[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nfs-logo_2555.png]]
[[caption-width-right:256:[[Film/TopGun I feel the need...]]]]

'''''Need for Speed'' (''NFS'')''' is a [[VideoGameLongRunners long-running]] and popular series of RacingGames published by Creator/ElectronicArts focusing on illegal street racing. Started out initially with [[ImprobablyCoolCar exotic supercars]] and then moving to tuner car racing, probably as a result of the latter coming into fashion with the release of ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'' in 2001, with [[WideOpenSandbox free-roaming environments]] added to the gameplay formula. After a few years with one developer and their tuner focus, they went back to mostly exotics years later with an added focus on online social gameplay. The franchise is notable for being available for computers as well as consoles throughout its run, as well as being EA's oldest continually-running franchise not under the EA Sports brand.

Games in the series include (defined by eras):[[note]]This is based on Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}'s (no-longer-used) organization of the ''Need for Speed'' titles in their navigation template [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Need_for_Speed_series here.]][[/note]]

[[folder:First era: All about exotics and cops]]
The games in the franchise's earliest era are simply racing [[CoolCar exotic cars]] in [[SceneryPorn scenic locations]], with the added element of police car chases (which is what the series is best-known for) in most installments. EA Canada and EA Seattle made most of the games in this era. The ''Need for Speed'' logo for this era used a big, thick, metallic typeface and were later rereleased together in a 2003 PC-only compilation package called ''The Need for Speed Collection'', [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness save for the first game of course]].
* '''''[[Magazine/RoadAndTrack Road & Track]] Presents: The Need for Speed'' (1994):''' Contained point-to-point open road tracks and several closed racetracks. The open roads featured AI traffic and police cars that chased the player. Was originally released on the 3DO console, and was later ported to the PlayStation, Saturn and DOS PC in 1996 when the 3DO flopped. The PC version of the game, ''Need for Speed SE'' (the "SE" meaning Special Edition), added a few new cars and tracks as well. Developed by EA Canada who would develop all of the ensuing games until the ''Motor City Online'' spinoff.
* '''''Need for Speed II'' (1997):''' Expanded on the car selection of the original with several contemporary concept cars, like the Ford Indigo and Ford [=GT90=]. The [[CoolCar McLaren F1]], then the world's fastest production car and still the fastest naturally-aspirated car, made its first franchise appearance in this game. The game abandoned open road courses for arcade circuits. ''PC Gamer'' magazine criticized many of the tracks extravagant and unrealistic scenery, comparing many of them to being akin to driving on magic mushrooms. ''NFS II'' also had a special edition release for the PC, which added some new cars, a new track and 3Dfx Glide support.
* '''''Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit'' (1998):''' Re-introduced the police chases from the first game, and improved the AI system, with each racer having different driving habits. The PC version provided the option to play as the police and catch speeders. Also, the PC version was the first ''NFS'' that was easily modded with add-on cars, as well as the first to have official DownloadableContent.[[labelnote:*]]In the form of, what else, free add-on cars; the game did not support any more tracks beyond the nine standard tracks in-game due to hard limits (which also applied to the cars).[[/labelnote]] One of the highlights of the series, according to fans. The [[CoolCar Lamborghini Diablo SV]] made its franchise (and arguably video game) debut in this game.
* '''''Need for Speed: High Stakes'' (1999):''' Similar to ''Hot Pursuit'', but with a career mode. The ''High Stakes'' name referred to sudden death races where the winner wins the loser's car. The PC version is basically an MissionPackSequel to ''Hot Pursuit'', because it also included all the tracks from the previous game. The [=PlayStation=] version didn't have the ''Hot Pursuit'' tracks. Known as ''[[MarketBasedTitle Need for Speed: Road Challenge]]'' in Europe.
* '''''Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed'' (2000):''' ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Consisted purely of Porsche road cars, from 1948 to 2000. Featured more realistic physics than previous games. Another shining moment from the series. Notable for being the last game in the series developed by EA Canada.
* '''''Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2'' (2002):''' Similar to the original ''Hot Pursuit'', but with more and bigger tracks, more cars, and more race types. Was the last game in the series to focus on exotic cars for nearly a decade. Also, until a 2010 content download for ''Shift'' (see CoolCar, below) and later on ''Rivals'', it was the last game in the series to have cars from Ferrari. Most of the other games up to this point, except for ''MCO'' and ''Porsche Unleashed'', had at least one Ferrari. The PlayStation2 version was also the first ''NFS'' game by EA Black Box, who would become the new main ''Need for Speed'' developer for the next several years, while all the [[GameCube other]] [[{{Xbox}} plat]][[IBMPersonalComputer forms]]' combined version was the last ''NFS'' game by EA Seattle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Second era: Tuner culture takes control]]
With EA Black Box taking control, the franchise focused more on the tuner car culture with a heavy focus on illegal street racing (save for ''[=ProStreet=]'', which had organized race events) and car customization (with cheesy storylines to boot). Police chases would not return until 2005's ''Most Wanted''. Games in this era can be identified by the sleeker logo with the elongated tail in the letter S for ''Speed'', except for ''Undercover'' which brought in the series' current N logo and typeface that's seen in the image above.
* '''''Need for Speed: Underground'' (2003):''' Changed the format of the series from exotic cars on open road tracks to street racing with tuner cars. It also introduced a storyline and car customization. Takes place in a city called Olympic City.
* '''''Need for Speed: Underground 2'' (2004):''' Similar to the original ''Underground'', but with a [[WideOpenSandbox free-roaming city]] called Bayview.
** '''''Need for Speed: Underground Rivals'' (2005):''' A version of ''Underground 2'' for [[PlayStationPortable PSP]] that's closer to the first ''Underground'' as it lacks an open world. Introduced muscle cars to the vehicle lineup.
* '''''Need for Speed: Most Wanted'' (2005):''' Similar to ''Underground 2'', featuring muscle cars and exotics in addition to tuner cars while focusing on the re-introduced staple of the series: the police chases. Due to being thematically a lot less flashy than the ''Underground'' games, the visual customization for the cars is limited, dropping the purely visual options like the neon lights. The locale in this game is named Rockport. The [[CoolCar iconic]] blue-and-white [[MacGuffin BMW M3 GTR (E46)]] debuted in this game.
** '''''Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0'' (2005):''' A version made for PSP that also lacks an open world as well as a plot. Contains a mode called Tuner Takedown that allowed players to play as a police officer for one of the few times in this era.
* '''''Need for Speed: Carbon'' (2006):''' A more story-driven street racing game, with the player recruiting drivers to their "crew". The highlight feature was the canyon races, which wound down narrow, twisting mountain roads, and the greatest danger was often driving off a cliff. Takes place in a city called Palmont City.
** '''''Need for Speed Carbon: Own the City'' (2006):''' A portable version made for the PSP, NintendoDS, and GameBoyAdvance that takes place in a different locale called Coast City with a different storyline compared to the main game above.
* '''''Need for Speed: [=ProStreet=]'' (2007):''' Themed around organized race days with no illegal street racing. Switched to a more realistic handling model, and was so widely criticized for it that even EA admitted that this one was "not good".
* '''''Need for Speed: Undercover'' (2008):''' Returned to the ''Most Wanted'' model of focusing on illegal street racing, with a ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious''-style storyline. The game takes in a large locale called the Tri-City Bay. It was trashed by critics for its bad frame rate, its cheesy storyline, and for being not as good as Creator/RockstarGames' ''VideoGame/MidnightClub: Los Angeles'' and EA's other arcade-style racing game from 2008, ''VideoGame/{{Burnout}} Paradise''. Pretty much sullied EA Black Box's reputation with the series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Third era: Loss of identity and the rise of social racing]]
After the failures that were ''[=ProStreet=]'' and ''Undercover'', EA put Black Box on the sidelines and brought in several developers to make games for the series. While the series lost a consistent identity during this era,[[labelnote:*]]save for a new franchise logo and typeface that ''Undercover'' introduced and the introduction of the Autolog networking system in 2010's ''Hot Pursuit''[[/labelnote]] with two differently-styled ''NFS'' games released each year, a few games in this short time period (namely the ''Shift'' sub-series and ''Hot Pursuit'') did help return the franchise to critical acclaim.
* '''''Need for Speed: Shift'' (2009):''' Another crack at realistic racing, from Slightly Mad Studios (an independent development team composed of people who worked on GTR, [=GTR2=], and GT Legends, a trio of well-received PC sim racers), with help from EA Black Box. Much better received than ''Undercover''. A {{Xbox 360}}-exclusive DLC pack marked Ferrari's only appearance in any of the second and third era games until the make's full return in 2013's ''Rivals''.
* '''''Need for Speed: Nitro'' (2009):''' An arcade-like racer for the Wii and DS, with highly-stylized cartoonish graphics. The Wii version was developed by EA Montreal while the DS version was made by Firebrand Games.
** '''''Need for Speed: Nitro-X'' (2010):''' A [=DSiWare=] version of the original DS game.
* '''''Need for Speed: World'' (2010):''' Another attempt at a NFS MMO, this one is free-to-play, featuring microtransactions for the 'premium' version of in-game currency. Features the cityscapes from ''Most Wanted'' and ''Carbon'' (Rockport and Palmont, which may also be connected to the Tri-City Bay from ''Undercover'' via a toll bridge) in a persistent MMO environment, not unlike ''VideoGame/TestDrive Unlimited''. Developed by EA Black Box (later rebranded as Quicklime Games) and EA Singapore, it received middle-of-the-road reviews. Players start off with $35,000 to buy a starter car and begin racing against other players and the game's AI. Borrowing from the leveling mechanics found in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010, you earn money and reputation for winning, which you can use to buy upgrades in the form of after-market parts to adjust your stats. As you level up, you unlock new tiers of cars and events you can participate in. Other features include Pursuit Outrun, where the player must outrun the local police, and Team Escape, where you and your team must beat the clock to avoid getting arrested.
* '''''Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit'' (2010):''' The first game in the series developed by Creator/CriterionGames,[[labelnote:*]]With some help by EA DICE, the makers of ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' and ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge''.[[/labelnote]] the EA studio behind the ''VideoGame/{{Burnout}}'' franchise, is a SpiritualSuccessor to ''Hot Pursuit 2'' ([[CaptainObvious of course]]), and features some online-focused "race and chase" gameplay, either through multiplayer or the then-new "Autolog" system that continuously compares your best times to those of your friends and challenges you to beat your friends' times. It takes place in a not-exactly-open-world environment[[note]]There is only an optional single-player-only free roam feature in the game that has practically nothing to do but drive.[[/note]] called Seacrest County. This installment is often heralded by critics as [[MagnumOpus the series's highest point.]]
** '''''Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit'' ({{Wii}}, 2010):''' The Wii version of the game was developed by Exient Entertainment. It is wildly different from the Criterion-developed versions. It takes place in four different real world locations and plays more like ''Nitro'' than the [[PlayStation3 H]][[{{Xbox 360}} D]] [[IBMPersonalComputer versions]], but without most of the cartoon stylizations of the former. This version was mostly panned by the few critics who played it.
* '''''Shift 2: Unleashed'' (2011):''' After the success of ''Need for Speed: Shift'', it's not too surprising to learn that EA gave Slightly Mad Studios another go-around and green-lit ''Shift 2'', this time without input from Black Box. Unusual lack of ''Need for Speed'' in the title aside, the handling model is massively improved from the first ''Shift'', and the Autolog feature from ''Hot Pursuit'' returned as well.
* '''''Need for Speed: The Run'' (2011):''' Featuring ''Film/TheCannonballRun''-style coast-to-coast EpicRace across the United States with a heavy emphasis on story and cinematic action. The plot's kind of [[ExcusePlot Excuse-y]], but just know that Sean Faris gets some advice from Creator/ChristinaHendricks about a 3000-mile race that he can use to win $25 million, enough to pay back a crime syndicate he had a bad run-in with. It was meant to be EA Black Box's redemption after losing control over the series post-''Undercover'', but with less than stellar reviews, this was not the case.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fourth era: The move to Europe and social racing 2.0]]
It was clear from ''The Run'' that EA Black Box would not be taking back back control of the ''Need for Speed'' series, and EA shifted development of the main games to developers in Europe. The current ''NFS'' era is still young, with ''Rivals'' introducing yet another new typeface (which curiously looks similar to the first era's typeface), but with Autolog 2.0 by its side the franchise seems to be (mostly) returning to its roots; racing (mostly) exotic cars in scenic locations with the franchise's famed police car chases.
* '''''Need for Speed: Most Wanted'' (2012):''' Criterion's second game in the series, a reboot of 2005's ''Most Wanted''. This reboot is much less like a sequel to the 2005 original and more like a sequel to ''VideoGame/{{Burnout}} Paradise'', but with cops, real cars, and the Autolog system. Takes place in a locale called Fairhaven City, differing from the first ''Most Wanted''[='=]s Rockport. It also marked the beginning of a new era for the series, as [[http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/06/22/criterion-takes-over-entire-need-for-speed-series.aspx then-Criterion vice president Alex Ward has stated in an interview,]] "It's not going to be spread anymore across different companies. Different studios have had a crack at it - it's definitely a Criterion gig now." Well, except that it wasn't really the case.[[note]]See the next main entry.[[/note]]
** '''''Need for Speed: Most Wanted'' ([[MobilePhoneGame Mobile]], 2012):''' Developed by Firemonkeys Studios, a company formed from a merger between Firemint[[note]]The makers of ''VideoGame/RealRacing'' and ''VideoGame/FlightControl''[[/note]] and [=IronMonkey=] Studios,[[note]]Known for mobile versions of other EA titles, such as the praised mobile spin-off of ''VideoGame/DeadSpace''[[/note]] it is a version of ''Most Wanted'' 2012 for [[IOSGames iOS]] and [[AndroidGames Android]] that, unlike the main versions, takes place in closed circuits around Fairhaven. It includes a few cars not found in the Criterion game, including the Audi R8 GT Coupe, the Hummer H1 Alpha, and even (initially before the release of ''NFS Heroes'' on the main versions) the BMW M3 GTR (E46) from ''Most Wanted'' 2005 as the #1 Most Wanted car.
** '''''Need for Speed: Most Wanted [[SuperTitle64Advance U]]'' (2013):''' The WiiU version of the game, which is graphically superior to the [=PlayStation=] 3 and Xbox 360 versions and contains a unique feature called Co-Driver, which allows a second player to join in using the Wii U [=GamePad=] to change many things in Fairhaven and enable dual controls, in case the person using the Wii Remote or Wii U Pro Controller is having trouble. The ''Ultimate Speed Pack'' is included in the game as standard and there are Nintendo-related {{Easter Egg}}s to be found. However, none of the later DLC[[note]]''Terminal Velocity'' (which adds Hughes International Airport to Fairhaven), ''Movie Legends'', and ''Need for Speed Heroes''[[/note]] were released for ''Most Wanted U'' and there is only a six-player limit in multiplayer compared to eight in the other console versions and twelve on the PC version.
* '''''Need for Speed: Rivals'' (2013):''' It is a SpiritualSuccessor to ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 while integrating single-player and multiplayer together, meaning you can play as a cop and stop other players street races while co-operating with other cop players for example. Ferrari returns to the series once more since the content pack from ''Shift'' after four years. It is developed by new EA studio Ghost Games with assistance from Criterion. With this game, ''Need for Speed'' [[http://www.polygon.com/2013/9/13/4728044/majority-of-criterion-staff-now-ghost-games-uk-core-team-down-to-16 made yet another developer shift]], and Ghost Games are now the new developers for the franchise. However, [[http://www.polygon.com/2014/2/1/5360976/layoffs-hit-ghost-games-uk-office-unannounced-nfs-title-mothballed they too may have suffered layoffs of their own, with the next title's development stopped.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Spin-offs: ''Need for Speed'' In Name Only]]
* '''''Need for Speed: V-Rally'' (1997) and ''Need for Speed: V-Rally II'' (1999):''' The [[MarketBasedTitle American market branding]] of ''V-Rally'', an unrelated rally racing title made by the French developer Eden Studios and published overseas by Infogrames. ''V-Rally 3'' would be published without the ''NFS'' branding in 2002. Eden Studios would also develop the PlayStation version of ''Porsche Unleashed'' and the very old-school-NFS-like ''VideoGame/TestDrive Unlimited''.
