The game controls very well. Those who have played previous NCAA Football game or Madden will have no problem picking them up. Newbies may be overwhelmed by the controls and find them too complex. There is a Family Play control option that simplifies the controls to only a few buttons. An inexperienced player can rely on the A.I., and Family Play and still be competitive against a seasoned player.
The game play is well put together. It feels realistic and accurate to football. Many of the arcadey elements, exploits, and bugs from previous versions have been eliminated. This is the best playing version of NCAA Football ever. The problem is, it does not feel like a college football game anymore; it plays almost exactly like Madden. There are two major differences: the option play and the set up play. Each offensive play is linked to another play. Each time you successfully run a play or its linked play you advance its set up percentage. The better you do on the play, the more set up it will be next time. Score a touchdown and that play will be 100% set up the next time you run it. It is a neat wrinkle on play-calling but it actually does not make sense. If a defense just got gashed for big gain on a certain play, in real life they would make sure to stop that play the next time it was run.
A few things that gave the game its college flavor in previous editions have been removed. The Stadium Noise Level (the crowd's reaction affecting the player's composure) is gone. Player Levels ( players become hot or cold based on their performance) is still in the game but no longer has any effect.
NCAA Football 10 has good HD graphics but cannot compete with Madden's look. The player motions are well-animated and reflections can be seen on the player's helmets. The stadiums are recognizable facsimiles of their real-life counterparts, but they are not exact and more details could have been added to them. The player models look good, but it is hard to judge with no recognizable faces to judge them against. The fields have good lighting and variance in the green color but no wear is shown during a game. Environmental affects like wind and snow look fake because they fall the same way continuously.