ESPN NHL Hockey Image
Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Summary: ESPN NHL Hockey brings you a complete NHL experience. Play a single game or an entire season as any current NHL team, or a historic team, complete with vintage jerseys. All the uniforms, arenas, player models, and environmental effects are meticulously detailed. With an advanced graphics engine, an exclusive ESPN presentation system featuring Gary Thorne and Bill Clement, and exciting new modes to play such as the authentic Skills Competition, ESPN NHL Hockey leads the league in hockey realism. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. The true star of the ESPN NHL Hockey is the play-by-play commentary. Courtesy of ESPN's Gary Throne and Bill Clement, this is some of the best commentary I've ever heard in a hockey game. [Jan 2004, p.80]
  2. The best Hockey game I have played so far. I love hockey and ESPN gave me the feel of what has been missing in past hockey games. The feeling of total control and not having the computer interfere with the game.
  3. 93
    The finest hockey video game we've ever played...The graphics have been refined, the gameplay has been considerably tightened, the already great control has been made better, and there are several new modes to keep everyone quite happy.
  4. A stunning game. Graphics, sound and online play benefit the most from the treatment, but there isn't an aspect of gameplay that hasn't received attention, making this the most comprehensive slapshot sim available.
  5. For the second consecutive year, it leaves the competition slack-jawed and two steps behind with its finesse game. Aside from being the best looking of the latest hockey titles, it's also the most realistic. [Oct 2003, p.138]
  6. This is a nice looking, sounding, and smooth game of hockey. The gameplay AI and even Franchise AI is suspect - and below par, in my opinion.
  7. 60
    A great choice for gamers who enjoyed "NHL 2K3" but wanted something a little flashier in the audiovisual department. But it isn't as ambitious as "NHL 2004" in terms of control options or depth in franchise play. ESPN Hockey's biggest knock is its goalie AI, which isn't reflective of the sport and seems artificially enhanced in an attempt to create low-scoring games.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. DanT.
    Sep 29, 2003
    10
    This is the most realistic and fun hockey game I have ever played.
  2. MattH.
    Sep 15, 2003
    10
    I think the best part about this game is that you can customize any player. Im and big Ranger fan and to see the '94 rangers in the game is great. The gameplay is fun, and it is possable to score. The sound is amazing. Plus, the air hockey is a great touch. Expand
  3. KeithY.
    Sep 17, 2003
    10
    The audio commentary and crowd response are best ever in any sports game. Graphics are super smooth and the animations function well to improve gameplay (e.g., protecting puck through traffic). If compared to NHL 2002, a great hockey title, this game has same graphics but more realism and varied gameplay. I haven't tried online yet, but am anxious to see how other gamers get jiggy on the ice. Expand
  4. BrettG.
    Sep 11, 2003
    9
    Awesome game, graphics of boards are amazing...they actually move when you hit them. Another thing that makes this game great it the fact that it has mini games..such as air hockey.. 2 on 2.. or even pond hockey.. alternate jerseys are available only if you buy them. I gave this game a 9 because great commentary and realistic gameplay. All you hockey fans get this one. Expand
  5. CodyM.
    Oct 6, 2003
    9
    What happened to the home goal horns, on 2K3 the goal horns were awesome. Realistic! Please bring em' back on 2K5.
  6. RobC.
    Sep 25, 2003
    7
    Great game, but.....being a hockey player, I'd rather leave all the realism on the ice i play on, and just have fun, so thats why I think Hitz is a way better (Fun) hockey title. Expand
  7. KyleR.
    Sep 18, 2003
    3
    I don't see why everyone likes this game so much, yes its realistic but what would u want realsim or fun gameplay? The gameplay sucks on this game once u find the way to score everytime you'll see what i mean. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews