While you’ll find soccer, football, and basketball games just about everywhere, the same can’t be said for a top-class hockey game. Though there are some options available on the market, finding a hockey game can often prove to be an elusive search. Why is this the case? Perhaps indie developers believe that there isn’t a substantial market for the sport in the gaming world, or maybe they can’t quite crack the intricacies of such a physical and skillful sport. Regardless, it’s a shame that there aren’t more high-profile contenders to match the successes of football and basketball titles.
As it stands, the NHL is back to its typical set-up and even has a new team to contend with, so hockey fever is being felt by fans all around the world. So, to appease these hockey cravings while the league’s superstars aren’t battling it out, we’ve uncovered the best of the lesser-known hockey games for you to play.
Super Blood Hockey
Given the inherent physicality of the sport and its history of glorifying fights and enforcers, it’s surprising that a game like Super Blood Hockey hasn’t risen to the fore. Released on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox, as this official page for the game shows, the Loren Lemcke-creation combines arcade-style graphics and controls with a superb retro soundtrack.
Of course, what makes Super Blood Hockey stand out from the crowds is that it really leans into its theme of a dystopian future in which you have to give up an organ to own a hockey team and hire convicts to play in the no-rules league. While the hockey play is superbly fun, it’s the team building, budgeting, training, and the need to handle long-term or permanent injuries as you attempt to build a dynasty without going bankrupt that makes the game so thrilling.
Jagr’s Super Slot
It’s not uncommon for legends of sports to lend their name and images to games, and now, the legendary Jaromír Jágr has his own slot game. The game is found on the DraftKings online platform in PA, with this link to the original article detailing it as being a comprehensive gambling experience, of which Jagr’s Super Slot is a feature of the casino section.
The game itself is all about one of the NHL’s most charismatic, mullet-sporting stars to take to the ice, with its key features being stacked wilds, multipliers, and two free spins bonuses that you get to choose between. The first leans into the Czech’s skill, with the Lover bonus offering x6 or x8 wilds on every spin. The other is the Fighter bonus, and while Jágr famous never fought, this bonus delivers a power play of extra spins and multipliers.
Franchise Hockey Manager
Despite the presence of FIFA, few soccer fans would argue that Football Manager is the prime way to experience the sport in game form. First released onto the market in 2014, steadily improving and accumulating licenses over that spell, Franchise Hockey Manager now offers a tremendously deep and authentic hockey experience that spans the NHL, North American, European, and international competitions.
If you want to tweak the strategies of each line, trade for prospects, picks, or superstars, develop your young stars, and contend across 32 different leagues, FHM 7 offers the most recent way to get this immersive experience, with its features all laid out here. It plays as you’d expect from a management simulator, with you preparing your team and working moves between games, and then you watch and alter team commands from the bench to see the fruits of your labor.
If you want a new hockey gaming experience – and a high-quality one at that – see if one of the games above can appease those NHL cravings.