User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 65
  2. Negative: 11 out of 65

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  1. Apr 23, 2011
    8
    Honestly NHL 11 didn't bring anything new to the table besides ultimate team. Graphix are the same as 09 and 10. How ever don't get me wrong i probably play it every day but the only reason i bought it is because every one abandoned EASHL in nhl 10 because they wanted nhl 11. So the game didn't blow my mind or anything but it is fun. Overall: worth getting
  2. May 27, 2011
    9
    Hockey represented as well as I would want it to be. It feels real, looks real, sounds real, plays real. I love hockey video games more than the sport itself. Would be a 10, but I reserve that score only for a ground breaking revolutionary game. The improvements from the last EA NHL are minor, but, you have to move with the herd if you want to challenge the online community. There is a "10" worth of fun to be had here though. The multiplayer servers seem be randomly out of comission for online team play sometimes (probably the true minor irritation that keeps me from scoring it a 10). More long term appeal than possibly anything else out there. Bottom line...If you like video game hockey (who doesn't!), this is the crown jewel to date. Expand
  3. Feb 4, 2011
    6
    Since the release of NHL09 the EASPORTS hockey franchise has seen very little in game-play updates and lingering bugs from the previous titles are still present. The new feature for this year is Ultimate Team mode and is basically the only new game mode addition to the game. Similar to FIFA and Madden in years past you use playing cards to build an NHL team, salary cap compliant of course, and then take this team online/offline to complete in games/tournaments. You even need training cards and coaching cards to keep your team competitive. You must sign players with contract cards. You earn EA pucks by playing games and can spend them on all these necessities. This all sounds good in theory however there are a few issues. For one you must be connected to EA servers to play even offline against the CPU. This is a problem considering the state of affairs the EA servers are currently in. It's virtually impossible to play for a few hours and NOT got disconnected. The EASPORTS official forums are littered with similar complaints. Here's the issue: When you get disconnected, you receive a loss. Many people report 1/4 games they will lose connection. This very much so ruins the competitive nature of the game. Second to consider is that when you usually lose, you get 300 EA pucks or so instead of the usual 500 pucks for winning. When you lose connection... you get 0 pucks. Consider that every player has a contract length and you can see why this becomes a problem, especially for the people who have this happen in 1 of 4 games. The second issue with HUT (and this applies to all forms of versus mode too) is that the team who deserves to win does not often enough. There are 3-4 "go-to" plays in the game that if you setup, all game, you will likely win. However if you attempt to play normally, like real hockey, trying all sorts of plays to simulate the sport... you will find yourself many times with twice as many shots and twice as much time on attack as your opponent, yet losing 2-1. In hockey this can happen, however in NHL11 this happens far too often. It takes away from the competitive nature of the game knowing that no matter what you do, if you don't setup the same 3-4 plays you know work almost every time, you might as well just toss up a coin for who's the winner. Moving past HUT let's take a look how the AI. Once again little to no improvement. The good is that they challenge you a lot more defensively. The bad is that they still setup almost nothing offensively, only to match your goals with the 2-3 times they actually do something right. I've tried making the game the most difficult it can be. They are still not competitive. You'll be in their zone all game, 28 shots, 3 goals for... 5 minutes left in the game, they'll get 9 shots on your net, double their time on attack in a matter of minutes and match those 3 goals. That is the game's idea of increased difficulty; having the AI cheat with puck control and score goals at will, after not being competitive all game, just to keep the score clean. If you are new to the franchise you might be able to enjoy the offline play on lower difficulties, however if you are an experienced hockey gamer you will find yourself dominating the AI on all difficulties only to have them randomly tie up games with 2 minutes, over and over again, out of no where. Let's move on to the final part of this review: The game-play This is what the game is renown for, the main reason it's won dozens of sports game of the year awards. I am sad to say it's not really fixed from last year. Improved however, to some degree. There is a new physics engine for hits that truly makes playing online fun again. The hitting engine is not realistic but it is entertaining at that. Also, no more bouncing off people, not often anyways. They've also fixed the