Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Moreso than previous years, the graphics in NHL 06 are very tight. Still not Visual Concepts spectacular, but getting there.
  2. 85
    What we finally have is a fun competent hockey title that has cleaned up the glitches and irregularities from past years. Combine this with EA's stellar presentation, the depth of dynasty mode, and the fixed checking system and EA has seriously started to close in on the 2K series.
  3. The EA warhorse gets a much-needed injection of old-school cool. [PC Gamer UK]
  4. A kick-ass game of hockey that stands to be the best EA has ever produced. [Oct 2005, p.70]
  5. Basically more of the same game, with the addition of slightly improved graphics, analog stick passes and special moves, pucks that can bounce realistically and injure players, and a tweaked create-a-player function. [PC Zone]
  6. Worth buying if you don't own a recent hockey game, but no compelling reason to upgrade if you do.
  7. A lot of fun, but not that much has happened since the last time. AI has huge problems in its own zone because it cannot maintain a controlled defensive line-up. [Dec 2005]
  8. As the greatest and most enjoyable recreation of the sport since the 16-bit era, NHL 06 deserves to sit alongside the likes of "Pro Evo" as a sporting highlight that any gamer can enjoy. [Nov 2005, p.111]
  9. Not as rich an experience as it should be, but it is finally fun to play again. [Oct 2005, p.62]
  10. The only major issue I take with the game is one that I take with almost every single game put out by EA, lack of a solid instruction manual. I for one would appreciate complete information on how to play the game and use new features, what certain options do, and maybe some "rules" information for new comers to the game. I don't want cliff notes, I want the book.
  11. Soulless, if well-realised hockey simulation. [Nov 2005, p.100]
  12. Sure, it's got all the new rule changes, as well as an almost entirely up-to-date roster, but considering how similar the game is overall to 2005's version, you have to ask yourself, "Is that really enough?"
  13. Improvements in puck physics means that hard shots can bruise your opponents, while last year's overly aggressive defense has been scaled back to realistic levels.
  14. NHL 06's online features, combined with a great single-player dynasty mode, create a much more dynamic playing experience than 2005's. At last, offense takes center ice and defense moves from the blue line to the goal crease, where it belongs.
  15. Because of the cheap AI, the single player game is a frustrating experience which is too bad, as the rest of the package is pretty good. Salvation comes in the form of the superb multiplayer modes, which are highly addictive and also feature well implemented online player leagues. If not for the cheap AI, NHL 06 might have been EA’s best NHL game in years, but at the end of the day, this years edition won’t convert the fans of "NHL 2K" –series. [Sept 2005, p 72]
  16. The gameplay is just monotonous, which slams the nail in its coffin. [Dec p.57]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. SteveW.
    Apr 12, 2006
    Most innovative game of hockey since they created the one-timer in NHL '94. The speed burst and stick handling are almost perfectly balanced. Finally fun to play again! Full Review »
  2. LukeK.
    Oct 20, 2005
    This game actualy got me into sports gaming.
  3. DaveG.
    Sep 23, 2005
    A welcome step above 2005. Gone are the teeth shaking hits the computer would dish out as you tried in vain to gain the offensive zone. The addition of the skill stick is nice - but takes getting used to. The left deking stick is also new and will require a few games before it becomes almost second nature. Props to adding back in the player creation but points lost for losing the import MP3 ability (I miss hearing LL Cool J during the fights) Overall a great game that despite a few shortcomings will give this hockey fan hours of fun throughout the winter! Full Review »