Madden NFL 17 is the best sports game on the market. It has the best gameplay, most realistic players and gameplay and it is based on the best sport in the world too, so that is a pretty significant advantage over all of the others.
Another reason it is so good is its unparalleled Franchise Mode (Career Mode if you’re a FIFA fan). This mode can be played online with up to 31 other people or by yourself. You can take control of a specific player, you could be a coach or the owner of a franchise, all based on yourself or a current person in those roles. You can choose your backstory or your style and there is a good amount of customizability. Of course then, this is your chance to be a part of your favourite team.
What if you don’t want to be a part of your favourite team though? What do you do then? Well here is a rundown of the best teams to use in Franchise Mode.
That is a hard question to answer as it is largely subjective. So, to start here are the complete ratings for all 32 NFL teams in Franchise Mode as of the Week 12 Roster Update:
Chicago Bears – 79 Overall, 79 Offense, 81 Defense
Cincinnati Bengals – 80 Overall, 87 Offense, 77 Defense
Buffalo Bills – 83 Overall, 85 Offense, 85 Defense
Denver Broncos – 84 Overall, 83 Offense, 89 Defense
Cleveland Browns – 77 Overall, 83 Offense, 77 Defense
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 78 Overall, 81 Offense, 81 Defense
Arizona Cardinals – 84 Overall, 89 Offense, 83 Defense
San Diego Chargers – 79 Overall, 81 Offense, 83 Defense
Kansas City Chiefs – 84 Overall, 83 Offense, 89 Defense
Indianapolis Colts – 77 Overall, 81 Offense, 75 Defense
Dallas Cowboys – 85 Overall, 93 Offense, 81 Defense
Miami Dolphins – 80 Overall, 81 Offense, 85 Defense
Philadelphia Eagles – 82 Overall, 81 Offense, 89 Defense
Atlanta Falcons – 79 Overall, 87 Offense, 77 Defense
San Francisco 49ers – 74 Overall, 75 Offense, 77 Defense
New York Giants – 80 Overall, 83 Offense, 83 Defense
Jacksonville Jaguars – 77 Overall, 81 Offense, 79 Defense
New York Jets – 76 Overall, 79 Offense, 79 Defense
Detroit Lions – 81 Overall, 87 Defense, 79 Defense
Green Bay Packers – 85 Overall, 91 Offense, 81 Defense
Carolina Panthers – 86 Overall, 89 Offense, 87 Defense
New England Patriots – 85 Overall, 89 Offense, 87 Defense
Oakland Raiders – 83 Overall, 85 Offense, 85 Defense
Los Angeles Rams – 79 Overall, 79 Offense, 83 Defense
Baltimore Ravens – 86 Overall, 87 Offense, 87 Defense
Washington Redskins – 82 Overall, 89 Offense, 81 Defense
New Orleans Saints – 82 Overall, 87 Offense, 79 Defense
Seattle Seahawks – 87 Overall, 83 Offense, 93 Defense
Pittsburgh Steelers – 84 Overall, 93 Offense, 79 Defense
Houston Texans – 81 Overall, 81 Offense, 87 Defense
Tennessee Titans – 81 Overall, 87 Offense, 81 Defense
Minnesota Vikings – 80 Overall, 81 Offense, 85 Defense
These ratings alone may be enough for you to decide on which team you’d like to guide to the top of the NFL, but in my eyes, the ratings are not enough. They don’t give you the bigger the picture, so here are the teams that I recommend (in alphabetical order):
The Cowboys are the best team in the NFL at the moment and in my eyes they are in Madden too by virtue of their offense. Not only do they have the best offensive line in the game – which to me is the most important factor on Madden – but they have a host of dangerous players. Ezekiel Elliot is already one of the best running backs to use and is young and develops quickly, the same can be said about Dak Prescott. Then, you have Dez Bryant on the outside who, as always in Madden, is a beast. Their defense isn’t great but Sean Lee at linebacker is very good and is a great piece to build around on defense.
Like the Cowboys, the Eagles have a pretty good offensive line which is the main reason they are on my list of suggested teams. What’s more, they have Carson Wentz at QB. He may only be 79 overall at the moment but he can run and is already a very good passer. He’ll improve quickly too. The receivers aren’t great but the combination of Darren Sproles and Ryan Matthews can be damaging and this team has the best defense on this list. A few new corners wouldn’t go amiss though.
The first two teams on this list have QB’s who can win with their legs or their arm, well with Matt Ryan you only need his arm. Ryan is incredibly accurate to anywhere on the field and has a very strong arm, which is great as he has one of the fastest receiving corps on the game. Julio Jones is a nightmare to defend and can turn literally any catch into a huge gain. Plus, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman form possibly the best all-round backfield in the game. They have a solid offensive line but it, along with their defense, could do with some work.
Green Bay Packers
Another great QB and another good offensive line. Sense a trend? Aaron Rodgers, unsurprisingly, is great but it is the pieces around him that make the Packers a good choice. He has two 87+ Overall receivers and another two 76+ overall receivers who are young and develop well, along with three 75+ overall running backs, one of which is Eddie Lacy who just chugs through people, and two 78+ overall tight ends. That means the Packers offense can just roll through opponents in a variety of ways. The defense isn’t bad either and has a lot of young players.
The Raiders have been the fairy tale team this year, but their squad in Madden is set up to be a world beater for years to come. They have good or better starters at every position on the offense, with all but the left tackle being 28 or younger. Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Clive Warford and the offense line are great. Defensively, you get LE Khalil Mack (96 Overall), ROLB Aldon Smith (85 Overall), LOLB Bruce Irvin (83 Overall but better than his overall), CB David Amerson (87 Overall), CB Sean Smith (85 Overall) and rookie SS Karl Joseph (84 Overall). You even get one of the best punters in the game, which can be a huge bonus.
This is the worst offensive line on this list but the rest of team is so good it may not matter/you’ll be able to focus all of your attention on fixing it. The offense is great, with a do-it-all Russell Wilson, running back duo of C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls, receiver trio of Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Tyler Lockett and tight end Jimmy Graham who is a monster. This is also the best dense in franchise mode. They have at least one 90+ Overall player at every level on the defense (6 total and an 88 Overall).
This choice is all offense. They have a 93 overall QB in Ben Roethlisberger, a 95 Overall RB in Le’Veon Bell and a 98 Overall WR in Antonio Brown. What’s more, their offensive line is very good in 4 of 5 spots and serviceable at the other one. Their defense does need a lot of work but the offense could legitimately score 50+ points a game, so the defenses performance may not matter.
As you can probably tell, I value the offense a little more than the defense, particularly a good offensive line. Without a good or at least decent offensive line you will struggle to run the ball or pass it, regardless of your RB, QB or WR’s.
Which team is your favourite to use in Franchise Mode and why? Let us know in the comments!