Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 100
    A sports gamer's dream come true. The potent combination of smooth fast graphics, excellent gameplay options, and a tough as nails AI, makes this hockey game king of the rink.
  2. So damned good I don't know how EA will top this performance next year.
  3. The sound is nothing short of spectacular. Every noise you'd expect to hear at a hockey game has been taken into account and put in the game.
  4. No longer is the NHL series just an arcade game. Finally, us die-hard hockey fans have a simulation/game to be proud of.
  5. Not only contains top-notch gameplay, but it's also the most realistic-looking sports game to ever hit a console
  6. If you can get past the sometimes chugging on-screen action, and are just looking to have some good old fashion video game hockey fun, then NHL 2001 is just the game that will soak up your afternoons.
  7. Dazzling graphics couple with intense and addictive play.
  8. Once again the AI needs tuning and the graphics need optimizing. Otherwise, though, this game is still as fun on the PS2 as it is on the PSX, and with the new range of customization options, you're sure to find a gameplay style you like.
  9. Although NHL 2001 is by no means perfect -- it lacks drop passes and give-and-goes, and is mysteriously missing the icon-based passing found in the PS1 version -- it is so visually spectacular and sound in fundamentals that we don't hesitate to recommend it.
  10. Another minor issue with the game is with the PlayStation 2 version; while the graphics are quite impressive, the speed of the game play seems to lag other platforms (namely, the PC), as well as the competition's hockey games.
  11. And it has marvellously crap fighting, which should please you louts out there. Punch him! Hit him in the face! We demand blood!
  12. While the graphics aren't as good as I expected from this PS2 title, they are still a huge jump up for PlayStation owners. The reported slowdown hardly detracts from enjoying the game.
  13. As we break down the plusses and minuses, it becomes a balanced equation with the gameplay detractors off-setting the great graphics and outstanding sound.
  14. 84
    Definitely the best hockey game on any console.
  15. While hard-core hockey types may eventually tire of the arcade-heavy gameplay, NHL 2001 is still a solid playing hockey game that will satisfy the needs of most players.
  16. 78
    The AI just isn't up to snuff in terms of the challenge it puts forth and there's simply too much slowdown in the game too be totally ignored.
  17. You get a lot of slowdown my friends, which don't necessarily effect game play much, but does hamper the looks a bit.
  18. Quite simply the most amazing game I have ever seen, and that does include "Madden 2001"... The real problems appear with the AI which is dumb as can be.
  19. It’s very frustrating, and enough to make more sensitive gamers nauseous. You’ll get angry and start swearing at the TV.
  20. 60
    Slowdowns and lack of a franchise mode really makes this a try before you buy game even for hockey fans.
  21. As with previous games in the series, the computer AI could have used a little tweaking; it just seems way too easy to score on your opponent.
  22. 2001 runs at a pretty slow pace overall and fails to capture the frenzied pace of professional hockey. In addition, you'll notice some bizarre slowdown when passing the benches.

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