Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. The best computer hockey game ever, period. More visually sleek and refined than previous versions, NHL 2004 has new dynasty mode, international leagues, and an enhanced fight system, all of which elevate it to benchmark status.
  2. 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]
  3. The deep content NHL 2004 offers, coupled with its minute-to-learn lifetime-to-master gameplay make it a must-have for hockey fans.
  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. Despite a few glitches--some which are quite glaring--the latest NHL is the finest, and certainly the most challenging, NHL to date, and it's a real step forward from last year's rather complacent "NHL 2003."
  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. Hockey enthusiasts will absolutely love NHL 2004.
  9. 85
    Delivers a much more authentic representation of the fastest game on ice and this is reflected in its tight checking action (low-scoring games are now the norm) and truer-to-life gameplay mechanics.
  10. While non-hockey fans can blag their way through the main game, Dynasty mode is a whole different puck game. It takes a real hockey buff to know what's going on with the different team lines, strategies, player trading and draft picking.
  11. While it's rough around the edges, playing more like a prototype than a finished product, there's finally a reason to get excited about the future of the series. [Jan 2004, p.70]
  12. All of the money management amounts to nothing, because the ongoing saga of a single-player dynansty is built on a foundation of unrealistic and unsatisfying gameplay. [Holiday 2003, p.97a]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23
  1. Apr 30, 2013
    It's 2013 and this is the best hockey game made for PC so far! Completely rebuilt graphics, wide and active on-line community, superb gameplay. Absolutely perfect! Full Review »
    Sep 22, 2004
  3. Prefy
    Sep 12, 2004
    I think that this is a great game. i really like the gameplay and i think that the dynasty mode is great. But there are some definate downfalls to this game. I think the PC interface of NHL 2003 was far better then that of 2004. You could actually tell when a player was injured without having to search for it. Another thing that majorly dissapointed me was the online play. Dont get me wrong i would recomend this game to anyone but i think that it could have been better. Full Review »