After Madden 2004 over emphasized the gameplay balance too the offensive side of the ball, with Playmaker controls, Madden NFL 2005 introduced the Hit Stick, which lets players decide how much power they want to put behind each hit. The harder the hit, the bigger chance of miss, but a if it does land, there's a greater chance of a fumble. EA also added Playmaker tools to the defensive side of the ball, allowing players to make pre-snap defensive adjustments. To help with this focus on the defensive side of the ball, EA Sports' marketing campaign ran the tag line "Fear the D" and put Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis on the cover.
Franchise mode received an upgrade to its presentation with Storyline Central, that let players monitor what's going on in their franchise from the view of the media with use of a local newspaper and radio station. The radio show featured Tony Bruno as the host.
Madden NFL 2005 also offered online play on Xbox Live for the first time, after EA and Microsoft announced a new partnership that would bring EA titles to Xbox Live at E3 2004.
- Alter Bridge - "Open Your Eyes"
- Chevelle - "The Clincher"
- The D.O.C. vs Earshot - "The Madden Re-Match" - "It's Funky Enough" vs. "Wait"
- Earshot - "Wait"
- Faith No More - "From Out of Nowhere"
- Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
- Green Day - "American Idiot"
- Hazen Street - "Fool the World"
- The Hives - "Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones"
- Hoobastank - "Same Direction"
- Jazze Pha - "Da Heavy Hittas"
- JR Ewing - "Time to Get Dirty"
- Midtown - "Give It Up"
- Mooney Suzuki - "Alive and Amplified"
- New Found Glory - "This Disaster"
- Ozomatli - "Saturday Night"
- Strata - "Piece By Piece"
- will.i.am - "Go!"
- Wylde Bunch - "Last Day of School"
- Yung Wun - "Yung Wun Anthem"
- Yung Wun featuring DMX, David Banner, and Lil Flip - "Tear It Up" (Not in PC version)
- Z-Trip featuring Soup of Jurassic 5 - "Listen to the DJ"