Need for Speed: Every game has been ranked from 'The Best' to 'Never Played'


When it comes to being a cult classic, few video game franchises have hit the mark with laser-guided precision over the years.

Among those few, however, is the adrenaline-inducing series Need for Speed.

Naturally, when it comes to franchises, there’s always a raging debate over which offerings are above criticism entirely, and which ones threatened to ruin the painfully built fan following of the series.

When it comes to Electronic Arts’ long-running racing anthology, the debate is a little more clear-cut, thanks to NFS’ missteps over the years.

So, without further ado, we bring to you the many tiers of NFS editions right up to Hot Pursuit Remastered (which, incidentally, did not have much mastery).

Before we do dive in, though, we must stress this is a community tier ranking, meaning it’s been voted for and decided by fans of the games, not by us ourselves!

Four editions lie at the very top, far above criticism from mere mortals. NFS Most Wanted, Underground, Underground 2 and Carbon were simply *chef’s kiss*. Carbon, in particular, set pulses racing among gamers. On the mean streets of the fictional Palmont City, the aim was to take over the town, one borough at a time. Those were the days.


While the aforementioned were the best of the best, 10 titles sit just below them in the ‘very good’ tier.

Hot Pursuit 2 stands out in this one and ardent fans of the series will no doubt argue that it belongs in the uppermost tier. It had everything, from nervy skirmishes with the law to lust-worthy supercars on offer. Years on from its release, it’s still a darling in the franchise.

And then there are the average Joes. Titles like NFS Carbon: Own The City and NFS III: Hot Pursuit were good, but far from great. Don’t get us wrong, they’re bags of fun, and Hot Pursuit nearly cemented NFS’ legacy as a cut above the rest. There was a lot to like in these titles, but when you have a franchise spanning decades, it takes a lot to perfect every edition.

Remember NFS: Porsche Unleashed? Or NFS Nitro? Does it bring back fond memories? Yes, the former was one of the few racing games where you could drive a Porsche, owing to an exclusivity agreement between EA and the German automobile brand, but this edition never quite hit the mark. It was ambitious, that’s for sure, but some dodgy handling and a bit of a boring narrative sees Porsche Unleashed rank among the not-so-good versions of the series.



The same could be said of Nitro, which was a bit more arcade-y than the previous editions. Alas, it flattered to deceive. And the less said about NFS V-Rally, the better.

Which brings us to Motor City Online. Sheesh. Few remember this title, but the forgotten tale of Motor City Online spurred the NFS franchise on to better things.

Featuring hot rods and muscle cars with fiery decals, Motor City Online also had an auction house in the game. This edition of NFS was a bit all over the place, with the franchise ultimately deciding to call time of death in 2003.

The jury is still out on Hot Pursuit Remastered, but early reviews indicated there wasn’t much love being shown to the franchise’s latest offering.

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