Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. This is the best game of hockey that I have ever played.
  2. Whether you're starting a new franchise from scratch or simply playing a game of Dodge-the-Barrels, NHL 2K6 is a stunning addition to the world of sports games.
  3. Sports gaming is on the brink of a new age with the coming of new consoles, so here's hoping the 2k series continues to raise the bar by producing the best game on the market, as they have – again – with NHL 2k6.
  4. Hockey season is back on, and 2K series continues with improved passing controls and fun enforcer feature, all for a low-low budget price.
  5. This is the most addictive and realistic hockey game this year. Sorry EA, but this one is clearly the winner this year.
  6. It's not perfect, but when you add up the rule changes, the vastly improved gameplay, the bug fixes, and the $20 price tag, it's impossible not to recommend this game to anyone who loves the sport of Hockey.
  7. 90
    The improvements on defense, passing, and goaltending, combined with the bargain price of $19.99 make it the one sports game to own this year, hockey or otherwise.
  8. 90
    Thanks to a wealth of sim-style features and topnotch gameplay, it narrowly establishes itself as this year's must-have hockey title.
  9. 90
    Last year, Take-Two won the Stanley Cup of NHL games hands down. With NHL 2k6, Take-Two is on its way to win the championship one more time.
  10. ProControl and On-The-Fly Coaching are ground-breaking innovations. And as mentioned before, they've allowed for innovation without forcing you to break the bank to experience it.
  11. Its excellent gameplay distant it from the other hockey games and the great level of control over the players separates it from the past years of the series, and offers an immensely improved experience.
  12. 87
    This is an amazing hockey game at any price, but the new features, including momentum and icon passing, make it not only the best but most realistic game on the market.
  13. This franchise lives and dies by its gameplay, and on that front, it does not disappoint.
  14. With sharp gameplay, polished game modes, great presentation, and a price tag of only $20 USD, hardcore fans need look no further for their hockey fix.
  15. 85
    NHL2K6 blends all that is good about hockey, as well as bad, all into one board shattering title. Fans of the 2K series will be able to jump right onto the ice and take over where the last game left off.
  16. This is a simple: if you're a hockey fan, then NHL 2K6 is a must. At $19.99 its depth cannot be matched and although it is far from perfect, there is plenty to enjoy for both the hardcore and casual hockey nut.
  17. Even without the ESPN presentation, the core gameplay continues to shine boldly through – and with the retail price of $20, the game is a steal for just about anybody. Every hockey fan should have it. Period.
  18. I would class NHL 2K6 as more of an NHL 2K5.5, as this game does not improve on last year's version as much as I hoped.
  19. Bugs and roster issues aside, for $20 this is a no-brainer for hockey fans – it's one of the best, if not the best, hockey games of all time and no fan of the sport should miss it.
  20. While it suffers a bit, it does allow players to have more realistic controls and shots that were not there before.
  21. Rock legends such as Panthera and Jet Black Summer have made contributions to the soundtrack and many Brits will be familiar with the commentary of Bob Cole and Harry Neale.
  22. There's no question about it, when it comes to action on the ice, Kush's game delivers a lights-out blow to EA's. This is the hockey game to get this year. [Sept 2005, p.96]
  23. 2K6 is as strong as it ever was and while it might take vets awhile to get a grasp on the ProControl and other injections, it's still incredibly solid and has lost nothing from last years game.
  24. NHL 2K6 isn't totally overhauled which is great. It has been nicely tweaked with a few new features that makes it worthy of a yearly upgrade.
  25. The controls are extensive, and do make a difference, taking NHL 2K6 away from the arcade style and into the big time of realism; and it is pretty realistic. The A.I. is solid too, and for hockey fans I'm sure there's a lot to be cherished, from what is a very noble effort, and pleasurable addition to the series.
  26. The downsides don't trash what is basically a fun and frantic experience that manages to combine realism on the ice with arcade action.
  27. 80
    A damn good game of hockey, and one that shows tremendous promise for the next few years.
  28. 75
    While 2K6 is an excellent game, it's not much different from 2K5, and EA's NHL series is rapidly gaining ground.
  29. Let's note one real missing item from this year's product- the ESPN license. This was a crucial addition to the 2K Sports title last year, as it allowed for an exquisite TV-like presentation and some of the best announcing in the business.
  30. Tune and tweak all you want, Demian, and 2K6's goalies will still be absolute sieves. And for that reason - plus 06's faster play and flashier offense - I'm giving the nod to EA's game. [Oct 2005, p.114]
  31. The trouble starts as soon as you hit the ice - skating is downright abysmal. Players feel floaty, like they're just gliding effortlessly on the frozen surface. [Oct 2005, p.109]
  32. The NHL 2K series which in my opinion had a stranglehold on NHL games for so long seems to have been done in by the loss of ESPN sponsorship as well as a completely inexplicable complacency in the department of upgrading and redesigning the game.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. EricB.
