College Football
What to know about 'College Football 25': Arch Manning gets 87 overall rating
College Football

What to know about 'College Football 25': Arch Manning gets 87 overall rating

Updated Jul. 22, 2024 3:40 p.m. ET

Finally, after more than a decade of waiting, a college football video game is set to return to shelves soon.

EA Sports "College Football 25" will be available for purchase in July, marking the first time since 2013 that the gaming company will release a college football video game. It paused production on the previous iteration of its college football video game, "NCAA Football," after settling a lawsuit with former players who previously weren't compensated for their name, image and likeness (NIL).

RJ Young reacts to the NCAA College Football 25 video game cover

EA announced in February 2021 that the game would return after student-athletes were granted permission to seek compensation for their name, image and likeness. There were holdups in the development of the video game, but EA officially announced in January that it would be releasing its first college football video game in 11 years this summer.


EA has begun unveiling rankings and ratings for the game. It released the 25 toughest stadiums to play at on June 25, followed by the 25 best offenses and defenses in the game on June 27. Finally, EA released the 25 highest-rated teams in the game on June 28. It also shared a deep dive into Dynasty Mode on July 2. 

On July 9, just a week before the official launch, Texas quarterback Arch Manning announced that he would be in the game. It had been previously reported that he opted not to lend his name, image and likeness, which would've likely made him one of the few holdouts. 

As the countdown for "College Football 25" continues, here's everything we know about the upcoming video game.

Who will be in the game? A notable name opts in just prior to release. 

All 134 FBS teams will appear in the game. EA also made offers to every player on an FBS roster, with over 12,800 players accepting that offer as of May, according to Extra Points

EA initially had a goal of getting 87% of all student-athletes to accept the offer, surpassing that goal by the beginning of March. 

It was reported in March that Arch Manning didn't take the offer from EA to appear in "College Football 25" as he wanted to focus on his play on the field. However, Manning reversed course. He shared that he would be in the game in a social media video with his uncle, Eli Manning, on July 9.   

"EA Sports, I'm in the game," the younger Manning said at the end of the video before tossing up a hook 'em horns.

EA Sports announced on July 11 that Arch Manning's character would be given an 87 overall rating even though he has yet to take a snap as a first-string college football quarterback.

Players who decline to be in the game will be replaced by a generic avatar, similar to how Barry Bonds was portrayed in some MLB video games.

Players who are in EA Sports "College Football 25" might not look entirely like themselves. Face scans for individual players won't be available for this year's version of the game as it'd be too difficult to implement so many face scans in such a short period, an EA spokesperson told ESPN in February.

Additionally, former college football stars and active NFL players will also appear in "College Football 25" as part of the Ultimate Team mode. Patrick Mahomes, Davante Adams, Christian McCaffrey, Josh Allen, CeeDee Lamb, Stefon Diggs and Joe Burrow were just some of the names EA confirmed would appear in Ultimate Team on July 7.

Who will be on the cover?

EA officially unveiled its cover athletes on May 16, confirming a pair of recent leaks. The standard cover will feature three current stars: Texas QB Quinn Ewers, Colorado two-way star Travis Hunter, and Michigan RB Donovan Edwards.

Ewers, Hunter and Edwards also appear on the deluxe cover, standing front-and-center in a tunnel of players who appear set to take the field. The backs of the jerseys of other current college football stars are featured on the deluxe cover, such as Alabama QB Jalen Milroe, Georgia QB Carson Beck and Ohio State RB Quinshon Judkins. 

The uniforms of other big-name programs are also featured on the deluxe cover.

Who are the highest-rated players in the game? 

There aren't any 99 overall rated players in "College Football 25." There aren't any 98 or 97 overall rated players for that matter.

But there are a few 96 overall players in the game. EA unveiled its 100 highest-rated players in "College Football 25" on July 10. Michigan cornerback Will Johnson received the top spot, earning a 96 overall rating. LSU offensive tackle Will Campbell and Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon were also given 96 overall ratings.