* '''''Motor City Online'' (2001):''' An attempt at a driving [[{{MMORPG}} MMOG]], developed in house by EA, and first game not developed by EA Canada. This game focused entirely on American cars, particularly muscle cars, from TheThirties through TheSeventies (until the very end, when the Toyota Supra and the Mitsubishi Eclipse were added, presumably to broaden appeal). Despite not having the ''NFS'' branding, it was considered to be a ''NFS'' game by EA and fans of the series, and was even originally planned as ''Need for Speed: Motor City''. It was largely unsuccessful, and was shut down in 2004.
[[/folder]]

[[Film/NeedForSpeed A film adaptation of the franchise]] directed by [[Film/ActOfValor Scott Waugh]] and starring [[Series/BreakingBad Aaron Paul]] was released in March 2014.

----
!!I want every single trope after the series.

* ArchEnemies: "Zephyr" and "F-8",[[note]]pronounced "Fate"[[/note]] respectively the racer and the cop the player play as in ''Rivals''.
* ATasteOfPower: ''Underground'' starts InMediasRes with a Bonus Car with nitrous, ''Underground 2'' starts with a borrowed tuned car, ''Most Wanted'' starts with a powerful BMW [=M3=] that is sabotaged and lost in a bet, and ''Carbon'' starts with you thrashing that same BMW.
** Defied in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. A starter cop mission gives you a Lamborghini Reventon, and things ''don't'' get worse from there. Mind you, ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 absolutely ''loves'' this trope, heck, fairly early in the game (whichever side of the law you are on), you're gonna get a preview of a handful of cars you won't be driving for a while. The best examples include the [=McLaren=] F1, Pagani Zonda Cinque, Corvette [=ZR1=] and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. All of which can be unlocked after a few hours of playing.
*** [[spoiler: Yes, the Veyron and the Koenigsegg CCXR are the last two cars you'll unlock]].
** In ''Rivals'', one of the later Speedlists/Assignments will give you the keys to a powerful car from the opposite side of the law (the Enzo Ferrari for Cops and the Koenigsegg Agera R for Racers) with fully-leveled preset Pursuit Tech.
* AWinnerIsYou: Appears in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010, when the player clears all of the offline missions for one side.
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: Inverted in ''Porsche Unleashed''. If you bought a used car, repaired it, and sold it, you would make a profit every single time. There was also an infinite supply of used Porsches as well, meaning that [[GameBreaker you could have all the money you wanted for the price of grinding the menus]].
* AluminumChristmasTrees: Sure that light blue police Gallardo 560-4 in [=HP2010=] is cool and all but that car ''actually exists in Italy as an interceptor unit''.
** Same case with the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qbv5AjX25E Bugatti Veyron]] - in fact, several other exotics and high-end vehicles were also deployed in Dubai's already lavish police fleet.
* AlwaysNight: Every race in ''Underground'' was at night, which was Justified given the illegal street racing that made up the game.
** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in ''Most Wanted'' 2005, which features a sped-up day/night cycle in the game world. It starts at sunrise, lasts through midday (sometimes with a rainstorm or three to mess with your car during races), ends with the sun setting on the horizon... and ''loops right back to sunrise.'' Its sequel ''Carbon'' goes back to playing the trope straight, though.
* AnachronismStew: A subtle but noticeable one in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 is an F-14 [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-14_Tomcat Tomcat]] that likes to fly-by every now and then near Memorial Highway. [[RuleOfCool Though not a particular source of frustration,]] it's still has some of the fans that are well-versed in aviation crying afoul because the game more or less takes place TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture and that the [[JustPlaneWrong plane in question has been out of service since 2006]].
* AnnouncerChatter: And police chatter in the games that have them. Very much a necessity in ''Most Wanted'' where you can keep track of their movements.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: In ''The Run'', you can restart from the latest checkpoint if/[[GoddamnedBats when]] you either wreck your car, or you've lost that particular segment of the race. You can do this at will, too, up to certain times depending on the difficulty.
* ArtificialStupidity: It is possible in ''Most Wanted'' 2005 to get arrested for doing ''under'' the speed limit on the correct side of the road and get maybe one infraction. Who knew you could get arrested for pulling over to the side of the road for what should be a routine traffic stop? Must be that if your character is behind the wheel of any vehicle, he should be arrested on sight.
** Actually, that's ''exactly'' what's going on. Cross pretty explicitly says he's just looking for a reason to toss you in jail and strip your car down looking for something not-street legal (and chances are that most of the stuff in there isn't) and if he can't find anything, he'll make something up. You're a known street racer, and he'll do whatever it takes to get you locked up.
** The police chopper in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. For some reason, it prefers to navigate between spike drop points by flying along the roads with all their twists and turns, instead of simply flying straight over the terrain.
* AscendedExtra: Somewhat of an example, as prior to the Mazda Miata being drivable in ''Underground'', [[BlandNameProduct Bland Name Products]] of the car could be seen as traffic in earlier games.
* {{Beat}}: In ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010, the police dialogue on screen literally says {BEAT} whenever there's a pause between sentences during the same dialogue clip.
* BenevolentArchitecture: some of those cities look like racetracks with houses.
* BigBad: In the ''Underground'' Era and in ''The Run''. In order:
** ''Underground'': Eddie
** ''Underground 2'': Caleb Reece
** ''Most Wanted'': Clarence "Razor" Callahan
** ''Carbon'': Darius
** ''[=ProStreet=]'': Ryo Watanabe
** ''Undercover'': [[spoiler:Chase Linh]]
** ''The Run'': Marcus Blackwell
* BilingualBonus: ''Road Challenge'' Hot Pursuit mode (the police chase mode) had an option to use 'local police'. This gave full localised voices for the dispatch and driver voice-overs. On the British circuit, the British Police talk with English accents. The French and German circuits go one step further - they even talk in the right language, not just a faux accent.
** Averted for the english police, driving a Victoria police Holden has the police sound more like they're from {{Heartbeat}} than ''Series/BlueHeelers''.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: The songs by Hot Action Cop which were featured in ''Hot Pursuit 2'' had their lyrics changed so they're racing-themed rather than sex-themed.
* BraggingRightsReward: ''Underground'' had the Bonus Cars, untuned cars with awesome vinyls.
* BrandX: Not done directly, but is played with in ''Most Wanted'' and ''Carbon''. Cars which aren't sold in America (such as the Fiat Punto, Renault Clio V6, Vauxhall Monaro VXR etc.) are simply referred to as "sports cars" over police radio chatter, where as others are called out by their manufacturer.
* BribingYourWayToVictory: Some versions of ''Carbon, [=ProStreet=]'' and ''Undercover'' all let you unlock cars and parts early by paying real money.
* BrokenBridge: All the boroughs start out locked by an InvisibleWall.
** Construction equipment and fortified barricades block off the road [[spoiler:which leads to (coincidentally) the broken bridge used in the final pursuit of Most Wanted.]]
* BulletTime: the Speedbreaker from ''Most Wanted'' and ''Carbon''. Also counts as GameBreaker, since it makes your car extremely dense, impossibly responsive, and essentially unstoppable.
* CallBack: ''The Run'' allows players to access challenges which would unlock cars from ''Underground'' (Eddie's Skyline GTR from the first ''Underground'' and Rachel's 350Z from ''Underground 2''), ''Most Wanted'' (the player's M3 GTR and Razor's Mustang), and ''Carbon'' (Cross' Corvette Z06 C6 and Darius' Le Mans Quattro). (Note that the challenges are inspired by the games themselves.)
** The "Blacklisted" event in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 calls back to ''Most Wanted'', with the event description stating that the county sheriff is "unhappy with how you've been treating his deputies, and will use all the tools at his disposal to stop you in your tracks." During the event itself, you are chased by several police cars and a single Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (Cross's car from ''Most Wanted'').
