Who is the best video game player in the NFL right now? That’s easy; Maurice Jones-Drew is a beast on the sticks. He’s a former Madden Bowl champ, a “Call of Duty” king and spends nights putting his skills to the test online against anyone who wants a challenge.
So while I’m sure the highest-rated players at each position get a kick out of seeing their skills translated to polygons, it has to be extra special to someone like MJD, who can now go out and dominate in “Madden 13” by handing the ball to himself, the best running back to step foot on the virtual field (even if he’s nowhere to be found at Jaguars camp).
Here’s a rundown of the Top 10 running backs in “Madden 13” by overall player rating:
10. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons: 91 overall
Michael Turner might not be able to run with the likes of Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles, but when it comes to toughness, trucking, ball carrier vision and stiff arm, the man they call “The Burner” is right up there near the top. And with “Madden’s” new physics engine, I have a feeling defenders are going to be bouncing off of the big man right and left.
9. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs: 91 overall
Second in speed and acceleration behind only Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles is the type of “Madden” back that can simply take over games if you know how to work him into the open field. Get him around the corner on a toss or sweep and this back is as good as gone.
8. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams: 92 overall
Stamina, toughness, trucking and the stiffest of stiff arms is what Steven Jackson brings to the field this year. He doesn’t have the type of breakaway speed you usually look for in a “Madden” back, but when it comes to getting you those tough yards up the middle, Jackson can truck his way through defenders with the best of them.
7. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers: 92 overall
One of the top all-around backs in the game (it never hurts when you went to school with one of the game’s producers), Gore has 90-plus speed, juke, stiff arm, ball carrier vision, toughness, stamina, awareness, agility and acceleration. Talk about the complete package.
6. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears: 93 overall
A threat as a runner or receiver, Forte not only has the speed and elusiveness to make defenders look foolish, his elite route running ability, ball carrier vision and stamina make him a must-play on every down.
5. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens: 95 overall
I used to play as the Ravens in “Madden” because of that devastating D. Now I play as them because of, as he likes to call himself, “Hey diddle-diddle, Ray Rice up the middle.” Rice puts up huge numbers in “Madden” thanks to eye-popping numbers in areas such as acceleration, agility and spin.
4. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles: 95 overall
LeSean McCoy’s agility, elusiveness, juke and spin move are unrivaled in “Madden 13,” giving "Shady" the ability to make even the best tackler miss, and miss bad. And with all that team speed on Philadelphia once again this year (Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson), look for the Eagles to be one of the most popular teams online again this year.
3. Arian Foster, Houston Texans: 96 overall
Combine top-tier speed and acceleration with one of the best trucking numbers in the game and Arian Foster will be a load to tackle in “Madden 13.” Not many backs have the option to either run by you or run you over, and Foster is among the best at both.
2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: 97 overall
Ever since Adrian Peterson was first made polygonal, "Purple Jesus" has been a favorite among “Madden” gamers for his ability to break games open with his speed and power. Despite coming off injury, “All Day” is back with elite speed, acceleration, and agility numbers in the game, giving you at least one good reason to give the Vikings a try this year.
1. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars: 97 overall
From speed and acceleration to juke and spin, MJD not only does everything well in the game, he’s among the best in each category. Too bad the rest of the Jags are so bad in “Madden;” this might be the first year in which nobody wants to play as the best back in the game.
Don’t like the official rankings? Hit up the EA Sports Facebook page throughout the week for your chance to change the numbers. That’s right, fans will be given the ability to vote for which players should have the highest-rated special traits, and the winners of the vote will see their ratings increase when “Madden 13” ships Aug. 28.