Madden NFL 18 is the first game in the series to use the Frostbite engine. While the Madden series has typically featured a Superstar career mode, Madden NFL 18 introduces a story mode known as Longshot, the first such mode in the series. Longshot follows Devin Wade, a quarterback from Mathis, Texas, as he tries to reach the NFL, and includes high school and college football games (the first appearance of the latter in an EA Sports game since 2013, when EA ended the NCAA Football series), as well as the NFL Scouting Combine. The player’s decisions and performances in the game determine Devin’s career path, as dialog trees are used to help him make decisions.
It was released worldwide on August 25, 2017, although those who pre-ordered the “G.O.A.T. Edition” were able to play it three days earlier. It is the first game of the series since Madden NFL 2005 to not be released on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and also the first game in the main series to be available on only two platforms since Madden NFL ’94.
Like Madden NFL 17, EA did not hold an open vote for who would appear on the cover, but personally selected and announced New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in May 2017. EA Sports marketed the game with a trailer featuring Brady’s entrance to Super Bowl LI. Madden NFL 18 was released on August 25, 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was first game in the series not to be released on Xbox 360 since Madden NFL 06 and the first not to be released on PlayStation 3 since Madden NFL 07. The soundtrack for the game, which features 40 songs, includes Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Imagine Dragons, Steve Aoki, Snoop Dogg, and Rick Ross, among others.