Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The “Open Ice Control” that the developers implemented in NHL 2005 really expands the entire gameplay, since it adds more strategy to every play that you might go through.
  2. For the second year running, "NHL" best encapsulates the play and and authenticity of the sport. [Sept 2004, p.103]
  3. The actual gameplay is pretty solid throughout, the visuals are excellent and the rest of the presentation isn’t too shabby. That said, it doesn’t do anything principally different and online play could have been implemented better.
  4. The lax AI from last year's game has been stepped up...An improved Dynasty Mode and the inclusion of the World Cup of Hockey round out this great hockey title. [Sept 2004, p.84]
  5. 83
    If you're looking for a raw, wide-open experience with lots of arcade elements, NHL 2005 is for you...If you're more into the strategy of real hockey—the poke checks, the traps, the dumps, the dekes -- then you'll either have to try to design this game to fit your tastes (which can be frustrating) or go elsewhere.
  6. The one area that may frustrate some comes in how difficult this year's edition can be. At higher difficulty settings, the opponent's goalie can be almost god-like, and the game can become very unforgiving to mistakes.
  7. 80
    The new Open Ice mechanics allow for smoother, wide-open play than previous versions, and the Dynasty Mode is as deep and realistic as any I've ever seen.
  8. People who are looking for a fast sports game can't go wrong with this, but those wanting to upgrade might want to rent it first to see if it's worth their hard earned pennies.
  9. But by far the most exciting portion of NHL 2005 has to be the dynasty mode which is something EA Sports is getting very good at creating. There are just so many different customization options that you can choose from that any hockey enthusiast who is bored to tears with the lack of hockey this season could really spend hours in this mode.
  10. 80
    Comes up like the Calgary Flames - a very close second - because "ESPN NHL 2K5" is the better game due to its overall complete package. [Dec 2004, p.146]
  11. On an average year I'd suggest you rent NHL 2005 but, with the '04/'05 season all but lost to the NHL lockout, even a slightly-improved hockey game goes a long way.
  12. This is still a solid game of hockey, but it isn't the most realistic or best-playing NHL title out there, and as such, it shouldn't be your first choice for one.
  13. While EA has been able to make some improvements to their franchise, they just haven’t done enough to keep up with the ice maniacs over at ESPN.
  14. While the game's is an improvement over the 2004 edition, it's still not quite up to snuff.
  15. The players look great, but there's too much hitting, too much speed, and too little hockey. [Oct 2004, p.99]
  16. The ease of play, with the challenge of a good A.I. creates the perfect balance that not only makes for a realistic competition, but an enjoyable one as well.
  17. Flow? NHL 2005's skaters have no flow, 'cause they're always lying out on the ice from hit after hit - just like last year. I know hockey is a rough game, but c'mon, I like to control the puck for more than two seconds before picking up my teeth. [Oct 2004, p.99]
  18. 60
    The bar has been set higher by "ESPN NHL 2K5," whose presentation, sense of realism, and play modes simply outclass, outshine, and outperform those found in NHL 2005.
  19. NHL 2005's major flaw is the sheer amount of contact that takes place during a game. It's got more checks than a bank! More hits than the Top 40! [Oct 2004, p.107]
  20. This is EA’s take on NHL action as it’s always been, rejigged with improved animations and new moves so it’s inevitably the best version yet. [Nov 2004, p.119]
  21. Fans of the ‘sport’ of hockey are going to be frustrated by the extreme emphasis of arcade gameplay. So frustrated they are going to wonder when Midway’s next title will be coming out to get the true arcade hockey video game. Those who are looking for a more simulation based hockey experience also better look elsewhere.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. KevinS.
    Jan 17, 2005
    9
    I have to say that the 04 version blew. It was kiddie almost but espn redeemed themselves with this one. Someone mentioned the goalies I have to say that the 04 version blew. It was kiddie almost but espn redeemed themselves with this one. Someone mentioned the goalies stopping everything, that's true and it's not very realistic but i love the game. Robert Esche plays like an all-star. Full Review »
  2. ThomasW.
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    I love this game because you can be toronto and trade some of there better older players who have a large salary and get younger bergeron I love this game because you can be toronto and trade some of there better older players who have a large salary and get younger bergeron guys or ryders and the computer will trade for the older guys even if they retire in a couple of years so you get the deal, try getting younger players with lots of potential say at least 90 and are fast and have some agressiveness and you can sign them for cheap at least until the get good after a couple of years in the dynasty mode. Full Review »
  3. TonyB.
    Jan 2, 2005
    9
    Awesome game.Theonly problem I have are the goaltenders are too good for the reast of the players.the goalies arent very realistic they stop Awesome game.Theonly problem I have are the goaltenders are too good for the reast of the players.the goalies arent very realistic they stop everything in the hardest setting. Full Review »