Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
Buy On
  1. Oct 10, 2012
    NHL '13 delivers a massive update to the series that has been long awaited by fans.
  2. Oct 1, 2012
    The gameplay and atmosphere in NHL 13 is something every hockey fan should experience for him/herself. If you haven't already, go out and pick this one up. After all – unless we see some progress fast, it may be the only NHL action we get this season.
  3. Sep 11, 2012
    Yet another masterful entry in the world-beating series, NHL 13 is an exemplary ice hockey game and the perfect example of how a sports game should be done. The presentation is second to none, the gameplay is nigh-on perfect and the wealth of content on offer is genuinely mind-boggling. NHL 13 is pucking fantastic.
  4. Oct 1, 2012
    NHL has reached its peak with number 13. Realistic physics, brilliant ice control, a lot of scoring options, tougher opponents and goalkeepers and many different game modes. NHL 13 also has its negative sides. EA could have put new legends in the Be a Legend mode or a bit more balanced NHL moments in the game. There's no way that there are 26 challenges and certain teams are not in this mode. But with its True Skating Performance and its whole atmosphere NHL 13, and maybe NBA 2K13, are going to be my sports games of the year.
  5. Sep 10, 2012
    NHL 13 is by far the most complete edition yet, surpassing the stellar NHL 12 by a long shot even if the commentary has some shortcomings.
  6. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Oct 29, 2012
    Finally the major changes come to the ice-hockey simulation and we have got quite a lot of improvements after last year's stagnation. [Oct 2012]
  7. Games Master UK
    Oct 24, 2012
    Fast, furious and packs staggering depth into its streamlined controls. [Dec 2012, p.90]
  8. Oct 22, 2012
    One of the best sports game around, complete in every aspect and with some nice surprises like the GM Connected feature that we'd like to see it carried in other titles too.
  9. Oct 9, 2012
    With a revisited physic engine and a lot of little tweakings, NHL 13 is one of the best sports game on the market.
  10. Sep 18, 2012
    There is so much on offer again, that there is easily something for everyone. It's not the finished article, but as each year passes, we get closer to perfect virtual recreations of the sport.
  11. Sep 17, 2012
    Loaded with options benefitting both single play and online interaction, it's got just about everything a fan would truly want except you still can't make Gretzky bleed.
  12. Sep 13, 2012
    This truly is the sports title of the year and there really isn't something else to ask for in this masterpiece.
  13. Sep 11, 2012
    Reconstructing the skating and goaltending succeeds at making the game more realistic, but not necessarily more rewarding. Still, these changes will pay huge dividends down the road. The new GM connected option provides just about as much flexibility in playing a sports game as we've seen, and there are more than enough ways to keep your mind off the looming lockout.
  14. Sep 11, 2012
    With revamped GM and Pro game modes, a near flawless experience with online play, and a fantastic improvement upon the gameplay itself, NHL 13 proves to be worthy of hoisting the Stanley Cup.
  15. Sep 12, 2012
    Another step forward in the evolution of the NHL brand from EA, although the increasingly complex control system brings also some flaws for the arcade fans. Plenty of options and game modes make NHL 13 the most expansive chapter so far.
  16. Sep 16, 2012
    The season mode might not have changed, but the improved physics in NHL 13 compensate for that easily. More often than ever situations unfold like they would in a real hockey match. NHL 13 deserves to be crowned as the most realistic hockey game ever.
  17. Sep 25, 2012
    There's so much extra built into the game I'm not sure how anyone could evaluate all of it in one go, which is why I'd encourage anyone interested in NHL 13 to give it a rental first to focus on the part of the game that might be of most interest. For me, it's the action on the ice during couch matches, which is my recommended way to play.
  18. Sep 17, 2012
    NHL 13 is not a revolution for the series , but it's definitely a nice step in the right direction for its future evolution.
