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*UPDATED* Madden 21: Best Playbooks (Offense & Defense) for Franchise Mode, Best Plays, MUT, Online, Alternate Playbooks & more

Playbooks are the base of success in Madden 21, so finding the right one for you is important.

There are plenty of options, including Alternate Playbooks coming to Madden 21 Ultimate Team.

With this in mind, let's go over the best playbooks in Madden 21, and the best plays.

Latest News - Best Play in Madden 21

It's important to get your offense going in Madden 21, and a great play makes this much easier.

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PROBLEM: This Madden 21 play is a problem for defenses of all levels

A specific play has been discovered that is widely considered the best play in the game by pro players. Even better, it only takes one audible to crush defenses with it!

You can read over our guide on the best play in Madden 21, how to audible it, and how to run down your options to gain the most yards!

Madden 21 Playbooks

There are skill differences between NFL teams, but nearly every team has at least a few superstars.

These players can change games, but they need a playbook that puts them in the best position to do so.

Offensive Playbooks

When in possession, these are the most destructive set of palys.

Best Passing Playbook – New England Patriots

Consistently one of the best playbooks every Madden, this years edition is no different.

I Form Tight is the best running formation, but you pick this playbook for the variety of Gun formations.

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Gun Split Close Pats is the best Gun Split Close in the game due to some unique plays that aren't available elsewhere.

Screens seemed to have been fixed for Madden 21, so watch out for Gun Ace Slot Offset.

Best Running Playbook – Las Vegas Raiders

Not an out and out running playbook, but its pretty much the best in the game and running is a decent percentage of that.

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This jack-of-all-trades playbook has immense depth. The Singleback and I Form are both great under center formations to run the ball from.

Stretch plays are available in multiple formation types to get the defense on its heels.

Best Balanced Playbook – New Orleans Saints

The Saints playbook, also known as the West Coast alternative, is the most unique playbook outside of custom options.

Factoring in plenty of trick plays devised by Sean Payton, it has a lot of surprises for defenses and mixes the run with passing attacks.

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Lots of Singleback options, with the unique Single Double North giving versatility that the other playbooks don't offer.

I Form and Strong Close helps with running the ball, but the key is the Near and Far formations.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about The Yard in Madden 21

These aren't available anywhere else and can be deadly in the redzone.

Finally, Gun Bunch in this playbook is better than anywhere else. If you want to run a slick west coast passing attack - this is for you.

Defensive Playbooks

You won't get far without a strong defense - here are the teams that play it out best.

Best 4-3 Playbook – San Francisco 49ers

One of the core 4-3 playbooks, the 49ers plays are great for teams with small and fast DE's like Nick Bosa.

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This playbook comes with extra formations for stacking against the run like 46 and 5-2. These are particularly strong in short yardage situations and on the goal line.

Having the option of Dime and Dollar is a embarrassment of riches when it comes to increasing the number of defensive backs on the field.

Best 3-4 Playbook – Kansas City Chiefs

A playbook that actually has the option of 3-4 and 4-3 is always a plus. And the Chiefs actually have the personnel to play both, so watch out if you're using this with another team.

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Nickel 3-3-5 gives a great mix of coverage and pass rush which is helpful when trying to protect a lead against a pass heavy opponent.

Dollar is another great option for pass defense. Whilst the standard 3-4 is great at stopping the run.

Best Versatile Defensive Playbook – New York Jets

Unlike previous Maddens, there are a handful of Madden 21 playbooks that give the option of 3-4 and 4-3 versatility.

Honourable mention for the Giants, Patriots and Lions but we have gone with Jets playbook.

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It has a lot of variety in each formation with the ability to jump between 3-4 and 4-3.

It has the excellent Nickel 3-3-5 Will for more obvious passing plays.


If you haven't already, check out our review for Madden 21 right here, where we delve into the absolutely fantastic features, and highlight a few areas which could do with some tweaking too.

READ MORE: Coverage abilities in Madden 21 - what you need to know

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