The Hit Stick was cool, and the Playmaker controls for presnap reads were nice. The ability to guide your lead blockers made the running game more enjoyable, and this year’s new camera angles and broadcast-style presentation can’t hurt either.

But make no mistake: EA Sports’ Madden franchise has always been about the players. From superstar Adrian Peterson to little-known punter Zoltan Mesko, Madden devs have always poured loads of time and energy into getting the superstars right, and after 23 years in the biz, it’s paid off in a serious way. Fans clamor to know the top-rated guys each year, and even the players themselves beg to find out their ratings.

With that in mind, Complex would like to bring you our 50 favorite players in the history of the franchise. (And no, folks, Madden 12 coverboy Peyton Hillis didn’t make our list.)