15th June 2022

Our Top 10 List of Need for Speed games from worst to best!

Over the years, the racing genre has evolved tremendously. Having made its debut in 1994, the Need for Speed franchise has become one of the most popular and iconic racing series of all time. Through this list, you’re sure to come across games you played as a kid back when you owned a Sony Playstation 2 or currently run a Sony Playstation 4. Famous for its wide selection of cars to race with and advanced car-customization, among other things, the franchise built a reputation that stands strong till this day.

Before we begin this insane list of awesome games, we wanna let you know that this list is opinion based and some of the games in this list, as fun as it was to play, have been discontinued years ago and are not available in the current game stores. That being said, we apologize if you didn’t get the opportunity to play em.

  1. Need for Speed Undercover

    Platform(s): PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PC, Nintendo DS

    Back in 2008, EA transitioned from Need for Speed ProStreet, a game filled with track races that focused heavily on tuning the performance of your ride to an open-world setting when Black Box released Need for Speed Undercover with the intention to give players the best of both worlds. However, the game became a flop because it didn’t resemble a genuine open world setting. In order to join events or challenge other racers, they would need to press a dedicated keybind to load their map which would show you the next race or challenge available for you to take part in. As far as storylines go, Need for Speed Undercover had a rather flat storyline as compared to the rest of the series. Graphics aren’t that big a shoutout either, but during the launch of the game, it would have been considered somewhat decent. So, if you’re looking for a somewhat nostalgic game, Need for Speed Undercover is definitely worth your time.

  2. Need for Speed No Limits

    Platform(s): Android, iOS

    For all you mobile gamers out there, you have not been forgotten. No Limits was launched in September 2015 and is pretty impressive for a mobile based game. With many events available and a wide selection of cars to unlock and race with, rest assured you won’t lose interest. Do however be prepared for microtransactions as many premium games these days involve microtransactions in game.

  3. Need for Speed Shift

    Platform(s): PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PC, Xbox 360

    As the name implies, Need for Speed Shift took a huge turn from the franchise as the developer Slightly Mad Studios gave players a more realistic feel as cars were designed closest to its real counterparts with the ability to completely customise your cars. In addition, developers took it a step further by providing players with an in-depth HUD. For all you gamers looking for more car simulation instead of the standard arcade games, give Need for Speed Shift a try!

  4. Need for Speed

    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One

    If you love the vibes Need for Speed Underground 2 had, then you’ll love Need for Speed. The series’ reboot developed by Ghost Games brought back the best of Need for Speed’s car customisation. What made the game truly stand out is that it is the first to truly showcase the potential of EA’s Frostbite. Overall, there is nothing too unique about Need for Speed but it serves as a good reboot of the legendary Need for Speed Underground 2.

  5. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

    Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch

    Introduced as the first Need for Speed developed by Criterion Games, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit was the first of the series to remove all cutscenes and car customisation. Instead, players were only provided with stock vehicles and minor tweaks to one's ride. The focus was to provide players quick races either as a racer or a cop and the option to compare your race stats online via a feature known as Autolog that connects players to each other’s games to create new milestones. With the development of graphics over the years, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit was remastered and launched in November 2020 with improved graphics and an additional six hours of gameplay with way more challenges. If you’re not much of a story based player and all you want is to race through highways, then Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is your best choice!

  6. Need for Speed Rivals

    Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360

    In 2013, Criterion Software stepped into the scene and released Need for Speed Rivals. Although it has little focus on your rides visual customisation, it was the first of its kind developed with the aim to bridge the gap between single and multiplayer by creating a seamless online world which we have to admit, Criterion Software did not disappoint. Unlike the rest of the franchise, Rivals keeps you on the edge of your seat with what I would say is the most aggressive police AI. Instead of just crashing into you like they normally would, you would now find them using tools that stun and slow you down. Similar to Need for Speed Burnout, you have the option of Racer or Cop. As a racer, you are free to roam the highway and search for events to join or challenge other racers that you meet. In addition, there is also the option to use bots instead of the online feature. The role of a cop is just as fun and intense as you’ll team up with other players to make for some of the most intense pursuits in racing games. Overall, Need for Speed Rivals is one to try and you’d have no regrets.

  7. Need for Speed Underground 2

    Platform(s): PlayStation 2

    It just keeps getting better. A revamp of Need for Speed Underground, Need for Speed Underground 2 at the time of its release was a huge hit! Although the graphics were rather similar to its predecessor, Need for Speed Underground 2 brings you the night-life racing vibes with awesome hits. As far as storylines go, it didn’t stand out much like the rest. But what made Need for Speed Underground 2 hit #3 on our top 10 list? Although the game doesn’t feature the most realistic driving experience, at that point in time, there were a ton of car customisation features to make your ride stand out among others. From tuning the engine and suspension, to changing body kits and hood material, Need for Speed Underground 2 took car customisation to a whole new level.

  8. Need for Speed Payback

    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One

    What we would say was a pretty unique twist to the franchise is Need for Speed Payback. Launched in 2017 by Ghost Games, Payback showcased the best of Need for Speed with new activities such as performing stunts and collecting medals. Ghost Games also showcased the best of an open-world setting where racers would drive to an event to start it alongside roam the highways in search for car parts to build specific rides. Not forgetting those looking for simple quick races, Ghost Games also created DLCs that allow players to immediately reach an event without having to drive to it. Car selections also have their very own categories and various types of performance upgrades. Lastly, Payback hit the spot with a storyline that keeps you hooked, whilst incorporating the arcade feel and game progression.

  9. Need for Speed Heat

    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC

    Developed by Ghost Games and released in late 2019, Need for Speed Heat returns to its roots with heavy car customisation and an open world environment. But what makes Need for Speed Heat stand out in the series? The answer is the possibility of choosing between day and night challenges, which have their own conditions. Go head-to-head with racers in official races in broad daylight and test your driving skills in the night as you take on illegal jobs and encounter police chases like never before.

  10. Need for Speed Most Wanted

    Platform(s): PlayStation 2

    Combining the thrill of street racing and heavy tuner customization with the intensity of police pursuits, Need for Speed Most Wanted challenges players to become the most notorious and elusive street racer. The moment you step foot into the game, you instantly feel the thrill of the ride as you drive in an open world environment and climb the ranks to become #1 on the Black List. Like most of the Need for Speed series, players have a wide selection of cars to choose from and a heavy car customisation opportunity which they can then use to compete in races and outrun the cops to build up their Rap Sheet and move their way up the Black List to become the most wanted racer on the streets. Players go head-to-head with the top drivers on the scene as well as strategically evade more than half dozen cops at any one time.