Madden NFL 20, this year’s edition of the only licensed football video game in existence, earned lots of excitement when EA revealed that it would bring college teams back to virtual football.
In the all-new QB1: Face of the Franchise mode, you get to play in up to two College Football Playoff games with one of ten team options. The basis of the story mode is that you are a highly-recruited quarterback out of high school, but then the top QB in the country joins your recruiting class as well, causing you to lose the starting job and sit for four years after you choose not to transfer. He gets hurt and you end up thrust into the starting role for the playoff, beginning with the semifinal.
Before we get into where the career mode falls flat, I’ll echo what just about everyone else has said, which is it’s great to see college football back in a video game. We all miss the NCAA Football franchise, which ended with the ’14 edition after the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit resulted in it being deemed illegal not to pay the players for using their likeness. Instead of, you know, allowing players to be paid for that, the NCAA refused to let EA Sports make the game and, as such, we’ve been without it for six years. Now, we have a taste of it back, and it’s pretty cool to get to play with college teams again. Having said that, it’s simply not the same — it’s still run on the Madden engine, where the gameplay has always been a bit different than the NCAA games.