Hot on the heels of NHL11—widely considered one of the best sports games ever made—comes NHL 12. It will be tough to match up with last year's version stride for stride, but the folks at EA are not coasting back into the defensive zone for this installment.
In NHL 12, a totally responsive environment will be introduced. Glass will shatter, helmets will pop off and even the goaltenders can be crashed and run into, unlike former versions of the game.
Making the goalies fair play for contact will make online play a nightmare, one would assume, but at least I'll be able to make a top-10 NHL 12 trolls slideshow by the middle of October.
EA has been on a roll for the last few years—every NHL release from the studio since 2007 has been met with outstanding reviews, and the creators have been pushing the bar for a more realistic hockey experience since the XBox 360, PS3 and Nintendo Wii created a new way to present and play games.
Playing hockey video games has always been a stellar way to kill time during the offseason (and in between periods if you're really feeling antsy). Some of the games have been better than the others. There have been some really bad hockey games, but there have been just as many great installments.
Here are the 17 best hockey games of all time to hold you over until NHL 12 drops in September.