With the NHL playoffs in full swing, we at Old School Gamer Magazine figured we’d share some gems on the virtual ice that you may have missed over the years.

Honorable Mention: NHL 95: Purists hate it because the gameplay speed is far different from the earlier games in the series, but with a slew of new animations and modes, it was a worthy successor to NHL 94.

5: NHL Hitz 2003 (GBA): The Hitz franchise was great on home consoles, but the GBA version, even with ugly visuals, was a blast to play.

4: Super Blood Hockey: This indie gem is available on Switch. It’s an awesome blend of Blades of Steel, Ice Hockey and…Mortal Kombat.

3: ESPN NHL Hockey: This may be one of the finest hockey games ever made. It’s essentially NHL 2K4, just with a sexier name.

2: NHL 2002: The Hero gameplay feature was a ton of fun and gave certain players enhanced abilities in late-game situations. It was awesome. Sadly, it was only used in that game.

1: NHL FaceOff 97: Arguably the best hockey game ever made by Sony, this introduced the feature known as Icon Passing, which allowed the player, for the first time, to pass to anyone on the ice with the press of a button. With improved animations over the original FaceOff as well, it was one of the last sexy sprite-based hockey games ever released by a major publisher.

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (326 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com