Here are our picks on the best Need for Speed game to play. One of the most popular genres in video games has always been racing games with Need for Speed being one of the most craved after.
Need for Speed is a racing video game published by Electronic Arts (EA) and currently developed by Criterion Games. The series revolves around illicit street racing and players are tasked with the completion of various race types while circumventing the local law enforcement in the form of a police chase. The first of its series was released in 1994. The most recent, Need for Speed Heat, was released on November 8, 2019. Thus far, twenty-four games have been released.
15 Best Need for Speed Game to Play in Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo, Android, iOS and PC
Table of Contents
This list highlights the best 20 Need for Speed games ranked from the top to bottom. This ranking is based on aggregate review scores and personal opinion.
1. Need For Speed Most Wanted
The Need For Speed: Most Wanted is the ninth installment in the need for speed series and its class is not in doubt. Initially released on 11 November 2005, it is available on Platforms: PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and GameCube.
Players participate in illegal street races across Most Wanted’s settings, using a variety of licensed real-world cars that can be improved and customized with new parts. The game features three modes of play which include Career, Quick Race, and Challenge Series with a fourth mode multiplayer only available to players on specific console editions. Some events such as Drifting, Street X, Underground Racing League tournaments, and Outrun are absent from Most Wanted, with two new ones in their place. They include Tollbooth, a checkpoint-styled solo race, and Speedtrap, which involves players vying in a competitive checkpoint race.
The inclusion of police chase and a gradual rise in cop car types that got tougher and faster as your bounty increased and as the player made their way up the Blacklist is what makes Most Wanted the one of the best.
2. Need For Speed: Underground 2
The Underground 2 is the eighth installment in the Need for Speed series, and a direct sequel to Need for Speed: Underground released in 2003. Initially released 9 November 2004, it is available on PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and Java.
Underground 2 offers players the first open-world map to play on and racers had to drive to events to initiate them. Underground 2 offered endless content for players to immerse in. It offers a lot of customization, lengthy storylines, side missions, and graphical upgrade. However, there is no police intervention. Underground 2, offers a comprehensive tutorial.
It offers Circuit, Sprint, Drag, and Drift races. Also on offer is an underground racing league, special events, outrun, and cell phone system. There’s the addition of SUVs to Underground 2. With an online multiplayer and the ability to customize cars, this is one of the best available.
3. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
The Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Initially released 16 November 2010 is available on PlayStation 3, Android, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Wii, Java, iOS, Windows Phone, and Web OOS. Hot Pursuit is the sixteenth in the Need for Speed series and a successor to Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.
With Hot Pursuit set in Seacrest County, a fictional location based on the American states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Hot Pursuit adds on a full career mode for both police and racer while featuring single-player and multiplayer modes. Most cars are available in both racer and police modes. The most noteworthy addition to Hot Pursuit is the addition of criterion games as developers if the game.
4. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Hot Pursuit 2 is initially released in 2002 is the sixth installment in the series and it’s the sequel to Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. Available on PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, GameCube, and Xbox. Awarded as “Console Racing Game of the Year” at the Interactive Achievement Award in 2002.
Featuring vehicles from different high performance and exotic car manufacturers it poses players with the choice to compete in races with these cars or choose to play the role of a police officer and chase speeders. Two main game modes are offered namely World Racing Championship and Hot Pursuit Ultimate Racer. Races occur in four different environments.
There are several race types in Hot Pursuit 2 namely delivery, sprint, time trial, lap knockout, and knockout Races are usually restricted to a certain class of cars. Faster vehicles are used close to the end of Championship and Ultimate Racing modes.
5. Need For Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
Shift 2 – Unleashed is the seventeenth installment of the Need for Speed series a sequel to Need for Speed: Shift. Initially released on 29 March 2011 it is available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, iOS. It served as an expansion to many aspects introduced in Need for Speed: Shift.
Unleashed featured over 145 cars and over 36 different tracks, with several types of races. An online competition was also made available. It also featured an in-helmet camera, night-time racing, and Autolog.
Shift 2 also is designed like real-life racing and true-life dynamic crash physics. It also featured a variety of motorsports events like drifting, muscle car racing, retro car racing, endurance races, and circuit competitions.
6. Need For Speed: Underground
The Need for Speed: Underground is the seventh installment in the series, initially released on 17 November 2003. Available on PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Advance.
All races in a city called the Olympic City, which looks like New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. It features circuit racing, knockout mode, sprint mode, drifting, and drag racing. Car customization offers performance and visual upgrades. Underground was also the first in the series to offer a storyline and a garage mode.
7. Need For Speed
Need for Speed initially released 3 November 2015, is an online open-world racing video game available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.
