• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Aug 30, 2004
Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Let me get it out in the open right away - ESPN NHL 2K5 may be the best hockey game you'll ever play. [Dec 2004, p.103]
  2. The improvements in the gameplay become obvious the second you’re slammed against the boards or the very instant you perform a snap shot at just the precise moment the other team’s defense drops.
  3. 92
    Harder hits, smarter AI, better gameplay, a deeper Franchise Mode, and online leagues? Yeah, there's a lot going on this year to be happy about. It's not all perfect -- in fact, there are a few things I have major issue with -- but overall NHL 2K5 is the only hockey game you need.
  4. More than just a slight improvement over last year’s version. It’s my favorite version to date primarily due to the reduction of goalie ability. While the neutral zone play isn’t there like the past, overall the game plays better than ever.
  5. An incredible hockey package that's filled with more game modes than you'll probably know what to do with. And once again they've orchestrated the best hockey gameplay you're going to find anywhere.
  6. When you combine the depth of gameplay, breadth of modes and quality of delivery with the salary-cap friendly $19.99 price tag, it’s easy to see how ESPN NHL 2K5 stays on top of its division.
  7. The default difficulties are done so well that you'll have to play a lot to even consider going into the slider screen.
  8. The best in its genre - period. There's something on offer for everybody, it's great for the serious hockey fan, it's fantastic if you have a few mates around to play in party mode or even buzz in on the trivia games and it's even soothingly, surprisingly good fun for the casual gamer.
  9. 90
    Despite the shortcomings, ESPN NHL 2K4 is the Cup champ because it really plays and, aside from the rather sluggish-moving players, feels like a hockey simulation should. [Dec 2004, p.144]
  10. Bells, whistles, and foghorns aside, it really feels like hockey. And it's only 20 bucks. [Oct 2004, p.99]
  11. The controls are perfect for a hockey game while also only being as difficult as you want them to be.
  12. More of an evolutionary product than a revolutionary one in the series.
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. JamesC.
    Apr 21, 2005
    10
    Way better than EA sports. you wont get much better. last years rosters a bit disappointing.
  2. BobP.
    Sep 6, 2004
    8
    I'm not much of a sports fan, so the real draw for me was the game's $20 price tag. It's a bit much on the full sims side of sports but the graphics and gameplay tend to be on the better than I'd expected it to be for a $20 game. The weekest point is that the game still has last year's roster/stats. Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2013
    5
    I heard from an unreliable source that this game is the best hockey video game for PS2. I played NHL 2K5 yesterday for the first time. The sky box was innovative for its time and the VIP is virtually the same as the NFL version. Graphics are okay for the year and the puck speed is good.

    The Problems are noticeable. The checking is sub par compared to the 2K versions. Fighting is a waste of time in game. The soundtrack is the worst i have heard of any sports game. Might as well play Pandora instead. The mini games and battle mode are sloppy and unpolished.

    If you have a PS2. Instead of this sub par game. Try NHL 2004 or NHL 2k8.
    These two offer two different but awesome experiences for an NHL video game.
    Full Review »