NHL 99 (1998)

by Nish
4 minutes read


NHL 99: The Pinnacle of 90s Hockey Gaming

Released in 1998, NHL 99 was the ninth installment in EA’s NHL video game series. It was a critical and commercial success, widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey games ever made. NHL 99 introduced several new features and improvements that set it apart from its predecessors, including:

  • Beginner level: This mode was designed to make the game more accessible to new players, with simplified controls and gameplay.
  • Coaching strategies from Stanley Cup Winner Marc Crawford: Crawford provided his expertise to the game’s AI, resulting in more realistic and challenging gameplay.
  • Commentary by Bill Clement: Clement’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable commentary added to the game’s atmosphere and immersion.
  • 5 game modes: NHL 99 offered a variety of game modes to choose from, including Exhibition, Season, Playoffs, Tournament, and Shootout.
  • 18 top international teams: Players could choose from a wide range of international teams, including the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, and Finland.
  • Updated 1998 roster-expansion Nashville Predators: The game featured the most up-to-date NHL rosters, including the expansion Nashville Predators.


NHL 99’s gameplay was fast-paced and exciting, with a focus on speed, agility, and puck handling. The game’s controls were responsive and intuitive, allowing players to execute a wide range of moves, including dekes, shots, and passes.

The AI in NHL 99 was also top-notch, providing a challenging and realistic experience. The computer-controlled opponents were aggressive and opportunistic, and they were able to adapt to the player’s strategies.

Graphics and Sound

For its time, NHL 99’s graphics were impressive. The player models were detailed and fluidly animated, and the arenas were well-rendered. The game’s sound effects were also realistic and immersive, adding to the overall atmosphere.

The commentary by Bill Clement was one of the standout features of NHL 99. Clement’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable commentary brought the game to life and added to the overall experience.


NHL 99 was a huge success, selling over 2 million copies worldwide. It was praised for its innovative gameplay, realistic graphics, and immersive sound. The game is still fondly remembered by many hockey fans today, and it is considered to be one of the greatest hockey games ever made.

NHL 99’s legacy extends beyond its initial release. The game’s success helped to establish EA as a leader in the sports gaming genre. It also helped to popularize hockey video games and paved the way for future installments in the NHL series.


NHL 99 is a classic hockey game that set the standard for the genre. Its innovative gameplay, realistic graphics, and immersive sound made it a must-play for hockey fans. The game’s legacy continues to this day, and it is still considered to be one of the greatest hockey games ever made.

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