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ESPN NHL Hockey is the latest addition in Sega's NHL 2K series of games that just happens to add an ESPN license to the graphics and title.

As in the previous version (NHL 2K3), you can once again perform checks into the benches, pin opponents on the boards, and design penalty killing and power-play strategies.

ESPN NHL Hockey adds a revamped franchise mode. This year's franchise mode includes an e-mail system that sends you notices about team injuries, current playoff statuses, and trade deadlines. Even simple words of encouragement are emailed from the team owner.

The skybox mode acts as a hub for the game's unlockables, stat tracking, and other random features. There are two new gameplay modes in this year's game: skills and mini-games. Skills mode is a re-creation of the exhibition competitions held during the NHL All-Star weekend. You find a number of different competitions, including the hardest-shot competition, a shoot-out relay, a puck-control challenge, a fastest-skater competition, and a shooting-accuracy challenge. The roster of mini-games include pond hockey, mini-rink, shootout, and super-speed hockey.

ESPN NHL Hockey has plenty of unlockables, including classic jerseys, teams, and goalie masks. There are even a couple of unlockable mini-games.


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User Reviews

Superb hockey simulation - the best out there, but could use some polish and tweaks Xbox *Legion* (138)

Critic Reviews

Next Level Gaming PlayStation 2 Sep 13, 2003 96 out of 100 96
GameZone PlayStation 2 Sep 22, 2003 9.5 out of 10 95
Lawrence PlayStation 2 Oct 04, 2003 94 out of 100 94
IGN PlayStation 2 Sep 09, 2003 9.3 out of 10 93
IGN Xbox Sep 09, 2003 9.3 out of 10 93
GameSpot Xbox Sep 11, 2003 9 out of 10 90
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Xbox Oct 13, 2003 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90 PlayStation 2 Dec 11, 2003 90 out of 100 90 Xbox Dec 18, 2003 88 out of 100 88
GamePro (US) PlayStation 2 Sep 10, 2003 4 out of 5 80


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  • 4Players
    • 2003 – Best Console Sports Game of the Year (Xbox)

Contributed to by Corn Popper (69569) and Charles Lippert (512)