Madden 21: OVR is broken, ratings need to be fixed
As ratings get released it is once again clear that EA’s system is not reflecting actual ability.
As always, they have come with plenty of controversies.
The system of stats and development in Madden raise questions each season, particularly with shifts in recent years to try to lower the averages.
Is it time EA Sports reset everything in Madden?
Why Madden 21 OVRs are broken
Madden overall ratings are in sports gaming folklore. Every year, fans and players alike can’t wait to see the ratings and compare where they stack up.
READ MORE: Madden 21 ratings revealed so far
In recent years, EA Sports have made an effort to reduce the averages and create a gap between the great players and the ‘elite’ best of the best.
This has made some complaints worse, where fans don’t recognise this shift and cant understand why players are rated at a place that would have been terrible in previous years.
In some ways the ratings are over-complicated and in other ways, they are oversimplified.
Knowing what each rating can do has become a bit of a dark art when it comes to gameplay. A running back with good speed can seemingly outrun a defender with 95+ speed, other positions it can be the opposite.
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At the same time, the overall rating is disproportionately affected by the awareness rating meaning nudging one stat up can move the entire rating quickly. Many franchise players will say this can make the overall rating number meaningless.
What can EA Sports do differently?
One thing stands out when comparing Madden to NBA 2K, which many consider a leader in sports games. They have a similar amount of stats fields with 40+, but they are also grouped into a clear set of 6 to 8 sub-groupings which make it a lot easier to consume.
EA could do more to share information on the ratings that show league wide averages, and help fans to understand a 71 when the average is 68 is better than a 75 when the average is 77.
Some of the fields used in Madden seemed to have morphed from making old measures more complex. For example, Madden 20 saw not just a run blocking stat. But run-blocking power and run blocking finesse too. Add in the same for pass blocking, lead blocking, and impact blocking too and you have a real mix of information.
Fewer ratings or more distinction is needed, with a development system that continues to not allow players to spam upgrades.
READ MORE: Madden 21 fastest QBs revealed
Finally, the stats need to fit with the gameplay much better. The stats should not be so positionally relative. A 90 speed WR should be the same speed as a 90 speed MLB.
This will raise incorrect ratings, that will then need fixing – but that’s the point. Currently, the ratings don’t reflect players.
When does Madden 21 land?
We now have a confirmed release date for Madden 21.
Circle 28 August in your calendar. Though you can play from 25 August with early access.