Colorado's Shedeur Sanders and Georgia's Carson Beck each received the highest overall rating for a quarterback, with each being given a 93. Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Oregon's Dillon Gabriel were right behind them at 92. 

Ohio State has the most players in the top 100 with eight. All eight are in the top 54 or higher. Sophomore safety Caleb Downs was the highest-ranked Buckeyes player, but he and junior running back Quinshon Judkins each received a 95 overall rating.

Here are the top 25 rated players in the game: 

1. Michigan CB Will Johnson - 96 overall 
2. LSU OT Will Campbell - 96 overall 
3. Oklahoma RB Ollie Gordon - 96 overall
4. Tennessee DE James Pearce Jr. - 95 overall
5. Ohio State S Caleb Downs - 95 overall
6. Colorado WR/CB Travis Hunter - 95 overall
7. Georgia FS Malaki Starks - 95 overall
8. Michigan DT Mason Graham - 95 overall
9. Ohio State RB Quinshon Judkins - 95 overall
10. Georgia G Tate Ratledge - 95 overall
11. Missouri WR Luther Burden III - 94 overall
12. Notre Dame CB Benjamin Morrison - 94 overall
13. Texas OT Kevin Banks Jr. - 94 overall
14. Arizona WR Tetairoa McMillan - 94 overall
15. Clemson ROLB Barrett Carter - 94 overall
16. Iowa MLB Jay Higgins - 94 overall
17. Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders - 93 overall
18. Georgia QB Carson Beck - 93 overall
19. Ohio State WR Emeka Egbuka - 93 overall
20. Georgia LOLB Mykel Williams - 93 overall
21. Kentucky DE Deone Walker - 93 overall
22. North Carolina RB Omarion Hampton - 93 overall
23. Ohio State RB TreVeyon Henderson - 93 overall
24. Minnesota LT Aireontae Ersery - 93 overall
25. California RB Jaydn Ott - 93 overall

What are the highest-rated teams in the game?

After releasing the 25 highest-rated offenses and defenses in "College Football 25," EA Sports shared the top 25 teams in the game entering the 2024 season. Georgia, with back-to-back national titles before losing the 2023 SEC Championship Game, is the highest-rated team in "College Football 25" at 95 overall. The Bulldogs have the highest-rated offense and the second-highest-rated defense in the game.

Ohio State and Oregon aren't far behind Georgia. The Buckeyes are ranked second and the Ducks are third, with each boasting 93 overall ratings. Alabama and Texas round out the top five, with both holding 92 overall ratings. 

Clemson, Notre Dame and LSU are the only other teams that have ratings in the 90s, with each receiving a 90 overall rating. Michigan, the defending champion, is ranked 11th with an 88 overall rating. The Wolverines lost head coach Jim Harbaugh and several key players, such as J.J. McCarthy and Blake Corum, from their national title squad as they enter Year 1 of the Sherrone Moore era.

Other notable rankings include Colorado, which is ranked 16th at 87 overall, and USC, which is ranked 19th and is also at 87 overall.

Here's the full list of the 25 highest-rated teams in "College Football 25."

1. Georgia - 95 overall
2. Ohio State - 93 overall
3. Oregon - 93 overall
4. Alabama - 92 overall
5. Texas - 92 overall
6. Clemson - 90 overall
7. Notre Dame - 90 overall
8, LSU - 90 overall
9. Penn State - 88 overall
10. Utah - 88 overall
11. Michigan - 88 overall
12. Florida State - 88 overall
13. Miami - 88 overall
14. Texas A&M - 88 overall
15. Ole Miss - 88 overall
16. Colorado - 87 overall
17. Oklahoma - 87 overall
18. Wisconsin - 87 overall
19. USC - 87 overall
20. Virginia Tech - 87 overall
21. NC State - 87 overall
22. Kansas - 87 overall
23. Arizona - 87 overall
24. Oklahoma State - 87 overall
25. Iowa - 87 overall

Which stadiums will be the toughest places to play? 

