Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Sep 28, 2011
    100
    NHL 12 somehow was able to take what NHL 11 did so well, improve upon, then completely run away with it. The best hockey title of this console generation.
  2. Sep 13, 2011
    94
    EA has seemingly done the impossible by revamping the game in a way that not only increases the realism, but also improves the gameplay.
  3. Sep 28, 2011
    93
    NHL 12 is, in my opinion, the best hockey game to date. It looks vivid and sharp, but the true-to-form NHL gameplay is what pushes it over the top. With a fast-paced game like hockey, it's not easy to recreate the experience in a video game, but with this title, EA has managed to do so quite successfully, making this one easy to recommend without thinking twice.
  4. Sep 18, 2011
    93
    EA does it again and overthrows its previous masterpiece by crafting an even greater ice hockey experience. It's not perfect, though: the Be A Legend mode, unlike the rest of the game, does not yet reach its full potential.
  5. Sep 6, 2011
    92
    To be honest, I'm usually in the camp that skips every second NHL title because it's hard to justify what seems like a few enhancements and a roster update for the price of a AAA game, but this time they've done a fantastic job with improvements that are very hard to resist. Damn fine way to celebrate your 20th title.
  6. Sep 6, 2011
    92
    It appears that the development team refuses to say amazing is good enough. The new Be a Legend option is disappointing while the also-new 24/7 mode shines. The graphics stay the course, but the staggering depth that pervades the entire experience puts yet another championship season on ice.
  7. Sep 13, 2011
    91
    Player interaction has to be the best feature of actual gameplay.
  8. Factor in the additional Be a GM, Be a Pro, and unlockable Be a Legend modes and the depth of NHL 12's experience is near unmatched. [Nov 2011, p.84]
  9. Sep 29, 2011
    90
    The steps forward for NHL 12 might not be as monumental as NHL 11 was, but at the same time they didn't have to be. NHL 12 is a must purchase for hockey fans or even those who have passing interest in the sport.
  10. Sep 28, 2011
    90
    All in all, NHL 12 is the best iteration of the series, which isn't too surprising considering every new version has improved on the last.
  11. Sep 26, 2011
    90
    It is so much fun to play NHL 12. Overwhelming presentation, loads of content, many improvements to further realism, I could go on and on. Just get in on the action.
  12. Sep 16, 2011
    90
    To me, this series is a perfect example of a video game larger than the sport it simulates. You don't have to be a ice hockey fan to enjoy it, nor do you need to be an avid gamer to understand its magic. This is one of the greatest sports games of all time.
  13. 90
    A terrific hockey game with improved A.I. and physics, NHL 12 reminds us why the ice is so much fun. While some new additions fall a bit flat, it'ss another extremely solid entry in an enjoyable franchise.
  14. 90
    The new full contact physics engine, improved AI, and Dynamic Goalies will give players a more complete NHL experience, and one that can be enjoyed finally with the computer, though the computer AI is still not where it could be.
  15. Sep 7, 2011
    88
    NHL 12 is confirmed as a rigorous, high-level simulation. Few but interesting new features make it feel realistic and closer to TV action.
  16. Sep 6, 2011
    88
    Though the Be A GM mode needs a major overhaul and the new Legends feature falls flat, NHL 12 is still strongest where it counts – on the ice. Just like a well-rounded power forward who can dominate in all three zones, you can't deny the benefit this brings to the club.
  17. Oct 9, 2011
    85
    NHL 12 excels in many aspects and is filled with a lot of content. Great for hockey fans, despite the few disappointing updates to the series.
  18. Oct 9, 2011
    85
    That said, NHL 12 is a serviceable hockey game with excellent presentation value. I wish it were a bit faster and more fluid, but the increased control that comes with slower gameplay is nice as well. Owners of NHL 11 may want to skip this year's offering because the changes are not all that much different from last year's model – but if you were one of those clamoring fans asking for goalie fights, then your prayers have been answered.
  19. Sep 28, 2011
    85
    NHL 12 is an improvement over last years, but instead of a full out overhaul, subtle modifications have been done to enrich the little bits.
  20. Sep 28, 2011
    85
    The additions that change the gameplay do make enough difference to those schooled in the ways of hockey, and the goal tenders being made more real is a big boost to how 'authentic' the whole thing feels. But is it worth it for those who like it but who don't know their Jarome Iginlas from their Sergei Samsonov? You've got to say no, even if it is, yes, still a great game.