** A very subtle one for ''Most Wanted'' 2012. One snippet of the launch trailer has a Porsche Cayman S being blocked off by a roadblock. The car then reverses and performs a J-turn. The execution of the driving technique and the entire scene itself is a shot-for-shot recreation of Baron's (Blacklist #10 in the original ''MW'') intro movie, who also drove a Cayman S.
** Many of the VanityLicensePlate designs in ''Rivals'' are for locations from previous games, including Olympic City (''Underground''), Bayview (''Underground 2''), Rockport (''Most Wanted'' 2005 and ''World''), Palmont City (''Carbon'' and ''World''), Tri-City Bay (''Undercover''), Seacrest County (''Hot Pursuit'' 2010), and Fairhaven City (''Most Wanted'' 2012).
* CameraScrew: ''Hot Pursuit 2'' rotates the camera around the car when doing a major jump making it impossible to see what's ahead until you land.
* CaptainObvious: In the opening pursuit of The Run captions pop up helpfully telling you to avoid gunfire and explosions.
* CelShading: The main graphic style in ''Nitro'' and the Wii version of ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010.
* CharacterTiers:[[invoked]] Car-based example: The series as a whole tends to divide cars into "Classes," putting similar cars into different classes (for example, putting high-performance sports cars like the Lamborghini Diablo VT and the Ferrari [=512TR=] in their own Class) based on performance. Each game has it's own system of organization.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: On many occasions, you'll be surprised to discover that the police SUV, is in fact ''much'' faster than your tricked out [=McLaren=] F1 running at top speed.
** Those police [=SUVs=] are especially annoying in ''World''; after an update was added to the game to make pursuits in higher Heat Levels tougher, it seems that in every Heat Level 5 pursuit there are always two more Rhinos coming at you ''every ten seconds''.
** Ironically, in the original ''Hot Pursuit'', the police AI was a lot dumber, making the very hook of the game much easier than its single player!
** Taken UpToEleven in ''Most Wanted'' 2012. While the racers aren't really bad, it's the police, the Fairhaven Police Department, who is ''totally cheap''. It has [[RubberBandAI cars with variable top speed]] (not even a Veyron can outrun them without few difficulties), it ''loves'' to stalk you at will, and continuously ''spams'' roadblocks on roads where crossroads are absent or just far away. They can also wreck you without warning from behind (as opposed to a shunt) and a bulk of the city doesn't offer alternate routes, meaning even if you're in a cooldown area, you could be surrounded in one or both directions of swarming cops coming to continue the chase. And plus, if you just do '''one single misstep''', they can easily bust you without even trying or when you manage to escape from them, but it's too late.
*** Cop cars can and WILL spawn around you as soon as you approach a repair shop.
* CoolCar: Koenigsegg CCX with modifications. [[RuleOfCool You can't get any more awesome than that!]]
** The early ''NFS'' games lived on this trope. Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches aplenty.
*** ''Need for Speed: Shift'' trumps 'em all by having the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maserati_MC12_Corsa Maserati MC12 Corsa]] and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_Reventón Lamborghini Reventón]], along with the [=McLaren=] F1, Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron, the aforementioned Koeingsegg, and the Ford Mustang Shelby [=GT500=]. Still no Ferraris, but the Maserati [=MC12=] Corsa uses the engine, chassis, and other internals of the Enzo Ferrari, so it'll be good enough.
*** If you have the Xbox 360 version of ''Shift'', then you have the option of downloading a content pack [[http://kotaku.com/5467211/need-for-speed-shift-welcomes-back-ferrari-next-week/gallery/ that brought back the Ferraris for the first time since]] ''Hot Pursuit 2''. Ferraris would fully return for all platforms in ''Rivals''.
*** ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' had the exclusive rights to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagani_Huayra Pagani Huayra]], a 235 MPH Italian supercar. Eventually, the Huayra would become available to other games outside of the ''Need for Speed'' franchise. It's so awesome, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOyMxfxUct8 the car's reveal trailer needs no music aside from the exhaust note.]]... too bad that's not what the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_764552&feature=iv&src_vid=f-VuGNktVh4&v=Dd2sDtA-Y0U actual Huayra]] sounds like.
** ''All'' the cover cars:
*** ''The Need for Speed'':[[note]]''SE'' and console release covers only[[/note]] [[http://pics.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/992229683-00.jpg Ferrari 512TR and Lamborghini Diablo VT]]
*** ''II'': [[http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/scale_small/8/87790/1793298-box_nfs2.png Ferrari F50]]
*** ''III: Hot Pursuit'': [[http://media.moddb.com/images/games/1/25/24438/NFS_3_Cover_03-Hot-Pursuit-LRG-7.jpg Lamborghini Diablo SV]],[[note]]There's no SV logo vinyl on the cover's Diablo SV, though.[[/note]] which is the most iconic car for the series' first era, and thus was featured in DLC for ''three consecutive games''.[[note]]''Lamborghini Untamed'' in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010, the ''Italian Pack'' in ''The Run'', and ''Need for Speed Heroes'' in ''Most Wanted'' 2012.[[/note]]
*** ''High Stakes'': [[http://i.imgur.com/klB1jKy.jpg Porsche 911 Turbo (993) and Ferrari 550 Maranello]]
*** ''Porsche Unleashed'': [[http://pics.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/1224271378-00.jpg Porsche 911 Turbo (996)]]
*** ''Hot Pursuit 2'': [[http://www.freewebs.com/nfshp2pc/NFSMecielago.jpg Lamborghini Murciélago]]
*** ''Underground'': [[BigBad Eddie's]] [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WTIjmdBDKlc/UPo8Vtej-WI/AAAAAAAACPw/jrh6lRcc33s/s1600/600full-need-for-speed--underground-cover.jpg Nissan Skyline GT-R R34]][[note]]The V-Spec II model represents it in the NFS Heroes pack.[[/note]]
*** ''Underground 2'': Rachel Teller's [[http://www.abload.de/img/pc9c72.jpg 2003 Nissan 350Z]][[note]]The 2006 model represents it in the NFS Heroes pack.[[/note]]
*** ''Most Wanted'' (2005): The player's [[http://i.imgur.com/3mu4zDX.jpg BMW M3 GTR (E46)]], which thanks to its distinguished blue and white livery and ridiculously high performance stats in that game, is pretty much ''the'' [[MacGuffin most iconic car]] of the series. It is also the Most Wanted car of the NFS Heroes pack and the mobile version of ''Most Wanted'' 2012.
*** ''Carbon'': [[http://vygame.net/wp-content/uploads/1NeedForSpeedCarbon-Cover.jpg Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR-Edition and Dodge Challenger Concept]]
*** ''[=ProStreet=]'': [[http://vygame.net/wp-content/uploads/1NeedForSpeedProStreet-Cover.jpg Nissan GT-R Proto]]
*** ''Undercover'': Rose Largo's [[http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/object/142/14261964/NFSUNC_pc_PFTfront.jpg Porsche 911 [=GT2=] (997)]], which was also in the NFS Heroes DLC pack.
*** ''Shift'': [[http://yuq.me/games/25/225/25225.png BMW M3 [=GT2=]]]
*** ''World'': [[http://86bb71d19d3bcb79effc-d9e6924a0395cb1b5b9f03b7640d26eb.r91.cf1.rackcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/need-for-speed-world-walkthrough-box-artwork.jpg Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4]][[note]]The cover car's special trim is called "Tensor".[[/note]]
*** ''Hot Pursuit'' (2010): Lamborghini Reventón and Pagani Zonda Cinque ([[http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/9/95284/1465450-nfshp10pcpft2dfukeng0_jpg_jpgcopy.jpg Orange Zonda in the Normal Edition]], [[https://static.coolshop.com/images/boxshots/65444-forside.jpg Silver Zonda in the Limited Edition]])
*** ''Shift 2: Unleashed'': Nissan GT-R [=GT1=] and Maserati [=GranTurismo=] S ([[http://www.everyeye.it/public/covers/16122010/Shift-2-Unleashed_Playstation3_cover.jpg Red Maserati in the Normal Edition]], [[http://pspmedia.ign.com/psp/image/object/082/082478/NFS-Shift-2-Unleashed_LIMITED_PC_US_RP.jpg Orange Maserati in the Limited Edition]])
*** ''The Run'': [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v0IxI3YZPFI/TvCVnMyiqYI/AAAAAAAAAGc/K5z9ThYOy-c/s1600/need+for+speed+-the+run.jpg Ford Shelby [=GT500=] Super Snake (normal version)]], [[http://www.nfs-mania.com/images/news/nfs-mania_the_run_limited_edition_cover_ps3.jpg Lamborghini Aventador (Limited Edition)]]
*** ''Most Wanted'' (2012): [[http://uberkonzol.hu/uploads/products/3232/cover.jpg Porsche 911 Carrera S (991) and Aston Martin [=V12=] Vantage]]
*** ''Rivals'': [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8oDvRw6eWwU/UaSve7xSjdI/AAAAAAAAAAw/K1Va96QdH3Y/s1600/Cover_art_of_Need_for_Speed_Rivals.jpg Ferrari [=F12berlinetta=] and Koenigsegg Agera R]]
* CowboyCop: This is how you get ''anything'' done in the ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. Road blocks, spike strips, EMP, and helicopter at your disposal, officer. Justified in that the racers are ''really'' dangerous.
