NHL Gaming Series
By Marc Gordon - June 24, 2023

NHL 94 from E.A. Sports, frequently regarded as the pinnacle of hockey video games, is still enjoyable today as an arcade and gathering game. Since there is only a joystick to navigate, two buttons to pass and shoot, and a few more to swap players and skate faster, the controls are simple enough for anybody to pick up. Due to its popularity, NHL video games still include these controls. The hockey world still maintains great enthusiasm and esteem for this game, which Mark Lesser created.

NHL 2004 altered the hockey video game industry when it was launched, mainly skating past the popularity of NHL 94 and later games. The sophisticated customization players could achieve in the game served as its main selling point. The general manager and even the players on their squad might have different looks. With its Dynasty Mode, still played by hockey enthusiasts today, and Stanley Cup Champion celebrations, NHL 2004 also provided a stronger feeling of reality. Crisp passing, powerful shots, and heavy impacts are all featured in the arcade-style hockey video game NHL Hitz 2003. NHL Hitz 2003, the second game in the NHL Hitz series, has multi-modal and frantic action.

Getty Images/ National Hockey League/ Steve Ruark

Before E.A. Sports entirely took over the market for NHL-licensed video games, NHL 2K7 was the final outstanding NHL game produced by 2K and Take Two. NHL 2K7 was a huge success largely due to its much-enhanced appearance. Hockey fans were thrilled to an experience that seemed the most like a genuine hockey broadcast with what 2K called “cinemotion,” which included outstanding player entry and music to suit the dramatic entrances. This NHL game from E.A. Sports is well-known for its new modes and altered gameplay. The enhanced skill-stick controls gave players far more control over their skater than in any games that came before it in terms of playability. For the first time, skaters could pull off stunts on the rink.