stick lift so it's more realistic. They've added in a manual one-timer which is useless but neat. Finally the new passing system involves you having to charge your passes and aim them properly now. Good in theory but could use some tweaks. Overall the gameplay is improved and rather entertaining. The game truly shines playing casual games offline with your friends. However taking this online, into the online team play mode that the game is renown for, is more hit and miss. Over the course of your first 150 games you will unlock various player cards, boosts and equipment that will increase the attributes of your online character. However once a user has reached their max unlocks, they can build their player up in a manner that gives them an advantage over most other users. Stats such as puck control, agility, balance and hand-eye can be put to 99, making it overly difficult to pull simple, properly timed defensive maneuvers against them. This can combated with other stats, yes, but that requires you to also have your player maxed out with unlocks. Much like MW2 was, OTP and EASHL is only truly enjoyable as a veteran of the game... Expand
  4. Apr 27, 2011
    9
    EA has gone and done it again. Every year I say to myself "You are not buying another NHL game" and I now own NHL 2003 straight through to 2011. I played it at a friends house before buying, and the addition of the faceoff engine, more realistic body checking, better shooting engine, goal reviews, broken sticks (and the list continues) left me needing to buy this game. Now in my third season, I still love picking it up and playing a few games before goin' to bed. Expand
  5. Sep 8, 2010
    10
    EA's done it again. Just got the game a few days ago and I'm itching to come home from work and play Ultimate Team. Love the interaction, love the progression, love it period. Best version yet.
  6. Dec 12, 2011
    2
    The physics and gameplay I'd put in the B to B+ range, same with the in game commentary and music.

    However, that all gets dragged down by an economy size F grade regarding an extremely glaring bug, along with EA's refusal to fix it: How can you have two decades of licensing to make video games for the NHL, and be completely incapable of getting the points right for the standings in Be a
    Pro mode? How can your playtesters miss the fact that the game fails to record the single point earned for an overtime loss? And how can your company then refuse to fix that bug despite making two patches that fix other aspects of the game?

    One point for an OTL, EA. --- It's in the game.
    Expand
  7. Jul 27, 2011
    10
    NHL 11 is EA's greatest son. The graphics are flawless and as I say every year 'How can the graphics get better?' but they can. Gameplay is brilliant and gets more realistic every year. with the new game engine. Alongside FIFA and Madden you would think this would be hard to compete, but to say this is the best hockey game ever is an understatement. This is the best sports game ever is more like it!! Excellent 10/10. Expand
  8. Dec 13, 2013
    4
    I'm very surprised by how many positive reviews I've read on this site already. It's not that I haven't seen any negative user reviews, but didn't see any from the actual critics who usually go much further with their critiquing. This game just feels sluggish and slow compared to last years game. It's not that there aren't any improvements at all to the gameplay. Hip checks are a nice, realistic addition to the game that had been missing for many years, but even better than that I noticed was the improved puck physics. I don't know if anyone else noticed, but it was practically impossible to lift the puck any higher than the goalie glove even while he was in the butterfly in last year's NHL 10. That can significantly diminish your chances of scoring on certain breakaways, penalty shots and shootout attempts depending on where the goalie slides and/or which side you commit to first. Anyway, these improvements just aren't enough to outweigh or counter how much different the speed of NHL 11 is compared to last year's 10. Also, the addition of the pressure sensitive passing is also somewhat realistic and gives you control over how hard/fast you can pass the puck to a teammate, but it just doesn't feel right with how the skating flows. Your players move slow enough that it's just all too easy to get drilled before you can get the pass off, and this is extremely frustrating when you have an obvious player to pass to for a huge scoring chance but is denied and is all for not despite his perfect positioning for the nearly developed play. It's more of a step backward than it is forward, and for someone like me who doesn't buy the games year after year, this is one of the reasons why. Expand
  9. Sep 8, 2010
    10
    All I can say is WOW!!!! Watching this game grow from the old days of NHL 94 is just astounding!! The game feels better than years before and the Real time Physics Engine is amazing....it feels real! The only thing that concerns me is the faceoffs...but that could be more me than the game......Any NHL Fan needs to get this game!!!!!
