Visually, Madden 09 is the best the series has ever looked. While it still doesn't come close to that target video from a few years back, Madden 09 manages to impress on nearly every front. Stadium lighting has been reworked and, along with the improved sideline work, every stadium feels a little more realistic. Player animations have also been improved and feel much more dynamic, which is really impressive considering how great last year's animations looked. In addition to new spins, juke and catch animations, players can now perform a variety of touchdown dances and other post-touchdown celebrations.
As far as the sound is concerned, the good news is that the bland radio announcer has been replaced with the team of Chris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond. Though it doesn't quite match the NFL 2K series, overall, the commentary feels better and not as robotic as previous years. Collinsworth will break down specific plays and offer tips on what you could have done differently. The rest of the soundtrack is just okay. I liked most of the music, but nothing grabbed my attention or made me linger on a menu a little longer.