Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Jan 24, 2013
    It's the ability to check opponents that is the real highlight of the violence. [Feb 2013, p.80]
  12. 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.
  13. 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]
  14. 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 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 9 out of 30
  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, 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 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, 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 »