Like in real life, the Kyle Shanahan scheme is run-heavy with zone blocking efforts on many plays from the linemen. Who prefers to drain the clock and play ball control, sometimes possessing the football for full quarters at a time, the 49ers playbook is an excellent choice.
While most of these favor the air game, NCAASPREAD offers a range of RPO's (run-pass options) for teams using a shifty QB/HE combination. Just as Shanahan can seemingly turn any RB into a star on offense, his defensive scheme allows for some confusing and rarer formations to disrupt offenses, including the 46 and 5-2 formations which are excellent against the run.
As for the Patriots, Belching may not be in the game but his legacy as a mastermind lives on through the defensive prowess of “NE Coach.” No standard playbook offers this sort of versatility, and it makes sense when you consider the Patriots' proud history of real-life successes on defense.
DEFENSIVEBIBLE is the most versatile of the bunch, most closely mirroring a real NFL playbook with its many looks. HYBRIDSMOKE, like FLEXIBLE on offense, offers plays for all situations, whether you favor zone or man, and with plenty of blitzes for the right moments.
Future, meanwhile, offers the most Nickel looks I've ever seen in a playbook with six different schemes using the extra defensive back. This Madden NFL 21Playbook guide will go over the best Offense, Defense and Overall books in the game.
Madden NFL 21 has brought little changes from the previous entries in terms of the best playbooks. You can think of playbooks as guidebooks that come with their unique formations, strategies, personnel, defensive, and offensive options.
Miami Dolphins This is an absolute must-have playbook if you want to build the ultimate defense. However, there are other playbooks that are more suited to players who are just starting the game and getting a feel for their defensive capabilities.
It has some solid Gun plays that you can turn to with very tight doubles but one notable formation is Bunch T/E which is difficult to stop. New Orleans Saints This Playbook has been renowned over the years because of its great offense capabilities.
You get a wide variety of choices in Shotgun plays such as Y off Trio WK which is great for running. I Form Tight, Slot Flex and Close are all great, so this playbook allows you to cover some ground efficiently.
Baltimore Ravens This playbook has everything a running quarterback needs to get ahead in the game. Spread Y-Flex is a wonderful formation with many options such as Raven HE Seam, RPO Zone Peak, PA Deep Outs, and 8-ball.
Running Quarterbacks can take advantage of the Gun Y Trio Offset WK formation. It has options such as Inside Zone Split, PA FL screen and Z Under.
West Coast Alternate This one isn’t particularly stacked, but it makes up for it with some quality formations. The Gun Bunch formation has a lot to offer in terms of unique plays.
WR Post is an amazing pass play that is rare so don’t expect to find this in a lot of the other playbooks. The Gun Bunch play Deep Corner is similarly unique to this playbook.
Stick has one of the best corner outs in Madden NFL so don’t take it for granted. All this variety earns this Playbook the spot on the top of many lists every year.
The Shotgun has the best Split Close in the Madden NFL 21 because of impressive plays such as X Drag Trail, Pats Curls, Z Spot and others. It has plays such as Pats HE screen and Deep Slot Curl.
The Gun Ace Slot is one of the best formations because it allows you to run the ball across the field easily. It has some solid Gun plays that you can turn to with very tight doubles but one notable formation is Bunch T/E which is difficult to stop.
Screens seemed to have been fixed for Madden21, so watch out for Gun Ace Slot Offset. The Single back and I Form are both great under center formations to run the ball from.
Stretch plays are available in multiple formation types to get the defense on its heels. Factoring in plenty of trick plays devised by Sean Payton, it has a lot of surprises for defenses and mixes the run with passing attacks.
Lots of Single back options, with the unique Single Double North giving versatility that the other playbooks don't offer. I Form and Strong Close helps with running the ball, but the key is the Near and Far formations.
Having the option of Dime and Dollar is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to increasing the number of defensive backs on the field. Unlike previous Maddens, there are a handful of Madden21 playbooks that give the option of 3-4 and 4-3 versatility.
Honorable mention for the Giants, Patriots and Lions, but we have gone with Jets playbook. If you haven't already, check out our review for Madden21 right here, where we delve into the absolutely fantastic features, and highlight a few areas which could do with some tweaking too.
Scoring is huge in Madden, and let's face it, offense is the fun side of the ball. Jon Green went to the Las Vegas Raiders and with him, he took his notorious reputation for ingenious play calling.
Focused on short passes, with multiple potential receivers, this is a very balanced playbook. With 16 different shotgun options, there's scope to hit every part of the field with every kind of route.
Look out for: Single back Doubles, Taylor Slot, Gun Bunch, Empty Saint The options for passing really do help you score big points, and you can limit how many picks you throw then you will be winning games easily with this playbook.
It has plenty of Read Option plays that can get the QB's legs into the game in designed runs. Remember if you have live playbooks turned on you will get updates to the above based on actual NFL performances.
This playbook has a myriad of plays runs out of the Shotgun, which is great for a quarterback like Cam Newton to use, with receiving backs and tight ends utilized to give you an embarrassing number of assets in the passing game. Trips Tight Ends and Guns Split Close are devastating formations to run with, while play-action (PA) plays are abundant in the setup.
In PA Counter go, for example, defenders thinking the running back has been handed the ball should leave their coverage weaker, allowing the deep crossing route runners free for big gains. Posts is a play used a lot around the Madden community with the running back exploiting the middle of the field, while Pats Y Out can beat man coverage when used properly.
This one is an agreed-upon choice across the Madden community, with the combination of standard running plays and the influence of Lamar Jackson’s unique game at the quarterback position. On top of this, the Ravens run a number of plays with conventional rushing in mind, too, reflective of Mark Ingram’s influence on things.
Arguably the best offensive playbook in Madden last year, the Las Vegas Raiders again sit atop the tree in Madden21 thanks to the variety of ways in which they can break down opposing defenses. Inside Cross (Guns Trips TE formation) will be a dependable play to get five to ten yards and to keep drives moving downfield.
On the rushing side of things, several of your best plays will be run in the dependable I Form, with a full back along with the offensive line bulking up your blocking game. Stopping the run is the first and foremost goal in this formation, and this should set a nice trap to cover all bases on third down when the opposition needs substantial yardage on third down.
Head coach Joe Judge and Patrick Graham have formulated a strong defensive playbook for 3-4 users, with versatility brought by the outside linebackers sometimes playing as edge linemen. While running more 3-4 defense, the Bears add their variety through several Nickel and Dime packages, in what is a playbook of flair and depth.
Not trying to reinvent the wheel, the plays in this formation are fairly standard, though it’s their simplicity and symmetry that means that there will never be huge gaps that your opponents can expose. The team has some pretty good Strong Close formations and routes.
Although the West Coast is not an offensive team, similar to Madden 20, the Near Close and Near Close Flex formations allow for great offense. With halfbacks and fullbacks, insides, the post-strike corner routes, basically guys that do crosses to go for the win.
The Saints' offense has been a great option for a long time in the Madden series, and has been almost the meta since Madden 15, with access to great playbook like the Pistol Bunch TE, with good schemes like HE Slip Screen and Strong Power. However, what makes the Saints stand out is their Shotgun Tight Offset TE.
The formations are strong and powerful with the roll-out corners and “Y Out HBS wings” are phenomenal, providing the best play for one play beater if you are near a sideline. The “Level Y Sail”, “PA Bubble” are wonderful against players pushing you hard.
Combining the power run game and the under center nastiness, the Oakland Raiders combine has the Form formation matched much superior then the 49ers, and the best Shotgun formation in the game.