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Need for Speed Video Game Series

Video Games Encyclopedia by Gamepressure.com

Need for Speed: Payback
Need for Speed: Payback

Racing 10 November 2017

Another installment of the popular racing game series, developed by Ghost Games in cooperation with Electronic Arts. In Need for Speed: Payback players get to follow the adventures of three characters - Tyler, Mac, and Jess – seeking revenge on their former partner who betrayed them. In order to do this, they have to face the Familia cartel – a criminal organization with influences nearly everywhere, even the police. This means that in this uneven fight, the three protagonists can count only on themselves. The action of the game is set in the city of Fortune Valley, and during the playthrough, the player participates in a series of races divided into several main categories, including police pursuit, time challenge, stunt competition, car battles and – for the first time in the series’ history – off-road races. Need for Speed: Payback offers a traditional vast selection of licensed vehicles, which can be modified as one sees fit. These cars represent five separate types: race, drift, off-road, drag, and runner. Additionally, each character has unique skills affecting the vehicle's handling characteristics.

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Need for Speed
Need for Speed

Racing 03 November 2015

The ninth major installment in one of the most popular car racing video game series continually developed for over two decades by the Electronic Arts company. This one was created by recurring Ghost Games Studio (former EA Gotheburg) mostly consisting of ex-Criterion employees. The game's development process was also assisted by members of the Speedhunters community, including photographers, journalists, and drivers focused around broadly understood car culture. Marking the 20 year milestone of the series’ existence on the market the creators decided for a restart, naming the new game simply Need for Speed. To meet the players’ expectations the product draws from the two most popular reincarnations of the series: Need for Speed: Underground and Underground 2, featuring all the elements fans loved the franchise for – extensive car customization, authentic fell of the car culture, and a compelling story set in an open world bustling with nightlife.

PCPS4XONE

Need for Speed: No Limits
Need for Speed: No Limits

Racing 30 September 2015

A spin-off to the bestselling racing game series, Need for Speed. The game was developed by Firemonkeys - an Australian studio cooperating with Electronic Arts. It was created exclusively for mobile devices. Ken Block, a popular racing driver formerly associated mainly with the DiRT series, took part in the production of the game as well. The story pays tribute to one of the franchise's most iconic installments, Need for Speed: Underground, focusing entirely on illegal street races. The player is taken to the fictional city of Blackridge, controlled by five street-level gangs. The player's task is to defeat subsequent opponents in a series of racing challenges, which come in several variants. As usual, the players receive a massive number of licensed cars - divided into five classes here, each having their own garage, performance and visual upgrade counterparts. Although the game is free-to-play, the player's car runs out of fuel relatively fast, which is the main limitation the game brings.

ANDiOS

Need for Speed Rivals
Need for Speed Rivals

Racing 11 November 2013

An arcade racing game belonging to the long-standing and very popular Need for Speed series. The title was developed by Swedish-British studio Ghost Games (former EA Gothenburg), aided by ex-employees of Criterion Games. Players can become either drivers taking part in illegal street races or police force trying to apprehend them. As you progress in the game you unlock new cars and useful technologies. The in-built All Drive system allows for seamless coexistence of single and multiplayer modes. On the technical side, Need for Speed Rivals is powered by the advanced Frostbite 3 engine, also used in e.g. Battlefield 4.

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Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Racing 30 October 2012

A new installment in the legendary racing series. As the title suggests, the game refers to one of the most well-received parts of the series - the original 2005's Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The game was developed by Criterion Games, a company well-know for the Burnout series. The remake resembles the original game when it comes to dynamic police chases and the so-called Blacklist, where the player challenges other most wanted drivers for races and climbs up their ranks. This time the developer put emphasis on the game's open-world environment, and the opportunity to explore it freely. The player can freely roam the streets of Fairhaven and switch between the vehicles they previously managed to acquire. Participation in subsequent races unlocks upgrades and modifications for each car. In doing so, the player earns prestige points as well, which allows them to challenge subsequent Blacklist drivers. What is typical of the series, the game offers an arcade driving system that features spectacular collisions.