    Mar 21, 2006
    9
    As someone who has owned NHL 2006, and has now got rid of it, let me say this: NHL 2K6 is by far the better game. I am sick of supposed As someone who has owned NHL 2006, and has now got rid of it, let me say this: NHL 2K6 is by far the better game. I am sick of supposed hockey-lovers commenting about NHL 2006 is better. It is not. I f you have played hockey in your life you know that 2K6 is the better game. EA's game is for people that go to hockey to watch the hits. The A.I in EA's game is horrendous! If you get up on them 6-0 prepare to be scored on at rediculous angles and distances, with only 2 minutes left in the game. They A.I. wil try to tie the game up by doing things that no human can achieve (behind the back, through the legs, behind the net, red-line goal anyone?). I sold NHL 2006 for pennies at EBgames because I had had enough of the poor A.I., annoying commentary, sluggish controls, and horrible hitting mechanics. 2K6 is the best hockey game out there. It realistically depicts the FEEL of hockey. It is by no means perfect (look for Nintendo Revolution stck handeling to fill some gaps), but it is the better game. Full Review »
  2. AaronC.
    Oct 19, 2005
    10
    Although EA's game is prettier, on the PC at least (1024x768 full detail) 2K6 is a solid improvement on 2K6 (and i never have to hear Although EA's game is prettier, on the PC at least (1024x768 full detail) 2K6 is a solid improvement on 2K6 (and i never have to hear that that insane blocker dive save referred to as "not spectacular" again). EA's game is great if you like a 5-1 game at the end of the first period (and that's CPU vs CPU) and if you like to play with all the rules off and no penalties, however, if you like a solid game of hockey and are a fan of Hockey Night in Canada you are in for a treat as soon as the players hit the ice. Though I'm not and never have been a fan of icon passing i'm glad they made it an option. If you are not a fan of Pro Control, at least it's not THAT integral a part of the game. The graphics are only a marginal step up from last years game and since i just moved, I haven't been able to fire up the good ol 5.1 surround yet (can't wait tho). Funny, a friend of mine and I have been playing 2K hockey for 3 years and though we always have a blastafter a year of playing each game certain gripes acome up, last year (2k5) our major complaints were: Colour commentator MUST BE FIRED (he was), arrrgh, why can't we just tell the players to crash the net (fixed) and canned commentary on individual players is WAY too repetitive if you want to play through a few seasons as one team (fixed by giving stats rather than compliments). The general lack of variety has also been fixed with more celebrations and arguments against penalties. I've even seen players from my team give the other goalie a pat on the pads after a good save. The fighting has been improved though, and you have the choice whether or not to fight. As in all hockey games though that mechanic needs improvement. I do miss the overall tension meter from last year and the pushing match cut-scene for a late hit though I always wished there was more variety. A late hit usually draws a crowd and there should be players trying to keep each other seperated from one another and "discussing" each other's behaviour. There are a few gripes about the commentary though minor they must be brought up. Once in a while Harry Neale will say a team is 2 goals behind (a problem with canned commentary) when they are only one and I noticed Ottawa had a 6 game winning streak and the stat on the bottom said that and Neale said 3 games. All in all it's still better than EA's super-repetitive commentary ("has his pocket picked" like 10 times in a game when something more generic would at least SEEM less repetitive). All in all, though EA definitely made an effort to revamp their game this year and I must say I'm more impressed with NHL06 than I have been with any NHL game since 98 for pc, it's simply to action packed and i got tired really quick of the "rush the zone shoot they rush the zone shoot...rince lather repeat until the score is 19-16" with nice graphics and that new Blink182 ( just an example I know there's no Blink182 in the game) song playing in the menu screen. I want a hockey sim, a game i stand a chance of losing and having a reasonable score if i play with more than 5 minute periods (I prefer 10) . If this review is incomplete, I apologize, i have a newborn that demands my attention a little more than this and i've lost my train of thought several times. I gave NHL2K6 a 10 not because it's perfect but because it's the best hockey game ever made and is the closest thing you will get to the real game that isn't developped by Blackbox (the only developer i'd rather have on a hockey game than Visual Concepts) like the excellent NHL2K for the Dreamcast. Full Review »
  3. CJay
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    EA has officially lost...they are simply stated...YEARS behind the 2K sports game developers...baseball...hockey and ESPECIALLY EA has officially lost...they are simply stated...YEARS behind the 2K sports game developers...baseball...hockey and ESPECIALLY football....(of course EA has robbed us of that one...at least we still can have decent hockey games.) Having already bought this game and played it extensively..I would say its worth 50 bucks..but they only ask for 19.99. If you liked the last few 2K hockey games..you will enjoy this title...go get it. Full Review »