Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy On
  1. 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.

Awards & Rankings

14
33
#33 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2003
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 4 out of 24
  1. BenjaminS.
    Jun 19, 2004
    3
    I also can't see why this game is getting such high reviews from serious gamers. Once you get over first impressions and really want to I also can't see why this game is getting such high reviews from serious gamers. Once you get over first impressions and really want to emerse yourself, you're driven crazy by settings that won't save, constant replays that wear out your thumb getting past and a manual that is useless for anything other then controller settings. Having bought the game a couple of weeks ago, I imagine I will be selling it on eBay next week before I get so frustrated that I smash my Xbox!! I don't want a game where I'm controlling an ESPN telecast - I just want to play the game and refer to a manual that tells me how to maximize my experience. Full Review »
  2. AustinW.
    Jan 1, 2004
    4
    A good game, but I'm thoroughly disappointed with the lack of attention to the crowd. Its all about the 2d "paper people" and take my A good game, but I'm thoroughly disappointed with the lack of attention to the crowd. Its all about the 2d "paper people" and take my word for it, it looks horrible. Another flaw that really REALLY dissapointed me was the size of the goalie's mask. ITS HUGE and it looks absolutley AWFUL, not to mention; it doesnt even sport the correct artwork that each goalie wears...it merely replaces it with a solid color and the generic logo of the team on the top. HORRIBLE JOB THERE SEGA. The last and most mentally effective dissapointing feature (or lack thereof) was the non-existence of celebration at the the end of winning a game and even when you win the Stanley Cup, there is HARDLY any celebration. Totally unrealistic. If you dont mind the little details, go ahead and get this, you wont be disappointed but if you expect the great looking goalie masks from EA's NHL 2004 and the amazing crowd of XSN's NHL 2004 Rivals, I would advise you take a pass on this one. Full Review »
  3. JasonP
    Dec 2, 2003
    9
    You AI aint hard, but when you play the game, AI is hard. If it ain AI, its just has hard to pass the puck so they dont get it..