Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Buy On
  1. 65
    The hyper-speed of this game makes it feel like more of an arcade experience than a real hockey simulator. It's still a huge step in the right direction, though.
  2. NHL gamers will cheer loud for NHL 06, which again proves to be the most playable and engrossing NHL game around, with a very good control scheme and better A.I. than ever along with online play that brings a new level of competitive gameplay to the forefront.
  3. Just don't go expecting the game to be leaps and bounds ahead of last year's edition.
  4. So why EA decided to ruin things by putting new 'skill' moves (pirouettes, fakeouts, fancy through-the-leg shots and so on) onto the right analogue stick is beyond us. It sounds fine in principle, but the result is closer to "FIFA Street" on ice. [PSW]
  5. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    I like that in 06's franchise mode each NHL team has its own objectives - be the Wings and anything short of Canada's Holy Grail is a disappointment. [Oct 2005, p.114]
  6. 60
    It's a different style of game than previous versions, one that dumps some of the innovations from earlier titles in favor of crowd-pleasing simplicity.
  7. Game Informer
    A complete turnaround from last season, and a direction that I hope EA steers clear of in the future. The user should always have control over the most basic gameplay functions. [Sept 2005, p.96]
  8. Somebody at EA needs to stick a post-it note on the producer's door that reads "Dynasty Mode." It's a mess. I recommend the developer focus most of their attention in the coming year to that aspect of the game because I can't recommend this franchise to hardcore hockey fans until they do.
  9. GamePro
    With NHL 06, EA Sports is revisiting its roots to create a feature-stable game with both style and substance, and it all starts with the controls. Quite simply, they are the most responsive ever. [Oct 2005, p.102]
  10. The gameplay is refined better than before, the presentation is mostly sharp, and there's lots for hockey fans to do. Here's the Stanley Cup contender right here.
  11. games(TM)
    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]
  12. 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. 90
    Diehards will love the reduced emphasis on checking, while more casual fans should enjoy the new skill stick moves and the ability to place your shot wherever you please. Best of all, every rule change has made it into the game.
  14. NHL 06 has a lot going for it, but before the developers could design a multitude of great features, they first had to design a multitude of great control and gameplay mechanics. They had that covered, added the appropriate tweaks, and have taken the game to glory.
  15. NHL 06 is as good as it gets in console hockey.
  16. 85
    EA's NHL title has certainly been improved over last year's offering and may actually be their finest work since "NHL 94." However, it feels like there have been more fixes than any truly groundbreaking additions to the game.
  17. If you can look past the minor problems in the animations, the Superman AI and the new rule missteps, you will find that EA has actually created a pretty good sim style game.
  18. 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.
  19. Moreso than previous years, the graphics in NHL 06 are very tight. Still not Visual Concepts spectacular, but getting there.
  20. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Near identical gameplay to its 05 counterpart and a more intricate management aspect - if that floats your boat then hop on board. [Nov 2005, p.122]
  21. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    It's nice to see EA's NHL franchise starting to turn a corner, but it still has a ways to go before besting 2K Sports' stellar efforts. [Sept 2005, p.90]
  22. Pelaaja (Finland)
    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]
  23. Pelit (Finland)
    Not that much has happened since the last time. The AI players have great difficulties especially in defense and maintaining a controlled defensive line-up is next to impossible. Nice atmosphere, though. [Sept. 05]
  24. The addition of some gameplay moves, the fast-paced gameplay and stellar presentation assure that fans of the series won’t be disappointed.
  25. Play Magazine
    A kick-ass game of hockey that stands to be the best EA has ever produced. [Oct 2005, p.70]
  26. PSM Magazine
    Skating, controls, and even star players with star moves all make it very obvious that the inspiration for this year's hockey sim came from ["NHL 94"], the legendary dozen-year-old iteration of the series. [Sept 2005, p.81]
  27. Despite improvements across the board, the lackluster controls, disappointing team and player editor, and lack of new features make NHL 06 a good, but not great game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jun 3, 2015
    This game is fast. Somehow even faster than NHL 05. Create a player is great in this game. The right analog stick allows you to pull ofThis game is fast. Somehow even faster than NHL 05. Create a player is great in this game. The right analog stick allows you to pull of ridiculous dekes. If you score on one of these, you feel amazing. I also found the game's soundtrack to be my favourite of any EA sports game I have ever played (and I have played many). One flaw is that slow players get destroyed by quick players in this game. Speed really kills here. Full Review »
  2. Kevin
    Nov 13, 2005
    NHL 06 providing fun gameplay for the average fan. While it lacked in some areas, it was indeed worth the $30. The Creation Zone's faces NHL 06 providing fun gameplay for the average fan. While it lacked in some areas, it was indeed worth the $30. The Creation Zone's faces can be odd, since the faces look the same. But the Player Editor is a blessing, since you will have to change a few things. The NHL 94 retro was so-so. no real names, nor the Hartford Whalers. The Franchise was very disapointing this year, as it was the same as last year, heck, last year's sucked. The Gameplay makes this all good. While the scoring is high, and the game maybe hard, it's very fun. It will give you entertainment, and is the best multi-playing hockey game this year. If your for fun gameplay, NHL 06 is your game. Full Review »
  3. KeytonE.
    Nov 10, 2005
    As a long time fan of EA's NHL series, I'm fearful that I may turn into a 2K convert. NHL06 really takes some good steps forward As a long time fan of EA's NHL series, I'm fearful that I may turn into a 2K convert. NHL06 really takes some good steps forward with stick handling and the best player control to date. However, the game has some serious flaws that really hold it back. The crowd animations are absolutely pathetic. They all just sit there like blank faced idiots while you score a highlight reel goal. The create-a-player feature isn't nearly as detailed as it could be. Take a lesson from your own game EA! Tiger Woods 2005 has a much better create-a-player featrure. The difficulty is the one feature that aggrivates me the most, and shows where the programmers really cut corners. The 'difficult' setting is absolutely annoying. All it does is crank up the computers scoring percentage, makes computer players skate faster, and takes away all your high percentage scoring chances. In some games the computer will score on nearly 50% of its shots, while you're lucky to score once in 25. It definitely looks and plays nice, but the drawbacks ruin the experience. Full Review »