  21. Sep 15, 2011
    85
    NHL 12 is a huge game completely jam-packed with modes and gameplay features.
  22. Sep 12, 2011
    85
    NHL 12 is a very good hockey simulation offering a full year of up-to-date sports gaming. Certainly, there's nothing here to put anyone off the series. Lamentably, there's not anything to convert pro hockey simulation abstainers to the fold, either.
  23. Oct 19, 2011
    83
    NHL 12 is without a doubt better than last year´s edition. New physics engine reflects that size does matter in hockey and AI´s offensive movement is actually pretty solid. However, there are not any significant innovations that would really change the way the game is played. [Sept 2011]
  24. Dec 13, 2011
    80
    The main focus here was to improve the AI and even though some of the additions like the ones I mentioned above are welcomed, overall it just feels more like some tweaks to the veterans of the series rather than something that's completely new and improved.
  25. You also now get the Winter Classic. [Nov 2011, p.109]
  26. Oct 3, 2011
    80
    Like most years, NHL 12 is a mixture of gameplay tweaks, roster updates, and surface polish. Although this year isn't a major upgrade, the changes that have been made make NHL 12 the closest thing to playing professional hockey this side of sharpening up your skates, moving to Canada, and signing up with the Halifax Mooseheads.
  27. Sep 26, 2011
    80
    Little things mean a lot in NHL 12, which subtly refines the best arcade hockey game ever made.
  28. Sep 21, 2011
    80
    This is no big leap forward for the franchise, mind you--comparatively, it's almost less of a leap over NHL 10 than NHL 11 was--but for those who just want to tool around with their favorite franchise, build up a pro of their own design, and hop online against the masses of like-minded players, NHL 12 shan't disappoint.
  29. Sep 13, 2011
    80
    As much as it looks like a souped-up NHL 09​, the improvements to the engine, the A.I., Be a Pro mode, and the overall presentation really add up, and that's aside from the fact that it was already a pretty darn good sports sim to begin with.
  30. Sep 12, 2011
    80
    If it doesn't have any competitors, it's because they wouldn't be a match: NHL 12 keeps honoring the tradition of quality of the franchise and ends up, this year again, being one of the best sports simulations ever. With a sharp gameplay, nice visuals, optimized collision engine, NHL 12 will fill up the needs of frictions-on-ice lovers.
  31. Sep 9, 2011
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  32. 80
    As ususal, a nice upgrade for a great series of games.
  33. Nov 27, 2011
    78
    Absolutely not worth getting if you have any earlier iterations. [Issue#210, p.93]
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Sep 6, 2012
    10
    I really enjoyed this game and think that EA Sports did a great job with the improvements. I really like the full hit physics engine thatI really enjoyed this game and think that EA Sports did a great job with the improvements. I really like the full hit physics engine that makes the game so realisitic. I also really enjoy the goalie improvements because they make the game more realisitic also. I can't wait to see how EA can make NHL' 13 even better. Full Review »
  2. Mar 2, 2012
    0
    This game is god awful. Here's how it works; you aim in pass in one direction as you angrily watch the puck go another, while the other teamThis game is god awful. Here's how it works; you aim in pass in one direction as you angrily watch the puck go another, while the other team intercepts it. Then they pass it and it does the same thing, and you try to go chase the loose puck but the guy your controlling just skates right past it like it's not even there. Are you kidding me? The only defensive tactic you have besides checking (which barely ever works) is poke check, which usually ends in a penalty for tripping. Because of this, the guy on the other team can just take 1 player and deke through your entire defense. So UN-realistic. The square, X and O buttons are barely even used, if at all, and the shooting is now replaced with pulling and pushing the right stick, which depletes the accuracy of every shot. The only real control you have over the game is those brief couple of seconds where the puck actually goes where you pass it, and you fire it at goal from way out and it magically glitches past the keeper into the net. But if you can get past all this, then the only thing you have to worry about is the game freezing on you at random times. Full Review »
  3. Feb 16, 2012
    5
    If the glitches would've prevent me from playing the game, I possibly could give a better review. However, considering how glitch-free NHL 09,If the glitches would've prevent me from playing the game, I possibly could give a better review. However, considering how glitch-free NHL 09, 10 and 11 were, I am extremely upset with the product EA put out for 2012. I just can't see how they thought they could put out a game like this. I gave the game a 5 in belief that other people did not experience all the glitches and are able to enjoy the game for what it is. As me, if I can't play it, it isn't worth it's salt. Full Review »