  19. Sep 13, 2012
    NHL 13 delivers fast-paced hockey and an addictive gameplay that takes it back to the top of the sports genre. The new game modes aren't the most important features of 13's edition, but the so-called true skating skill system. With a new way of skating and a more realist approach, EA Canada serves up another must-buy for this year.
  20. Sep 11, 2012
    The new skating physics and player AI don't just deliver a more accurate simulation of hockey; they elegantly convey the complex interactions - blade on ice, right winger versus defenseman - that are at the heart of the sport.
  21. Sep 11, 2012
    There's so much to do in NHL 13. And in a year looking less and less likely to provide the real thing, NHL 13 proves a mighty promising distraction.
  22. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 13, 2012
    The revamped skating system of NHL 13 makes the game a bit more realistic – no longer can you skate in circles around the defender effortlessly – otherwise it's the same old reliable NHL we have become accustomed to enjoy every autumn. In good and bad. [Oct 2012]
  23. Sep 18, 2012
    NHL 13 is a solid effort and should not be missed by fans of NHL Hockey.
  24. Official Xbox Magazine UK
    Nov 16, 2012
    Still strong, but starting to show its age. [Dec 2012, p.103]
  25. Oct 18, 2012
    There is no disputing that NHL 13 is a fantastic game of hockey. For me though it was missing that big new feature that would make it feel significantly different from last years outing. And as good as the new skating feels and the new modes are, they aren't enough to keep this game on the same high pedestal of NHL 12. If you missed last years game then NHL 13 would be a great point to jump in at, however for those still enjoying last years game I would say there isn't enough here to warrant the upgrade.
  26. Oct 5, 2012
    You can look past the lagging issues online and in GM connected, you can look past the increased difficulty in slap-shots and face-offs, you can even look past the inability to make serious trades offline all because NHL does exactly what it should once you step out on that ice. It's a great experience, one which will no doubt have hockey fans hooked from the get-go. NHL '13 looks stunning, feels unique and has enough features to keep the NHL fan-base more than happy until NHL '14 is released.
  27. Sep 23, 2012
    Once again, NHL 13 is with its ice skating one step closer to the ideal hockey experience. For your money you get a huge pack of fun along with its gaming modes. And because of the online game aspect you are going to do just fine with this one until the next volume comes.
  28. Sep 20, 2012
    Introducing a new system for skating breathes new life into a familiar franchise. Everything might not be perfect and there are still too many bugs, but a lot of things are now better than ever.
  29. Sep 17, 2012
    The franchise is certainly improving its core mechanics, placing an emphasis on the minor details that will get fans excited. Hardly anything has changed on the surface, but beneath the exterior there's a sturdier, sharper and far tougher posterior to break through.
  30. Sep 17, 2012
    It may be the only hockey game out this year, but NHL 13 is good because there's so much packed on the disc.
  31. Sep 13, 2012
    NHL 13 is not a bad game, don't get that idea. It's really fun when it isn't bending you over a barrel and cheating its way to victory.
  32. Sep 12, 2012
    It is a game that plays extremely well, yet offers little beyond the expected in terms of supplementary entertainment. Offline, GM mode is about as much fun as you'd generally want it to be, and the Ultimate Team stuff can be amusing in stretches, but the remaining features are mostly minor distractions at best, and outright arduous to use at worst.
  33. Sep 12, 2012
    NHL 13 certainly has its issues – which may very well be fixed in upcoming patches and tuner updates – but overall it is a very solid experience.
  34. Sep 12, 2012
    NHL 13 is back with a new physics system, new game modes, a revamped lighting system and a better AI (but only for the goalies). With the disappearance of the 2K series, EA could have played it safe but instead chose to improve again.
  35. Sep 11, 2012
    Sharp new skating physics and the advanced AI make this a different, more realistic game, but there are just enough aggravations here to take some of the shine off these otherwise impressive adjustments.
  36. Sep 11, 2012
    The actual gameplay is leaps and bounds ahead of NHL 13's predecessors, but the GM AI has taken a couple steps backward in noticeable-and discouraging-ways.
