The NCAA Football series has actually been around for more than ten installments. The series started back on the PlayStation 1. The franchise has had its ups and downs on recent consoles, having good releases and sub-par ones as well.
The good releases capture the spirit of college football and often take risks that the Madden series does not. The bad releases feel like Madden Jr.
This year's release feels halfway between a great release and a Madden knock-off.
The main modes of play are Dynasty, Road to Glory, and Online.
In Dynasty mode you choose a college to manage through the years. You make the GM and coaching decisions and can play through the games as well. The management decisions come down to setting depth charts, choosing which players to cut and redshirt at the start of each season, and recruiting new players. Recruiting players is the most in-depth part of franchise management. Players can be targeted based on their caliber, your team needs, or proximity to your school. After targeting a player you can phone them and pitch your school, offer them a scholarship, and schedule a campus visit for them.
The appeal of Dynasty mode to most will be taking over one of their favorite teams and improving it and taking it to bowl games. More could have been done to make this an engrossing mode. Because of legal reasons, actual player names are not in the game. At the start of your Dynasty you can auto-assign random player names or you can play with only player numbers. Division I teams are the only teams you are able to play this mode with. Previous games let you play Division II teams well. You can create a Division II team or download it off of EA's TeamBuilder website and insert it into a custom conference. However, that is not the same as actually playing as University of Delaware or another one of your favorite Division II schools. Overall, Dynasty mode is a good package but there is not enough new things to keep fans of the series interested.
Road to Glory is the other main single-player mode. In this mode you create a player and control him throughout his college career. After you create your player you play through his High School Playoffs. Your performance here will determine your player's skill ratings and your projected depth chart position in college. After the playoffs is signing day. If you commit to a high-caliber school you will likely be on a good team but if you commit to a less prestigious school you have a better chance of starting earlier.