PCX360PS3PSVWiiUANDiOS

Need for Speed: The Run
Need for Speed: The Run

Racing 15 November 2011

Another installment in one of the most renowned racing game series developed by Electronic Arts since 1995. In contrast to the previous installment, the game was developed by EA Black Box - an internal studio of the American company. The story is centered around the eponymous coast-to-coast race across the United States. Winning this huge event is the only way for the protagonist to obtain money required to pay his debt to a dangerous criminal organization. In the game, the player has to complete different racing challenges, and the story campaign features quick-time events for the first time in the entire series. The relatively short story campaign is complemented by a set of separate challenges. These require the player mostly to drive on twisted mountain roads, sometimes buried under avalanches. Impressive visuals have their source in the Frostbite 2 engine, popular mainly for being used in the Battlefield series.

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Shift 2: Unleashed
Shift 2: Unleashed

Racing 29 March 2011

A sequel to 2009's Need for Speed: Shift, the more realistic spin-off of the arcade racing series. Both games were developed by Slightly Mad Studios. Shift 2: Unleashed brings few changes to the gameplay mechanics of its predecessor. The game utilizes the same driving physics, combining simulation elements with the simplicity of arcade racing. The highly-praised driver seat view is back, allowing the players to experience collisions or shaking to their fullest. Apart from a new set of tracks and licensed cars brought by the game, the player can now also race at night. The graphics, lighting and camera work were all improved. Similar to Hot Pursuit, the game features the Autolog system, containing plenty of rankings and statistics, but also allowing us to play in online multiplayer mode.

PCX360PS3iOS

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

Racing 16 November 2010

Another installment in one of the most popular racing game series, developed since 1995 by Electronic Arts. Criterion Games, a team popular mainly for the Burnout console series, was entrusted with the task of creating this installment. The title of the game refers to the two earlier installments that featured police pursuits, released in 1998 and 2002 respectively. In the game, the player can pick their side and play either as a cop or a racer. A set of gadgets was introduced into the gameplay, emphasizing the arcade nature of the series. Cops can deploy spike strips and set up road blocks, while the racers can use things like radar jammers. As usual, the game features dozens of licensed cars and a soundtrack including numerous popular songs. The Autolog system is a completely new feature, the role of which is to organize a network of players allowing them to compete against each other.

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Need for Speed World
Need for Speed World

Racing 27 July 2010

The online installment of the popular Need for Speed series, focused on player-vs-player races. The game was developed by an EA in-house studio, also known for e.g. several previous installments of the franchise and the Skate series. The game takes place in a virtual city full of many attractions and divided into themed districts. The players participate in various events, racing against AI opponents or other players. When you crash into a police car, you can also compete against the police. With the reputation points gained in the races you can unlock next driver levels and special abilities, while the money you earn can be spent on mechanical and visual tuning. The game is free to play, although it utilizes microtransactions to buy various power-ups, more garage space or to rent exclusive cars. The game was shut down on 14th July 2015.

PC

Need for Speed: Nitro
Need for Speed: Nitro

Racing 06 November 2009

NDSWii

Need for Speed Shift
Need for Speed Shift

Racing 15 September 2009

Another installment in the Need for Speed racing game series. This time, the game brings an unexpected twist, for a typically arcade series turns towards realism. The new developer, by the name of Slightly Mad Studios, created new driving physics that focus on simulation rather than arcade gameplay. Similar to 2007's ProStreet, races take place on closed racing circuits. The player can participate in the entire season of races, taking place both on fictional and real circuits. The game offers a wide set of licensed cars, bringing the interior view back to the series. As a result, the experience is intensified and the realism is felt. The visuals were improved as usual, but apart from that, new collision and damages models were implemented and the AI algorithms were improved. Opponents behave more aggressively behind the wheel - they experiment with different methods of passing other drivers.

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Need for Speed: Undercover
Need for Speed: Undercover

Racing 18 November 2008

After the slightly more realistic ProStreet, in which the players raced on professional racing circuits, the popular Need for Speed series returns to city streets with a traditional, arcade installment. Developed by a Canadian EA branch, Undercover puts a special emphasis on the storyline. As an undercover cop, the player has to infiltrate the ranks of a racing gang. To do so, they have to prove their worth in a series of driving challenges, including regular races, time trials, highway battles and outruns. As usual, the players receive a massive number of licensed cars which can be modified both visually, and in terms of their performance. The game's improved visuals and excitable soundtrack are complemented by cinematic cutscenes featuring mainly Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III) and Christina Milian - a singer.