  37. Sep 11, 2012
    The more I played NHL 13, the more I wondered how much previous installments were partially burdened with some drive to recapture the halcyon days of videogame hockey in the mid-90's. This new, genuine attempt at real ice skating physics makes NHL 13 the most worthwhile hockey in years.
  38. Sep 11, 2012
    It was risky for the NHL 13 dev team to reach under the hood and modify the core gameplay to the degree they did. It takes time to learn, and the smarter defenders and goaltenders will make scoring extremely difficult at the start. As we've recently seen with other stalwart franchises like FIFA Soccer and Madden NFL, though, getting the fundamentals oh-so-right can make something that's already good spectacular.
  39. Sep 11, 2012
    I've never had more fun competing between whistles, but once you skate off the ice and take a seat as the general manager, the poor AI driving the other teams breaks the fantasy.
  40. 80
    If NHL 13 has a problem, it's that it feels like a stopgap ahead of a much bigger update. Momentum is a terrific addition, but it doesn't change the fact that the game's animations looks stiff, and that the Be a GM mode lacks increasingly common sports-game elements such as news headlines, RPG elements, and players who have to be kept happy.
  41. Hyper Magazine
    Jan 24, 2013
    It's the ability to check opponents that is the real highlight of the violence. [Feb 2013, p.80]
  42. Oct 18, 2012
    It would be hard to imagine coming into this game uninitiated to hockey and the NHL, which is definitely the game's downfall. I'd much prefer to see such a great game for an incredible sport reach more people with every release.
  43. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Oct 11, 2012
    There are enough major improvements to the mechanics to appease your average pucker on the street, but fans of the series' casual roots will be left out in the cold. [Issue#90, p.79]
  44. Sep 11, 2012
    In the case of the good, the bad, and the ugly, NHL 13 has it all. It's not award-winning but it's still plenty of fun to go around. Just don't trade in those NHL 12 copies just yet. If complete roster updates and fancy new game modes don't have you jumping for joy, you're plenty fine sticking with '12.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 86
  2. Negative: 18 out of 86
  1. Sep 11, 2012
    Anyone who plays hockey would know that this game is a great leap towards realism. I can't believe people say it's not worth $60... (I mean,Anyone who plays hockey would know that this game is a great leap towards realism. I can't believe people say it's not worth $60... (I mean, people buy map packs all year for COD????). The EA NHL series has been one of the most innovative and consistently improving sports games around. Let's look beyond the menus and see what's really happening here... The skating, goalies, AI, GM Brain AI and presentation have received massive overhauls and they've added in the biggest online dynasty mode in sporting game history. In Australia (where I live, born in Canada though) this game costs us $99 and I still think it's worth every cent. I've read through lots of reviews and I think a lot of the reviewers either haven't played the game in depth or haven't played NHL 12 or they have never played hockey... Full Review »
  2. Sep 11, 2012
    The game is good. But the fact that I have to pay 60$ a year for incremental updates is kind of dumb. They need to change a lot more andThe game is good. But the fact that I have to pay 60$ a year for incremental updates is kind of dumb. They need to change a lot more and really make it a true sequel. So far the game is good, but feels a lot like NHL 12. They did do some tweaking with multiplayer though for the better. Overall this game gets a 7. Full Review »
  3. Sep 11, 2012
    Any of the reviews saying that this is just a couple tweaks away from being NHL 12, never really played NHL 12 that much. Smarter GM AI, aAny of the reviews saying that this is just a couple tweaks away from being NHL 12, never really played NHL 12 that much. Smarter GM AI, a puck that doesn't get sucked into the gravity of a player as it passes them, the puck chop, smarter, more fluid goalies, and a new way of skating... that's all I've discovered SO FAR! I will agree that most of the games have just seemed like it could have been NHL 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, but I find that this iteration of the NHL franchise is the biggest leap forward since the addition of the skill stick! Full Review »