** ''III: Hot Pursuit'' (the original) was somewhat more sedate, in that you only got spike strips. The rest you had to do yourself, via takedowns.
* CrapsackWorld: Implied in the first ''Hot Pursuit'' with Empire City, the track narrator goes so far to say: "Metropolis gone bad..." when listening on the description in the menu.
* CrazyAwesome: In-universe, ''You'' (well, Ryan Cooper) are considered to be this by the [=DJs=] if you perform good enough. They insist a ''lot'' on this at the beginning of drag races.
-->'''DJ''': "Did you see this guy? He's completely '''bananas'''!"
* CriticalExistenceFailure: In ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 and ''Rivals'', the damage modeling usually means that cars on the verge of being wrecked look the part - but they're still perfectly capable of driving like new until that last sliver of health is gone. In addition, it is possible to get caught in a pileup at a roadblock with other drivers, leading to some hilarious, spectacular moments as one watches cars suddenly become wrecked by a fender bender.
* CurbStompBattle: ''A lot'' of the Duel Events in ''Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit'' 2010 can fall into this, particularly the ''Power Trip'', ''Twin Turbo'', ''Racing Stripes'' and ''Title Fight'' Duels.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique: Turbo in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. [[LampshadeHanging Like the game says]], "it's hard to evade spike strips when you're going at 200mph". Especially when you're out of Jammers and can't prevent the cops from dropping spike strips in front of you...
* DeathFromAbove: One of the levels in ''The Run'' has Jack avoiding an attacking helicopter as he attempts to escape Chicago. Appropriately enough, the trailer it's featured in is called "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Death From Above]]".
* DifficultButAwesome: Mastering the Bugatti Veyron and it's [[UpToEleven faster version, the Super Sport]] definitely qualifies. These are two of the fastest cars in the world but they're very difficult to handle, but with some skill and a bit of practice you can makes these cars almost [[GameBreaker game-breaking]].
** Same with the El Nino and La Nina in ''III: Hot Pursuit'' and ''High Stakes'' respectively, an extreme amount of top speed and acceleration and an extreme lack of handling, but this only applies to lead foots as letting off the gas will increase the turn rate dramatically and gain you a very high edge in class A races.
* DifficultySpike: quite common since ''Underground''.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The premise of Hot Pursuit. "Hey, that guy is speeding! Quickly, lets lay down spike strips, use electromagnetic pulses, call in the helicopters, and ram them off the road! Hopefully off the side of a cliff! That'll teach them a lesson about speeding!"
* DolledUpInstallment: ''V-Rally'' and ''V-Rally 2''.
* DramaticLandfallShot: The opening of ''Undercover''.
* DreamMatchGame: Where else are you going to see cars like the Audi R8, Nissan GT-R, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, Koeingsegg Agera R, Ford Mustang and the Ferrari 458 Italia go head-to-head? Nowhere else. ''Most Wanted'' 2012's overlapping car classes allow players to use everyday cars like the Ford Focus(es) and the Range Rover Evoque go up against said exotics and possibly ''win''.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: You in almost all ''Need for Speed'' games. Of note are the beautiful, treacherous tracks in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. When you get to, or have to, drive a Corvette [=ZR1=] through hairpins at 200mph, you have to learn to drift well fast.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Played straight in the ''Underground'' games, where almost all race givers will treat your car as a wreck, and expect you to be [[EpicFail lapped five times by the end of the race.]] Averted in ''[=ProStreet=]'' where, if you perform good enough, the [=DJs=] will ''constantly'' praise you.
** Played with in ''Most Wanted''. Razor will occasionally call you up to taunt you, but as the game goes on he starts a slow-motion VillainousBreakdown.
* DynamicDifficulty
* ExcusePlot: For the most part, starting with ''Most Wanted'' in 2005, the plots are just there to get you on the road at extremely high speeds. Introduced at the beginning and quickly forgotten until the end (and sometimes not even then).
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: ''NFS II'' had an unlockable Hollywood track, with movie sets and dinosaurs (indeed, a cheat code allowed you to turn your car ''into'' a dinosaur, as well as other silly things like a log).
* EveryEpisodeEnding
* EvilLaugh: Heard in the second game's song, "Gore", the rock track for Hollywood.
* [[DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist Getting Arrested Is A Slap On The Wrist]]: The ultimate goal of the Pursuit races in ''World'' is to keep going for as long as you possibly can (or want) while causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the state. It's up to you to keep the event going if you lose the police, by actively seeking them back out again. If you happen to get arrested though, all you suffer is a loss of a couple hundred dollars.
** Same in ''Most Wanted'' 2012, expect that when the player is busted they only lose all [=SpeedPoints=] that they've accumulated throughout the chase and return to the most recently used Jack Spot.
*** It's rather riskier for Racers in ''Rivals'' as the only way they can keep their [=SpeedPoints=] (as it's considered currency in that game) is bank them at a hideout. Since the more [=SpeedPoints=] they accumulate in a session, the higher their heat level goes up, and the more police will be after them. Worse, if they get busted by a player Cop, that player will get all the Racer's [=SpeedPoints=].
** Averted in ''Most Wanted'' 2005, where you have a limit on how many times you can pay for your infractions when you get busted before the police takes the car you're driving. You can increase the limit, and you can pay with a special marker to make the cops ignore the chase altogether, but both of these options are limited.
* ExcusePlot: Seriously, [=EMPs=]? Satchels? Police stings? Bleh. Just drive and laugh.
* FinalBoss: Eddie in ''Underground'', Caleb in ''Underground 2'', Razor in ''Most Wanted'' 2005, Darius in ''Carbon'', Ryo Watanabe in ''[=ProStreet=]'', Chase Linh in ''Undercover'', Marcus Blackwell in ''The Run'', [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Campbell-Walter Jamie Campbell-Walter]] in ''Shift 2: Unleashed'', and the Koenigsegg Agera R in ''Most Wanted'' 2012.
* FragileSpeedster: Most exotics and hypercars in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 are this.
** In-universe: the M3 GTR at the start of ''Carbon'' gets destroyed after being lightly hit by falling pipes. Which is odd, considering the amount of crap it goes through in the final pursuit of ''Most Wanted'' 2005.
* HammerspacePoliceForce: Good god. Does no other crime ever take place in these games?
* HardModePerks: ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' rewards more cash for races depending on the difficulty.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler:How F-8's police career ends in ''Rivals''.]]
* HollywoodCalifornia
* HoodOrnamentHottie: Brooke Burke and Kelly Brook in ''Underground 2'', Josie Maran in ''Most Wanted'', Emmanuelle Vaugier in ''Carbon'', Krystal Forscutt in ''[=ProStreet=]'', and Maggie Q in ''Undercover''. None of them were hired for their acting ability, as the in-game cutscenes show quite clearly.
* ImprobablyCoolCar: Too many kids with Lamborghini Gallardos (especially the 550-2 Valentino Balboni)!
