*UPDATED* Madden 21: Ratings reveal, release date, price, editions, PS4, Xbox, news, updates, Gridiron Notes, MUT, Franchise Mode feedback, developer streams & everything you need to know

The NFL king returns for another year – Can EA keep their momentum going onto next-gen?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant
madden 21 release editions cover price news updates

The football season is approaching, which means a new Madden is on the way!

Madden 21 is set to be the biggest NFL game yet.

Let’s go over everything we’ve learned so far!

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Latest news – Franchise Mode updates coming?

In a new tweet from the EA Madden Twitter account, executive producer Sean Graddy speaks on the negative feedback with a video response concerning the Franchise Mode changes listed in this week’s Gridiron Notes.

madden 21 feedback 1

Graddy reveals the team is working on absorbing the feedback and adding to the mode, as fans felt Franchise Mode was getting left behind once again.

One thing he mentions is that they are now committed to providing updates on everything Franchise Mode moving forward – so the big question is, when will the next update be?

Playbook deep dive coming

The next batch of Gridiron Notes are coming out on 14 July and will be all about playbooks!

What new wrinkles does the Madden team have in store for us? Could create-a-play be returning? We hope so!

Madden 21 release date

We now have a confirmed release date for Madden 21.

READ MORE: Madden 21 – Next gen consoles promise most realistic game ever

Circle 28 August in your calendar. Though you can play from 25 August with early access.

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Madden 21 Dual Entitlement

While fans will be awaiting the chance to buy Madden 21 on next-gen consoles, there’s another route to do so.

Thanks to Dual Entitlement, you’ll be able to purchase the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Madden 21 and get a free copy on next-gen consoles PS5 and Xbox Series X.

This offer will only be available up to the release of Madden 22, but it will be the smartest way to get your copies of Madden’s leap to next gen.

Cover Athlete – Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson was the breakout star of last season and named MVP. He was the early frontrunner for the Madden 21 cover and EA did not disappoint.

Lamar Jackson celebrating in Madden
MVP: Baltimore’s star quarterback is on the Madden 21 cover

The Ravens QB has confirmed he will be on the front for Madden 21. He undoubtedly spoiled a big reveal EA had lined up, but fans were pleased to hear the news.

Trailer

The Madden 21 gameplay trailer has arrived.

With it comes new ball carrier skill stick controls, enhanced pass rush controls, better tackling, and even more celebration options than before.

Madden 21 Editions

There are three editions of Madden 21 available.

READ MORE: Madden 21 coming to Steam for PC

The Standard Edition comes in at £55/$60, with early access available if you pre-order the Deluxe Edition (£70/$75) or the MVP Edition (£80/$85).

Get your pre-orders in here.

X-Factor abilities return to Madden 21

New for Madden 20, the Superstar and X-Factor abilities were an interesting addition.

Aaron Rodgers' X-Factor abilities in Madden 20
X-FACTOR: New for Madden 20, players had mixed feelings about the abilities

There was initial worry that it would be an over-powered ability that would ruin the game. In the end though they have been embraced as adding customization and strategy to the gameplay.

READ MORE: Franchise Mode tips to build a dominant team and win the Super Bowl

The first shot of gameplay is Lamar Jackson making a mockery of defenders at the goal line.

Visible under him is a big red X – the X-Factor symbol.

Which means we now know they will be back for Madden 21.

Face of the Franchise – Rise to Fame

Face of the Franchise returns for year 2!

With it comes an expanded back story going all the way back to High School and extend even further into your NFL career.

With NFL personality Rich Eisen and rapper Snoop Dogg being involved it will be more well-rounded this year too.

Franchise Mode

It’s safe to say that Franchise Mode has been rather forgotten of late. It was also forgotten in the gameplay trailer, and the developer’s stream we expected for Franchise Mode never came.

While Franchise Mode did get some changes listed in this week’s Gridiron Notes, they’re more like a patch than any kind of revamp.

franchise mode needs a refresh in Madden
SAME AS BEFORE: Franchise mode players have been neglected

Franchise mode has been crying out for a refresh across the board, from the trade possibilities to contract negotiations, player development, and even the overall presentation.

With reports that EA may finally be reviving NCAA Football, fans were hoping for a more complete Franchise Mode experience, but it seems to be in vain based on what we’ve been given so far.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Ratings: Best FSs prediction – Thomas, McCourty, & more

Ultimate Team

This is where Madden’s attention is, and where the innovations will be.

Aaron Donald's MUT TOTY card
ULTIMATE TEAM: There’s always new content for MUT

Madden Ultimate Team has been wildly successful in its 10 years in the game, with this year’s offering being the best yet.

The number of programs, challenges, game modes, and seasonal events keep players engaged and coming back for more.

READ MORE: Tips & tricks to dominate Ultimate Team

It’s unlikely that EA makes any tweaks to pack probabilities or their carefully mapped out microtransactions, but they are slowly making it more possible for casual players to build the team of their dreams, which is what the mode should be all about.

The ability to build your own stadium through collectibles, mash-up uniforms, or create unique chemistries between players that were teammates would help make for an even more immersive experience.

Cross-platform Ultimate Team & Multiplayer?

As things stand, Madden players can only face off against those using the same hardware as them.

This has been the standard in gaming forever, but the barriers are starting to break down as games like Fortnite and Rocket League, not to mention the latest Call of Duty, have allowed cross-platform multiplayer.

READ MORE: Madden 21 PS4 vs PS5: Release date, reveal trailer announced, next-gen graphics & more

EA has been opening up of late. Need For Speed Heat had crossplay added, and Star Wars Squadrons will launch with crossplay.

It has certainly added an air of possibility about cross-platform play for Madden 21, though it feels like a year too early for the giant franchise.

Madden 21 on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5

We know that Madden 21 will be “Optimized for the Series X“, and thanks to Smart Delivery it will be free on the Series X for anyone that buys and plays it on the Xbox One.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Editions – Standard, Deluxe, MVP

What also know that Dual Entitlement means Sony players can move onto the PS5 when it arrives. However, Sony has been remarkably quiet about how their machine will impact Madden 21.

Ratings

Madden 21 ratings are starting to be revealed.

The rookie QB ratings were the first to be announced, with #1 pick Joe Burrow getting a 76 OVR.

madden 21 ratings news
OVR MY DEAD BODY: The ratings are coming out, like them or not!

Throughout the coming week ESPN will be revealing ratings. That should be the 99 Club members and the rest of the rookie class too, maybe we’ll even see ratings for the new offense in Tampa Bay.

Toby Durant