Madden NFL 18 is playable right now before its official release on August 25th, but you’ll need an Xbox One and a subscription to EA Access.
Starting August 16th, Madden 18‘s EA Access Play First program will let you play up to 10 hours of this year’s iteration of the American football sim. The full game is available to play, with one exception: You can only play the first section of Madden 18‘s new story mode, Longshot.
Keep in mind that the trial is only 10 hours, the timer for which ticks down every second you have the game open, meaning you’ll want to fully quit out of the game every time you aren’t playing unless you want to eat up all ten hours by keeping the game on for no reason. Additionally, since the trial is actually the full game, you’ll want to make at least 36.49 GB of memory available on your hard drive, as that’s how much room the Xbox One download will need.
If you play the trial, any progress you make in the game will be saved and available if you purchase the full game. Speaking of which, subscribers to EA Access will save ten percent on any edition of the game. Of course, a subscription will cost you $30 per year, but it gets you access to a ton of content, including EA Access Vault titles such as, most recently, Battlefield 1.
In addition to Longshot, Madden 18 is introducing several new features and modes, including a more in-depth blocking system and target passing, which will give high-level players more control over pass accuracy. The new Play Now LIVE mode will function like the usual Play Now mode, except that now it follows the actual NFL season. On top of all that, developer EA Sports has made much-needed changes the Madden Ultimate Team, especially when it comes to the player rating system.
The earliest players without EA Access can play Madden 18 is August 22nd, and that’s if you purchased the G.O.A.T. Edition, which will additionally net you one of five G.O.A.T. players for your Madden Ultimate Team. Players who purchased the standard edition on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 will have to wait until Madden NFL 18‘s official release date of August 25th.
While you’re waiting to play Madden NFL 18, make sure to check out our review.