The Madden video game series is one of the most popular in history, and this year’s edition, Madden NFL 15, will be released on Aug. 26 in North America and Aug. 29 internationally.
Hardcore football fans and gamers are ready to witness the upgrades and changes that will come with EA Sports’ second release on the next-generation consoles. The graphics will be better, but many are also hoping for major improvements with gameplay.
Here is the full list of top player ratings and the most intriguing new features.
|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|
Most Intriguing New Features
Many jaded video game fans will claim that the latest edition of Madden is nothing more than a glorified roster update, but those people are flat-out wrong. Madden NFL 15 is a huge upgrade from last year’s game and will satisfy even the hardest-to-please gamers.
EA Sports has made major upgrades over the last year.
One of the biggest upgrades comes in the play-calling aspect of the game. Instead of the normal "Ask Madden" option, gamers will be given several options that consider the down and the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses. Using the success rates of other players and keeping track of how many times a play is used by an individual gamer, you will be able to spot trends and look to mix up the plays to keep defenses honest.
The new play-calling techniques also have the option to bunch plays by concept. If your team has a speedy back who likes finding open space, there will be a set of plays built to stretch defenses wide and opens up wider running lanes on the outside.
Another major upgrade comes along the defensive line. While many fans of Madden consider those who use the defensive line when playing novices, that isn’t the case anywhere with the War in the Trenches 2.0 improvements.
With each player along the line possessing certain talents, gamers will now be able to utilize the bull rush for powerful tackles or spin moves for ends with more finesse. Just like real football, Madden games can be won or lost in the trenches, meaning fans can now impact the play of the offensive and defensive lines more than ever.
The most important upgrade came to the tackling mechanics.
For years, there have been complaints about tackling in the Madden series. The introduction of the "Hit Stick" revolutionized the way gamers view playing defense, but the game has been changed again with the tackle cone. Instead of needing to make contact before initiating a tackle in the game, any player within the tackle cone for a user-control player is in range.
Madden developers have also done a nice job eliminating most of the complete missed tackles based on mistimed moves. Watching a defender fall down because of a premature button press was a sobering experience, but this year’s game puts the focus more on which tackle to use and less on the timing.
All of the changes and upgrades EA Sports has made sound like what the fans have been calling for over the years. With the excitement building as the release date approaches, gamers and football fans are ready for Madden NFL 15.
*Stats and information via EASports.com.