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72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
2.2

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 145 Ratings

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  • Summary: Gameplay in NHL 21 has gotten smarter, faster and a whole lot flashier. With innovative moves and massive improvements on both sides of the puck, players have more options than ever before to take control of the game and impose their playstyle on opponents. Recognize Revolutionary withGameplay in NHL 21 has gotten smarter, faster and a whole lot flashier. With innovative moves and massive improvements on both sides of the puck, players have more options than ever before to take control of the game and impose their playstyle on opponents. Recognize Revolutionary with Gameplay in NHL 21. A brand new Be A Pro experience gives you the chance to live the life of an NHL player, on and off the ice. Impress the front office, go early on draft day, and chase greatness as you earn your spot on the first line, compete for the Stanley Cup, and become the league’s next best. Recognize Future with Be A Pro in NHL 21. World of Chel makes it easier than ever to jump in, and play solo or connect with friends on your way to wins and rewards. This year, we’re introducing Ranked Seasons — where you’ll compete across each of the four modes to earn rewards and play in the new EASHL Club Finals. [Electronic Arts] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Oct 20, 2020
    100
    Thanks to an insane number of hours spent playing previous NHL games over the last several months, I do know what a good hockey game looks like, and NHL 21 definitely fits the bill. The on-ice product is as fast-paced and free-flowing as the real thing, and there are enough options here to keep you occupied for months on end — which, given the circumstances, is exactly what you may need right now.
  2. Oct 21, 2020
    80
    NHL 21 provides more of the same, and with the uncertainty of the real world season, even less of what few changes fans come to expect of yearly releases.
  3. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Nov 15, 2020
    80
    It looks fantastic, with animation delivering the TV-standard realism EA always aims for2 while offering gaming cues for eagle-eyed players to spot; using the stick skills to shuffle keepers out of position for a slap shot will leave you wide-eyed and fist-punching the air. See, that Nicolas Cage opener paid off. [Issue#182, p.160]
  4. Oct 16, 2020
    75
    For now, NHL 21 gets the job done, especially if you want to play a fancier, flashier game. I still had plenty of fun, and when you consider that it’s the only way to experience the NHL until the real league gets back on the ice in January, it’s not a bad way to get your hockey fix.
  5. Oct 27, 2020
    70
    NHL 21 is the best hockey game around by default – but it seldom genuinely stands out from this generation's pack.
  6. 70
    NHL 21 brings much-needed improvements and depth to the variety of game modes available, though does nothing to fix the same issues that make the fun arcade style gameplay feel out of place in the more sim-focused modes. There is enough content thankfully that you can just keep having fun in the arcade modes and HUT Rush will actually keep you coming back for more high intensity action.
  7. Oct 18, 2020
    20
    While NHL 21 brings with it some exciting minor features, the game has not made any significant quality of life improvements with these new changes. In NHL 21, there is no soul, and the franchise needs to stop putting out features and create a new NHL game where changing the on-ice product is what sells the product. Dreams of making solid passes that are accurate, no more 55 minute games on the penalty kill, and no more glitch goals remain dreams - but that shouldn't be the case any long, and hopefully NHL 22 is a top-down restructuring of a series that sorely needs it.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 95
  2. Negative: 79 out of 95
  1. Oct 15, 2020
    10
    The core of this game belongs to EASHL. The community is small, but devoted and strong. The upgraded Be a Pro is a welcome addition but isThe core of this game belongs to EASHL. The community is small, but devoted and strong. The upgraded Be a Pro is a welcome addition but is plagued by annoying filler found in other EA titles. It's an experience you cannot find in other titles as FIFA and 2K's team modes lack a hardcore teamplay element. Expand
  2. Nov 13, 2020
    8
    I do not get all the bad reviews here. NHL 21 is not bad. Maybe you will be surprised by the new feel of classic modes like single player andI do not get all the bad reviews here. NHL 21 is not bad. Maybe you will be surprised by the new feel of classic modes like single player and online matches, because the feel of game is little bit different and maybe the games are more difficult now. Chel is more or less the same, but there are reworked specialisations. In the whole game goalies seems to be more clever. in Chel there is no goals like in NHL 98 (frozen goalie) . But players found quite similar trick how to score. Also penalties were rebuild. There is less tripping. Menu is much prettier and what was good in game years ago is still here. This is good game, do not be pushed down by lots of bad reviews, most of them are really meaningless. Expand
  3. Oct 17, 2020
    4
    Improvements to Be a Pro are welcome but long overdue. Still a large gap between NHL 21’s career mode and a game like NBA 2K or FIFA. StillImprovements to Be a Pro are welcome but long overdue. Still a large gap between NHL 21’s career mode and a game like NBA 2K or FIFA. Still plenty of bugs and kinks that need to be worked out there Other modes feel bare without any improvement from NHL 20. For offline and specifically franchise, there is still no roster share which is a staple of every sports game. The rosters the dev team have put out are not very good and many prospects are missing due the team not having the NCAA and KHL licenses. If a user wants to have a realistic franchise, they must edit the rosters and create the players themselves. Still missing the All Star Game and Winter Classic. The latter is confusing because there is outdoor gameplay in other modes and the Winter Classic was in the game last gen.

    Online modes haven’t really been touched and need some depth. The new ranking system for WoC really isn’t a major upgrade on what we had in CR, both seem like they don’t accurately depict a players performance and go too much off wins and losses. Community is still plagued by trolls, no kick feature to remove them from the game
    Expand
  4. Feb 14, 2021
    1
    I've bought every EA NHL entry since sometime around 2002, but no more. I've deleted the game and won't be returning until some things areI've bought every EA NHL entry since sometime around 2002, but no more. I've deleted the game and won't be returning until some things are fixed that have plagued the game for far too long.
    I played this game mainly for versus and eashl. Good luck finding a game where players aren't trying cross crease one timers all game long. And if you do, good luck with your goalie making basic saves. Also, don't dare pass to a player going to the bench, because the AI will just ignore you. Also, don't expect to be able to switch goalies between periods, you need to burn your only timeout to do that.
    I think this is my first ever game review, but this game is just infuriating. They keep adding new dekes and fancy skating animations. Avoid until it has it's real problems addressed.
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  5. Oct 28, 2020
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Awful. Same thing as last year but you cpu player is even worst when playin gm 3v3 world of Chel. Absolutely awful. The menus are slow per usual. Forced to watch highlights. In be a pro mode you have to talk to the coach during the game after the game, all this stuff that could be done so much faster. A couple new dekes, new hits and dumber cpu players. Waste of money Expand
  6. Oct 27, 2020
    0
    Trash gameplay, they haven't even fixed issues that plagued the past. Franchise mode is still a shell of itself and hut is just a money grabTrash gameplay, they haven't even fixed issues that plagued the past. Franchise mode is still a shell of itself and hut is just a money grab from ea, not to mention players with the highest speed on a breakaway can be caught with someone with one of the worst speeds in the game with ease. Just save your money . Expand
  7. Oct 20, 2020
    0
    70$ for a roster update and a couple minor changes. Same bugs, same terrible ai, same lag when playing online

See all 95 User Reviews