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Madden 21 release date, cost, new features, editions: A guide to everything you need to know in 2020

The release of “Madden NFL 21” is nearly here, and its arrival is just in time for fans who are ready for football.

While some Madden players won’t be happy about what arrives in Madden 21, others will look forward to some of the changes EA Sports made for the new game. Added into Madden 21 will be a completely revamped Face of the Franchise, a new mode called The Yard and new game mechanics that will help level the playing field.

It’s also worth noting Madden 21 will be released slightly before the launch of the next-gen consoles. This means the next-gen versions of Madden 21 will be released by the end of the year. An official release date is not known yet as both PS5 and Xbox Series X are scheduled for a “Holiday 2020” release. The good news, though, is gamers won’t need to buy two versions of Madden 21 in order for the next-gen to work.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get in to what makes Madden 21 special.

Jump to:

Madden 21 release date

The Madden 21 release date is Aug. 28, 2020. However, if you preorder Madden 21, you’ll be able to play three days earlier on Aug. 25, 2020. You can also play three days earlier if you have EA Access, Origin Access or Origin Access Premier.

Madden 21 price: How much does each edition cost?

There are three editions of Madden 21: Standard, Deluxe and MVP. They each come with different features you can get through pre-ordering the game (see below). They also come at different costs, so it depends on what you want to get out of your video game. If you’re really into MUT, then spending the extra money on MVP will be worth it. But if you never touch MUT, then it’s best to just get the simple version.

As for the prices, here they are broken down by edition:

  • Standard Edition: $ 59.99
  • Deluxe Edition: $ 79.99
  • MVP Edition: $ 99.99
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As for what you actually get in each edition, we break that down below:

Standard

  • 1 of 32 Players from NFL Team Elite Packs
  • 5 Madden Ultimate Team Gold Team Fantasy Packs
  • 1 “Your Choice” Uniform Pack

Deluxe

  • 3-Day Early Access to Madden NFL 21 (8/25/2020)
  • 12 Madden Ultimate Team Gold Team Fantasy Packs
  • 1 of 32 Players from NFL Team Elite Packs
  • 1 “Your Choice” Uniform Pack

MVP

  • 3-Day Early Access to Madden NFL 21 (8/25/2020)
  • Lamar Jackson Elite Item with Power Up
  • 1 Large Quicksell Training Pack
  • 17 Madden Ultimate Team Gold Team Fantasy Packs
  • Madden Championship Series Ultimate Champion Pack
  • 1 of 32 Players from NFL Team Elite Packs
  • 1 “Your Choice” Uniform Pack
Madden 21 release date, cost, new features, editions: A guide to everything you need to know in 2020 1
(EA Sports)

Madden 21 player ratings

In Madden 21, there are five players who are part of the 99 overall club: Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Patrick Mahomes and Stephon Gilmore. Mahomes is the top quarterback, followed by Russell Wilson and then cover athlete Lamar Jackson. DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones follow Thomas as the top wide receivers. Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb are behind McCaffrey as the top running backs.

We listed the top 10 players overall below, but you can view Madden’s entire player ratings database here.

Player NamePositionOVR
Aaron DonaldDE99
Christian McCaffreyRB99
Michael ThomasWR99
Patrick MahomesQB99
Stephon GilmoreCB99
Bobby WagnerMLB98
DeAndre HopkinsWR98
George KittleTE98
J.J. WattDE98
Zack MartinG98

Madden 21 features, old and new

If you’re fan of traditional franchise in Madden, then we’ve got some bad news for you. The Madden 21 traditional franchise mode will bascially just be a copy of what you saw in Madden 20. EA Sports made an apology video for diehard franchise fans and promised to work on that mode in the future, but as for now, don’t expect much.

The good news, though, is EA Sports included a much more in-depth Face of the Franchise mode in Madden 21. Instead of getting just the two college football games like you did in Madden 20, you’ll be able to do much more with this year’s edition.

From EA Sports

Create yourself and begin your career as a quarterback in high school where you’ll attempt to lead your team to a State Championship. We should mention while your career starts in high school, that doesn’t mean you’ll be the starting quarterback. Don’t worry, no story spoilers here.

Next, you’ll start your college career on National Signing Day where you’ll pick between ten Division 1 schools. You’ll be able to play two seasons of the College Football Playoffs where you’ll attempt to win not one, but two NCAA Championships. While in college you’ll have the chance to stay as a quarterback or switch positions to a running back or wide receiver.

After your college career, you’ll be attending the NFL Combine where you’ll have the chance to test your skills and run the iconic 40-yard dash.

When you finally enter the NFL, your career doesn’t stop. You’ll have the chance to experience different storylines each season as you make your case for the Hall of Fame.

Madden 21 release date, cost, new features, editions: A guide to everything you need to know in 2020 2
(EA Sports)

The other brand new feature coming to Madden 21 is a new mode called The Yard. This game mode is like a mix of NFL Street and NBA 2K’s The Neighborhood. You can create a custom player, and basically play playground football.

From EA Sports:

Where you can pick up a ball, be anyone, line up anywhere, and play both sides of the ball. The rules and goals may change depending on where you play, but the game is always the same – how can you keep the play going and create amazing moments. Best of all, your Avatar is at the center of the experience, and how you express yourself is everything. That is what drove us to build this experience. We wanted to give you a place in Madden where you were at the center of it all: how you look, how you progress, and how you play.

Madden 21 release date, cost, new features, editions: A guide to everything you need to know in 2020 3
(EA Sports)

There will also be the typical game modes returning in Madden 21 that we saw in Madden 20 and other versions.

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Madden Ultimate Team is obviously coming back, as well as your basic exhibition and online game modes. Superstar KO, which was introduced later in Madden 20, will be returning. EA Sports also promised “a new mode” in Superstar KO this year.

Madden 21 cover star

Ravens quarterback and NFL MVP Lamar Jackson made the cover of Madden 21. If you’ve been playing Madden for a while then you’ll notice this year’s cover looks different. We explain why EA Sports went in a different direction with the cover in more detail here.

There are three different versions of the Madden 21 cover for the three editions of the video game.

Madden 21 release date, cost, new features, editions: A guide to everything you need to know in 2020 4
(EA Sports)

What console is Madden 21 available on?

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

At launch, Madden 21 will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It will not be available on Switch. In June, EA Sports finally partnered with Steam, so you’ll be able to download Madden 21 from Steam as well. Madden 21 will also be available on next-gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when those consoles release during the 2020 holiday season.

How to play Madden 21 early

You can play Madden 21 early by simply preordering the game. You have three editions to choose from, and all three will allow you to play three days early. You can also play a full week early, starting on August 21. if you use EA Play. EA Play is a subscription service that costs $ 5/month or $ 30/year. However if you choose EA Play, you get your playing time limited to 10 hours before release.

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