Sports Games of the Last Generation – Top 10
3. NHL 09
FIFA and Madden may get the bigger budgets and larger development teams, but for a while during this generation the much smaller NHL team at EA Canada was outpacing them quality-wise. The best of its efforts, NHL 09, is remembered fondly for introducing two new ways to play the game – Be A Pro and the six-on-six online league known as the EASHL.
These new modes made the underwhelming franchise mode easier to stomach. Refined defensive tools like checking, stick lifts, and improved poke checks gave NHL 09 the best controls in sports games at the time, making it one of the true standouts of the generation.