EA Sports released the 25 toughest stadiums to play in "College Football 25" on June 25. Texas A&M's Kyle Field was rated as the toughest for visiting teams and Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium ranked second. Tiger Stadium (LSU), Ohio Stadium (Ohio State) and Sanford Stadium (Georgia) round out the top five.

Here's a full list of the 25 toughest stadiums to play at in "College Football 25," which are subject to change in future updates of the game.

1. Kyle Field (Texas A&M)
2. Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama)
3. Tiger Stadium (LSU)
4. Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)
5. Sanford Stadium (Georgia)
6. Beaver Stadium (Penn State)
7. Camp Randall Stadium (Wisconsin)
8. Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Oklahoma)
9. Doak S. Campbell Stadium (Florida State)
10. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Florida)
11. Autzen Stadium (Oregon)
12. Memorial Stadium (Clemson)
13. Neyland Stadium (Tennessee)
14. Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn)
15. Williams-Brice Stadium (South Carolina)
16. Michigan Stadium (Michigan)
17. Lane Stadium (Virginia Tech)
18. Rice-Eccles Stadium (Utah)
19. Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium (Texas)
20. Kinnick Stadium (Iowa)
21. Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame)
22. Spartan Stadium (Michigan State)
23. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (Arkansas)
24. Albertsons Stadium (Boise State)
25. Davis Wade Stadium (Mississippi State)

Which teams have the best offenses in the game? 

Georgia might have lost Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey to the NFL, but Beck and the rest of the Bulldogs' offense should still be good enough, at least according to EA Sports. Georgia was rated as the best offense in "College Football 25," receiving a 94 overall rating. 

Oregon, which replaced departing quarterback Bo Nix with Dillon Gabriel over the offseason, also received a 94 rating on offense, though it was listed as the second-best offense. 

Alabama and Texas each received 91 overall ratings on offense. Both teams are returning the quarterbacks who helped them reach the College Football Playoff in 2023, with Jalen Milroe and Quinn Ewers being among the early candidates for the Heisman Trophy. 

While Ohio State's quarterback situation is unclear, it received an 89 overall rating on offense to round out the top five. The Buckeyes not only return running back TreVeyon Henderson and wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, they also added Ole Miss running back and two-time first-team All-SEC member Judkins. 

Colorado is among the notable teams ranked outside the top five, ranking eighth with an 89 overall rating. Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter are also among the early frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy. 

In a press release, EA Sports explained that its development team "meticulously examined hundreds of thousands of data points" to determine the offensive ratings. It received assistance from Pro Football Focus to examine "all 134 rosters, thousands of players, years worth of game film and mountains of stats" before finalizing the ratings.

Here's a full list of the top 25 rated offenses in "College Football 25" and their ratings.

1. Georgia - 94 overall
2. Oregon - 94 overall
3. Alabama - 91 overall
4. Texas - 91 overall
5. Ohio State - 89 overall
6. LSU - 89 overall
7. Miami - 89 overall
8. Colorado - 89 overall
9. Missouri - 89 overall
10. Clemson - 87 overall
11. Utah - 87 overall
12. Penn State - 87 overall
13. Ole Miss - 87 overall
14. Kansas - 87 overall
15. Arizona - 87 overall 
16. NC State - 87 overall
17. Notre Dame - 85 overall
18. Texas A&M - 85 overall
19. Memphis - 85 overall
20. SMU - 85 overall
21. UCF - 85 overall
22. Florida State - 83 overall
23. Oklahoma - 83 overall 
24. Virginia Tech - 83 overall
25. USC - 83 overall

Which teams have the best defenses in the game?

EA Sports released the top 25 defenses in the game on June 27. 

