will simulate. I’m not sure I have the time to put into the game I did from the ages of 10-22, but I also don’t want it to be quite as surface level as some other Franchise/GM modes. Put the effort into making Dynasty mode good and give the player the ability to customize it to their preferences, because some of us are bigger sickos than others.

Overall, I’m just excited to have a chance to turn Georgia State into a perennial national title contender and then do it all over again at UMass. If you give me that in a fun, immersive manner that doesn’t ask me to pay you more money (please god, don’t ruin Dynasty mode with microtransactions), then I will be a happy man.

Give Us A Chance To Play As Some Of The Great Players And Teams We Missed Out On Over The Last Decade

While building a team in Dynasty mode is the best part of the game, a lot of the appeal is being able to play as the best players in college football. For more than a decade, we weren’t able to do that, and I really hope they have a mode that helps remedy that. It’s not reasonable to ask them to replicate the NBA 2K MyEras mode, as it’s one thing to go back and add rosters for 30 teams across history, but it’s an entirely different thing with 130 teams. However, a mode that allows you to go back and play iconic moments from the past and include players from the decade that weren’t part of the game would be awesome.

A Heisman Moments mode seems like it’d make a ton of sense, with Heisman winners from the last decade being part of the game and picking their biggest game or iconic moment that led to them taking home the iconic trophy. That’d let us play with Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray Joe Burrow, DeVonta Smith, Bryce Young, Caleb Williams, and Jayden Daniels, which is a great start to that list. If they could expand it further, recognizing they missed out on a decade of CFB players and looking at iconic games of the past 11 years that go beyond just the Heisman winners, that’d be even better.

There are so many great teams (any of the best Clemson squads or recent Georgia teams) and players (Christian McCaffrey was built for a video game) that we didn’t get a chance to play as that aren’t part of that Heisman list. It’d be hard to figure out where to draw the line, so for that reason I’d expect it to be a Heisman deal, if anything, but it would be fun to go back in time a little bit and get to take those players and teams for a spin.

Embrace College Football’s Unique Style Of Play

The game is going to run on the same engine as Madden “with tweaks,” which provides some pause for concern, as one of the great parts of the old game was it had a distinct feel to it. On top of that, Madden has been riddled with glitches and issues, which is honestly just part of trying to make a hyperrealistic simulation sports game and should be expected — the more realistic you make it, the more situations you add, and that brings in exponentially more combinations of things that can happen that break the game.

That said, if they really dig in and give us great, varied college football playbooks on both sides of the ball, I still think it has a chance to be really good even knowing there’s going to be some initial hiccups. Part of what makes college football so fun is how many different systems get run. The old games did a pretty good job of having unique playbooks for each team, but I feel like they could get even deeper, especially with the smaller schools. Offenses and defenses in college have evolved a lot over the last decade, and I hope they put the time in to really dig in on how each team plays and provide something unique for all of them.