If you preordered either the MVP or Dynasty Editions of Madden NFL 22, then you likely spent plenty of time Tuesday playing the game because of the early access that you paid for.
The official release date for Madden 22 is Friday, so gamers will be on the virtual gridiron soon enough. This year's edition marks the first available for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and there are some big upgrades and improvements for the game as it enters a new era.
Many of those upgrades are available on all consoles, such as the improved franchise mode, the newest Face of the Franchise career mode, tweaks to Madden Ultimate Team, The Yard and Superstar KO and more. However, there are also some exclusive to PS5 and Xbox Series X.
For the older consoles, Madden 22 will seem quite similar to last year's game. But the new generation of consoles will get to experience Dynamic Gameday, which includes a momentum meter, home-field advantage perks (one exclusive to each NFL team) and more. So it's clear that EA Sports put in some work to take the series to the next level for these new consoles.
While not everybody owns Madden 22 yet, the ratings for every player in the game have been revealed. That means you can start planning for which teams you may want to try out as soon as the game launches.
Here's a breakdown of some of the top players in this year's game.
Top-Rated Player at Each Position
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (99)
Running Back: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers (97)
Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers (87)
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (99)
Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (99)
Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers (96)
Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts (95)
Center: Rodney Hudson, Arizona Cardinals (92)
Right Guard: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys (98)
Right Tackle (tie): Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints; Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (89)
Left End: J.J. Watt, Arizona Cardinals (94)
Defensive Tackle: Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles (94)
Right End: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams (99)
Left Outside Linebacker: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears (96)
Middle Linebacker: Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers (94)
Right Outside Linebacker: Melvin Ingram III, Pittsburgh Steelers (87)
Cornerback: Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams (99)
Free Safety: Devin McCourty, New England Patriots (92)
Strong Safety: Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs (95)
Kicker: Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens (87)
Punter: Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles Rams (86)
There are five players in the 99 Club this year, and none of them are a surprise. Mahomes and Kelce have been instrumental in the Chiefs' success in recent years, Adams is the clear top wide receiver in the NFL, and Donald and Ramsey are exciting defensive stars.
Kansas City is going to be a popular team to play with yet again in Madden 22. In addition to Mahomes and Kelce, Mathieu is the top-rated safety in the game. And the Chiefs roster also includes 98-rated wide receiver Tyreek Hill, so there's plenty of star power.
While there aren't any 99- or 98-rated running backs in this year's game, McCaffrey is a 97 and will surely be fun to use—especially considering he's such a dynamic player who can be involved in both the running and passing games, just like in real life.
The Cardinals have two players who are the highest rated at their respective positions, and they're both players who were acquired this offseason, Hudson and Watt. While Watt's rating may not be as high as it once was, he's still among the elite pass-rushers again in this year's Madden.
Linebacker ratings seem a bit down this year, considering Warner (94) is the best in the middle and Ingram (87) is tops among ROLBs. Same with fullbacks, kickers and punters, as there are none who have an overall rating higher than an 87.
Of course, these ratings aren't necessarily permanent. EA Sports will be boosting and lowering players' ratings throughout the season. So how players fare in real life will have a big impact on how good they are on the virtual gridiron.
Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts (81)
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (78)
Miami Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle (76)
Denver Broncos CB Patrick Surtain II (76)
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris (76)
Cleveland Browns CB Greg Newsome II (76)
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr. (76)
One of the most exciting additions to Madden each year is the new class of rookies. While you may have used versions of these players from created draft classes in the past, now they're actually in the NFL and have player models developed by EA Sports.
Typically, rookies have to prove themselves before being rated too high. But Pitts is already in the 80s and will be one of the most fun tight ends to use in the game. It gives Madden gamers a new reason to want to play with the Falcons, who no longer have wide receiver Julio Jones on their offense.
The Jaguars usually aren't an exciting team to use in Madden, but the additions of Lawrence and Etienne make them more desirable. It's no surprise that Lawrence, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, is the top rookie quarterback in the game and ranks second among all rookies.
Waddle and Harris are also exciting offensive playmakers who should be fun to use in the game. The Steelers may be relying heavily on Harris this season, and if you play with Pittsburgh in Madden, you may want to do the same.