23 Best NHL Video Games for Hockey Lovers

NHL Video Games

NHL is a professional ice hockey simulation video games series created by EA Vancouver and distributed annually by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports banner.

The National Hockey League (NHL), which allows the use of the league’s club names, stadiums, and colors in the game, and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), which allows the use of the league’s player names and likenesses, are both involved in the development of the game.

Please read on as we discuss some of the best NHL Video games since 2000.

Table of Contents

  1. NHL 2000
  2. NHL 2001
  3. NHL 2002
  4. NHL 2003
  5. NHL 2004
  6. NHL 2005
  7. NHL 06
  8. NHL 07
  9. NHL 08
  10. NHL 09
  11. NHL 10
  12. NHL 11
  13. NHL Slapshot
  14. NHL 12
  15. NHL 13
  16. NHL 14
  17. NHL 15
  18. NHL 16
  19. NHL 18
  20. NHL 19
  21. NHL 20
  22. NHL 21
  23. NHL 22

NHL 2000

Electronic Arts Canada created NHL 2000, an ice hockey video game. NHL 99 was the game’s predecessor, and it was released in 1999.

There are 28 NHL teams in the game, including the new expansion Atlanta Thrashers, who were the only team that didn’t exist in the 1998–99 season. The game’s online leagues have also become more organized.

Furthermore, In this game, Daryl Reaugh stepped down as color commentator and was replaced by Bill Clement. Throughout the series, Jim Hughson was the play-by-play announcer.

In addition, according to the Review aggregate website GameRankings, the PlayStation and PC versions earned “favorable” reviews. In contrast, the Game Boy Color version garnered “mixed” reviews.

NHL 2001

NHL 2001 is a video game released in 2000 by Electronic Arts. It’s the follow-up to NHL 2000.

This is also the first NHL game for the PlayStation 2, and it adds Latvia and Ukraine to the original 18 national teams from NHL 98. (only available in the PC and PlayStation 2 versions).

The Momentum Bar is an entirely new feature that rewards the side that has scored goals, made significant hits, etc.

Also, According to the website Metacritic, the PC version earned universal acclaim. In contrast, the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 versions generally received positive reviews.

NHL 2002

NHL 2002 is a video game released in 2001 by EA Sports. Also, NHL 2003 is the game’s predecessor.

Mario Lemieux, the superstar, and owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, grace the game’s cover after a three-and-a-half-year retirement. It was the first NHL game to be released on the Xbox platform. This is one of the top NHL video games. 

Also, Don Taylor takes over for Bill Clement in NHL 2002. Fans of the game were divided on Taylor’s eccentric and often comic commentary style.

NHL 2003

NHL 2003 is a video game about ice hockey created by EA Canada and distributed by EA Sports. As a follow-up to NHL 2002, it was released in 2002.

Jarome Iginla serves as the game’s cover athlete and spokesman. In the Behind The Scenes video, Iginla shows the player how the game was created. The game was the first in the NHL series to be released on GameCube.

Furthermore, The GameBreaker was a new feature in NHL 2003. It is used to help change the game’s momentum. Such as scoring a significant goal, delivering an enormous hit, or winning a big battle. It is activated once a player executes enough “dekes.”

NHL 2004

NHL 2004 is an ice hockey video game produced by EA Black Box studios. Also, this is one of the most improved NHL video games from the previous year’s own.

The game’s gameplay (more realistic puck and rebound control and better checking) and game styles were significantly improved (a completely reworked franchise mode renamed “Dynasty”).

In addition to the gameplay enhancements, one non-gameplay enhancement has been introduced. When a team wins the Stanley Cup Finals, there is a huge party. Also, players skated around the rink with the Cup slung over their shoulders.

NHL 2005

NHL 2005 is an ice hockey video game sequel to NHL 2004. Also, NHL 2005 has Open Ice Control, which allows players to move without the puck.

And a full World Cup mode in which each team can be built from the ground up. The user could now import digitized home arenas for scratch-built teams (the 30 NHL arenas were accessible, and Nuremberg Arena, Kölnarena, Stockholm Globe Arena, Helsinki Hartwall Areena, and Prague Sazka Arena).

Furthermore, NHL jerseys and logos were also available, including the defunct Atlanta Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Rockies (NHL), Quebec Nordiques, and the 1970s and 1980s Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals, and Vancouver Canucks.

In addition, according to the review aggregation website Metacritic, the game garnered “generally positive reviews” on all platforms. Except for the PC edition, which received “average” reviews.

