The release date of Madden NFL 15 is scheduled for Aug. 26 in North America (Aug. 29 internationally), and it has football fans and video game enthusiasts counting down the days.
Customers will be greeted with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman on the cover.
With the 2015 edition of the game being released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, fans of the video game series from around the world will be able to enjoy the latest release.
Here is the latest news, a full breakdown of Madden NFL 15 and a full list of ratings for the top players at every position.
|Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||98|
|Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||98|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||96|
|Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||93|
|Tom Brady||New England Patriots||93|
|John Kuhn||Green Bay Packers||93|
|Mike Tolbert||Carolina Panthers||92|
|Marcel Reece||Oakland Raiders||92|
|Anthony Sherman||Kansas City Chiefs||90|
|Jerome Felton||Minnesota Vikings||88|
|Top Running Backs||Team||Rating|
|Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||98|
|LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||97|
|Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs||97|
|Matt Forte||Chicago Bears||95|
|Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||95|
|Top Tight Ends||Team||Rating|
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans Saints||97|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots||96|
|Vernon Davis||San Francisco 49ers||94|
|Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||93|
|Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||88|
|Top Wide Receivers||Team||Rating|
|Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions||99|
|Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||96|
|Andre Johnson||Houston Texans||95|
|A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||95|
|Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||94|
|Top Offensive Linemen||Team||Rating|
|Joe Thomas||Cleveland Browns||98|
|Evan Mathis||Philadelphia Eagles||97|
|Josh Sitton||Green Bay Packers||97|
|Joe Staley||San Francisco 49ers||94|
|Top Defensive Ends||Team||Rating|
|J.J. Watt||Houston Texans||99|
|Robert Quinn||St. Louis Rams||97|
|Cameron Wake||Miami Dolphins||96|
|Calais Campbell||Arizona Cardinals||96|
|Cameron Jordan||New Orleans Saints||93|
|Muhammad Wilkerson||New York Jets||93|
|Top Defensive Tackles||Team||Rating|
|Ndamukong Suh||Detroit Lions||97|
|Geno Atkins||Cincinnati Bengals||96|
|Gerald McCoy||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||95|
|Kyle Williams||Buffalo Bills||95|
|Jurrell Casey||Tennessee Titans||93|
|Top Middle Linebackers||Team||Rating|
|Patrick Willis||San Francisco 49ers||96|
|NaVorro Bowman||San Francisco 49ers||96|
|Luke Kuechly||Carolina Panthers||94|
|Derrick Johnson||Kansas City Chiefs||91|
|Jerod Mayo||New England Patriots||91|
|Top Outside Linebackers||Team||Rating|
|Von Miller||Denver Broncos||96|
|Aldon Smith||San Francisco 49ers||96|
|Justin Houston||Kansas City Chiefs||93|
|Lavonte David||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||93|
|Robert Mathis||Indianapolis Colts||93|
|Richard Sherman||Seattle Seahawks||99|
|Darrelle Revis||New England Patriots||97|
|Joe Haden||Cleveland Browns||95|
|Patrick Peterson||Arizona Cardinals||93|
|Vontae Davis||Indianapolis Colts||92|
|Top Free Safeties||Team||Rating|
|Jairus Byrd||New Orleans Saints||96|
|Earl Thomas||Seattle Seahawks||95|
|Devin McCourty||New England Patriots||94|
|Eric Weddle||San Diego Chargers||94|
|Charles Woodson||Oakland Raiders||86|
|Top Strong Safeties||Team||Rating|
|Kam Chancellor||Seattle Seahawks||93|
|Troy Polamalu||Pittsburgh Steelers||93|
|T.J. Ward||Denver Broncos||91|
|Eric Berry||Kansas City Chiefs||90|
|Reshad Jones||Miami Dolphins||89|
|Top Kickers and Punters||Team||Rating|
|Brandon Fields||Miami Dolphins||96|
|Matt Prater||Denver Broncos||95|
|Andy Lee||San Francisco 49ers||95|
|Robbie Gould||Chicago Bears||93|
|Justin Tucker||Baltimore Ravens||93|
*All stats via EASports.com.
Breaking Down Madden NFL 15
The biggest news of the last week from EA Sports was the official rating of cover boy Sherman.
According to Adam Rank of NFL.com, Sherman is one of three players ranked 99 in this year’s game (Calvin Johnson and J.J. Watt are the other two) and is listed as No. 1 overall. Gamers and NFL fans have come to expect nothing less from the athlete on the cover of the game.
While the staggered release of the player ratings has created a legitimate buzz around this year's Madden release, the actual gameplay has many gamers intrigued about the upgrades EA Sports made over the winter.
One of the biggest upgrades will be the Defense Tackle Mechanics.
Gamers love playing defense. Since the invention of the Hit Stick, the art of laying the biggest hits is a Madden specialty that hardcore gamers take great pride in. The fans of defense in the series will be excited about the upgrades to the fundamental playing system.
EA Sports has broken tackles down into two types: aggressive or conservative. Just as in the NFL, a conservative tackle is the safer bet, but it is nowhere near as explosive. While aggressive hits have a lower success rate, they can also create tackles for a loss.
Another upgrade on defense is the War in the Trenches Mechanics. With the ability to utilize power or finesse pass-rush moves, gamers will get a more realistic feel from the defensive-line players. Add in the upgrades for speed off the line and the ability to disengage offensive linemen, and playing defensive line won’t just be for inexperienced players anymore.
If you had to start a franchise, which 99-rated player would you select No. 1 overall?
Fans have always wanted to play games that feel like they are watching the action on television, and Madden NFL 15 does a great job replicating that feeling. From more team celebrations to timeout cutaways, NFL Films Senior Cinematographer Brian Murray was hired by EA Sports to be the presentation director for this year’s game, and he's made wholesale upgrades.
Fans of football and video games should expect more intimate visual presentations and montages, and the improvements of the jumbotrons and the commentary team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will have even the most jaded gamers satisfied.
This year’s Madden NFL 15 is much more than a roster update.
*Stats via NFL.com.