Need for Speed: Every video game in the series ranked from worst to best


Need for Speed is one of the most iconic video game series ever created, with 24 editions being released as of writing this article, with the very first coming way back in 1994… a whopping 27 years ago now!

It is safe to say that the franchise has fared brilliantly over the years, be it critically or commercially, selling over 150 million copies.

A new addition to the series is on its way, and we may not have to wait for too long until it is released, with plenty of reports suggesting it’ll come in the new year. The new game will also celebrate being the franchise’s 25th version.

So, with the 25th edition in the pipeline, we thought why not take a look back at the 24 predecessors and rank them from worst to best.

Now, ranking these 24 games is a very hard thing, but fortunately for us, the good people over at Racing Games did so by using their scores on various review platforms.

Writing about how their rankings work, they said: “We’ve sieved through every main series game in the NFS catalogue to collect both the critical and fan average review score for each console it was released on. For example, the latest NFS games have had their fans and critics PS4, Xbox One and PC scores all averaged together to make an overall score.”

So now you know the criteria, let’s dive right in.


According to their rankings, the best game in the NFS franchise is Hot Pursuit, which was released in 1998. In second place is 2005’s Most Wanted, followed by High Stakes, which came out in 1999.

Quite the respectable top three, we’re sure you’d agree!

A lot of the earlier games have been ranked fairly high on this list with The Need for Speed, the one that started the franchise, occupying seventh position, while Hot Pursuit and High Stakes are in the top three as previously mentioned.

The only 20th-century instalment that fails to make the top 10 is Need for Speed II, which comes in at 13th.

Barring one, all of the games that were released during or after 2010 are below 10th, with the most recent instalment Heat ranked 17th.


Here is a complete compilation of the rankings:

24. Payback (2017)- 51%

23. World (2010)- 60%

22. Undercover (2008)- 60%

21. No Limits (2015)- 62%

20. Rivals (2013)- 65%

19. The Run (2017)- 65%

18. Need for Speed (2015)- 66%

17. Heat (2019)- 67%

16. Most Wanted (2012)- 68%



15. Nitro (2009)- 69%

14. Prostreet (2007)- 69%

13. Need for Speed II (1997)- 72%

12: Shift 2: Unleashed (2011)- 73%

11. Shift (2009)- 74%

10. Carbon (2006)- 74%

9. Hot Pursuit 2 (2002)- 79%

8. Hot Pursuit (2010)- 80%

7. The Need for Speed (1994)- 80%


6. Porsche Unleashed (2000)- 82%

5. Underground 2 (2004)- 83%

4. Underground (2003)- 84%

3. High Stakes (1999)-  85%

2. Most Wanted (2005)- 85%

1. Hot Pursuit (1998)- 87% 

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