'Madden 18' release date: Player ratings, how to play the G.O.A.T Edition early

The release of "Madden NFL 18" ist just a day away and we've got all the details on the biggest football game of the year. 

What system is it on?

Are you ready to play hundreds of Tom Bradys online? "Madden NFL 18" is set to release Aug. 25 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, along with a mobile release.

Can I play early and what does it cost?

Here's a recap from our friends at Gamespot on how you can get your Madden on before the game officially releases:

The Madden website shows that the game's EA Access Play First trial will go live on August 17, which is a full week before the game's official release date. The Madden NFL 17 Play First trial let you play the full game for 10 hours, but there is no word on the length of the new one.

EA Access is only available on Xbox One, but PlayStation gamers aren't shut out when it comes to having the ability to play earl.

The other way to play Madden NFL 18 early is to pick up the G.O.A.T. Edition ($80/£80/$120 AU). This premium version of the pro football game unlocks on Xbox One and PS4 on August 22, three days before the game's full launch on August 25.

Who's on the cover?

With Tom Brady on the cover boasting a perfect 99 OVR and a title like "G.O.A.T Edition" you can surmise that EA Sports went all out for this one. Madden Curse? Brady laughs at your silly superstitions and apparently doesn't even play as the Patriots in the game. Here are the two teams he likes to use in the game

2018-nfl-madden-cover-tom-brady-goat-edition.jpg
Tom Brady is this season's 'Madden' cover boy. Courtesy EA Sports

What are the new features?

Madden has been a football mainstay for decades, and the game is hoping to make its experience even more immersive. Whether fans are playing the casual arcade or the realistic simulator, in which there are injuries and flags in addition to increased failure rates, there are game modes for everyone. However, the most talked about new feature with Madden is the Long-shot mode, in which players follow the arduous road to becoming an NFL star.

The mode seems to be following the mold set by Career mode for 'NBA2K", which recently featured a storyline from Spike Lee. The mode is designed to put gamers into an NFL player's shoes. It will be interesting to see how Madden distances itself from its 2K counterpart. Here's a more in-depth look at what you can expect.

The Making of Longshot

Posted by EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just tell me the player ratings

Rookies had their ratings unveiled a while ago, with Mitchell Trubisky being the highest-rated quarterback at 76. Christian McCaffrey was the best running back at 80, while tight end O.J. Howard is the best rated offensive player at 81. Myles Garrett, the first overall pick, is the highest-rated rookie in the game, boasting an impressive 84 OVR.

Madden Ultimate Team, where players build their own teams, will also make a comeback. One of the most popular modes in Madden, it is based around cards. It is also featuring squads now, which allows players to build with friends.

The game is extremely ambitious, but will it live up to the hype? Just like Brady's Patriots, we'll just have to wait and see. 

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