NHL 2004 GameCube
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Not to be outdone, EA Sports has upped the ante with NHL 2004 and it truly has left me speechless. What am I so excited about? One word - Dynasty Mode... For hockey fans, this is a no brainer. [Sept 2003, p.88]
  2. Dense with managerial options and overflowing with new gameplay features, NHL 2004 is a complete turnaround from last season's disastrous release and is this year's must-have hockey title. [Oct 2003, p.131]
  3. NHL 2004 has gone the distance and has surpassed the 2003 version by leaps and bounds.
  4. This is almost certainly the best release in the history of the NHL series and one of the most authentic action-oriented sports games currently on the market.
  5. 88
    Mimics the real thing more than ever and therefore the joys of the sport are found in big hits, near misses and brilliant scoring opportunities that barely miss lighting the lamp. If you can get over the fact that scoring is going to be reserved only for those that deserve it.
  6. An excellent hockey video game. It sets a precedent for game mode depth. In particular, its dynasty mode is sick and twisted in terms of its Madden-esque depth.
  7. 88
    Expanded fight controls include grappling, punch selection and the ability to pull off the gloves whenever rink rage overcomes you. [Oct 2003, p.37]
  8. The controls are tight and deep, the Dynasty Mode is great, and the gameplay is realistic and fun.
  9. In a few fundamental ways, the game actually does manage to beat out the opposition, though ultimately it falls a bit short of being the best overall package. It's still a really great hockey game in its own right, though.
  10. While the game moved from the arcade feel to more a realistic feel, the impressive graphics remain.
  11. If you want the most comprehensive and thorough hockey game/management sim, then NHL 2004 is the place to turn.
  12. 85
    It's remarkable that EA has managed to catch up to the incredible effort from Sega in a single generation, and if it weren't for an overly trying physics engine on the ice, the two would be in a dead heat.
  13. EA puts more emphasis on realistic gameplay making the experience less approachable. Passing, for instance, needs to be executed pretty accurate otherwise you’ll lose the puck easily.
  14. Does a fantastic job for the hardcore hockey fan with endless hours of play in Dynasty mode, but it can’t quite match the competition when it comes to delivery and mechanics.
  15. 80
    A nice middle ground between realism and action.
  16. If the GameCube is your only access to gaming bliss and you’re a hockey fan, then there really isn’t a better hockey game for you than NHL 2004. Just be prepared to groan when you have your friend trash talk you when they score a back handed one timer from the point.
  17. The basic game play and graphics are similar to those of the franchise's 2003 edition, but they were already top-notch. [Dec 2003, p.146]
  18. Too much force and not enough finesse - that's the problem with EA's puck offering. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting' physical, but not when it comes at the cost of disrupting the natural flow of hockey. [Oct 2003, p.138]
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Uter
    Jul 8, 2004
    3
    I don't know quite how, but this series has been run into the ground with the last few entires. This ones another big disappointment. I don't know quite how, but this series has been run into the ground with the last few entires. This ones another big disappointment. Note to EA: I don't want more pop fluff during the hockey game. I sometimes wonder what sort of people they hire to come up with their innovative ideas each year. Not actual hockey fans, that's for sure. Full Review »