User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 51
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 51
  3. Negative: 11 out of 51

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  1. DanielD.
    Sep 23, 2003
    9
    The game play has improved dramatically... and speaking from the stand point of playing hockey I really appreciate finally being able to move the puck where I want! Not where the player is pointed (watch Jagr for a game and you will know what I am saying!)... the AI is smarter and allows you to develope plays rather than just SHOOT/SCORE from the same place over and over. I think this The game play has improved dramatically... and speaking from the stand point of playing hockey I really appreciate finally being able to move the puck where I want! Not where the player is pointed (watch Jagr for a game and you will know what I am saying!)... the AI is smarter and allows you to develope plays rather than just SHOOT/SCORE from the same place over and over. I think this games is just a small step away from being perfect... just make the defensemen skate like defense and not wingers! (and a few more indorsements in the gear to choose for all the real players not just gamers) and a few small touches and it will be the grail... just as long as they don't try to go back to 3D 1st person again!!!! Worth Buying... if you want hockey... not NHL Hitz. Expand
  2. TylerS.
    Nov 24, 2003
    10
    It's the best game ever.
  3. JaredM.
    Oct 12, 2003
    9
    This game is the best of all the NHL games but not quite perfect. It needs better commentary. Gameplay is great and Dynasty Mode kicks A$$. I recomend this game above all other hockey games ever made. Online mode is probably my favorite feature to it. Now quit reading this and go buy it!
  4. Uter
    Oct 14, 2003
    4
    Of all the NHL games you could own this year this is definately the worst. I give it a 4 b/c there's really no reason to play it, even though it's not completely terrible.
  5. RobertO.
    Sep 13, 2003
    10
    Huge improvment from 2003 Gameplay rocks, dynasty mode amazing.
  6. DaliborB.
    Sep 16, 2003
    10
    Cant wait to play it.
  7. Pat
    Sep 23, 2003
    2
    Worst NHL Ever would have given it a 0 if not for dynasty mode
  8. JeanP.
    Apr 20, 2004
    8
    Drastic improvement over the prior years but could still be better. What there's too much of: Glass breaking, "bone-crushing hits," scoring, key players getting hurt during simulation, computer players getting caught 20 feet offsides, hooking. What I like: Dynasty Mode, (although a team will give you anyone for a draft pick), realistic skating, scoring on wrap arounds, computer play Drastic improvement over the prior years but could still be better. What there's too much of: Glass breaking, "bone-crushing hits," scoring, key players getting hurt during simulation, computer players getting caught 20 feet offsides, hooking. What I like: Dynasty Mode, (although a team will give you anyone for a draft pick), realistic skating, scoring on wrap arounds, computer play development. Overall it was good enough to consume my life for nearly 4 months. Expand
  9. OprahW.
    Jul 1, 2004
    9
    It's addicting, fun, and its one of the best sports games ever. Its truly amazing.
  10. JimS.
    Nov 3, 2005
    10
    Abosolutely amazing, addicting and fun...buy it!!!
  11. AndyD.
    Oct 3, 2003
    1
    Well, its better than last year, but thats not sayin much. this game is garbage. dynasty mode is cool, but whats the point if the game itself sucks. And the commentary. my god, were they trying to make it the most annoying, worst commentary in the history of video games. if you have ever played hockey for real, DONT buy this game. it will only result in you saying the phrase "thatsWell, its better than last year, but thats not sayin much. this game is garbage. dynasty mode is cool, but whats the point if the game itself sucks. And the commentary. my god, were they trying to make it the most annoying, worst commentary in the history of video games. if you have ever played hockey for real, DONT buy this game. it will only result in you saying the phrase "thats retarded" over and over again. in conclusion: buy ESPN hockey. Expand
  12. [Anonymous]
    Sep 11, 2003
    10
    Awesome.
  13. GregT.
    Sep 19, 2003
    10
    I know a thing or two about sports video games. This one is among the best. Buy it. NOW!
  14. DannyR.
    Sep 21, 2003
    7
    This is a pretty good hockey game but just doesnt seem to come close to ESPN NHL hockey.
  15. JohnC.
    Sep 22, 2003
    0
    Very sad... So FRUSTRATING.
  16. APlayer
    Sep 23, 2003
    1
    If your into hooking and holding and very slow gameplay this is the game for you. You you are a long time fan of the EA Hockey titles this game will disappoint you. Peace Out
  17. JustinW.
    Sep 23, 2003
    1
    This game sucked. Never before have I been so hyped up to be let down. DO NOT BUY THIS GAME!
  18. Andru
    Sep 23, 2003
    9
    Gameplay: Excellent. Dynasty mode: Awesome. This would be a perfect game if not for one MAJOR oversight; During your season when one of your players is injured, you cannot see how long he'll be out. Very strange. Otherwise the best hockey game ever produced.
