We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

NHL 09 review

£44 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Electronic Arts

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The past few years have been kind to ice hockey gaming fans. EA Sports has been doing fine work, but NHL 09 is undoubtedly the best ice hockey game yet.

The past few years have been kind to ice hockey gaming fans. EA Sports has been doing fine work, but NHL 09 is undoubtedly the best ice hockey game yet. 

EA Sports NHL series has been heading towards greatness for at least the past few years. Each iteration has added one or two new facets that dramatically improve gameplay, but this year's improvements have gone above and beyond what we might normally see out of a sports development studio in several years with the introduction to NHL 09 of Be A Pro mode and online leagues.

Combine this with an already fantastic game of hockey that has been given a few minor tweaks and NHL 09 is the best video game representation of ice hockey so far.

Slower is better

Players returning from last year will be at home with NHL 09 right away as nothing too drastic has been changed when it comes to the actual controls. Perhaps the most important improvement is the addition of a few new defensive abilities that allow far more ability to get accurate poke checks, sticks in the passing lanes, along with a dedicated button to raise the stick of an opposing player.

Bodychecking has also been improved in NHL 09, taking away the almost magnetic and near instant movements that were a staple in last year's edition and making it far more dependent on good positioning. The speed of the game has also been tweaked to be a little slower, and while it isn't immediately noticeable it does much to improve the flow of games - allowing for players to realistically set up in the zone more often than used to be seen.

The addition of these facets has made NHL 09 far more defensive orientated, subtly getting rid of some of the offensive excesses the game has fallen into in previous years. In previous years you could go streaking into the opponents zone and be confident of picking apart his defence with a few well timed one-timers, but no longer. Setting up in the zone, having a good passing game, and mastering the shooting controls are now the key.

NEXT PAGE: building an ice hockey career

Get free games downloads. Visit PC Advisor's dedicated Games website to download hundreds of the latest titles, to read gaming news and reviews and to pick up tips and discuss your favourite games in the popular PC Advisor Games forum

NHL 09 Expert Verdict »

PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

EA Sports has been doing fine work on this series for the last few years, but everything until now only seems like groundwork for this year's version. Small problems aside NHL 09 is the best game of hockey ever made.

  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09

    Tiger Woods may be sitting out the rest of the actual 2008 PGA Tour to rehabilitate a busted knee, but that hasn't stopped the golf series that bears his name from offering a bunch of thoughtful touch-ups. Here's our Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 review.

  • Wii Sports Resort review

    Wii Sports Resort

    Wii Sports Resort is more than just a game: it's the sequel to the phenomenally successful Wii Sports, and marks the debut of Nintendo's MotionPlus accessory.

  • EA Sports Active review

    EA Sports Active

    EA Sports Active is a collection of keep fit games for the Nintendo Wii that will give Nintendo Wii Fit a run for its money.

  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 (iOS) review

    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 (iOS)

    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 combines beautiful graphics with excellent controls to bring all the excitement and frustration of golf to your iPad.

  • Madden NFL 09 review

    Madden NFL 09

    Two decades of the Madden video game franchise has been nipped, tucked, and stitched into the finest version ever.

IDG UK Sites

How to get a free EE Power Bar: Mobile and broadband customers eligible for free smartphone charger

IDG UK Sites

Why Netflix won't terminate your account for using a VPN, probably

IDG UK Sites

Forever 21 denies pirating Adobe, Autodesk and Corel software, accuses companies of 'bullying'

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: Apple's WWDC invite shows Apple TV