** The Cops in general in many games with unlikely cop cars. While ''Most Wanted'' 2005, ''Carbon'' and ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 slightly averts the trope a bit (Local ([[LawyerFriendlyCameo Ford Crown Victoria-ish units]]) and State (Pontiac GTO) had cars that are justifiable (the Crown Victoria being one of the mainstay fleet cars of numerous police departments, and if you consider similar looking GTO's being in use by the Aussie Police Forces as an example of proper usage of said car), and you [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_DrHRJ2NdA&feature=plcp literally start "at the bottom" with a Crown Victoria in HP 2010]]), the other games have cop cars that are either unlikely, would be extremely cost-prohibitive, or not justifiable.
** The Pagani Zonda Cinque[[note]]Technically, there are ten: just five coupes and five roadster versions.[[/note]]
*** Similar to that, the [=McLaren=] F1 LM in ''Hot Pursuit 2'', which then returned in DLC for ''Most Wanted'' 2012. Stretching that even further, the model used in ''Most Wanted'' 2012 was its ''prototype'' the [=XP1=] LM. Then it appears ''again'' in ''Rivals'' for the police side with its respective variants.
** The Koenigsegg CCXR which there are ''only four of them made''! Yet, there is a police version with ''blue carbon fiber''.
** ''II'' was even worse with Ford [=GT90=]'s, Indigos, Mustang Mach III's, Italdesign (BMW) Nazca C2's and (Lamborghini) Calas, all of which, for those who are confused, never went into production!
*** ''III: Hot Pursuit'' then had the Italdesign (Alfa Romeo) Scighera (which had only been available in the PC version, the PSX version had the aforementioned Nazca C2).
** ''Carbon'', ''[=ProStreet=]'' and ''Undercover'' all feature the Dodge Challeneger and Chevrolet Camaro concept cars.
** On the less exciting end of the scale, Peugeots, Vauxhalls, Fiats, Alfa Romeos and Renaults in America.
* [[InfinityMinusOneSword Infinity Minus One Car]]: In ''Most Wanted'', if you win Blacklist #6 Ming's Lamborghini Gallardo, it comes with most of all of the final performance upgrades available for cars that aren't supposed to be unlocked until after you beat #3 Ronnie. The car unmodified from its initial setup is enough to get you through the next few Blacklist targets easy, and it saves you money so you can buy one of the final cars when you need to. You will definitely want to [[SaveScumming Save Scum]] for this one.
* InMediasRes: ''Underground'', ''Most Wanted'' and ''Carbon'' start like this.
* InVehicleInvulnerability: If you knock out a car in Hot Pursuit 2010, the most you might see the driver do inside is just shake his head in disappointment. No fear. This happens even if the racer in question uses a Mercedes-Benz SLR [=McLaren=] Stirling Moss edition, which has '''''no windshield or roof.'''''
** Averted in that if you wreck a cop, they sometimes request EMS.
* JokeCharacter - The police helicopter in High Stakes.
** Cheatcodes in NFS II allow you to drive civilian cars, including limousine and school bus which can [[CarFu punt opponents around]] [[RuleOfFunny like a cat playing with its toy]].
** LethalJokeCharacter - The Toyota Corolla from ''Underground 2'' onward, and the Tesla Roadster Sport in ''Most Wanted'' 2012. Despite their rather dowdy appearance compared to other cars, they have fantastic handling and, in the right hands, beat much faster cars. The latter even has Mods that make it nigh-unstoppable.
* LandDownunder: Australian tracks that run from Sydney to the outback and back again.
** ''High Stakes'' also gives us Fords and Holdens, as well as a Victoria police unit.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin aptly-titled]] "Movie Legends" DLC includes five new cars from notable movies. They include Film/JamesBond's Aston Martin [=DB5=] and [=DBS=], the Pontiac Firebird T/A "Blackbird" from ''SmokeyAndTheBandit'', [[TheFastAndTheFurious Dominic Toretto's]] custom Dodge Charger R/T, and Eleanor, the Shelby [=GT500=] from ''Film/GoneIn60Seconds2000''.[[note]]This is the standard car. Eleanor was a custom modified car. She was so popular that everyone wanted her. A private firm went on to [[{{Defictionalization}} mass-produce]] her as the Shelby GT500E Super Snake Eleanor, [[MeaningfulName E for Eleanor]]. Since the one in the game is the standard car, it might also be referencing ''Tokyo Drift''.[[/note]]
* LevelInReverse: An option in the second title would, when activated, reverse the direction the player drove every track.
* LimitBreak: the nitrous in ''Underground 2'' is refilled with stunts. This mechanic returns in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. In fact, it's about the only way to win in Exotic or Hyper series when you're a Racer. The fact that the cops' cars are ''significantly better'' than yours doesn't help. The nitrous system in ''The Run'' is a combination of the self-regenerating nitrous from Most Wanted, Carbon, and Undercover, with the option to accelerate the regeneration with stunts à la ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010.
* MacGuffin: the BMW M3 GTR in ''Most Wanted''
* MadLibsDialogue: Many of the games with cop chatter in order to differentiate what car (and the color of it) the player was driving, as well as location in the track. But it was well done in ''NFS III'' and onward, as well as the in-game track guide, though there are some slip ups...
* MarathonLevel: Event 30 of Championship mode in ''Hot Pursuit 2''. 10 laps on Palm City Island. Takes about half an hour to complete.
** Tournaments in ''NFS II'' and ''III'' have you race on all of the tracks in the respective games (excluding the unlockable Empire City in ''III'') with four laps ''per race'', meaning on some of the later advanced tracks such as Summit or Hollywood, this can take upwards of over ''ten minutes'', doubly so with Class C vehicles.
** The Seacrest Tour in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010: a 43 mile, roughly 15-minute race across almost the entirety of the virtual county you've been burning rubber on throughout the game. Tends to be a CurbStompBattle against you if you make too many mistakes.
* MarketBasedTitle: There's quite a few, so take a seat.
** European versions keep the ''Need for Speed'' name, but usually had a different subtitle. For example, ''Porsche Unleashed'''s subtitle was simply ''2000'' for the German edition. This practice ended with the release of ''Hot Pursuit 2''.
** The Japanese versions were sold as the ''Over Drivin[='=]'' series until the release of ''Most Wanted'' (Japan did not get ''Porsche Unleashed'' or ''Hot Pursuit 2''). There were also a few Japanese-exclusive editions of the first game, including an all-Nissan edition (''Over Drivin': Skyline Memorial''). Despite the name, it featured more than the company's Skyline series of sports cars, as it included various Z-cars and the R390 Le Mans racer.
** ''Hot Pursuit 2'' had ''both'' the Opel Speedster and Vauxhaul [=VX220=] the only difference is the lack of roof on the [=VX220=] while the Speedster had a slightly higher acceleration.
* MoneyForNothing: A problem in any game that lets you customize by using cash. You'll end up with a big bank account from winning races yet none of the higher level part tiers will open up so you can buy new swag with your loot. By the time you have the option of buying new parts, very often they won't dent your funds enough that you'll care.
* MoodLighting
* MsFanservice: Every female character that ever makes an appearance in the series. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Absolutely. Positively. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.]] If she ain't a top-model, she doesn't exist. Period.
* MultiPlatform
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: 'Wolf' (It'd be more scary squaring up to 'Michael Schumacher').
** Razor in ''Most Wanted'' 2005, which to be fair is a lot more sinister than his real name, Clarence Callahan.
** Lampshaded in the PSP version; the DeadpanSnarker who writes each Blacklist member's bio sarcastically mentions it must of taken him all night to come up with that name.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The print ads for the original NFS 2 had vistas of empty desert roads on them, suggesting the game would keep the point-to-point races of the original but expanded to a larger scale. In reality NFS 2 only featured circuit tracks and no open roads anything like the images.
* NintendoHard:
** Sure, the missions in the beginning of ''Hot Pursuit 2'' are easy, but watch out for some of the missions after halfway through. Some require going through fog at night at very high speeds. Others have options that add traffic to the mix. At higher Heat levels, the AI will end up defaulting to spike strips first and then roadblocks. Racers also become more aggressive in later missions.
