One of the touted additions to the 2006 version of Madden is Superstar mode, which allows the player to create and take control of an NFL player from his rookie year all the way to retirement. An athlete can be created by evaluating pairs of parents — judging, based on their IQs, occupations, and hobbies, whether their child would excel in the NFL — or by importing a player from NCAA Football 06 or NFL Street 2. This player is 21 years old at the start of his career. Superstar mode is essentially Madden's Franchise mode seen through the eyes of this athlete. Rather than manage the team's front office, the player manages the career of his athlete: selecting movie roles, accepting product endorsement, etc. The player can access different areas of the city the Superstar is playing in such as the barber shop, to get a haircut or the performance institute to raise attributes if the player's agent has a key. As the player gains in popularity and prestige the superstar's home will transform from an apartment to a luxurious mansion. The player will receive calls from former NFL running back Terrell Davis, who is the player's mentor and guide. This addition has met with mixed reviews from video game reviewers. Although the idea is considered great in concept, many found the actual execution of the mode to be lackluster.
In the 2007 version of Madden, the player now controls just the one player rather than the whole team in Superstar Mode. The Superstar Mode had good reception in the first two years, but in the later years, people were bored of it. One of the contributing factors is the lack of immersive storyline as most storyline evets are text-based branches, which is especially apparent at the end of the 3-year rookie contract, when you decide to test free agency, and the removal of the ability to manipulate depth chart to earn additional positional roles, which is apparent from Madden 09-12 in original XBOX and PS2.
In Next-gen Maddens (PS3, PS4, XBOX 2, XBOX One), it also removes the ability to play as linemen, punters and kickers. This is also carried over in Connected Career Player mode.