Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 100
    Simply the best hockey game ever released.
  2. 100
    The butter-smooth controls make the game a joy to play—between the big hits and the player-controlled dekes, you’ll alternate between brawling like Tie Domi and dangling like Pavel Bure.
  3. 100
    Best of all, the sound mix supports DTS 5.1 output, allowing you to literally feel every hit when cranked up loud enough on the right system.
  4. Simulation junkies might be turned off by the exaggerated goal scoring, comical commentary and cute gimmick cameras, but a bevy of gameplay options can remove all such tom-foolery from the game.
  5. The high watermark for hockey games on next-generation platforms, and has set a standard that will be hard for competing products to's damn close to NHL '94 for addictiveness.
  6. If you enjoy listening to the broadcast, NHL 2002's dual commentary is the best I've ever heard in the game. [Nov 2001, p.104]
  7. The improved puck control alone makes this game a gourmet meal for diehard hockey fans.
  8. 92
    It's a phenomenally deep and highly playable single player experience and the multiplayer gameplay is a enjoyable as it ever has been. Bottom line -- this is the best game ever released in the series.
  9. Not only will you get your money's worth, but you’ll probably still be playing it when "NHL 2003" is released.
  10. A landmark release in that it is the first PS2 game to support Dolby™ Pro Logic and DTS™ sound. These surround sound technologies allow for realistic environmental surround sound like you've never heard it before.
  11. The worst and pretty much only snafu with NHL 2002 is the lame fighting. I didn't think that last year's rock 'em, sock 'em fighting could get any worse, but it feels like it has.
  12. NHL 2002 has finally unseated "NHL '94" as the only hockey game I would actually fight with other players over a controller in an eight-man multiplayer match.
  13. The goalies are still a bit of a sore point, however, since a single defender can run the gamut from godlike to pylon within a single period with little rhyme or reason.
  14. The Franchise Mode is 10 seasons of blissful replayability. [Nov 2001, p.160]
  15. The deepest, most realistic 3D NHL game on the market. Its graphics are impressive, its depth of gameplay modes is staggering, and the gameplay is predominantly tight.
  16. Nearly every gameplay element seems finely tuned. [Dec 2001, p.244]
  17. 88
    The best hockey game available -- until NHL comes out on the Xbox.
  18. A major improvement over last year's version in terms of both the gameplay and the in-game features.
  19. Changes are by and large cosmetic, but this is a skilled surgeon at work here, and the new model is undeniably smoother, faster, and more in-yer-face, with a new big hit move arguably worth the admission price alone.
  20. The simple fact remains that it’s difficult to play deliberate, defensive oriented hockey. [Dec 2001, p.108]
  21. 80
    NHL 2002 gives players amazing control, and pin point accuracy, while still leaving enough of a learning curve to make you come back for more than just a few games.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Apr 3, 2013
    Pretty fun game to play still today but matches end up with ridiculous scores like 8-15 or 4-9. Achievements are kind of fun and cards also. If you are looking for realistic hockey game look somewhere else. Full Review »