** ''Undercover'' with the title update installed. '''''Holy hell.'''''
** ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010's response missions are [[DifficultySpike incredibly hard]] as they require to dodge everything and perform a perfect run while under a time limit at more than a hundred miles an hour. Weather conditions amp up these missions considerably. And there's that damned Bugatti Veyron response mission which does all of this at more than two hundred miles an hour, and it's recomended to reach its top speed of ~250 MPH(!) during that mission for max points!
* NitroBoost
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Most of the wrecks, takedowns, busts and crashes in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 that involve rolling the car multiple times, launching cars off of cliffs, brutal head-on collisions with traffic and sending supercars into walls while going at speeds climbing over 240+ MPH.
** Especially in a Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss. The car literally has no roof and no windshield! A roll-over in that car would clearly kill the driver.
** [[spoiler:Zephyr in ''Rivals'' finishes his last event in a high-speed collision with a police roadblock, he seems to have been critically wounded, [[NotQuiteDead but then his car's engine starts]].]]
* ObviousBeta: ''Undercover'' shipped with severe framerate issues. Absolute death in a high-speed racing game.
** The [=PS3=], PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game at least got a patch that (mostly) fixes the framerate issues.
** ''[=ProStreet=]'' had some framerate issues, too, but it didn't make the game unplayable.
** The Xbox 360 version of ''Shift'' [[http://web.archive.org/web/20091122051957/http://freakbits.com/xbox-360-crashes-accessing-playstation-store-0927 tried to access the PlayStation Store.]]
* OldSaveBonus: Some versions of ''Most Wanted'' gave you an extra $5000 for having an ''Underground 2'' saved game.
** ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 and ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' offer "loyalty bonuses" if you played a previous game in the series, usually in the form of additional experience points. Playing ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 also unlocks two additional cars in ''Shift 2: Unleashed'': a Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster in "NFS Edition" colors, and a Lamborghini Reventon in a Seacrest County PD livery.
* [[OneManArmy One Cop Army]]: You are this in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010's Cop mode. Unlike the Hot Pursuit events on the racer side, you are always the only cop after several racers in Hot Pursuit events, and your arrival to Interceptor events is often treated like {{Superman}} just arrived on scene.
** "Confirmed, interceptor unit on station, standing down."
** Same thing occurs in the the third game as well (PC anyways), you're the only cop unlike how there's other cops roaming the track should you have played as a racer.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: In ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010, listen to the woman who reads off each car's description in the vehicle selection menu. She frequently slips between an American accent and a British one, especially on words like "dollars" and "goggles" (for example: [[RuleOfThree The SLR Stirling Moss]]).
* PenultimateWeapon
* PopTheTires: In many games that have police, if your heat level gets high enough, cops will start deploying spike strips with their roadblocks. Even losing one tire to one will cause your vehicle to be very difficult to control, and is usually followed by the cops arresting you.
* PressXToNotDie: ''The Run'' uses this trope for moments where you're out of the car. [[spoiler: In the Xbox version this is literally the case in the opening cutscene where the first button you need to press is X]]
* ProductPlacement: ''Underground 2'' was the winner of Gamespot's "Most Despicable Product Placement" award in 2004. After all, this was the game that had a Burger King and/or a Best Buy every couple of blocks and the Cingular logo ''on the HUD at all times''.
** ''Hot Pursuit 2010'': '''Roadblocks of the SCPD in association with FORD.'''
** ''The Run'' has the K&N, Old Spice and AEM challenge series and every petrol station is a Shell one with their premium brand fuels clearly shown.
** ''Most Wanted'' 2012 had a "K&N Workshop" and some of the game's license plates were sponsored as well (thankfully only in descriptions).
** The Ford Motor Company is everywhere in ''Rivals''; there is a racer hideout with the Ford logo on the walls as well as advertisements for the Mustang to the left and right of it, three of the game's twenty-five [[CosmeticAward achievements]] are tied to Ford cars, the Mustang from the then-unreleased [[Film/NeedForSpeed film]] is one of Zephyr's vehicles, and the first DLC car added to the game was the 2015 Ford Mustang via a free update.
* QuicksandBox
* RareVehicles: ''Carbon'' was released in 2006 and features the concept versions of the ''2008'' Dodge Challenger, ''2010'' Chevrolet Camaro and Audi [=R8=] ("Le Mans"); ''Hot Pursuit 2'' and ''Most Wanted'' 2012's Ultimate Speed Pack also features the [=McLaren=] F1 LM, of which only five were produced.[[note]]''Most Wanted'' 2012 in particular uses the XP1 prototype as the car's model.[[/note]] ''II'' also featured one-offs like the Ford [=GT90=], Indigo and Mustang Mach III, Lamborghini Italdesign Cala, BMW Italdesign Nazca C2, and the super-rare [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isdera Isdera Commendatore 112i]].
** The two cover cars for ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 title are the Lamborghini Reventon (total production: 20 cars, plus one for display in the Lamborghini Museum.) and the Pagani Zonda Cinque (total production: five cars, all going to an exotic car showroom in Hong Kong. [[DontExplainTheJoke "Cinque" is the Italian term for the number five, hence the production number and name.]]).
** The main car in ''Need for Speed: Most Wanted'' 2005 is a BMW M3 GTR. Essentially an E46 M3 with a 500hp V8 engine (the stock M3 has a 333hp straight-six. The normal M3 wouldn't get a V8 until the following E92 generation) built for American Le Mans racing. To satisfy racing rules, only ''10'' street-legal examples were ever built priced at $218,000 each. Its one of the most expensive, powerful (reaching speeds of 219mph) and rare BMW cars built.
* RashomonStyle: This is how the story in ''Carbon'' is told.
* RealIsBrown: ''Most Wanted'' 2005 paints the whole scene brown and orange with the Visual Treatment set on full; ''Carbon'' later replaced it with high-tech blue. ''Prostreet'' removed it completely, but ''Undercover'' goes to a gold-orange. However, the option has been completlely dropped since ''Shift''.
* RealSongThemeTune: Thanks to the SongAssociation.
* RoadBlock: Used in the ''Hot Pursuit'' games, ''Most Wanted'' games, ''Carbon'', and ''Rivals''; the usual way to clear them is by either squeezing through or hammering your way through.
** They return as a cop-deployable obstacle in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. The correct way to get through them is to shoot a gap just a little larger than your car (earning a dodged roadblock bonus). The computer regularly aims for them, but they do clip a cop car from time to time, which can lead to an easy takedown or bust.
** Then again in ''Most Wanted'' 2012, there's even tactical road blocks made up of impassible armored trucks that are used to guide players in a certain direction.
** Can be deployed by cops yet again in ''Rivals'', or by ''anyone'' using [=OverWatch=] on the ''Need for Speed'' Network.
* RubberBandAI: Infamously used since ''Underground''.
* RuleOfThree: Every third game seems to be centered about cop chases. The third game was ''III: Hot Pursuit'', the sixth game was ''Hot Pursuit 2'', the ninth game was 2005's ''Most Wanted'', the twelfth game was ''Undercover'', the fifteenth game (after ''Shift'' and ''Nitro'') is 2010's ''Hot Pursuit'', and the eighteenth game is ''Most Wanted'' 2012, [[ContinuityReboot again]] (after ''Shift 2'' and ''The Run'').
* SatchelSwitcheroo: Happens in the storyline in ''Carbon''.
* ScareChord: Sort of. In the second and third games, crashing your car would cause a short riff (that was part of whatever song was playing, depending on track) to play.
* SceneryPorn: Just about every game in the series, but ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 takes it to the extreme. Think about it, Seacrest County has tall redwoods, a large lake, long rivers, a mountain range up north, long stretches of desert... all presented in ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}''-matching graphics! And it looks absolutely brilliant!
** ''Rivals'' (especially on the upcoming {{PlayStation 4}} and XboxOne versions) aims to beat that using the Frostbite 3 engine.
* SchizoTech: The Atlantica course in ''III: Hot Pursuit'', which looks very futuristic but only features 1990s cars.
** To go further, Empire City is your standard, dystopian CrapsackWorld city yet there are high powered, [[ImprobablyCoolCar rare]] sports cars racing around the district.
* ScoreScreen: used in all the games, though ''Most Wanted'' also tallies up your pursuit score like this.
