I found this on Reddit Hockey today, and being that I’m the perfect age to be impressed by something like this, I had to run it.

Here’s an image from every year of EA Sports “NHL” line, starting with 1994 and ending up in 2013, followed by some thoughts:

* First off, NHL ’94 is pretty widely regarded by hockey fans/gamers as the most addicting sports game of all-time. And, it may well have been, it was amazing. That said: NHL ’95 was pretty freaking incredible too. Not sure which I’d play if I could choose one for the next hour.

* The ice in the early years was really, really blue for some reason.

* I remember the massive graphics upgrade with NHL ’98, another amazing year for the game. Like, what did they figure out in one year there? Those images aren’t even close.

* As the graphics improve, you have to ask – are the games getting more fun? As someone raised on two-button Nintendo controllers and three-button Sega ones, I’m not so sure. I don’t super-enjoy trying to fly a spaceship while playing video hockey.

* Oh, and yeah – the graphics are out-of-control amazing at this point. It’s going to be crazy to see where they go from here.

What are your thoughts – what was the best year? Do you miss the simplicity of the early editions?


(Credit to theScore’s Scott Johnson for the image – the original Facebook post and conversation can be found here)