  19. ZiggyStardust
    Sep 23, 2003
    7
    Dynasty Mode is a dream come true, a lot of customization, really great. Lots of teams, Leagues, cool. One major flaw: the gameplay is mediocre, really mediocre. The camera angles are weak, this ain't hockey, its roller-derby. With patience one could adjust all the sliders to make the game tolerable. Then again, the GM simulation part is pure genius! Gameplay bad. If what you are Dynasty Mode is a dream come true, a lot of customization, really great. Lots of teams, Leagues, cool. One major flaw: the gameplay is mediocre, really mediocre. The camera angles are weak, this ain't hockey, its roller-derby. With patience one could adjust all the sliders to make the game tolerable. Then again, the GM simulation part is pure genius! Gameplay bad. If what you are looking for is to play hockey against your friends, you might be disapointed. However, if what you dig is beeing a GM and running a franchise, your dream came true. I have NHL 2004 and ESPN Hockey on the PS2. ESPN has excellent gameplay and a weaker franchise mode compared to NHL 2004's Dynasty mode. But NHL 2004's gameplay and graphics aren't in the same league as Sega's. Expand
  20. HenriH.
    Sep 23, 2003
    10
    Jeah Its Very good because this game got Sm-Liiga!!!!!
  21. SethM.
    Sep 24, 2003
    7
    I own NHL 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 for the PS2. Although NHL 2004 is a huge uprade over 2003 in every way; it is just to damn hard to do anything!!! The commentary is definitely the worst i have ever heard. It makes no effort to show any emotion what so ever and is very boring. Another thing that really turned me off was the first game of 2004 that i played, MY GOALIES GOT INTO A I own NHL 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 for the PS2. Although NHL 2004 is a huge uprade over 2003 in every way; it is just to damn hard to do anything!!! The commentary is definitely the worst i have ever heard. It makes no effort to show any emotion what so ever and is very boring. Another thing that really turned me off was the first game of 2004 that i played, MY GOALIES GOT INTO A FIGHT!!!! Honestly how often does that happen in the NHL? Why is it I break the glass at least 2 times evey game? NHL 2004 was a good attempt at real hockey for EA but, with all of the stupid "Hitz" like features and plays, ESPN is definitely the winner of the cup this year in every aspect. Expand
  22. RCastro
    Sep 9, 2003
    10
    Can't wait.
  23. ChrisA.
    Jan 4, 2004
    8
    This game was great except for a few things all real hockey players icluding myself would fix. First the glass...i mean every hit doesn't break the glass! Or every other shot! Graphics were good except the faces on the NHL players. Didn't look anything like Chris Chelios or Joe Sakic! Also in Dynasty the SCORING WAS INSANE. You don't see 17-14 as a final in the NHL. O boy! This game was great except for a few things all real hockey players icluding myself would fix. First the glass...i mean every hit doesn't break the glass! Or every other shot! Graphics were good except the faces on the NHL players. Didn't look anything like Chris Chelios or Joe Sakic! Also in Dynasty the SCORING WAS INSANE. You don't see 17-14 as a final in the NHL. O boy! And after you have played three games in your season, most players have already scored 17 goals. There on the way to swipping away The Great One's records. Better than ESPN Hockey though...wait next year for hockey games. Collapse
  24. MattW.
    Jan 26, 2008
    10
    This game is awesome. Love using the R3 and the right analog stick to throw huge hits at players. It's tough to do, but if you do it right it's awesome. The passing will take some getting used to, and the AI is pretty challenging. The dynasty mode is sweet. Negotiating contracts, setting ticket prices, practices, upgrading, training rookies, and playoffs are just the tip of the This game is awesome. Love using the R3 and the right analog stick to throw huge hits at players. It's tough to do, but if you do it right it's awesome. The passing will take some getting used to, and the AI is pretty challenging. The dynasty mode is sweet. Negotiating contracts, setting ticket prices, practices, upgrading, training rookies, and playoffs are just the tip of the iceberg. Turn the commentary off if you get it. Highly recommended. Expand
  25. MikeA.
    Nov 16, 2003
    0
    Horrible! these hockey games keep gettin worse ,no fun whatsoever. everything about this game blows. very frustrating that hockey games have gotten this bad.
  26. MichelF.
    Nov 5, 2003
    9
    I love this game. Yes, there's a bit too many hits, but that's my only gripe. It's a better game than NHL 2002 or 2003 (these two sucked). I don't know why everybody is raving about ESPN, I tried it and I thought NHL 2004 was more realistic and better graphic wise. Yes, you read right, NHL is more realistic. I hated the way the players moved in ESPN, way too fast and I love this game. Yes, there's a bit too many hits, but that's my only gripe. It's a better game than NHL 2002 or 2003 (these two sucked). I don't know why everybody is raving about ESPN, I tried it and I thought NHL 2004 was more realistic and better graphic wise. Yes, you read right, NHL is more realistic. I hated the way the players moved in ESPN, way too fast and it looked like they were floating on the ice, not skating. For my money, NHL 2004 is the best. Expand
  27. TravisC.
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    This game was better than i could imagine.
  28. Johnnycelebrity
    Sep 12, 2003
    1
    If your a huge fan of hockey, if you like to play hockey videogames, then you'll love to HATE this game. I threw my copy on my neighbours roof after 3 hours of play. This game flat out sucks.
  29. JordanS.
    Sep 18, 2003
    10
    Best dynasty ever. gameplay is still pretty good, but bruise control really seems to stick out to me.
  30. SergeiM.
    Sep 22, 2003
    10
    THE BEST THERE IS!!!!!!!
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Does a fantastic job for the hardcore hockey fan with endless hours of play in Dynasty mode, but it can’t quite match the competition when it comes to delivery and mechanics... Despite its small faults, NHL 2004 is still one hell of a hockey game.
  2. 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.
  3. 80
    Some of its ideas are brilliant innovations, some are wisely appropriated standards, and some just flop - but the overall result is fun, action-oriented, authentic hockey with a few troubling flaws.