Ohio State has the best defense in the game, holding a 96 overall rating. The Buckeyes return several key contributors who helped them rank as one of the best defenses in the nation last year, bringing back defensive ends JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer and cornerback Denzel Burke. OSU also added highly touted Alabama safety Caleb Downs in the transfer portal. 

Georgia has the second-best defense in the game, holding a 94 overall rating. The Bulldogs ranked 10th in yards allowed last year, riding their defense to back-to-back national titles in the two seasons prior. Oregon, Alabama and Clemson round out the top five, with each rated 90 overall. Michigan and Notre Dame are also rated 90 overall on defense.

Here's a full look at the 25 best defenses in "College Football 25."

1. Ohio State - 96 overall
2. Georgia - 94 overall
3. Oregon - 90 overall
4. Alabama - 90 overall
5. Clemson - 90 overall
6. Notre Dame - 90 overall
7. Michigan - 90 overall
8. Texas - 88 overall
9. Penn State - 88 overall
10. Utah - 88 overall
11. Florida State - 88 overall
12. Oklahoma - 88 overall
13. Iowa - 88 overall
14. Virginia Tech - 86 overall
15. Wisconsin - 86 overall
16. USC - 86 overall
17. Auburn - 86 overall
18. LSU - 84 overall
19. Texas A&M - 84 overall
20. Colorado - 84 overall
21. Oklahoma State - 84 overall
22. Louisville - 84 overall
23. North Carolina - 84 overall
24. Kansas State - 84 overall
25. Florida - 84 overall

How will student-athletes be compensated for appearing in the game?

When it was announced that the game would be returning, EA said that it was offering student-athletes $600 and a copy of the game in order to use their name, image and likeness. A standard copy of the game is valued at $70, while the deluxe edition will cost $100. It's unknown if players on the cover will receive extra compensation.

What features will be included in the game?

Popular game modes from the previous NCAA football series, such as Dynasty Mode and Road to Glory, are reportedly expected to be included in the game. Some new developments in the college football world since the last time EA Sports released a college football video game, such as the transfer portal, are also reportedly expected to be included.

What will Dynasty Mode be like?

Dynasty Mode will have online and offline play. Dynasties can have up to 32 users, but online Dynasty Mode won't be cross-capable between PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. 

There's a 30-year maximum limit for each Dynasty Mode, with users being able to start as either a head coach, offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator. Each coach will have a backstory as a "motivator," "recruiter" or "tactician." Each user will be able to build a skill tree for the coach they control. The coaching carousel will also pop up at the end of each season, allowing users to switch which job they want for their coach. It also allows users to control their staff at the end of each season if they're a head coach. 

Recruiting will also be featured in the game. Recruiting classes will have at least 3,500 prospects, with regions mirroring real life in terms of the number of elite talent in a certain area. Each prospect will have 14 different pitch grades, such as "proximity to home," "playing time" and "brand exposure," that will determine their interest in each respective school. Some prospects have a deal-breaker requirement, which can lock schools out from recruiting certain players. Users will get a certain amount of points to spend on recruiting, allowing them to set up visits for prospects at their schools. Prospects will dwindle down their list from a top 10 to a top five before getting to a top three when they announce their decision. 

The transfer portal will also be included in Dynasty Mode. Teams will be able to see who's at risk of leaving, allowing the user an opportunity to convince players to stay. In terms of adding players in the transfer portal, it'll work similarly to adding players in recruiting, but decisions will be made at a quicker pace.

Users will be able to customize conferences, creating leagues with up to 20 teams. Users can also control the number of conference games and whether each conference has divisions.

Team Builder will also be included in the game, allowing users to create a team. 

Will the new College Football Playoff be included in the game? 

Yes, you'll be able to play the 12-team College Football Playoff in "College Football 25." It was announced that the CFP would be included shortly after it was announced the game would return this summer.

Additionally, every single bowl game will also be included in "College Football 25."

What other things will or won't be in the game?

The Heisman Trust announced in March that it would allow EA to use the Heisman Trophy in "College Football 25." However, the National College Football Awards Association declined an offer to allow EA to use its awards in the game.

