EA’s seminal hockey series lasted well into the twilight of the 16-bit era, and while fans will debate which is the best installment, the series never really dropped its overall level of quality. That’s pretty impressive compared to the many other sports franchises that floundered as time wore on, and the 1997 edition of NHL is proof positive that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does work.
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EA’s NHL series had one last outing before departing for 32-bit waters, and the final installment ranks among the best. NHL ’98 is a clear example of why the Genesis was THE sports machine during the 16-bit era, and it was a fitting bookend to the remarkable legacy Electronic Arts left on the console.
Electronic Arts has been leading the pack for many years now when it comes to hockey games. The quality of its wares were perhaps most evident during the 16-bit era, when console gamers weren’t accustomed to such realism and detail. The NHL Hockey series quickly garnered a large following, and the tradition continued deep into the ’90s. NHL ’95 is a great example of hockey done right, and our full review has all the details of this easily found and inexpensive gem.
The NHL playoffs are in full swing, so what better way to keep the mood alive than by taking a look at one of the best hockey games ever made? EA’s NHL ’96 refined everything that made previous installments so popular, and in turn it became perhaps the best in the series, something hard to do after the stellar ’94 edition.
NHL ’94 (CD)
Electronic Arts’ NHL series is highly revered by gamers, and given the longevity it has seen (rivaled only by that of EA’s other juggernaut, the Madden games), something is obviously right with the series. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the 1994 edition of the franchise, which turned out to be the only game in the series to receive a Sega CD version. In 1994, Sports fans needed no other reason to reconsider a purchase of the add-on once this baby was released.