Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 39
  2. Negative: 4 out of 39
  1. Xbox Live integrates into this title and elevates it to a level not seen in hockey in years. While the game won't take the crown from "Blades of Steel," it certainly can hold its own against almost any hockey game out right now.
  2. Impresses with smooth, realistic game play and rib-cage-crushing intensity.
  3. It's gorgeous. The uniforms look like cloth (meaning they aren't shiny), while the ice and the plastic visors shine like the real thing. The physics are exciting and, because of the realism, the hits feel more devastating.
User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. BlueFalcon
    Mar 9, 2005
    5
    There are a few things that this game does better than any other hockey series. But for the most part, it's not quite up to par. The There are a few things that this game does better than any other hockey series. But for the most part, it's not quite up to par. The graphics need a lot of work, but I very much like the different camera angles during replays. I think this series could be a contender with some relatively minor upgrades. But as it is, I wouldn't recommend it. Full Review »
  2. AnttiK.
    Jan 24, 2004
    10
    Excellent game. The Real Suprise. I've played all new NHL-games and this is the best of all. I hope that next year custom soundtracks Excellent game. The Real Suprise. I've played all new NHL-games and this is the best of all. I hope that next year custom soundtracks are also available during gameplaying. Full Review »
  3. BillD.
    Dec 11, 2003
    8
    I sometimes wonder who is pocketing the magazines.They loved EA NHL 2004 (which ea keeps handing us the same crap for the past 5 years) and I sometimes wonder who is pocketing the magazines.They loved EA NHL 2004 (which ea keeps handing us the same crap for the past 5 years) and they don't like NHL Rivals(A good first year effort thats more fun than EA) Do they know anything about the sport?This game Is alot of fun!Sure it's gotta a few flaws but,for a 1st year effort,it is a good solid game.It not as deep as others.Controls are sharp,graphics are very crisp.Best arena music.The fighting engine is the best so far and it acyually works!.This game shine on the pro level . Its a blast to play.Could easily topple EA NHL with refinements and deeper play.Did I mention how fun this game is?If I had to pick only one hockey game this year .It would be Sega NHL2k4,but I would miss NHL Rivals alot. Full Review »