The Most Unstoppable Madden Players Ever

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2014

The Most Unstoppable Madden Players Ever

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    Chris Park/Associated Press

    If there's one thing that every single football fan usually agrees on, it's that the Madden football video game series is awesome.

    While the games themselves might not be real, the players who we control while with our buddies on a couch seem to be, with the players in the game being rated based on their actual skills.

    And because a few of them have shown to be even more unstoppable as a digital character than as a human being, I decided to give you the ones who were the best over the course of Madden's 26 years.

Steve Young

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    DOUG MILLS/Associated Press

    Rating: 88

    Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young might not have had a rating that was even above 90, but that didn't mean the dude wasn't ridiculous in Madden '96.

    Known for being agile and deceptively fast throughout his career, the video game recognized those abilities, blessing him with the escapability to maneuver around defenders and out of the pocket or to just send everyone deep and have him run to the outside to pick up chunks of yardage.

    Yeah, I used to use the Niners all the time in middle school because of this guy. 

Daunte Culpepper

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    Rating: 98

    He may have completely fallen off the map, but before doing so, former NFL quarterback Daunte Culpepper was a menace on the football field.

    With size, deceptive agility and an arm that could seemingly throw a ball to the moon, Madden developers awarded Culpepper's real success with digital success, too, giving him a 98 rating in 2006.

    Daunte also earned cover-boy honors in 2002, meaning he was a safe bet to play under center for a solid four seasons or so before his demise in the league—especially if you liked scoring tons of points, because this dud could sling it.

LaDainian Tomlinson

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    Robert B. Stanton/Getty Images

    Rating: 99

    From 2003-07, former running back LaDainian Tomlinson was not only the most coveted player and popular choice at No. 1 in fantasy football, but he was also a damn near impossible player to stop in Madden, too.

    Even at his slight size, LT had an uncanny ability to avoid serious injuries, racking up yards and touchdowns like it was simple.

    That translated well into video game land, with developers showing Tomlinson respect by giving him a 99 rating in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009—even though his real stats those years weren't even as great as his prime seasons.

    In Madden, whenever this guy was on your team, he got the ball about 80 percent of the time.

Tom Brady

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    Rating: 99

    Earning a 99 rating in both 2009 and 2012, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady showed the same skills in Madden that make him a near flawless passer in real life—accuracy, a strong arm and smarts.

    Although he didn't move around the pocket as much as some of these scrambling signal-callers, Brady is always cool under pressure and able to make every throw—which is what gamers did while playing as him in these two seasons.

    It also didn't hurt that he was putting up video game-like stats during real games, making this an easy choice for the guys who made the game.

Marshall Faulk

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    Rating: 99

    It just wasn't fair.

    During his playing days, Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk was a dual-threat like the league had basically never seen before.

    A lethal runner out of the backfield, he could run between the tackles and pick up tough yards or line up in the slot as a receiver and collect passes all game long.

    Thanks to those attributes, EA made him one tough cookie to stop—especially in 2003 when he was the cover guy—with him regularly putting up numbers that were ridiculous any time a gamer played with or against him.

Randy Moss

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    Rating: 99

    One of the game's most lethal wide receivers, Randy Moss had jumping ability, great hands and crazy speed that made him so difficult to try to contain in Madden.

    Earning a 99 rating in both 2006 and 2009, Moss may have had some down years during his 14-year career—don't forget, he did play for the Oakland Raiders—but when it came to video game dominance, the dude never missed a beat in racking up yards and big plays.

Peyton Manning

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    Rating: 99

    After seeing the season that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had last year, maybe the Madden guys should have never dropped his rating—because he had a near flawless 2013 campaign, minus the Super Bowl.

    As the NFL's only five-time league MVP, Manning earned a 99 rating from 2006-11, meaning his passing window was about as wide as the entire football field and he could pick a defense apart.

    Earning a 98 rating in this year's version shows that it was, is and always will be frustrating as hell going up against Manning in any video game because he's just so damn good.

Ray Lewis

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Rating: 99

    It didn't matter that former Baltimore Ravens linebacker continued to get older over the course of four years, because EA Sports and the guys who rated players for Madden didn't think his game dropped off.

    That's because from 2002-06, Ray Ray was a 99 overall, helping transform the video game franchise from an offensive, pass-happy game to one that actually took strategy on defense when Lewis graced the cover in 2005.

Barry Sanders

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    Rating: 100

    As the winner for the cover of Madden's 25th anniversary game last year, former Detroit Lions star running back Barry Sanders was naturally going to earn high praise from the game's developers.

    Then again, Sanders was one of the most agile runners any time he stepped onto a football field during his playing days, so his skills didn't really need to be too embellished.

    As this video shows, the guy could stop on a dime or just blow by defenders with his speed.

    Just filthy.

Deion Sanders

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    Rating: 100

    While Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders was one of the most dynamic players in NFL history, it's still odd that he earned an overall 100 rating back in both 1999 and 2000.

    Of course, with a perfect rating, EA made it completely impossible to throw towards Sanders, risking a turnover with him jumping a route and taking it back for a score.

    Oh, and don't forget just how ridiculous he was while returning punts, because he almost couldn't be stopped.

Jerry Rice

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    BOB GALBRAITH/Associated Press

    Overall Rating: 189

    I know what you're thinking, "Dimengo's a moron and just had the worst typo in Internet history," right?

    It might be running through your mind, but you're wrong, because Jerry Rice actually got rated as a 189 overall in Madden '98 on N64.

    As the best wideout to ever play the sport, this probably shouldn't be too much of a shocker, but the fact that he caught nearly anything thrown his way still seems a bit unfair.

Michael Vick

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    Rating: 95

    When a Madden quarterback receives a 95 rating, it typically means that he can throw the ball hard and accurately, has great pocket presence and is aware. But 2004 Michael Vick was all that and a ton more.

    That's because he was blessed with ridiculous speed, with Vick having the agility of a freaking running back to get away from defenders and, well, give anyone playing against him headaches.

    It was literally unfair going against this dude.