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Playing Madden isn’t exactly Dark Souls-tough, but there are a few tools you can use to gain those yards a little easier – Madden playbooks are one such tool.

You can use any team’s Madden playbook on either side of the ball, switching up your tactics to suit the moment.

Of course, the tier lists for these playbooks are in flux as Madden 23 updates roll out, but here are the best Madden 23 playbooks for offense and defense so far. Let’s start with players who are on the attack.

Madden 23 Best Offensive Playbooks

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It might have only been out a few months, but there are already three offensive playbooks that stand out above the rest.

Best Running Playbook

Baltimore Ravens

Electric QB Lamar Jackson can be credited with a lot of the Ravens’ success, thanks to his inhuman speed and fearless running plays.

In-game, this translates into one of the more dynamic playbooks on offer. QB blast allows you to sneak in a running play with your best Madden QB, which is perfect for teams with a guy like Jackson on-side.

Outside of that, the playbook excels at smart passing plays, such as TE slants and play-action passes, giving you the option to mix it up when your opponent gets wise.

Best Passing Playbook

Kansas City Chiefs

If you want pure passing though, the Chiefs have the best playbook by far.

The Chiefs already have a generational QB — Patrick Mahomes – so their running game is well covered. With this playbook, you can keep your opponents guessing where they need to cover, thanks to passing plays that are unique to all WR slots and TE positions.

Of course, you’ll be a bit hamstrung by the lack of running plays – outside of jet sweeps and read options – but it shouldn’t matter too much if you land those passes.

Best Balanced Playbook

New England Patriots

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to NFL fans because there aren’t many sports dynasties that can compare to what Bill Belichick crafted with the Patriots. Each yearly iteration of Madden reflects that untarnished run.

The team might be missing Tom Brady, but Mac Jones more than makes up for it, showing plenty of promise within Belichick’s playbook.

There aren’t any huge advantages on running plays or passing, but there’s a wide range of other plays for almost every situation.

Madden 23 Best Defensive Playbooks

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Coverage types and a dizzying number of plays make choosing the right defensive playbook a daunting task. We’ve picked out the best three to make the choice easier for you.

Best 4-3 Playbook

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs might have stolen the limelight, but the Buffalo Bills have proven that they have a strong defensive game, too.

This playbook is all about maintaining a stable presence in the backfield while also blitzing through the opposition with the force of an 18-wheeler.

Best 3-4 Playbook

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders excel at throwing their opponents off guard and are able to establish their secondary quickly with this playbook.

On top of that, being placed in a nickel formation will help you avoid getting confused by good passing plays.

Best Versatile Playbook

Pittsburgh Steelers

Last up is one of the league’s most formidable defenses.

The Steelers have been tormenting opponents for decades with their bulwark style of play, using aggression and trick plays combined with stable options for their secondary to keep their opponents guessing.

As well as coverage plays and tactical blitz plays, there are plenty more options with this Madden playbook, so you shouldn’t ever feel like you’re lacking the tools to deal with whatever is thrown at you. 

If you're feeling nostalgic, check out our list of the best Madden games of all time. When you're done with that, take a tour into the distant past with our list of every Madden video game cover