- Revolutionary Playmaker Control: Just like NFL players on the field, gamers now have more control over the action before and during the play with intuitive right stick adjustments. With Playmaker Pre-Play Control, use the right stick to quickly change plays, routes, or defensive coverage. After the snap, use the right stick to call out blocks, direct receivers, and make quick adjustments on defense.
- New, Deep Owner Mode: Take over the full bottom line responsibilities of the owner in addition to GM, coach, and player duties in Franchise Mode. Features include relocating your team and building a new stadium and setting all prices including food, merchandise, and parking. With the addition of the assistant coach license, gamers can even hire their own coaching staffs.
- Knockout Graphics and Presentation: New broadcast quality effects create a seamless transition from the end of the play to the play-call interface with post-play graphics shown on screen. Other enhancements include new split screen replays, numerous specialty animations including stumbles with the ball, open field blocks, defensive reaction moves, and new QB scramble transitions to improve throwing the run. Players are modeled with the greatest accuracy ever including tattoos on player arms, dreadlocks, and long hair sticking out of the helmets, and all the latest NFL alternate uniforms and helmet styles.
- EA SPORTSTM Online Competition (PlayStation 2 only): Quick Match quickly and easily provides connection to another opponent close in skill, while EA SPORTS Fair Play provides rules and settings for games and shuts down cheating. Other features include online tournaments, a new ranking system to reward only those who play through and win games (eliminates plug pulling), real rosters, EA Messenger for online messaging system with friends on all EA SPORTS PlayStation 2 online titles, and voice chat using a USB headset and a broadband connection.
- More Game: The deepest and most realistic playbooks to date are packed with information directly from NFL Coaches via the NFLCA license, and the package personnel system provides an innovative and fast way to change personnel to create favorable match-ups in any formation at the play-call screen. Deep AI includes situational passing that will not throw up the middle with time running down, real NFL zone coverage schemes, and much more.
- Stadium Builder: Using graphical building tools, choose from multiple pieces to build your fully customized home field with over 17 billion combinations-put scoreboards, luxury boxes, and tunnels, where you want them.
- EA SPORTS Bio: Memory card based tracking/rating system recognizes and rewards gamers for playing multiple EA SPORTS titles.
- Deeper Franchise Mode: Mini-camp drills will be integrated to boost up players during franchise mode in the off season and the Horse Trailer Player of the Game has been added, playing off John Madden's new on-air recognition. Signing bonuses are now available so team and player management can emulate the NFL's real salary cap system. Put players on the trading block and field offers for trades from computer teams.
- New and Improved Commentary: Featuring the Monday Night Football team of John Madden and Al Michaels for commentary and dynamic play-by-play and sideline reporter Melissa Stark. New commentary elements include "Gamestory" mode which provides improved overtime commentary, halftime analysis, and increased rivalry/championship specific commentary, improved replay commentary, audio for specific player moves, blowout commentary, and much more.
- New EA SPORTS Trax and Jukebox: New songs are featured, and full Jukebox feature allows custom orders and play lists.
- Online Play (PC): Take online sports gaming to the next level with online leagues, quick match, online tournaments, quick games, real rosters, buddy lists, career stats, clubs, and message boards. Rankings systems have been rewritten so plug pulling can't be rewarded.
- Play Editor (PC): Design your own plays and playbooks from scratch and take them into the game to try them out.
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