Racing

Best Need For Speed Game [Complete Guide]

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Want to know about the best need for speed game? You are in the right place. Since the early 1990s, the Need for Speed series has dominated racing and driving games. It started out as an arcade racer and has since grown into a hugely diversified series. The series has never been hesitant to experiment, whether it is with closed-circuit racing, simulations, online open-world, or police chases.

Like no other game, Need for Speed has changed over time, chopping and changing styles to fit current and popular trends. Need for Speed has a long and illustrious history that spans 20 years, from severely illegal street racing to legal track driving. With a wealth of fascinating features, the action-packed street racer made its debut in 1994 and single-handedly brought the racing genre to a new level.

The Need for Speed brand has released 20 official main series games in conjunction with numerous studios, making it one of the most popular series ever made. Some of these games were scorching hot. While others felt like burnt rubber, and the discussion over which of these key titles is the best among the rest has gone on for a long time. Continue reading to learn about the finest Need for Speed games.

Our List Of The Best Need For Speed Game

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2002)

Need for Speed should be about two things at its core. Eluding the cops and attempting to be the first to reach the finish line. Both were mastered in Hot Pursuit 2. The pitch is astonishingly straightforward. Begin with an all-star lineup of the world’s most prestigious and desirable supercars. Offer a diverse range of tracks situated in exotic locations. Brimming with an imaginative track design that does not waste a single turn or moment. And, perhaps most importantly, a responsive physics model that is both accessible and rewarding motivate players to risk victory and freedom. Because of the vastness of its open environment, Most Wanted ’05 may have an element of surprise on its side. Hot Pursuit 2, on the other hand, is ageless because of its mastery of arcade racing fundamentals.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

Black Box’s 2005 entry has become the modern benchmark against which every new Need for Speed is measured. It blends the aesthetic and environments of the classic era instalments with the open world and street racing culture of the Underground era. There is a reason for it. Most Wanted ticked all the boxes if you liked Underground’s tight physics and street focus. But were disappointed by the lack of officer chases and the strictly dark metropolitan location. The city of Rockport provides the ideal setting for Most Wanted’s infamous and captivating hour-long chases. In reality, Rockport is still one of the best open worlds in any racer, with a variety of locations ranging from crowded metropolitan streets to winding mountain roads. Each with something for everyone. Bridging the gap between the franchise’s two extremes should have been impossible. Yet despite the cringe-worthy full-motion video cutscenes, Most Wanted succeeds admirably.

Need For Speed: Underground 2 (2004)

The dirty little secret of the early-aughts tuning craze is that, as a result of every major publisher’s eagerness to cash in, it resulted in some really bad racing games. That is not to suggest that there were not valid exceptions. Underground 2 is one of the best games of its generation, alongside Rockstar’s Midnight Club 3. The sequel builds on the original’s scope by providing more event types, vehicles, and customization possibilities, all set in an open environment that you may explore. It also hits the basics, handling well and looking great for the era. After fifteen years, it is easy to see why Underground 2 enjoys cult status among fans — at least among those who are not disturbed by the lack of cop chases.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit gives you the option of playing as a racer or a cop, with separate career modes for each. Criterion, the creators of the excellent Burnout series, created the game (RIP). Criterion was already a master of arcade racing and precise handling. So it was only inevitable that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit would include both. Many people were shocked by the game’s new look and feel, which provided plenty of fun for thrill lovers. It also has the title of being the most well-received Need for Speed game ever.

Need For Speed: Rivals

It is debatable whether Need for Speed: Rivals deserves to be ranked so high, but the brief game was dripping with joy. Need for Speed: Rivals was a thrilling journey thanks to a variety of gameplay mechanics, but the inclusion of “Pursuit Tech” weapons set it apart. Both the racers and the cops can utilise weapons such as electromagnetic pulses, shock rams, spike strips, and stun mines.

Need For Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

As the name implies, the Shift series was a departure from arcade-style gameplay. The game aimed to give the franchise a simulation-like feel. A cockpit view and a helmet camera were available, with the latter becoming the preferred method of play. The helmet’s movement was based on the car’s real-world physics, which added to the realism. Despite the fact that it did not appeal to ordinary Need for Speed enthusiasts, it is nevertheless regarded as one of the best NFS games that tried something different. Unfortunately, EA determined that legal racing was not profitable, and we have not seen another instalment in this spinoff series.

Need For Speed II (1997)

Need for Speed II is sometimes neglected in the franchise’s history. Still, it deserves praise for abandoning the relatively uninteresting highway cruising theme of the original game favouring a variety of distinct, spectacular courses, each bursting with wild moments and true personality. The car lineup is also among the best in the classic era of the series. The McLaren F1 and Ferrari F50, as well as curiosities like the Ford GT90 and lost-to-time Isdera Commendatore 112i, were among the most astounding supercars available in the late 1990s, motivating a generation of emerging fans to yearn after them.

Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed (2000)

Thanks to a nearly 20-year exclusive agreement between Electronic Arts and the legendary German automaker. Need for Speed was formerly the only game in which you could drive a Porsche. Like most exclusivity deals, it yielded nothing meaningful, and EA never put the licence to good use – except for the one time it did. Porsche Unleashed, also known as Porsche 2000 in some areas of the world, includes a slew of the company’s most important production automobiles (as well as a few race cars), as well as a campaign chronicling the company’s illustrious history. In that sense, it remains one of the series’ most ambitious entries, even though the PlayStation version has some shaky handling and the older, slower cars are a little tedious to drive.

Need For Speed: The Run (2011)

You can not criticise The Run for its ambition, which saw Need for Speed abandon its core circuit racing formula in favour of a single, long interstate journey that spanned the country. The concept was intriguing, but the campaign’s short length, around four hours, and over-reliance on cutscenes, scripted sequences, and non-driving quick-time events made this racer feel lacking in genuine racing. There was not much else to do once you finished the campaign. Despite its moments of greatness, the Run will be remembered as Black Box’s final foray into the series before it was shut down in 2013.

Need For Speed: Carbon

Carbon was one of the shorter Need for Speed games, but it brought some fresh ideas to the brand. “Canyon Duel,” for example, is a race mode in which you must stay close to the pack leader to get points. Team racing was also added to the game, and the AI for teammates was fairly good. The graphics, particularly the lighting at night, were outstanding (the game featured nighttime only). The game made use of the PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles, as well as glossy visuals and detailed car models. The absence of cops was one of the game’s major flaws. They were not an essential component of the game when they were present.

Need For Speed: Undercover

The plot of Need for Speed: Undercover tried something different, but it did not work out. The short campaign was loathed by both fans and critics, who expressed their displeasure on social media. One would assume that a game in which you could play as a cop would be intriguing, but that was not the case here. Need for Speed: Undercover met all of the game’s requirements in terms of gameplay. It had excellent street racing physics, exciting police chases, a well-designed open world, and a large number of vehicles. So, if you are looking for a good racing game, Need for Speed: Undercover is the game for you.

Need For Speed Heat

Need for Speed Heat was the 24th game to be released under the Need for Speed brand, and it was well-received. Ghost Games has created a delightful city to explore, complete with open-world challenges that may be completed at any time. The drift problems strewn throughout the game were my favourites. The aggressive cops were one of the most appealing aspects of this game. It is hard not to reflect on your in-game life choices after being smashed head-on by a big SUV and being boxed in by four Chevrolet Corvettes.

The game’s new day-night mechanism also gives the Need for Speed formula a new twist. You conduct legal circuit racing throughout the day, with no cops around. During the day, you are racing on a legal circuit with no cops in sight. Winning races during the day earn you money, which you can use to buy more cars and upgrades. During the night, on the other hand, you participate in illegal races and gain notoriety. The more parts/cars you unlock, the higher your reputation. If you are caught late at night, you will lose all of your reputation points as well as some money. The more time you go out late at night, the better your reputation will get. This risk-reward gameplay concept keeps you going, allowing you to increase your heat levels in the hopes of gaining more reputation.

Need For Speed: V Rally 2

Need for Speed: V Rally 2 would be your fix if you were seeking traditional rally racing in 1997. It had well-polished gameplay and a number of different racing modes to choose from. The weather system added to the feeling of being in a rally. There is also a four-player mode if you have extra controllers. You may even race on your own tracks, thanks to a surprisingly decent track editor.

Need For Speed: High Stakes

Knockout and High Stakes were added to Need for Speed: High Stakes, making the game even more exciting. In Each lap of the race in Knockout, the final racer is eliminated. Racing for Pink Slips was also featured in the game, a concept that would later be popularized by Need for Speed: Most Wanted. By placing your own memory card into your friend’s PlayStation, you can race against them. After a race, the loser would also forfeit their car. Probably a lot of friendships were damaged by these “high stakes” games.

Need For Speed Payback

Need for Speed Payback has a lot of varied races, a wonderful day-night system, and action-based gameplay on paper, so it seemed promising. In addition, it had a good plot. The game, on the other hand, included loot boxes and microtransactions, making the upgrade system a farce. After winning a race, you must spin a slot machine to see what improvement you will receive. Of course, you may pay to spin more and acquire more auto parts. There is a lot of fun to be had with decent drifting and open-world exploring, but the microtransactions at the end of the game can be cruel. Do you require prompt retaliation? Need for Speed: Payback is a better analogy.

Final thoughts

We have gathered a list of the best games you need for speed. Need for Speed is one of the most well-known video game franchises of all time, with 24 editions released as of this writing, the first of which was released in 1994, nearly 27 years ago. Every game is explained with its features to make it easy for you to choose. 

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