Once considered a poor relation to its neighbours in England, Spain, Germany and Italy, Ligue 1 is now an altogether different place and the presence of two of the world's wealthiest clubs, along with a potentially dangerous outsider, makes the coming campaign a fascinating prospect.
From the principality to the Parc des Princes, Monaco's Russian owner Dimitri Rybolovlev and the Qatari powerbrokers at Paris Saint-Germain have tried to outdo one another in the transfer market throughout the summer, with the two colossuses both taking turns to smash the French transfer record on their way to spending a combined total of over €250 million (£216 million).
Before last season had even finished, Monaco had announced the record €45 million signing of Colombian winger James Rodriguez, who moved to the Stade Louis II from FC Porto at the same time as João Moutinho. Radamel Falcao soon followed from Atlético Madrid for €60 million, but PSG hit back by spending €64 million on Serie A's top scorer Edinson Cavani from Napoli.
However, with Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic staying put, Leonardo insists that he has left PSG with "the best attack in the world" and new coach Laurent Blanc has also seen big money spent on bringing in young Brazilian defender Marquinhos from Roma and Lille left-back Lucas Digne.
PSG beat Bordeaux to win the season-opening Champions Trophy on Saturday and are the favourites to successfully defend their title, but the presence of Monaco could make things a little more complicated.
Without the distraction of European football, the newly-promoted Ligue 2 champions will expect to push PSG hard, and coach Claudio Ranieri will be under pressure to deliver Champions League qualification at the very least.
"We are building for the future and it is up to him to play, but we have no doubts as to his ability," says sporting director Vadim Vasilyev, although Ranieri, who has fallen foul of mega-rich Russian owners in the past, will surely pay no attention to any talk.
In a mess 12 months ago, Marseille are back on sound financial ground again after qualifying for this season's Champions League, and they have opted to do their shopping at home in a bid to build on last season's relative success, spending almost €20 million to sign exciting youngsters Benjamin Mendy and Giannelli Imbula, as well as Lille's Dimitri Payet.
"We can't compete with Monaco and PSG when it comes to recruiting the biggest international stars. Our aim is to stay in touch with these two clubs and finish on the podium," says OM president Vincent Labrune, who wants the club to follow in the footsteps of Borussia Dortmund and achieve success by moulding together a team of talented and hungry youngsters.
But what of the rest in what has been described as a Championnat à deux vitesses (two-gear league)?
A long list of players have left France over the summer, headed by Saint-Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has been lured away by Dortmund. Younès Belhanda, France's young player of the year in Montpellier's 2011-12 title-winning campaign, has gone to Dynamo Kiev, and others, such as Lyon striker Bafétimbi Gomis and perhaps the Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue, will follow.
Fresh from winning last season's League Cup triumph, Saint-Etienne can still look forward to this campaign with optimism, but the mood is not so upbeat down the road in Lyon, where president Jean-Michel Aulas still needs to slash his wage bill, hence the rather ugly situation with Gomis.
The mood around the Stade de Gerland will be lifted if the club manages to return to the Champions League group stages, though.
Elsewhere, Claude Puel will have his job cut out matching last season's remarkable success with Nice, who will move into a new stadium next month.
Eight-time champions Nantes will be concentrating on survival on their return to Ligue 1 after four years away, while several clubs besides PSG will be striving for success under new management.
René Girard has replaced Roma-bound Rudi Garcia at Lille, with Jean Fernandez taking over at Montpellier. After doing a sterling job in Spain with Real Sociedad, Philippe Montanier is back in France at Rennes, but the most fascinating appointment of all came at Ajaccio, who have handed former Marseille striker Fabrizio Ravanelli his first chance as a coach at the highest level.
Ravanelli will take his team to PSG in Week 2, but before that the opening game sees the champions travel on Friday to Montpellier, where Laurent Blanc initially made his name as a player more than two decades ago.