NHL 2004 Xbox

Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. Xbox Nation Magazine
    80
    Pound for pound, it's gritty play - and experience points - propel NHL 2004 to a hard-fought win [over "ESPN NHL Hockey"]. [Oct/Nov 2003, p.97]
  2. Game Informer
    90
    Given how far this franchise has come, however, I've no doubt that the team behind NHL will keep this series out in front of the curve from now on. [Oct 2003, p.138]
  3. Cheat Code Central
    90
    Everything that has been revamped makes me look forward to next year's version and see if they can bring it all together.
  4. With graphical enhancements and improved controls over last year's edition of the NHL franchise, EA Sports manages to keep the hits coming.
  5. A hockey game at its most realistic, therefore making for a game that’s both fast-paced and hard-hitting...just the way we hockey fans love our hockey.
  6. 88
    Mimics the real thing more than ever and therefore the joys of the sport are found in big hits, near misses and brilliant scoring opportunities that barely miss lighting the lamp. If you can get over the fact that scoring is going to be reserved only for those that deserve it.
  7. Playboy
    88
    Expanded fight controls include grappling, punch selection and the ability to pull off the gloves whenever rink rage overcomes you. [Oct 2003, p.37]
  8. Although NHL 2004 does fall just shy of beating out the competition, any previous fan of EA's NHL series will find very little to complain about in this installment.
  9. The series is turning towards the likes of "Madden," with realism being added into every nook and cranny of the game. The greatest strength NHL 2004 holds is that it brings back the game of hockey the way it was meant to be played...physical and tight scoring.
  10. Official Xbox Magazine
    86
    Dynasty Mode is NHL 2004's best feature. It's literally an RPG. [Oct 2003, p.80]
  11. This is a strong title, and will hopefully be a sign of more good things to come from the series.
  12. While the game moved from the arcade feel to more a realistic feel, the impressive graphics remain.
  13. 85
    It's remarkable that EA has managed to catch up to the incredible effort from Sega in a single generation, and if it weren't for an overly trying physics engine on the ice, the two would be in a dead heat.
  14. The customary mid-game fighting seems a little pointless, but for a game with such a wealth of strengths, this isn’t really a problem. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by this title.
  15. An extremely good hockey game but has one major failing in my eyes: lack of fun.
  16. This is almost certainly the best release in the history of the NHL series and one of the most authentic action-oriented sports games currently on the market.
  17. 80
    Hits a nice middle ground between realism and action.
  18. 80
    Though there's room for improvement in its dynasty mode, controls, and overall presentation, NHL 2004 is a huge step in the right direction for a franchise that was recently skating on thin ice.
  19. Play Magazine
    100
    Not to be outdone, EA Sports has upped the ante with NHL 2004 and it truly has left me speechless. What am I so excited about? One word - Dynasty Mode... For hockey fans, this is a no brainer. [Sept 2003, p.88]
  20. Does a fantastic job for the hardcore hockey fan with endless hours of play in Dynasty mode, but it can’t quite match the competition when it comes to delivery and mechanics. The lack of online play for Xbox owners once again makes me want to holler at EA for their irritating deal with Sony.

Awards & Rankings

#15 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2003
User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 26
  2. Negative: 9 out of 26
  1. Jul 30, 2014
    10
    The most fun arcade hockey game ever created. Ahead of its time in terms of commentary and features in dynasty mode. Controlling the ticketThe most fun arcade hockey game ever created. Ahead of its time in terms of commentary and features in dynasty mode. Controlling the ticket prices, salary caps, staff and contracts was present in this game and led the way with the improvements for future games. The soundtrack was also killer and the game was presented in a way that was easy on the eye. Of course the game has not aged particularly well, but this game is still fun to go back to and take on a friend. Full Review »
  2. Wingsfan
    Jul 14, 2004
    8
    I think this is EA's best game yet, Realistic Skating, new Dynasty mode, and improved graphics, however it has its bad things, such asI think this is EA's best game yet, Realistic Skating, new Dynasty mode, and improved graphics, however it has its bad things, such as signing free agents easily by just making offers, takes the other teams out of the competition, thus I give it an 810. Full Review »
  3. MikeQ.
    May 1, 2004
    10
    The controls take some getting used to, but once you master checking and deking with the right thumbstick, you'll never again be able to The controls take some getting used to, but once you master checking and deking with the right thumbstick, you'll never again be able to play any other hockey game. Full Review »