Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
Buy On
  1. 71
    EA has made some great changes this year, much the same as with its FIFA franchise. 2K9 doesn’t seem to have taken it far enough, and the small additions just leave us wanting more.
  2. The best decision the development team made was scrapping last year’s (too?) complicated control scheme for a streamlined series of options, including one that apes EA’s superb right stick/hockey stick mechanic.
  3. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    If you're only planning on buying one hockey title this season, unless you're a diehard 2K fan, we'd recommend at least checking out NHL 09 first. [Nov 2008, p.87]
  4. With a new team as developers came a fresh start for the series, which in the case of NHL 2K9 is both a good and a negative decision. The gameplay has been greatly simplified, but unfortunately the rest of the experience feels somewhat dumbed down as well. The AI can be somewhat shaky to say the least and the goalies are way to easy to outsmart even at the higher difficulties. A foundation may have been laid with NHL 2K9, but the potential isn't realised in this years game.
  5. With all that said, it's with heavy heart that we point anyone looking for a fun hockey game to NHL 09. We loathe to do this in light of NHL 2K9's impressive online features (tournaments and six-on-six with 11 other players), but the rest of the package just doesn't live up to expectations.
  6. Playing a mess like NHL 2K9, it’s hard to think that just a few years ago this was the hockey game of choice for serious puckheads. Now it would take several pucks to the head to even make me consider paying money for this experience.
  7. If you can overlook the disappointing realism and focus on the tight multiplayer, NHL 2K9 may be worth a rental.
  8. 60
    It's hard to really bash NHL 2K9 other than to say it's a little bit of hockey-lite. "NHL 09" offers more realism and gets our nod for overall long-term value.
  9. AI issues and the lack of any significant new features have NHL 2K9 skating backward this year.
  10. If you can stand the controls, 2K makes a decent outing, though hockey fans should definitely spend their time and money on EA’s simulation for a superior hockey experience.

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