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Need for Speed ProStreet
Need for Speed ProStreet

Racing 13 November 2007

The 11th installment in the popular racing game series developed by Electronic Arts. In contrast to the previous parts of the game, this title completely abandons the idea of illegal races and transfers the action to professional racing circuits. Players take part in a number of challenges divided into four race variations: Drag, Grip, Drift, and Speed Challenge, in the latter the driver who reaches top speed wins. Successive victories unlock new challenges and cars. The game offers 26 licensed car models that can be customized with the Autosculpt system. The authors emphasize the recreation of crashes and the realistic damage model that influences the car’s performance. Fans of realism were given the option of turning off all the driving assistance, like power steering and ABS, which makes driving much more simulator-like.

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Need for Speed Carbon
Need for Speed Carbon

Racing 01 November 2006

The tenth installment in the bestselling racing game series originally launched back in 1995. The game lets you play as the main protagonist of the previous game. He returns to his home city only to find his domestic street racing scene taken over by rivaling gangs. As you take on new racing challenges, you take back your home town one district at a time. The game’s mechanics employ the well-proven solutions introduced by its predecessors, while introducing several new elements at the same time. Those include, first and foremost, canyon duels, which require much attention, as it is possible to run through the traffic barriers and roll down the slope. The other novelty is the team; you can assemble your own crew, and its members can aid you during races, e.g. by blocking your rivals. Additionally, the game features cut-scenes with real actors, several dozen licensed car models, as well as vast car customization options. Regarding the latter, Autosculpt module lets you modify almost any element of the car body.

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Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

Racing 15 November 2005

The ninth installment in a legendary racing game franchise created by Electronic Arts company. After two Underground games, featuring illegal night street races, the franchise went back to its roots, combining ideas from the two most recent titles with classic elements. The player’s goal is to climb to the top of a black list of the most wanted drivers. Again you get to explore a huge virtual city, taking on different racing challenges. These include circuit, sprint, drag, elimination, time trial, speed challenge, and police pursuit. After completing enough of these you can challenge subsequent drivers from the black list. Apart from elements typical for the series, such as licensed cars and diverse soundtrack, the game features complex car customization, both in terms of appearance and performance.

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Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0
Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0

Racing 15 November 2005

PSP

Need for Speed: Underground 2
Need for Speed: Underground 2

Racing 12 November 2004

A sequel to Need for Speed: Underground, a best-selling 2003 game from Electronic Arts, which changed the shape of one of the most popular car racing franchises. The game takes you to a virtual metropolis that thrives after dark. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the city is completely open for exploration. As you ride around its streets you can challenge the drivers you meet on the way or learn more about the favorite locations of the street racing community. The gameplay mechanics did not change much; rather, the developers focused on an even more detailed recreations of licensed cars and car parts used for tuning. The game’s graphics were noticeably improved, featuring all sorts of new visual effects. The soundtrack keeps equally high level, as usually featuring songs by famous artists across a wide spectrum of genres.

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Need for Speed: Underground
Need for Speed: Underground

Racing 17 November 2003

The seventh installment in the legendary racing series developed since 1995. Created once again by EA Black Box, the game brings revolutionary changes to the series, focusing on illegal street racing, popularized mainly by The Fast and the Furious movie. This time, apart from usual races, the player can take part in several racing events, such as drifting competitions or drag races. The game offers a wide set of licensed cars popular among the illegal racing aficionados. The game stands out with a wide array of car customization options it delivers - the player can buy licensed car parts produced by the most popular real-life manufacturers. Money is an important aspect of the game, because the player spends the cash they earned in races to buy new cars and parts. Need for Speed: Underground features a diverse soundtrack as well. The player can listen to a variety of genres, such as rap, techno, or metal.

