Ever since the concerted effort to level out ratings across the board and stop handing out 99s to Madden 21 coins many gamers, the"99 club" has been one of the most intriguing things about each game's buildup of hype. Mahomes clearly led his team into the Super Bowl while arguably being the best outright player in the league. And Donald set up another elite season, finish with a 93.6 Pro Football Focus grade.

Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore picked off six passes, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark between rushing and receiving, and Saints wideout Michael Thomas surpassed 1,700 receiving yards. That is simplifying things, but the very best of the best is again an exclusive club in mostly premium positions, with McCaffrey being an exception.As always, the nice thing about the ratings is the team at EA Sports will tune them as the year progresses so the virtual field reflects the actual one.

The new features list is always next to the player rating reveal. On the gameplay front, this year's release promises more innovation and fluidity as an offensive playmaker. New spins, slides and hurdles attached to some Skill Stick mean gameplay better mimicking what is really much an offensive-minded league at this time.

Not that EA Sports will only let crimes run wild without empowering players to counteract some of that through defense. The Skill Stick also offers players a vast variety of pass-rushing moves to choose from on the fly and handling tuning now accounts for much more precision.

Painting in wider strokes in the"fresh" class,"Face of the Franchise: Rise To Fame" is a brand new career mode using a player-oriented slant. Perhaps most interesting of all is the simple fact that this year's Madden release will not just update player evaluations weekly--certain group playbooks will acquire fine-tuned per week as well to reflect what each team uses on the field in all aspects.

At this stage in the franchise's entire life cycle, there are only so many new instructions to proceed. No more wishing a specific team could conduct a certain play that the real life staff does is a wonderful touch and can remove the wait period. Where the old wait used to buy Mut 21 coins be until the next year's game releases, it could merely be a wake-up wait.