NHL 2K9 Game Poster Image




Realistic hockey game with cool Wii controls.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As in real hockey, players take their frustration out against other players by fighting.


As in real life, this hockey is very physical. Players gain advantage by executing big hits on opponents. Fighting is also available in the game. With the Wii, players can actually punch using the remote. However, engaging in a fight is tough to do and results in a major penalty.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Ads are plastered along the boards of the ice rink, mostly from hockey-based sponsors like Easton or Koho.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a near-authentic pro hockey simulation, right down to the violent hits and fighting. Engaging in brawls is handled randomly, therefore isn't as easy to execute. Also, you're always punished by a 5-minute penalty. With the Wii controls, you'll actually use a punching motion with the remote to fight. The game for PS3 and Xbox 360 is playable online, a feature Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for kids under age 12.

Parents say

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What's it about?

The Wii remote has doubled as a tennis racket, baseball bat, and golf club. You can now add hockey stick to the list. For the first time, the NHL joins the Wii with the release of NHL 2K9, a satisfying hockey simulation in need of a little more polish. The key change from previous years is the franchise's debut on the Wii. Using flicks of the wrist, players fire off slapshots and perform defensive moves with the remote. Another adjustment across all platforms is an emphasis on simplifying gameplay. Players can stick to two or three buttons maximum if they prefer, or can adjust to a more complex control scheme.

Is it any good?


Other than changes to controls, the franchise doesn't add anything incredibly compelling. Players can drive the Zamboni in between periods in a briefly entertaining mini-game. The online component on the PS3 and 360 has been fleshed out to include games with only human competitors and a film feature so you can record, edit, and save highlights.

The presentation now resembles a television broadcast with sideline reporters and post-game highlights. While the PS3 and 360 visuals pack a solid punch, the Wii looks too gritty. Distinguishing jersey and facial details is much harder to do, which is a key component for a game aiming to create a lifelike experience. Overall, NHL 2K9 is still enjoyable, but could use a touch more refining.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the game compares to its real-life counterpart. How close is this to the real thing? Also, should something be done to limit the amount of fighting in the sport?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
Available online?Available online
Developer:2K Sports
Release date:September 8, 2008
ESRB rating:E10+ for Lyrics, Mild Violence

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old January 3, 2010

Pretty fun game

This is a great game any person can play, hockey fan or not. The violence is NOT really an issue because it is hard get in fight, and if you did, it really isn't violent.


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