* SeriousBusiness: Daft street racing with a straight face is what the game is basically about.
** The police in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 have a dedicated speed enforcement unit with tricked-out cars to match those of racers.
* SharkTunnel: The first ''Hot Pursuit'' has one as a segment in the Aquatica track, which is also available in certain versions of ''High Stakes''. The PSX version of ''III: Hot Pursuit'' also has a giant version of it as a secret track.
* ShoutOut: The Coastal course in the original had a half-buried Statue of Liberty on the beach at the finish line. "''[[PlanetOfTheApes You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you all to hell!]]''"
** If you crashed the Lamborgini in the 3D0 version of the orignal ''NFS'', the guy at the menu would say:
--> "You just wrecked a $500,000 dollar machine. Nice going, [[TheAndyGriffithShow Gomer...]]"
** In ''Most Wanted''...
-->'''Cross''': "I want everyone on this guy."
-->'''Partner''': "Everyone?"
-->'''Cross''': "'''''[[Film/TheProfessional EVVV-REEE-OOOOONNNNEEE!!!!!]]'''''"
** In ''Carbon'', there's a district of Palmont City called Fortuna and the leader of the crew that controls it is called Wolf. [[VideoGame/StarFox64 Sound familiar?]]
** There's quite a few in the new ''Hot Pursuit'''s achievement/trophy list.
*** Just so you know who made the game, there's an achievement/trophy called "VideoGame/{{Burnout}}" that requires the player to fully charge up the NitroBoost and use it all in one go.
**** To drive that point home, one of the routes in game is called ''Point of Impact''.
*** One achievement/trophy requires the player to win a certain event in a "bee yellow" Camaro. The name of the achievement? [[Film/{{Transformers}} "Flight of the Bumblebee".]]
*** There's another achievement/trophy called [[Film/IronMan "Iron Man"]] that requires completing three police events in an Audi R8.
*** And there's one called [[Film/JamesBond "Shaken, Not Stirred"]] that requires completing an event in an Aston Martin vehicle.
*** Speaking of James Bond and Astons, there's another Aston-only event called "Do look after it".
*** Finally, there's one called "Franchise/{{Godzilla}}" that requires completing a certain police event in a Nissan GT-R Spec V with no weapons used, a reference to the film series and the AffectionateNickname of the car in question.
*** One of the Racer events in the Lamborghini Untamed DownloadableContent pack is called [[TheCannonballRun Cannonball]] and has the player racing against the clock and police in a Lamborghini Countach. The event has a small homage to the opening credits in the opening intro FMV to the event.
*** ''Most Wanted'': "We have a [[Film/JamesBond secret agent wannabe]] in an Aston Martin Vantage."
*** ''Most Wanted U'' on - you guessed it - the WiiU adds three hidden warp pipes from the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series scattered across Fairhaven. The first has a blue and red Ariel Atom, the second has a pink Caterham, and the last has a green BAC Mono. All of these are based on the colours of Mario, Princess Peach and Yoshi, respectively. Each of the rooms has items related to each character as well; Mario's has girders from DonkeyKong, Peach's has a crown, and Yoshi's has an egg.
*** Refering to the above point, notice how all the hidden cars are in the track-day car class; the closest thing to [[VideoGame/MarioKart7 go-karts]]. Even the colour schemes match.
*** Additionally, each of the cars have an unlockable license plate that is exclusive to ''Most Wanted U''. Collecting all three unlocks one more license plate with another Creator/{{Nintendo}} [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} franchise]] reference.
* SillinessSwitch: ''NFS II'' had cheat modes that would turn your car into a box, a dinosaur and a bus stop, among other things.
* SlapOnTheWristNuke: Spike Strips? EMP? Nahh, only a metal wound in the ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. Averted in other games though, as [[ThatOneAttack the pursuit is basically over if you hit the Spike Strips]].
* SloMoBigAir: Very common. In ''Most Wanted'' 2005 this can actually be a hindrance, because you might not be able to see where you're going during a chase due to the camera shifting to a more cinematic angle. Or you get stuck on top of one of the police cruisers and busted.
* StealthPun: ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 used this sentence during the final roadblock upgrade briefing for police. Also note that a cayenne is also a type of chili.
-->"Porsche Cayenne Turbos are now deployed to add spice to your pursuit."
** Now ''The Run'' does recursive shout-outs to previous installment's names on their chapters, remarkably "Underground", "Most Wanted" and the last episode, [[spoiler:"Hot Finish"]].
* StoppedNumberingSequels
* StrictlyFormula: A common complaint against ''Carbon'' and ''Undercover''.
* SpinOff: The ''V-Rally'' series (which only bore the ''NFS'' name for branding; was eventually passed to the ''Test Drive'' name later). ''Beetle Adventure Racing'' was envisioned as a ''Need for Speed'' title for the {{Nintendo 64}} but eventually became a VW Beetle-focused racing game. The ''Shift'' games are trying to draw a divide between themselves and the rest of the franchise, with the second game dropping the name and being called ''Shift 2: Unleashed''.
* SuspectIsHatless: In ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010:
-->'''Police Dispatcher''': Suspect is in the sand, heading toward the rocks!"
* ToyotaTripwire: One of Undercover's fairly humorous 'busted' sequences features the player character shoving cops out of his way, jumping over a roadblock before finally being hit with a police cruiser's door at a brisk speed.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay
* VanityLicensePlate: "NFS" on your plate. Supposedly these were going to be customisable for online play, until somebody realised that most people would [[ClusterFBomb use swear words a lot]].
** In ''Undercover'' and ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010, all the cars have license plates that say "ND 4 SPD".
** For the real life pictures of the cars in ''III: Hot Pursuit'', all of the pictures showing the license plate will have "NFS 3" edited over them to prevent tracking.
** A variety of plates are available for players to purchase (mostly with [=SpeedBoost=]) in ''World''.
** Players now have truly customizable license plates for the first time in the series in ''Most Wanted'' 2012. The following game, ''Rivals'', retains this.
* TheVoiceless: The player character in every ''Need for Speed'' from ''Underground'' through ''Undercover''. Doesn't count for older games or ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 since they have no story.
* TrueFinalBoss: [[spoiler:Melissa]] in Underground.
* VillainousBreakdown: Slowly happens to Razor and Cross from ''Most Wanted'' 2005, as well as Darius from ''Carbon''.
** [[spoiler:Chase Linh]] at the end of ''Undercover'' after [[spoiler:being arrested by the police]].
* WackyRacing: With licensed {{Cool Car}}s, to bout!
* WhamEpisode: Actually a Wham Race in the first ''Underground''. The race known as "Friends Are Easy To Make, And Easier To Lose" has you racing against [[spoiler:Samantha who's been your guide throughout the first two thirds of the game.]] Later, the other racers will [[WhatTheHellHero call you out on this.]]
* [[WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys Where Do They Get All These Wonderful Toys?]] ''Most Wanted'' and ''Carbon'' had Municipal and '''FEDERAL''' Law Enforcement Units with Chevrolet Corvettes, ''Undercover'' had the Highway Patrol sporting Nissan GT-R's and the Locals driving Dodge Challengers, and one has to wonder what the budget is for the Seacrest County Police Department in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 that allows them to maintain a fleet of a variety of expensive exotics in the motorpool.
** JustifiedTrope (Thinly): Seacrest County obviously has a very serious street racing problem, and the street racers are, themselves, driving extremely high powered exotics. The cops are just responding to the escalation, though the $1.5 ''million'' cost for a single Bugatti Veyron is best left unmentioned...
*** Maybe the judge made some of the caught speeders forfeit their cars.
** The Fairhaven City Police Department in ''Most Wanted'' 2012 has Chevrolet Corvettes, Dodge Chargers, and when they can't stop the racers, they bring a ton of invincible S.W.A.T. trucks for roadblocks. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=Fp93fC3Agj0 Their cars are also capable of clinging to walls and ceilings, multiply and link together to form a giant wheel, stacking on top of each other and spinning like a tornado, defying gravity]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XniAosUftbQ and can combine to become a giant robot.]] What the actual fuck?
----
->"Everyone?"
->"'''''EVERYONE!'''''"