  10. Sep 15, 2010
    10
    I've played hockey games for years, even when 2K was killing years back. EA had managed to create the best hockey game ever. I was surprised at the MS Xbox World review. I read it and was AMAZED at how harsh they were. Disregard that low score, the reviewer has obviously never played a hockey game. And i'm also amazed at how many reviewers haven't comment on the many gameplay improvements. Anybody who has a history of playing NHL games would love this game! Expand
  11. Oct 27, 2010
    10
    This is simulation not arcade. Without a doubt the best NHL / Ice Hockey Game ever created. The real time physics engine is awesome as well as teh new faceoff system. This is the closest any game has come to the real thing. Don't expect to pick up the controls and score easily, you need to work for your goals especially on All Star and higher levels. Well done EA.
  12. Nov 7, 2010
    9
    This is the best NHL yet. Great graphics, unreal hits, and awesome physics. Every time I play, I am thoroughly entertained from when I pick up the control to when I put it down.
  13. Dec 29, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game is an amazing game. The last hockey game I had owned was NHL 2K7, which got boring, cause there is no real challenge in shooting, or stick movement. I like how the EA sports NHL series allow you to use stick control, so you feel like you are actually playing hockey ( I play hockey myself ). I don't have LIVE at the moment, so I can't give the viewpoint of playing online, but the offline play is great. BE A PRO is my favourite (yes I am Canadian) part of the game because I am put in the shoes of my own "Pro". I started my season with the Missisuaga St.Michael Majors and I got drafted after winning the Memorial Cup with the OHL team. It is a pleasure to play this game, and I feel like I'm watching myself on TV. If you never played the EA Sports NHL series games, I suggest you play on easy, if not, its the same old, but fun game! Expand
  14. Sep 21, 2010
    10
    NHL 11 has improved in terms of the hitting physics and the new face off system has provided with more meaningful game-play whether its in your end or the other team's end. The Hockey Ultimate Team is a neat edition but I game up on it when I got disconnected from the servers and it counted my game as a loss. Overall NHL 11 is just a roster update with new music, but at least EA Canada is still making great NHL games and hopefully it continues in the future. Expand
  15. Sep 28, 2010
    10
    It's the best Hockey game to day, and it may be the best sports game to date. The graphics are outstanding and the new game engine is amazingly real. Ulitimate team is the best new mode since they started Be A Pro mode, and the new Be a GM is deeper than ever. The only down fall of this game is the AI of the goalies that still let in "curve" shots and are really easy to beat short side on a deke. Other than that this is a must get for any hockey or sports fan. Expand
  16. Dec 11, 2010
    9
    NHL 11 is easily the best hockey game ever made, continuting the tradition of improving on what has been a solid franchise by EA Sports for the past few years. The variety of game modes gives you plenty of ways to play, and the on-ice gameplay itself is unrivaled in both realism and enjoyability. That said, there are small glitches here and there that are really all that keep this game from being called perfect. The occasional glitch or awkward (and sometimes outright bizzare) action taken by your player when you're attempting to do something else can leave you pretty frustrated, and the passing mechanic could stand to be improved, but this is clearly as close as anybody has come to replicating the wonderful sport of hockey. Expand
  17. Sep 16, 2010
    3
    I am not sure what to give this game. On one hand, the visual aspect of the game is incredible. The fans all stand out and eat popcorn and the ice looks amazing, the players are all pretty good as well. The music sounds good, but most of it is pretty lame, I guess that is debatable. The announcers are pretty bland, there is no humor in what they say, and they repeat a lot of the things they say quite a bit. There are a ton of modes, and online seems to work ok. But I did have trouble navigating and trying to find things I could edit easily. The huge problem I have is the complexity of the controls... and that I personally could not customize them. Clearly sports games are not for your girlfriend, or your parents, not anymore anyways, but it would be nice to change your control scheme. I am sure I am noobing