Madden 19: Analyzing Player Ratings, New Features and Ultimate Team

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) an NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

With Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown striking a pose on the cover, Madden NFL 19 has hit the home stretch ahead of its August 10 release date. 

Madden's earlier-than-usual debut is fitting for a game featuring a multitude of upgrades. The game, released on a host of consoles and earlier via pre-order or Hall of Fame edition, promises a deeper experience in several areas. 

EA SPORTS Madden NFL posted the video game cover on Twitter: 


“The battle of getting better is never ending” -@AB84 Pre-Order 👉🏽: https://t.co/BkLnz185gQ #Madden19 https://t.co/6dsoW5Zfgv

With ratings released and details making the rounds, the hype train can kick into full gear.


Notable Player Ratings

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots, 99 OVR

Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers, 99 OVR

Aaron Donald, DL, Los Angeles Rams, 99 OVR

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots, 99 OVR

Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers, 99 OVR

Von Miller, Edge, Denver Broncos, 99 OVR

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers, 99 OVR

Quenton Nelson, Left Guard, Indianapolis Colts, 83 OVR

Saquon Barkley, Running Back, New York Giants, 82 OVR

Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns, 81 OVR

Roquan Smith, Middle Linebacker, Chicago Bears, 81 OVR

Full player ratings available at EASports.com.


Player ratings are typically the most controversial part of a Madden release these days. 

Still, it's hard to find fault in the above, not with most of the usual suspects getting a 99 overall. Some might argue bumping Julio Jones and J.J. Watt up one point to a 99 couldn't hurt, though the deep work put into these ratings likely has a fair enough reasoning. 


We let NFL rookies pick their #Madden19 Ratings It didn't go as expected: https://t.co/iN0oAkysUS https://t.co/2QboAdFyCF

As far as rookies go, it's no surprise to see Quenton Nelson come in as the highest-rated prospect after being hailed as a generational player who can change the game in front of Andrew Luck. It's a similar story for Saquon Barkley, though it's interesting Derrius Guice doesn't crack the top five after falling to the Washington Redskins in the second round. 

Either way, those who find fault in the player ratings have to remember the team at EA Sports will keep updating them to reflect on-field happenings as the season progresses. 


New Features and Ultimate Team

Another year of Madden means more improvements in the expected areas—which isn't a bad thing. 

The presentation and feel of the game will once again see an uptick thanks to the second year under Frostbite, as one can see from the videos here. 

Alongside prettier graphics and a refined broadcast experience more in line with what fans watch during games, EA Sports has revamped controls for better responsiveness while also incorporating new concepts. 

It sounds ambitious and is, with "Real Player Motion" being the biggest headliner. A new system for running, the revamped control scheme gives players control over previously animated moments like cuts, hitting the hole and pushing the pile.

Chris Sanner of Operation Sports offered details: "Built from the ground up, Real Player Motion transforms the way you play Madden, delivering game-changing control and precision on the field. Realistic character movements provide smooth, immersive animations for adaptive and believable player motion, while animation variety creates authentic movement unique to positions and body types."

Outside of gameplay and graphics, better customization is once again the pursuit of a game looking to offer a pristine simulation. To this end, Connected Franchise features a new detail called "Player Positional Archetypes," which lets players modify rosters and game plans to fit certain schemes. Brand new specialist positions help mimic real life as well, and they include things such as slot cornerback, sub linebacker and rush defensive tackle. 

As expected, Longshot makes a return with Longshot: Homecoming, where players will once again control the stories of Devin Wade and Colt Cruise as their narrative arcs continue. An expansion of last year's successful debut includes the ability to continue the story outside of the game mode itself by way of implementation in franchise and Ultimate Team modes. 

And who could forget Ultimate Team? 

According to the team at EA Sports, Power Ups were "too complicated" last year, hence the debut of training. Put simply, training is done via selling items a player doesn't need—and the path to an upgrade is now directly on the card itself instead of buried in menus. 

Besides ease of access, EA Sports is adding more in the way of features to the card-collection frenzy. Players will now be able to partake in 13 Solo Battles a week in a competitive environment against the computer. MUT Squads had a successful debut a year ago, and this year adds an ability to team up against a computer opponent as well. 

It's an impressive list of features overall, to say the least, though Madden isn't a stranger to ambitious plans anymore as the team flexes the full power of the latest console generation and the foundation they've established. 

Players can get their hands on Madden NFL 19 on August 10.