Madden 15: Top Player Ratings and New Features to Utilize

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2014

Less than a week's time sits in the way before NFL fans everywhere can get their hands on Madden 15, the latest installment in EA Sports' annual franchise.

As is the case each year, this new edition comes packed with a host of new features and improved gameplay that promises to even better mirror the on-field product for fans who simply cannot get enough of the sport.

While much of the attention this year has been leveled at the player ratings, which we gloss over here for good measure, the real meat of the new Madden experience is the new features that make the game even better.

Below, let's take a look at the three most notable upgrades fans will want to key in on right after ripping the game from its case.


Madden 15 Info

Release Date: August 26 in North America and August 29 in Europe

Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One


Madden 15 Top Player Ratings

Top Quarterbacks Team Rating
Peyton Manning, DEN Denver Broncos 98
Aaron Rodgers, GB Green Bay Packers 98
Drew Brees, NO New Orleans Saints 96
Russell Wilson, SEA Seattle Seahawks 93
Top Fullbacks Team Rating
John Kuhn, GB Green Bay Packers 93
Mike Tolbert, CAR Carolina Panthers 92
Marcel Reece, OAK Oakland Raiders 92
Anthony Sherman, KC Kansas City Chiefs 90
Top Running Backs Team Rating
Adrian Peterson, MIN Minnesota Vikings 98
LeSean McCoy, PHI Philadelphia Eagles 97
Jamaal Charles, KC Kansas City Chiefs 97
Matt Forte, CHI Chicago Bears 95
Top Tight Ends Team Rating
Jimmy Graham, NO New Orleans Saints 97
Rob Gronkowski, NE New England Patriots 96
Vernon Davis, SF San Francisco 49ers 94
Jason Witten, DAL Dallas Cowboys 93
Top Wide Receivers Team Rating
Calvin Johnson, DET Detroit Lions 99
Brandon Marshall, CHI Chicago Bears 96
Andre Johnson, HOU Houston Texans 95
A.J. Green, CIN Cincinnati Bengals 95
Top Offensive Linemen Team Rating
Joe Thomas, CLE Cleveland Browns 98
Evan Mathis, PHI Philadelphia Eagles 97
Josh Sitton, GB Green Bay Packers 97
Trent Williams, WAS San Francisco 49ers 95
Top Defensive Ends Team Rating
J.J. Watt, HOU Houston Texans 99
Robert Quinn, STL St. Louis Rams 97
Cameron Wake, MIA Miami Dolphins 96
Calais Campbell, ARI Arizona Cardinals 96
Top Defensive Tackles Team Rating
Ndamukong Suh, DET Detroit Lions 97
Geno Atkins, CIN Cincinnati Bengals 96
Gerald McCoy, TB Tampa Bay Buccaneers 95
Kyle Williams, BUF Buffalo Bills 95
Top Middle Linebackers Team Rating
Patrick Willis, SF San Francisco 49ers 96
NaVorro Bowman, SF San Francisco 49ers 96
Luke Kuechly, CAR Carolina Panthers 94
Derrick Johnson, KC Kansas City Chiefs 91
Top Outside Linebackers Team Rating
Von Miller, DEN Denver Broncos 96
Aldon Smith, SF San Francisco 49ers 96
Justin Houston, KC Kansas City Chiefs 93
Lavonte David, TB Tampa Bay Buccaneers 93
Top Cornerbacks Team Rating
Richard Sherman, SEA Seattle Seahawks 99
Darrelle Revis, NE New England Patriots 97
Joe Haden, CLE Cleveland Browns 95
Patrick Peterson, ARI Arizona Cardinals 93
Top Free Safeties Team Rating
Jairus Byrd, NONew Orleans Saints 96
Earl Thomas, SEASeattle Seahawks 95
Devin McCourty, NENew England Patriots 94
Eric Weddle, SDSan Diego Chargers 94
Top Strong Safeties Team Rating
Kam Chancellor, SEASeattle Seahawks 93
Troy Polamalu, PITPittsburgh Steelers 93
T.J. Ward, DENDenver Broncos 91
Eric Berry, KCKansas City Chiefs 90
Top Kickers and Punters Team Rating
Brandon Fields, MIAMiami Dolphins 96
Matt Prater, DENDenver Broncos 95
Andy Lee, SFSan Francisco 49ers 95
Robbie Gould, CHIChicago Bears 93

Note: All Madden 15 player ratings courtesy of



Player Sense 2.0

This was long overdue, and the thing fans will notice most upon booting up the game.

Remember in the good old days when defensive backs would swat away passes users threw after accelerating on apparent ice skates—without ever turning their head around, no less?

Gone. Thanks to improvements afforded by ever-evolving technology, EA Sports has been able to ensure that virtual defensive backs react realistically, which in turn will create a better balance between run and pass as it becomes more difficult to take to the air.

It applies to the offensive side of the football, too, as details:

"Thanks to Real AI 2.0, computer quarterbacks understand different passing concepts, and will read defenders before making correct throws. They'll also audible and call hot routes based on Real AI, and also have improved logic for handling pressure in the pocket."

No more games against the computer in which the quarterback checks down for a majority of his passes.

For a franchise that strives to be a realistic simulation, this is a major step in that pursuit—and one fans will appreciate right away.


Updates to Connected Franchise

The strive for realism extends to the mental side of football on an individual basis.

One of the major points to this year's game is the addition of a confidence rating, a numeral between one and 99 that fluctuates based on a bevy of factors, as EA Sports' Josh Looman explains:

Among the things that can change a player’s confidence are losses, poor performances, trades, etc. How much confidence fluctuates is determined by several different factors: whether the player is a starter or backup, their consistency rating, and how big the game was. Get blown out by a rival at home? Confidence drops more than a one-point road loss.

As if that is not enough, the addition of Game Prep—which allows players to train each member of a roster to gain confidence or experience points on a weekly basis—puts the game mode over the top.

It seems that now the challenge of taking a struggling franchise and building it into a juggernaut is all the more intimate, as players have new ratings to manage and more productive things to do during the week that leads up to a game.


Tackling Mechanics

Remember the quarterback vision cone from back in the day?

Defenders are people, too. Now each member of a defensive unit has a tackle cone to utilize with a range of options, from the famous Hit Stick right on down to a conservative tackle best utilized in space.

It is a new wrinkle to classic gameplay that clearly emulates the decisions defenders in real games must make at a moment's notice based on a variety of factors.

Now players in control of the virtual athletes will be tasked with doing the same. In other words, the excellent simulation just took another major step in the right direction.


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