NHL 06

NHL 06 is a video game about ice hockey released in 2005. Also, NHL ’94 is included in the PlayStation 2 version. Also, this is one of the best NHL Video games.

According to the review aggregation website Metacritic, the game garnered “generally good reviews” across all platforms.

NHL 07

NHL 07 is a video game about ice hockey released in 2006. The game improved the series ‘ gameplay with more realistic features like stickhandling and a more comprehensive selection of controller schemes.

Furthermore, NHL 07 features four European leagues: the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany, the Elitserien in Sweden, the SM-Liga in Finland, and the Tipsport Extraliga in the Czech Republic.

Also, NHL 07 for Xbox 360 offers analog stick control and a new physics system replacing the magnetic puck possession technology utilized in previous NHL games.

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement offer commentary for the Xbox 360 version of the game; however, Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson return for the current generation and PSP editions.

NHL 08

According to EA, NHL 08 has a new and enhanced “Skill Stick System,” which allows gamers to handle the puck more simply. NHL 08 also contains “Goalie Mode,” in which players can use a new third-person camera to control their team’s goalie.

Furthermore, another new feature is the option to make custom plays in practice mode, where you can participate in the creation of creative plays.

The game featured the American Hockey League’s then-29 teams (AHL). Players can hone their skills in the AHL before being called up to play in the NHL. Also, every team in the AHL is playable.

NHL 09

NHL 09 is the 17th video game in the NHL series, and it was released in 2008 by EA Sports. This was the final NHL game on the PlayStation 2 and the PC.

Also, this is one of the top NHL video games. Furthermore, Players can create a character to utilize in online play, including a six versus six online team play option.

Users can form online teams with their friends or recruit players to form their own. Users can level up their characters, compete in tournaments (with brackets), and win prizes at the end of the season.

NHL 10

NHL 10 is the 19th installment in the NHL video game series, developed and manufactured by EA Canada and published by Electronic Arts.

The game had its debut at Hockey Fest ’09, a three-day participatory celebration in downtown Los Angeles honoring the sport of hockey and the Los Angeles Kings, which took place from August 28 to 30. 

In addition, According to the review aggregation website Metacritic, the game garnered “generally good reviews” on both platforms.

NHL 11

NHL 11 is a video game about ice hockey released to commemorate the NHL’s twentieth anniversary. The game incorporates a physics-based game engine, which replaces the previous animation-based system, and was dubbed “the biggest difference in NHL 11” by NHL 11 producer Sean Ramjagsingh.

Broken sticks, which implies the stick may now break when the player fires, are another big update. Furthermore, Due to the lack of an IIHF license, NHL 11 does not use official International Ice Hockey Federation uniforms.

Jonathan Toews, the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, is featured on the cover of NHL 11, having helped the team win their first Stanley Cup triumph in 49 years in 2010. The Atlanta Thrashers appeared in NHL 11 for the final time.

NHL Slapshot

NHL Slapshot, launched in 2010, was EA Sports’ first ice hockey video game for the Wii. It was the first game in the NHL series to obtain an E rating since NHL 2005, owing to the absence of fighting. Furthermore, the game’s cover athlete is Wayne Gretzky.

Also, this was the first time a retired ice hockey player appeared on the cover of an EA Sports NHL game and Wayne Gretzky’s first appearance on a video game cover since Gretzky NHL 2006.

NHL 12

NHL 12 is an ice hockey video game published by EA Sports and developed by EA Canada. This is one of the top NHL video games.

Furthermore, more interactive goalies (i.e., players can make genuine contact with goalies and vice versa, and goalies and skaters can fight).

A better physics engine, an upgraded Be a Pro mode, and the option to play the 2011 NHL Winter Classic are all game features.

NHL 13

NHL 13 is a video game about ice hockey developed by EA Canada and released by EA Sports. This is also one of the best NHL Video games.

Furthermore, The NHL series is now in its 22nd installment. The game was launched on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux on the cover.

Apart from the regular NHL 13 game, a unique “Stanley Cup Collector’s Edition” was also available. Five random Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) player packs from the two 2012 Stanley Cup Finals teams; a Gold Jumbo HUT pack featuring legend Wayne Gretzky; and a boost pack featuring the CCM RBZ stick are included in the Collector’s Edition.

NHL 14

NHL 14 is an ice hockey video game published by EA Sports and developed by EA Canada. It was launched in September 2013 and is the 23rd installment in the NHL series.

Two game engines in NHL 14 have been revamped based on previous EA Canada sports games, and the same basic technology that powers the FIFA Player Impact Engine powers collision physics.

