Life's not easy for virtual special teamers.
After all, plenty of aggressive Madden players choose to forgo kicking extra points or punting for field position in the quest for more points. The saying "video game numbers" exists in sports for a reason, and offense is king when it comes to the popular EA Sports franchise.
Still, tightly contested Madden battles that feature gamers trading touchdowns can come down to the final possession. Having a kicker who can nail a pressure-packed field goal as time expires is invaluable at times like that, and Justin Tucker is the surest bet in the latest edition of the game.
The Baltimore Ravens kicker is a 90 overall in Madden NFL 23 and is joined by Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs (84) and Evan McPherson of the Cincinnati Bengals (83) in the top three.
1. Justin Tucker, Ravens (90)
2. Harrison Butker, Chiefs (84)
3. Evan McPherson, Bengals (83)
4. Younghoe Koo, Falcons (82)
5. Chris Boswell, Steelers (82)
6. Graham Gano, Giants (81)
7. Daniel Carson, Raiders (81)
8. Robbie Gould, 49ers (80)
9. Matt Gay, Rams (79)
10. Nick Folk, Patriots (78)
That Tucker is the top-rated kicker comes as no surprise.
The five-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection is as steady as they come in the kicking game and led the NFL by making 94.6 percent (35 of 37) of his field goals last season. He also drilled a 66-yarder to stun the Detroit Lions in the final seconds of their matchup and seems to have ice water in his veins whenever a game is on the line.
Butker and McPherson also being in the top three means the AFC playoffs could be a kicker showdown since the Ravens, Chiefs and Bengals are all Super Bowl contenders.
McPherson helped lead Cincinnati to the Super Bowl as a rookie last season by making all 14 of his field goals in the playoffs, three of which came from 50 or more yards. His 52-yarder as time expired eliminated the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, and his overtime field goal did the same to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
The kicks made him a fan favorite in Cincinnati and skyrocketed him near the top of his positional rankings in Madden.