NHL 06 Xbox

Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
Buy On
  1. 90
    Diehards will love the reduced emphasis on checking, while more casual fans should enjoy the new skill stick moves and the ability to place your shot wherever you please. Best of all, every rule change has made it into the game.
  2. Official Xbox Magazine
    88
    When you mix the reinvigorated gameplay with the familiar RPG-lite, detail-intensive Dynasty Mode, you've got a hockey sim that the "Swingers" crew would call "pretty damn money." [Sept 2005, p.84]
  3. A tremendous sports simulation, so if you have any love for hockey, not owning this game is downright inexcusable.
  4. The addition of some gameplay moves, the fast-paced gameplay and stellar presentation assure that fans of the series won't be disappointed.
  5. A solid game that is lacking in a few departments. The in-game additions are fantastic, but changes need to be made to 'Franchise Mode'. Additionally, I really wanted to see Free4All available on Xbox Live, because it makes no sense to have this mode of play only offline.
  6. Moreso than previous years, the graphics in NHL 06 are very tight. Still not Visual Concepts spectacular, but getting there.
  7. 85
    EA's NHL title has certainly been improved over last year's offering and may actually be their finest work since "NHL 94." However, it feels like there have been more fixes than any truly groundbreaking additions to the game.
  8. Play Magazine
    85
    A kick-ass game of hockey that stands to be the best EA has ever produced. [Oct 2005, p.70]
  9. There is no denying EA when it comes to slick presentation, fluid gameplay, and topnotch animations, but its breakneck pace, and broken goalies will definitely take away some of its charm.
  10. NHL 06 may not have the right to claim the most improved version, however, it has tons of modes and the updated rules and players. It has great controls and adjusts to any skill level.
  11. NHL 06 is as good as it gets in console hockey.
  12. Pelit (Finland)
    82
    Not that much has happened since the last time. The AI players have great difficulties especially in defense and maintaining a controlled defensive line-up is next to impossible. Nice atmosphere, though. [Sept. 05]
  13. 81
    With Xbox Live play, solid controls, and a great presentation, NHL 06 should satisfy even the hardest puckhead.
  14. 80
    With NHL 06, EA Sports is revisiting its roots to create a feature-stable game with both style and substance, and it all starts with the controls. Quite simply, they are the most responsive ever.
  15. games(TM)
    80
    As the greatest and most enjoyable recreation of the sport since the 16-bit era, NHL 06 deserves to sit alongside the likes of "Pro Evo" as a sporting highlight that any gamer can enjoy. [Nov 2005, p.111]
  16. EA has made a lot of strides with NHL 06, especially on the offensive side of the ice. That being said, the AI is still a problem area that prevents the series from reaching its maximum potential.
  17. NHL 06 may not be the greatest hockey game I've ever played, it's leaps and bounds above last years offering.
  18. The only major issue I take with the game is one that I take with almost every single game put out by EA, lack of a solid instruction manual. I for one would appreciate complete information on how to play the game and use new features, what certain options do, and maybe some "rules" information for new comers to the game. I don't want cliff notes, I want the book.
  19. In many ways, NHL 06 really could be considered the best console hockey game to ever hit the ice – that is, if it weren't for the handful of glaring issues that have been with the game for years and EA simply refuses to address, not the least of which is EA's poor integration of online play through Xbox Live.
  20. Okay, so it feels a bit better than last year, but not by much. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  21. If you're jonesing for some Hockey action, EA's NHL 06 is well worth checking into. If you prefer a style of play more akin to the stuff we saw back in the SEGA Genesis days, this is your game. Less complexity - more fun.
  22. Decent gameplay, a solid dynasty mode, and an improved physics engine more than make up for poor team creation and few major enhancements as NHL 06 goes "five hole" on the competition.
  23. Sure, it's got all the new rule changes, as well as an almost entirely up-to-date roster, but considering how similar the game is overall to 2005's version, you have to ask yourself, "Is that really enough?"
  24. If you can look past the minor problems in the animations, the Superman AI and the new rule missteps, you will find that EA has actually created a pretty good sim style game.
  25. Somebody at EA needs to stick a post-it note on the producer's door that reads "Dynasty Mode." It's a mess.
  26. 75
    While better than 2005's effort, there just isn't enough different to make it a worthwhile purchase to last year's game. Everybody else though will find a thoroughly fun game of hockey.
  27. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    73
    I like that in 06's franchise mode each NHL team has its own objectives - be the Wings and anything short of Canada's Holy Grail is a disappointment. [Oct 2005, p.114]
  28. Game Informer
    70
    A complete turnaround from last season, and a direction that I hope EA steers clear of in the future. The user should always have control over the most basic gameplay functions. [Sept 2005, p.96]
  29. Improvements in puck physics means that hard shots can bruise your opponents, while last year's overly aggressive defense has been scaled back to realistic levels.
  30. Pelaaja (Finland)
    70
    Because of the cheap AI, the single player game is a frustrating experience which is too bad, as the rest of the package is pretty good. Salvation comes in the form of the superb multiplayer modes, which are highly addictive and also feature well implemented online player leagues. If not for the cheap AI, NHL 06 might have been EA's best NHL game in years, but at the end of the day, this years edition won't convert the fans of "NHL 2K" –series. [Sept 2005, p 72]
  31. EA's string of great sports releases is broken this time as the 2006 edition just goes through the motions and doesn't bring anything new for gamers.
  32. In reality it is just a few minor tweaks from 2005, completely updated rosters, and the fact that it says '06'.
  33. 65
    The hyper-speed of this game makes it feel like more of an arcade experience than a real hockey simulator. It's still a huge step in the right direction, though.
  34. The title is sure to horrify the hardcore, while providing hours and hours of fun for those who are looking for more action and less strategy. [*Note: original score posted by Operation Sports as 3/5 = 60. Current score on their redesigned site is inaccurate.]
  35. G4 TV
    60
    It's a different style of game than previous versions, one that dumps some of the innovations from earlier titles in favor of crowd-pleasing simplicity.

Awards & Rankings

#59 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2005
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. MattW.
    Oct 22, 2005
    10
    This game has amazing moves on the new trick stick and the graphics are sweet too, i like that you can injure other players with slapshots now.
  2. JayH.
    Sep 27, 2005
    3
    I've always been a fan of EA's hockey games but this one is a HUGE miss for me. I gave it a 3 simply for the graphics, b/c they are I've always been a fan of EA's hockey games but this one is a HUGE miss for me. I gave it a 3 simply for the graphics, b/c they are really great. The checking is terrible, the player control is the worst i've seen in years and the added features are really just window dressing. the worst part of the game is the left - right quick deak; it makes the player drag and ultimately makes the game far far worse. This is one of those games that has good intentions and then falls flat on its face, which boads well for next years game. Usually when EA makes a game this bad they come back really strong. Full Review »
  3. MatthewW.
    Sep 25, 2005
    10
    Best hockey game in a while. Way better than 2k6! This is the game to get that represents the new and improved NHL to the fullest.