There are five gameplay types namely Speed, Style, Crew, Build, and outlaw. Players earn points for completing and to progress in the game through five linked storylines. Need for Speed occurs in the city of Ventura Bay and it’s environs which is based in Los Angeles. The game also features real-life tuning companies and enables bodily modifications of cars
8. Need For Speed: Undercover
Need for Speed Undercover the twelfth installment in the series was initially released on November 18, 2008, and made available for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, WebOS, Windows Phone.
The game features players engaging in illegal street races within Tri-City Area, with the basic game mode focusing on the player acting as an undercover police officer to examine the connection between criminal syndicates, stolen cars, and street racers.
Game modes consist of Career, Single Event, and Multiplayer. Undercover includes new events such as Outrun and Highway Battle. Some other platforms also feature a Challenge Series. In Career mode, players assume the role of an undercover police officer. Multiplayer mode varies depending on the platform on which the game was launched.
9. Need For Speed: Most Wanted II
Need for Speed: Most Wanted is an open-world racing game released on 30 October 2012. It is available on Android, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Wii U, and iOS. It was awarded the VGX Award for Best Driving Game.
Most wanted features basically three types of events Sprint races, Circuit races, and Speed runs. There are also Ambush races. Most Wanted features a Wanted List of 10 racers and as the Most Wanted racers are conquered, their cars are included to the player’s roster. Fairhaven has a beach, an Industrial District, and the main highway dubbed I-92. The game also uses Autolog and features opportunities to upgrade the game.
10. Need For Speed: Carbon
Need for Speed: Carbon is the tenth installment in the Need for Speed series initially released on 30 October 2006 it is available on PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii, Machintosh OS, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, Java, Zeebo, and Arcade game. It was nominated for VGX Award for Best Performance by a Human Female and VGX Award for Best Driving Game.
The game features players engaging in illegal street races within the city of Palmont. Carbon introduces new features such as crews and racing wingmen, Touge-styled racing events called canyon racing, and greater customization options.
The game features four game modes namely Career, Quick Race, Challenge Series, and Multiplayer modes. Police pursuits are normal in the series alongside the use of Licensed real-world cars divided into three tiers and three classes namely Exotic, Tuner, and Muscle.
11. Need For Speed II
Need for Speed II, released in 1997 is the second installment, coming after The Need for Speed. It was made available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation.
Need for Speed II enables players to race different cars in country-themed paths from North America, Europe, Asi, and Australia, either against computer-controlled opponents or human opponents. It features three different gameplay modes namely Single Race mode, Tournament Mode, and Knockout Mode. The game also features eight real-life high-end sports cars and concept cars while presenting several new elements.
12. The Need For Speed
The Need for Speed is the first installment released in the Need for Speed series. Initially released 31 August 1994 it is available on 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and DOS.
The game was remarked for its realism alongside audio and video commentaries. The game shows both closed roads and three point-to-point paths, divided into three stages. Saturn and PlayStation versions encompass an extra three tracks. Traffic vehicles emerge in races. Multiplayer comprises of a two-player head-to-head racing mode.
There is an additional track in the game, named Lost Vegas, unlocked by winning all of the events in tournament mode.
13. Need For Speed: The Run
The Run is the eighteenth title in the Need for Speed series. released on November 15, 2011, and was made available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, and Java.
The game concentrates on point-to-point races involving surpassing opponents, winning against rivals, time attacks, and eluding the efforts of both police and criminal gang members who bid to stop them. The Run features a substantial collection of races established in real-life locations, including cities like New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
It features a wide variety of real-life cars with over 300 kilometers of road. Also on offer are time attack events and survival events. It also offers performance and visual upgrades on cars which are divided into tiers. Lastly, it offers an online multiplayer mode.
14. Need For Speed: Shift
Shift is the thirteenth installment of Need for Speed and it was initially released on 15 September 2009. It’s available on platforms like Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable, Android, iOS, Xbox 360, Symbian, Windows Mobile, MeeGo, J2ME, and Java.
Shift possesses the touring-car simulation manner while favoring the in-car view. There are over 60 cars divided into 4 tiers. Tier 1 refers to an entry-level sports car, tier 2 refers to mid-level performance cars, tier 3 refers to supercars, and tier 4 refers to hypercars. There are 19 tracks and on offer is a single and multiplayer game mode.
15. Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed
Porsche Unleashed is the fifth installment in the Need for Speed series and it was initially released in 2000 on platforms like Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, and Game Boy Advance.
Porsche Unleashed offers the player the chance to race Porsche cars alongside 3 race cars through a range of tracks placed in Europe. It offers two career modes an evolution mode and a factory driver mode.
Porsche Unleashed, however, does not offer pursuit modes. Single-player and multiplayer modes are nonetheless, available.