Madden NFL 2005 introduces the Hit Stick, a new feature that lets players turn a game around with a crucial tackle. Along with all-new defensive preplay controls and defensive artificial intelligence enhancements, the defense now has a diverse arsenal of weapons available. Also, the depth of Franchise mode grows with the addition of Storyline Central, a weekly radio talk show that discusses current stories regarding your team and the league. With even more Franchise mode additions, hundreds of new animations, and the new Create-a-Fan feature, Madden NFL 2005 takes the series to the next level.
The Madden series returns for another year with Madden NFL 2005. Besides the usual roster updates, the major gameplay changes in this iteration mostly concern defensive play. There are also expansions to the franchise mode and to online modes along various other additions and changes.
Major changes to defensive play include the introduction of the Hit Stick: it allows precise and context-sensitive tackling through the use of the second analog stick. There is now also defensive playmaker control (allowing on-the-fly position changes) and defensive hot routes. The offense was also expanded and now allows for formation shifts on the line.
The franchise mode now features the Storyline Central option, which features an "EA Sports Radio" show hosted by Tony Bruno, featuring news and reports around games and the league, interviews with players and call-ins from fans. There are also newspaper articles (featuring real licensed papers from around the US), emails from players and coaches and more. All of this is accessed through a redesigned interface resembling a PDA. Another new feature is morale for players, which changes throughout the season depending on their contracts, win-lose performance, being benched and more. The draft system has also been revised, and drafting new players can also affect the morale of existing players.
Another new feature is called Create-A-Fan: players can create fans with an editor, having them put on outlandish costumes and then watch them sit in the stadium during a game.