As a result, prominent college football awards such as the Bednarik, Biletnikoff, Davey O'Brien, Doak Walker, Grozo, Jim Thorpe, Maxwell, Outland and Ray Guy will not be included in the game. 

The voices of the game will mostly be ESPN announcers, with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit serving as one of the broadcast teams in "College Football 25." 

What stadium traditions will be featured in the game?

If you're playing with Virginia Tech, don't expect to hear "Enter Sandman" when the Hokies take the field at home. The same goes for "Jump Around" and Wisconsin, as both songs won't be featured in the game due to licensing issues, according to The Athletic. However, popular stadium songs such as "Zombie Nation," "Sandstorm," "Tsunami" and "Mo Bamba" will reportedly be in the game. "Zombie Nation" will play in Beaver Stadium after Penn State touchdowns, just like in real life, for instance. An instrumental version of "Neck," which is commonly played by LSU's band at games, is also reportedly expected to be in the game.

Several other stadium traditions will also reportedly be in the game. Penn State's "White Out," Tennessee's "Checkerboard" and Texas A&M's red, white and blue crowd will be featured.

As for uniforms, there will be at least a few options for each team, according to The Athletic. Oregon, which is known for mixing up its look several times each season, will have more than 20 uniform options.

The wave at Iowa games at the start of the second quarter will also be featured in the game, according to On3. Players on the winning team of the Iowa-Minnesota game will also celebrate with the pig statue. 

What will gameplay be like?

"College Football 25" will have a CampusIQ gameplay feature set, which includes a Wear and Tear system, player abilities, home-field advantage, unique playbooks and a "host of new mechanics that deliver the fast-pace gameplay unique to college football," EA shared in a video.

The Wear and Tear system is a "progressive health system that prioritizes strategic substitutions and diverse playcalling" to keep players healthy. With the system, all hits "matter" but don't have "the same impact." For instance, a hit to a quarterback's arm as he throws the ball can not only force an incompletion, but also deliver a blow. Every hit is measured differently as "damage and fatigue" can impact a player's performance throughout a game. 

Mental and physical abilities are also being introduced in "College Football 25." Physical abilities boost talent attributes, like being able to break tackles and can even provide protection in the Wear and Tear system. Mental abilities are meant to "enhance intangible traits," giving some players and teams an edge in leadership, pre-snap reads and the ability to stay calm under pressure. The mental ability, "headstrong," will be key for quarterbacks on the road. QBs who don't have it will be more prone to struggle in tough environments, while those who do have it won't be as deterred. A player can have up to eight abilities, allowing him to gain certain advantages in different elements of the game. 

Home-field advantage will be in play in "College Football 25," giving home teams an upper hand. There will be "various degrees" of home-field advantages, which are based on the stadium's "toughness rank" and "stadium pulse." The home-field advantage can impact the away team's confidence and composure levels, making it more difficult to call audibles and hot routes at the line of scrimmage. 

Users can expect a "wide range of playing styles" to reflect that all 134 FBS teams will be in the game. For instance, Oklahoma will have its wide splits system, Air Force will have its triple-option offense, and you can play with Michigan's run-heavy offense. Tricks plays will also be included, such as fake handoffs. 

There's also a revamped passing system in "College Football 25," meant to add "control and variation" with every throw. The game "focused on tuning situational throws and an array of new trajectories to provide more passing control." A passing meter will show when a user throws the ball, appearing above the receiver to determine how hard and accurate a pass you want to throw. 

There's also a new kicker meter, which will show a ball moving left to right in order to determine accuracy before a power meter pops up.

Which consoles will it be on?

So far, it's only been confirmed that "College Football 25" will be available for purchase on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. It's unknown if it'll be available for purchase on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

When will it be available for purchase?

The game is set to be available on July 19, but customers can pre-order. 

[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]


Get more from College Football Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more