Chelsea are the team tipped by many to claim United's title following the return of Jose Mourinho, so victory over the Blues at Old Trafford on Monday would be particularly significant.
Yet for all their money, charismatic manager and trophies over the past decade, for Ferdinand, the battles with Chelsea can never match those against Liverpool and City.
"You look forward to playing every time you step out at Old Trafford," he said. "It is a special place to play.
"We all appreciate playing there in front of our home fans and we try to put on a show.
"But the Liverpool and Manchester City games are usually hyped up a bit more than anyone else, so the feeling after winning one of those games is probably the biggest of the season."
Ferdinand was speaking at the launch of a new sponsorship between United and India-based Apollo Tyres, who will become the club's official tyre partner in the UK.
There is a novel aspect to the deal in that Apollo, through their "Go The Distance" campaign, have vowed to create football pitches for community use made out of recycled tyres.
They intend for the first of those pitches to be constructed close to Old Trafford, with others intended for use in both the United Kingdom and India.