The game incorporates the new Enforcer Engine based on the Fight Night series for more realistic fights, shifting the fighting view back to the third-person perspective.

Furthermore, the True Performance Skating engine has been improved, and the game now features a new deking system.

NHL 15

NHL 15 is an ice hockey video game published by EA Sports and developed by EA Canada. It is the 24th installment in the NHL series, and it was published in North America on September 9, 2014, followed by Europe, Australia, and New Zealand three days later.

According to Metacritic, a video game review aggregator, the game garnered “mixed” reviews. Also, GameSpot appreciated the gameplay, in-game physics, and upgraded graphics but voiced concern about the absence of numerous features compared to its predecessor, with IGN and other reviewers expressing similar issues.

NHL 16

NHL 16 is a video game about ice hockey developed by EA Canada and distributed by EA Sports. This is one of the top NHL Video games.

NHL 16 includes several game modes, including “Be a GM,” in which the player controls the general manager of a team of their choosing, “Be a Pro,” in which the player controls their custom player and progresses through his career.

Furthermore, the hockey Ultimate Team, where the player collects real-life player cards, builds a team. And then competes against either other players online or AI teams and EA Sports Hockey League, abbreviated as EASHL, is a multiplayer-only mode in which players.

NHL 18

NHL 18 is a video game based on ice hockey developed by EA Canada and released by EA Sports. Also, NHL 18 introduces several new features, the most notable of which is the NHL Threes mode, which simulates NHL overtime rules with 3-on-3 hockey.

The mode gives a more arcade-like look at hockey, with a smaller rink, more significant impacts, and even a new announcer. In this mode, you can also play as NHL team mascots. 

Furthermore, NHL 18 also includes a brand new Defensive Skill Stick, which allows players to manually target their stick to check the puck away from opponents or block passes, giving them more versatility in playing defense.

Also, New deke maneuvers have been added, offering players more possibilities to create dazzling scoring opportunities.

NHL 19

NHL 19 is a video game about ice hockey developed by EA Vancouver and released by EA Sports. New game modes in NHL 19 allowed players to play on outdoor rinks and online.

EA Sports also said that skating featured more acceleration, action, speed, and responsiveness than prior iterations, thanks to new gaming technology. Also, the new “World of Chel” feature in NHL 19 allows players to explore numerous modes while keeping their character growth.

NHL 20

NHL 20 is a video game about ice hockey developed by EA Vancouver and released by EA Sports. It is the 29th installment in the NHL video game series, and it includes Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs as the official and North American cover player.

They will also appear on the cover of NHL 22. For the second year in a row, Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks was named the Swedish cover athlete, while Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets was named the Finnish cover athlete. 

Furthermore, Squad Battles in Hockey Ultimate Team are among the new game types in NHL 20. Play-by-play man James Cybulski and chief color commentator Ray Ferraro are part of a new commentary team for the game.

Also, Cybulski and Eddie Olczyk, who Ferraro worked with on earlier NHL video games, are replaced by Mike Emrick and Ferraro on NBC’s NHL.

NHL 21

NHL 21 is a video game about ice hockey created by EA Vancouver and distributed by EA Sports. It’s the 30th entry of the NHL video game franchise.

NHL 21’s “Be a Pro” career mode has been updated to be more interactive and cinematic, similar to other franchises like Madden NFL and NBA 2K.

Furthermore, players can design their hockey player and start their career as a prospect in the Canadian Hockey League or the Champions Hockey League, or go undrafted and sign with any team in the National Hockey League as a free agent.

Players can choose their speech in media scrums when dealing with their coach or the hockey press. The dialogue options a player chooses impact their teammate’s, management’s, and brand’s likability.

NHL 22

NHL 22 is a video game about ice hockey developed by EA Vancouver and released by EA Sports. On October 15, 2021, it was released for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S as the 31st installment in the NHL video game series.

This is one of the best NHL Video games. Furthermore, It’s the first game in the franchise to use the Frostbite engine, and it’s available on all four platforms.

After becoming the North American cover athlete for NHL 20, the game features Toronto Maple Leaf’s center Auston Matthews as the cover athlete for the second time in the series.

Furthermore, the Seattle Kraken, who will join the National Hockey League in the 2021–22 season, are also included in NHL 22. You may replay the Seattle Kraken expansion draft or create a 33rd NHL team expansion draft in franchise mode.

For the first time in the NHL series, you can now share your rosters and download community-made roster files with the new roster sharing tool, released in December.

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