NHL 94: Rewind Can Now Be Purchased Via NHL 21, Features Original Gameplay With Modern Teams

EA Sports’ modern titles might not be worth a damn, but there was an era when the company was putting out consistently good sports titles on consoles. That happens to be almost 30 years ago on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, where EA was a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Likely as a way to drum up interest in NHL 21, EA has released NHL 94 Rewind to entice fans to buy the latest game.

A remix of sorts from the classic 16-bit sports game, NHL 94 Rewind includes all of the visuals, sound effects, and game mechanics of its namesake, but adds modern rosters to the teams. It’s basically a demake of NHL 21, which is probably for the best. Oddly, though, a purchase of NHL 94 is locked to owning 21. You’ll need to buy the modern game, navigate through the main menu to find NHL 94 Rewind, then purchase it separately.

You could also just skip that, sign up for EA Play (or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), and download the game without dealing with NHL 21. That’s exactly what I did and it’s awesome.

Now, it should be noted that NHL 94 is most definitely a retro game. While the fundamentals of hockey haven’t changed at all in the last 26 years, we’ve definitely progressed with regards to making sports titles feel like actual sports. NHL 94 has some of that, but can be a confusing mess if you’re not overly familiar with the original.

It’s not that hard to pick up after an hour or so, especially since it is relatively simplistic. To sweeten the deal, NHL 94 Rewind even has trophies and achievements on PS4 and Xbox One, respectively. With a full career mode to work through and tons of challenges to complete, it’s almost like this is the main course instead of NHL 21.

Maybe players that have grown up with the 3D era of sports games won’t find much of interest here, but I’m pretty ecstatic. I remember when EA did this for Madden 09’s Collector’s Edition bundle and included a ROM of Madden 93. It was the first time in over a decade I actually cared about Madden. I’ve never been that big on NHL games, but I’ll definitely put some time into 94 Rewind.

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