Since the original “NHL Hockey” was released in 1991, gamers and hockey lovers alike have been unable to get enough of the fast-paced, hard-hitting, skill-based sports game that we know today. EA has dominated the hockey games genre with 31 iterations in the NHL video game franchise since 1991.
While hockey video games first appeared in 1979 with Hockey!/Soccer!, the genre has seen several famous entries, including Slap Shot by Sega and Blades of Steel by Konami. NHL 2K11 was a famous NHL game published by 2K.
With so many variants of the game, it can be difficult to pick the greatest ones. Just like new casino sites UK, you will have many options to choose from, so knowing what you like is crucial to effectively choosing the right game. Even though new games are launched on a yearly basis, some gamers continue to play some of the classics today. Let’s take a closer look at the NHL games that rank among the top three of all time.
1 – NHL ’94
Fans of the NHL series frequently argue that NHL 14 and NHL 2004 are the greatest hockey games of all time, even exceeding NHL ’94 in some people’s opinion. NHL’94 easily gets the top podium slot, in our opinion. This is due to NHL ’94 being considered not only one of the best hockey games of all time but also one of the best sports games of all time. Even back in 2005, IGN ranked it 59th out of the top 100 games of all time. That is only one prize from an amazingly extensive list.
The additional game modes and mechanisms that distinguished NHL ’94 at the time may be a little out of date now. Despite this, players never seem to tire of the game. There is an unending affection for this game, with numerous communities continuously holding events. Even 28 years after its release, it appears that players aren’t ready for the game to die. NHL ’94 is a great illustration of how you don’t need the most elaborate graphics or the most bizarre features to make gamers fall in love with a game.
2 – NHL 2014
For a variety of reasons, NHL 2014 is largely regarded as the last good-running NHL game. The game included one-touch dekes, which were easier to execute and more visually appealing when done correctly. It was also the first time the game used dynamic ratings, which were based on player ratings of real-world performance in-game. The Be a GM and GM Connected modes were as advanced as they had ever been, with a massive degree of personalization available to participants. The Live the Life feature included replicated off-ice events for your pro athlete. Media interviews, fan contacts, and endorsements provided a more dynamic role-playing experience when it came to building your profession.
The addition of online seasons to the HUT and EA SHL modes contributed significantly to the game’s success. This has now progressed to the point where there are professional leagues and online NHL gamers. For the game’s 20th anniversary, players could also play NHL ’94 using the NHL ’94 Anniversary mode. This brought up memories of what many players consider to be the best NHL game of all time. NHL 2014 provided more than any previous game, and its performance earned it the title of Best Sports Game at E3 in 2013.
3 – NHL 2004
EA’s upgrades to the “Dynasty” mode contributed significantly to NHL 2004’s success. It made becoming a GM and leading your team to the Stanley Cup feel more possible. This was also the first NHL game to have a cinematic after winning the Stanley Cup. It’s a recreation of real-life Stanley Cup celebrations, complete with players hoisting the trophy and posing for a famous team shot. The soundtrack in NHL 2004 was crucial in creating a mood, unlike any other game. The NHL 2004 soundtrack is largely regarded as the best soundtrack in the series.
All of these characteristics helped NHL 2004 stand out and place third on this list. Another reason it stands out as one of the finest is because it is still supported by a community of PC players. Since its release, modders have been improving the original PC game nearly every year. It was estimated in 2016 that there was still a group of 10,000 to 15,000 players playing NHL 2004 on PC. If the game can still be enjoyed 12 years after its release, it is safe to state that it is one of the best hockey games of all time.