Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
Buy On
  1. 85
    Despite the fact that a lot of the modes have been ported over from last year and Ultimate Team has been seen before in other EA Sports games, NHL 11 still delivers a slew of gameplay improvements and a truckload of content that should please the many hockey fans out there.
  2. NHL 11 is the best hockey game to date.
  3. Like a star player at the apex of his career, NHL 11 still shines on the ice. New innovations like the real-time physics engine and UHL show EA Canada still has some room to grow, but as age creeps up on the stalwart franchise and its prior innovations feel commonplace, some of its weaknesses are starting to appear more evident.
  4. Sure, the hang-ups from last year could've used some improvement, and a few tweaks to the other modes (outside of Ultimate Team) would've really pushed this into perfect score territory. That said, it's still a hockey-fest you shouldn't miss.
  5. Those who don't explore the new mode won't notice too much of a difference with past entries, but this is still a huge game, and hardcore hockey gamers will have a field day.
  6. If EA just introduced the new Ultimate Hockey team and washed their hands of the rest, I would say cash cow...but thankfully the team never lets me down as the introduction of this mode, along with enhanced AI, better game play, and the new physics engine that is so random I find myself catching my breath between puck drops make this an experience I've never felt before.
  7. An extraordinary hockey game. The action is hot and fast, and the intangibles and extras add quality on top of quality.
  8. Games Master UK
    Dec 25, 2010
    Still superb, but hasn't NHL dined off its skill stick heritage for a bit too long now? [Issue#231, p.93]
  9. 83
    Scoring, match-making, and goalie quirks aside, this game literally has no competition in the marketplace other than itself.
  10. 90
    The sheer amount of polish in NHL 11 is staggering.
  11. NHL 11 continues to dominate the sports landscape. It's a no-brainer must-have for any modern sports gamer, whether you can successfully discuss the nuances of the Left Wing Lock or can barely name a couple of players on your favorite team. There's enough here for everyone to have a blast.
  12. Jan 10, 2011
    For the puck lovers, it's still the best simulation out there. Yet, it shows too many similarities with its predecessor.
  13. EA's NHL 11 Hockey celebrates it's 20th year as a franchise by giving us a near perfect sports game. Its only downsides are minor framerate issues and the lack of a "team builder" module.
  14. Even without competition to drive them forward, EA has created an immersive and enjoyable hockey experience that any fan of the game will appreciate.
  15. 85
    If you are looking for a good ice hockey game, NHL 11 is the best game that you're going to find. However, due to lack of improvement, don't buy this game if you already own NHL 10.
  16. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Dec 25, 2010
    Alongside FIFA 11 and MLB 10: The Show, this is one of the top three sports games on PS3. [Issue#51, p.118]
  17. 81
    Ultimately, if you have NHL 10 there is no real reason to get this.
  18. NHL 11 manages to conserve the feeling that's unique to hockey. It's action and battle, and if you're into that, this is your game!
  19. More than in years past, NHL 11's enhancements will be noticed by a select clientele. It's a product of fan feedback and number crunching, but for that core group of fans, most of the cheese has been cut, making for a rewarding game that's greater than the sum of its updates.
  20. NHL 11 is easily one of the most feature-packed and entertaining ice hockey games ever created.
  21. Simply put, EA Sports has perfected how they do things when it comes to hockey. They only added a few major things, made a bunch of adjustments here and there. What they have produced with NHL 11 is probably the best hockey game to date.
  22. NHL 11 is an absolutely fantastic game that will provide hockey fans with literally hundreds of hours worth of gameplay. If hockey is your thing then pick this up, if it's not but you want something different then I highly recommend trying it.
  23. Play UK
    Dec 25, 2010
    NHL is proof that subtle refinement year on year is infinitely preferable to knee-jerk feature modification. [Issue#198, p.91]
  24. Series vets will be happy to find an improved game this time around and new players to the series will find plenty of fun to be had on their way to the cup.
  25. In NHL 11, EA scores off a slap shot built on a strong physics system, a realistic presentation, and a deep hockey experience. Every year it seems EA makes an NHL game that will be hard to top, and this year is no different.
  26. Aside from the minimal framerate drops during Be A Pro and cut-scenes, it's hard to find notable faults to NHL 11. There's a lot to do in this game, whether you play online with EAUHL or Online Team Play or offline with Season, Be A Pro and Be A GM modes. There's no reason why a hockey gamer shouldn't be picking up this bad boy.
  27. The game is beautiful, the commentary is among the most interactive in any sports title, the new gameplay mechanics in NHL 10 are easy to learn and tough to master, the new Ultimate Hockey Team is insanely addictive.
  28. EA perfects its hockey formula and delivers both nice news and old, solid features.
  29. EA Canada offers up another big hug of hockey love in NHL 11. Simply put, this is how you do hockey!
  30. With that said, NHL 11 is the best hockey game on the market to date, and every hockey fan with a penchant for gaming will likely have a blast with the mode of their choice.