up and that there is a way, I sure couldn't find it though. The controls are sluggish at best, and honestly ruin the whole game for me. The whole gameplay mechanic seems to be buggy, I have had my player get stuck in multiple places on the ice, and even skated into the score keepers box and couldn't get out. The fan reaction doesn't ever seem to change, and the home crowd boo's the 3 stars on the home team. How does that make sense? For me, I like sports games where you pick up, learn the new control scheme, then play a season, make a player and giver, the rest of the stuff I have litttle use for, and I don't really think most people get into all the new modes as much as EA would have you believe. Again, controls controls controls, every time I stick handle, the player shoots the puck and/ or stops moving, regardless of how the left stick is orientated. The passing mechanic is brutal. I figure they were looking to add some depth for epic loser players who sit and geek out on hockey, but can't skate. However, its makes little sense that the puck doesn't go where you want it to. Even the AI makes brutal passes 99% of the time. Call for a pass, and its behind you, or way ahead of you, or hits a guy. Maybe its my controller that is broken, or low on batteries, but I doubt it, even in the tutorial I couldn't score. Ive played every NHL since the original, and 94 is still the best. Its so good they give you the control scheme from it. (sort of) but that makes things worse as you can't do anything other than pass, shoot, and poke check. Bottom line, NHL 11 is not very fun. I plan on giving it some time, mainly to get over the controls and sit from the penalty box in be a pro to watch the action (which is beautiful). Hopefully I didn't waste 70 bucks. I should just sit in my basement and play Nintendo and super Nintendo, and throw out my 360, ps3, and wii. Ill give it a three, 3 points for looking and sounding fairly nice, and no points for boring me, and making me go play blades of steel. Expand
  18. Sep 24, 2010
    9
    I'm Kaber-gasted! See what I did there? It was like a Leafs/NHL reference. But mixed in with the word â
  19. Oct 19, 2010
    3
    As an on and off player of this franchise since the mid 90s, I was disappointed with most aspects of the game outside of the graphics. The opening sequence adds 5-10 minutes of work when all our group wanted to do was play head to head. The controls and game play were more troubling. The stating is slow, the passes are hard to control, and scoring touch very hard to find (we played 4 games and score 5 goals combined). Remember delivering exciting bone crushing checks - gone (unless it the computer lays the hit), Remember exciting one-timers - gone. All these are aspects my friends and I loved in NHL 07, can we please go back in time? looks like they made a game to thrill programmers and industry folk, not end users like us. Expand
  20. Nov 1, 2010
    10
    I thought the game was excellent. I'm not really a big fan of the HUT mode, though I do see it's appeal. While in 2010 I was strictly a versus player (and I got pretty damn good at it), after playing the EASHL alot more, I rarely play anything else. It is very addictive. To those that say they can't score or pass properly; that's ridiculous. Ultimately, if you want a game that has no learning curve and will satisfy your gaming needs, go play pinball. Expand
  21. Jan 31, 2011
    10
    Many won't give it a shot simply due to the lack of major hockey following in the US, but please do yourself and at least give it a try. It is one of the tightest and most polished sports games I've ever played, and truly embodies the cliche "easy to learn, tough to master." I've been playing this game almost every day since it came out, and I'm still uncovering new tricks and strategies to employ. That being said, someone who's never played a hockey game before will have no problem picking up all of the basics after just a game or two. Expand
Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 49
  2. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. Jan 12, 2011
    90
    This is easily the best NHL hockey has ever been on a console, and it sets the bar incredibly high for EA's next release.
  2. Jan 10, 2011
    85
    For the puck lovers, it's still the best simulation out there. Yet, it shows too many similarities with its predecessor.
  3. Jan 10, 2011
    70
    That said, there is no denying that NHL 11 provides an enjoyable recreation of ice hockey, which manages to be both accessible to newcomers and packed with content to entertain more dedicated fans.