Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Xbox Nation Magazine
    90
    Skates in a league of its own when it comes to the most basic function of hockey gaming: realistic physics. [Oct 2004, p.94]
  2. I would highly suggest NHL 2005 for anyone who likes sports games, but the controls are too complex for casual non-fans who just want to pick up a game and play effectively.
  3. For the second year running, "NHL" best encapsulates the play and and authenticity of the sport. [Sept 2004, p.103]
  4. Official Xbox Magazine
    85
    A better, more realistic game than last year's, but its still-vicious checking system might turn off hardcore hockey enthusiasts. [Oct 2004, p.80]
  5. 83
    If you're looking for a raw, wide-open experience with lots of arcade elements, NHL 2005 is for you...If you're more into the strategy of real hockey—the poke checks, the traps, the dumps, the dekes -- then you'll either have to try to design this game to fit your tastes (which can be frustrating) or go elsewhere.
  6. Better than last year’s 2004 and the inclusion of Xbox Live support will be important to fans of the series, but there isn’t anything remarkably better that warrants an immediate purchase.
  7. The on-ice gameplay is some of the best hockey you’ll ever play in a videogame; the control is unmatched. Then, the game lays an egg when it comes to all around game modes and extras.
  8. The actual gameplay is pretty solid throughout, the visuals are excellent and the rest of the presentation isn’t too shabby. That said, it doesn’t do anything principally different and online play could have been implemented better.
  9. Play Magazine
    83
    The lax AI from last year's game has been stepped up...An improved Dynasty Mode and the inclusion of the World Cup of Hockey round out this great hockey title. [Sept 2004, p.84]
  10. You even get to see the coaches of the respective teams geeing-up their players and remonstrating about decisions and player misdemeanours which all adds up to the great overall presentation of the game.
  11. AceGamez
    80
    People who are looking for a fast sports game can't go wrong with this, but those wanting to upgrade might want to rent it first to see if it's worth their hard earned pennies.
  12. It's just tragic that there's no Xbox Live support.
  13. 80
    The new Open Ice mechanics allow for smoother, wide-open play than previous versions, and the Dynasty Mode is as deep and realistic as any I've ever seen.
  14. Perhaps the biggest new feature for this year's ice hockey outing is the inclusion of Live compatibility...This essentially adds months to NHL 2005's appeal, and will turn the already feverishly loved title into a true competitive tussle.
  15. With all of the different game modes it has to offer, NHL 2005 will keep you entertained for an extremely long time.
  16. GamePro
    80
    Comes up like the Calgary Flames - a very close second - because "ESPN NHL 2K5" is the better game due to its overall complete package. [Dec 2004, p.146]
  17. This is still a solid game of hockey, but it isn't the most realistic or best-playing NHL title out there, and as such, it shouldn't be your first choice for one.
  18. But while EA has been able to make some improvements to their franchise, they just haven’t done enough to keep up with the ice maniacs over at ESPN.
  19. 70
    While the game's is an improvement over the 2004 edition, it's still not quite up to snuff.
  20. It's worth purchasing for the World Cup and Free-4-All modes alone, but be aware that this isn't the defining hockey experience it could have been.
  21. You’re better off picking up "ESPN NHL 2K5" because for the third year in a row Sega’s hockey series takes the Cup as it’s made the furthest leap forward in improvements.
  22. The ease of play, with the challenge of a good A.I. creates the perfect balance that not only makes for a realistic competition, but an enjoyable one as well.
  23. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    63
    Flow? NHL 2005's skaters have no flow, 'cause they're always lying out on the ice from hit after hit - just like last year. I know hockey is a rough game, but c'mon, I like to control the puck for more than two seconds before picking up my teeth. [Oct 2004, p.99]
  24. Even though this is undeniably a good representation, the feel of it is really not all that different from the SNES and Mega Drive titles of yesteryear.
  25. games(TM)
    60
    This is EA’s take on NHL action as it’s always been, rejigged with improved animations and new moves so it’s inevitably the best version yet. [Nov 2004, p.119]
  26. 60
    The bar has been set higher by "ESPN NHL 2K5," whose presentation, sense of realism, and play modes simply outclass, outshine, and outperform those found in NHL 2005.

Awards & Rankings

56
79
#79 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
User Score
6.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Buried-In-The-Box
    Oct 5, 2004
    7
    It looks like EA has finally met its match and been bettered by Sega once again. This game, like Madden and Live, don't hold a candle to It looks like EA has finally met its match and been bettered by Sega once again. This game, like Madden and Live, don't hold a candle to Sega's new and improved sports line-up. Just stick with the Sega sports line-up this year. Next year they may not be as good, but taking 1st place from a competitor that has been on top for 15 years is enough for me. EA is going out and will have to completely re-think and re-work it's sports line if it wants to be taken seriously anymore. $50 for their updates each year has gotten old and has finally come back to bite them in the ass. They are on their way out just like the FF series by Squaresoft. Neither one of them have evolved in 15 to 20 years and people are starting to get smart. Sega may be the new king if they improve every game every year as much as they have this year. EA's hockey game makes me want to "hock" one in their faces. Oh, yeah, that's right, Sega already did that for me! Full Review »
  2. SteveP.
    Sep 29, 2004
    8
    This is a very good game once the body contact slides have been adjusted to their lowest settings. The graphics, gameplay and on-ice pacing This is a very good game once the body contact slides have been adjusted to their lowest settings. The graphics, gameplay and on-ice pacing are superior in this game compared to ESPN 2K5, but it is lacking with respect to modes and other such options. I buy my hockey games for on-ice gameplay, and this is the one for me. Full Review »
  3. MarkK.
    Sep 26, 2004
    8
    All the problems of this game can be fixed by adjusting the sliders for the most part. The play AI is still a little stupid at time. Overall, All the problems of this game can be fixed by adjusting the sliders for the most part. The play AI is still a little stupid at time. Overall, not bac, and better than 2004. Full Review »