  31. 100
    NHL 11 is not only the ultimate hockey game, it's the ultimate sports game. EA Sports gives us the authentic feel of the NHL in a game where you are the star. It's no doubt in my mind that this is the sports game of the year 2010.
  32. 95
    NHL 11 is the best hockey game EA's produced at least in this generation, and possibly ever.
  33. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    With NHL 2K sitting out this season, these details combine to make NHL 11 the best--and only--videogame on ice. [Nov 2010, p.83]
  34. For the third year in a row, EA Canada has crafted a hockey experience that is seemingly flawless. As great as last year's offering was, NHL 11 marks an evolution for the series.
  35. 87
    NHL 11 is more of the same, because the game plays exactly like the previous parts. The game contains a lot of different modes and has a lot of small improvements which make it a little bit better than NHL 10. Visually it looks stunning, the soundtrack and audience are good to listen to and the gameplay is as always fantastic.
  36. Jan 12, 2011
    There's little to nothing in NHL 11 to complain about. The quality of the presentation is fantastic and you can tell EA went to tremendous lengths to tweak the gameplay to improve the hockey experience.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Sep 8, 2010
    Most sports game are so close to their last years game that many don't believe the newest version is relevant. Well NHL 11 stepped it up. NHLMost sports game are so close to their last years game that many don't believe the newest version is relevant. Well NHL 11 stepped it up. NHL 11 will make NHL 10 obsolete in the next few weeks. I dare you to play NHL 11 then try to play NHL 10. It is a big difference. This game fine tuned everything perfectly except for one thing, which, can also be looked at as a good thing. The great players in this game are a blast to play as, but the bad players are so bad it can be irritating at their slow speeds and inability to deke on a goalie with enough speed to cause any trickery. With that being said it can also be look at as a good thing making the skill level between each league very drastic. In real life the CHL players are not as good as NHL players so I suppose it is a good thing to have that in the game too. Full Review »
  2. Sep 18, 2012
    EA has the monopoly in most sports games and it shows. They barely improve their games over the years and not much is done to fix the obviousEA has the monopoly in most sports games and it shows. They barely improve their games over the years and not much is done to fix the obvious problems. It's the realism of hockey they have yet to capture, and NHL 11 unfortunately does nothing to change this. The animations are either too stiff or too relaxed, their movement rarely looks natural. Only the goalie is very well done. The crowd still looks like Sims in Sims 1. They need to improve this. Unfortunately the physics have not improved. Therefore instead of tripping on a fallen player, you simply "push him" on the ice. Every time you check a player, it's as if there is a cushion that alters the impact of the hit, and checking rarely is fun to do, you have the impression that you didn't deliver a strong enough hit most of the time. There's some problems with noises and sounds. The crowd will sometimes react over something insignificant while you might do something else that could be the promise of a great play, and there's no reaction from the attendance. I don't understand why they are not putting the real coaches behind the bench. Penalties ( especially when playing against the AI ) are often weird. For example, you will check a player during the whistle, and while the game is stopped, he will chase you without hitting you. Doesn't matter, you both get a penalty over this, even if there wasn't any contact after the whistle. The be a pro mode is interesting, but you quickly realize that the "coach" doesn't make his decisions based on the entire team. If you end up moving up or down a line it's only because of what you did, not what the other players did. They need to add a french announcer to Montreal and Ottawa games and they need to put the real songs that are played when a team scores instead of a random song. I know these are very small details, but these details lack in great numbers, and all of them combined remove the realism that most of us are looking for. On another note I would like to point out that EA are greedy as hell. If you buy this game in used form, you must pay to play online. Now that wouldn't be a problem if EA wouldn't shut their servers down a couple of years after the release of most of their games. It's time for EA to step their game up, hire some Canadians who actually know what hockey is and make them recreate this franchise. Right now it looks like a corpse that you keep trying to reanimate and it doesn't look good. For the positive remarks, there are many, many teams to choose from. You can play with CHL teams or european teams, the choices are extremely various. Most of the game modes are fun and well done. Being a General Manager is fun, but it lacks the depth and, especially, algorithms that made Eastside ( a computer game where you'd be a GM ) famous. The songs are all good ones, although some are merely playing in arenas, some other are already famous ( Joe Satriani's song, for example, is often used in arenas in real life ). I kinda wish they could've added some old school stuff like "We Will Rock You" and "The Good Ol' Hockey Game". Full Review »
  3. Sep 17, 2010
    Dont listen to those negative reviews ..this is a class game I got 09 but skipped 10, so for me its a very new game..if your a hockey fan orDont listen to those negative reviews ..this is a class game I got 09 but skipped 10, so for me its a very new game..if your a hockey fan or just a gamer who likes a fast action packed game , then get this, its stacked with options and sliders to suit even the fussiest gamer. Great game worth every penny (or dollar) Full Review »