Need for Speed holds a special place in every gamer’s heart. The sheer joy of having a car all to yourself (when you’re 11 years old) and being able to pump insane speeds on it with cool tweaks has cemented NFS as THE racing game.
All the babies of the 90s and 80s have had a taste of these games, even when the gas rush was at its peak. NFS has been smart with its marketing from day one and has seen its games rise to the top of the racing genre for the foreseeable future. We’ve had a lot of fun playing most of them and today we’re here to shed light on some of our personal favorites. So, get your engines running!
The OG. The maestro. Carbon is our number one when it comes to the best NFS lineup. This game single-handedly catapulted the entire racing game industry into an unyielding position that they enjoy to this day. This is also the game that introduced slow-motion drifting, which had a charm all of its own.
Where previous NFS games had a clumsy drift mechanic with haphazard turns and uncertainty about where even your car would end up, the slow motion was a huge help in aligning your vehicle on the road while still making sharp turns and looking aesthetically pleasing. looked very, very cool. Carbon came out in 2006 and the car lineup it stocked was the absolute best.
Cars ranged from Subaru to Nissan to Lamborghini and Audi. There was a lot to choose from. And then a lot to personalize. The excitement only grew as the entire state was split into factions, each with its own mini-missions and challenges. Boss fights were fun and consisted of two phases. One, where the player and boss took on a drift challenge where you skipped a heartbeat while racing through the mountains. Two, a regular race of one or two laps, where you had to brush up on your skills and speed. All in all a great game.
A treat for older and newer fans. The game was a welcome refresher after the pretty flopped performance of NFS Rivals, which we’ll be generous to pass up after its lackluster performance. Heat chose to introduce multiplayer gaming as well by introducing “ghost racing”. This pitted players and their cars against each other, with the one with the best lap time becoming the winner.
Of course, any multiplayer game requires a viable internet connection and nothing worked better for us than CenturyLink. CenturyLink Internet Deals help it stay ahead of the competition with blazing fast internet and competitive deals that keep your gaming untouched and optimal performance. Heat came out in 2018 and proved that NFS still has gas in its tank by reintroducing car modifications.
Plus, the game absorbed all the good stuff leading up to its premise. Police cars got an upgrade, environments got sharper, controls got better and smoother and Miami, the city that is gloriously represented, is portrayed as close to reality as possible. The result? A game that won multiple awards and left gamers wanting even more.
NFS most wanted
The game that became famous for its car police car chases. Most Wanted was notorious for inciting its players to wreak havoc. Look, the whole fun of the game was when you became the most wanted. Do you understand? The game? Name? Okay, anyway, MW had its own exciting car racing and mechanics that, while a bit buggy and clunky, all washed away when NFS deployed agents with personality and cars that could deal serious damage.
The thing is, NFS added some very different flavors to their game and gave it an outlaw-esque vibe that appealed to the crowd. This coupled with all the feel-good tweaks and a heart-wrenching story had players waving money in the shopkeeper’s face.
In addition, falling objects were placed to make the chases more exciting. By racing down a road with a building under construction, players had to run through the scaffolding and drop it behind them. This was made even more juicier when the game, if timed correctly, would show a slow-motion cutscene of the police cars crashing and tumbling over each other as they were caught in the wake of the chaos. Satisfying.
A game made for portable devices. Shift came out at a time when the PSP was all the rage in the markets and handheld/portable gaming was peaking. People loved the idea of having a smaller screen that they could take with them everywhere and play games on it that were otherwise only available on their larger consoles. NFS was quick when they introduced NFS Shift.
The color palette used in this game was spectacular. Customizations were plentiful, and the addition of race tracks and professional races beautified an already attractive game. Users could race wherever they went, provided they could keep their console sufficiently charged. This was a wild idea and for a hot minute NFS Shift enjoyed a brilliant run before the mainstream consoles took over again.
Many believe that NFS is slowly losing its power, but honestly, we think NFS is here to stay. Cars keep coming in and environments keep changing. As long as NFS can continue to make games that are closer to reality and keep the players sweaty and full of adrenaline, the game will never die. And if you’re looking for memories of their lineup, our list will serve as a wonderful reminder of why NFS is the racing king in the video game industry. Stay icy and keep the pedal on the metal.