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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2

Racing 01 October 2002

The sixth installment in the popular racing game series from Electronic Arts, expanding on the ideas of the 1998’s Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. Similarly to its predecessor, the action is focused on police chases. The players have several game modes at their disposal, allowing them to become either road hogs or law enforcers and compete against the AI or their friends online. The game's highlight is the eponymous Hot Pursuit mode, in which we race against opponents with police hot on our heels. The title offers more than 20 varied tracks located in urban, coastal, and woodland areas. In our garage we will find a considerable collection of licensed vehicles that have to be progressively unlocked with the points gained in races. The production features detailed three-dimensional graphics and a soundtrack with tracks from numerous famous artists.

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Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed

Racing 23 March 2000

Another installment in the Need for Speed franchise. As the title suggests, the game focuses around Porsche, offering eighty licensed car models belonging to the German brand. The game includes such classics as the first 356 from 1950 or 911 Turbo from 2000. The player races in locations such as crowded urban areas, winding mountain roads, or never-ending highways. When playing the Evolution Mode, the player will observe the evolution of the famous car brand over nearly half a century. Cinematics, slides shows, and statistics prepared by the creators contribute to the experience. In the Factory Driver Mode, the player becomes a member of a group of drivers in order to learn about this profession. Additionally, the game offers Quick Race and Multiplayer Mode. When driving on European roads, the player has to avoid different dangers, such as collisions, traffic, or the police. Thanks to the new engine utilized by the game, Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed offers better physics and more accurately designed car models.

PCGBA

Need for Speed 4: High Stakes
Need for Speed 4: High Stakes

Racing 16 June 1999

The fourth installment in the famous series of racing games started in 1995 by Electronic Arts. Need for Speed: Road Challenge (also known as Need for Speed: High Stakes) expands the best ideas of its predecessors. It offers 18 licensed vehicles from the world's most famous brands and 20 varied tracks that contain traffic, jams and police patrols. The game features several different race modes, including the Hot Pursuit Mode introduced in the third game, in which the player can act as a cop and drive a police car. In comparison to the previous installments in the series, the game features improved visuals and AI of the drivers. Changing weather conditions and realistic destruction model were added. The latter is reflected both in visual damage of cars and in reduced performance of vehicles. For the first time in the series a simple economy was added that allows the player to repair and upgrade the vehicles.

PC

Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit

Racing 10 October 1998

The third installment in the bestselling racing game series created by EA. The game allows us to drive the fastest cars in the world. This time it contains eight brand new racing tracks and eleven licensed vehicles among which one can find cars such as Aston Martin DB7, Ferrari 550 Maranello, and Lamborghini Diablo SV. The included editor lets us create hundreds of individual vehicles as well. The biggest novelty in Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit is the option to play on both sides of the law. During the game one can be either a classic roadhog, that breaks all possible rules and escapes the cops while listening to loud music, or a policeman who uses radars, road blocks, and caltrops in order to stop the fugitive. The game features improved graphics with realistic visual and weather effects, and even such details as falling leaves and the smoke coming from under the wheels.

PC

Need for Speed II
Need for Speed II

Racing 21 May 1997

Sequel to the racing game that was released in 1995 by Electronic Arts and that changed the racing genre. Need for Speed II let's you control eight completely new licensed vehicles. Among them are: McLaren F1, Ferrari F50, Ford GT90, Jaguar XJ220, Lotus GT1, Lotus Esprit V8, Italdesign Cala and Isdera Commendatore 112i. The races take place on six distinctive tracks located in various areas of the world. In comparison to the original game, which was released two years earlier, there are many new features and improvements in Need for Speed II. Among them there is the possibility to change such parameters of the cars like gearbox position, brakes sensitivity etc. The game features improved, fully three-dimensional graphics engine that has better physics and is able to generate more details. The game also allows us to play with other people through the network.

PC

The Need for Speed
The Need for Speed

Racing 31 August 1995

A racing game developed by the Pioneer Productions studio in cooperation with Electronic Arts. The game offers eight licensed racing cars, including Dodge Viper, Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra, Honda NSX, Lamborghini Diablo, and Ferrari Testarossa. The game features seven racing tracks - both traffic and police can be encountered when racing. Once the police spots the player breaking the law, they begin a pursuit. Although the driving physics are realistic (the differences between front and rear wheel drive were implemented for example), the cars the player drives cannot be damaged. The game offers several different camera perspectives, including interior view, with faithfully represented car dashboards. One of the game's strong points is the multiplicity of photos and videos depicting the cars' real life counterparts in action.

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