!![[VideoGame/NeedForSpeed The video game franchise]]:
* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: Going the tuning route with ''Underground'' was controversial, but once they did, the move for that game and its sequel to arbitrary car power, which annoyed many auto journalist critics, became important for the same reason as ArbitraryGunPower: if there was more realistic (even at the ''NFS'' arcade level) performance characteristics for each car, you would be stuck with few competitive choices, especially in circuit where many limitations of the chassis and drivetrain configuration can't easily be modified away. Granted the breaks were a bit disconcerting (apparently in the ''NFS'' world, the RX-7 FD, which races in SCCA A stock and posted the ''best slalom time ever'' in its "Autoweek" testing debut, handles the same as a stock Civic Si), but with all the time it could take to customize the cars, it is nice to be able to keep using them in multiplayer races and still have a chance against anything else, as well as important for replayability. See also, CriticalDissonance.
** For those who want to take part in a high speed police pursuit they might be familiar with concepts such as terminating if it goes too fast and that trying to cause the racers to wipe out in a possibly lethal crash is not standard practice for law enforcement, or the typical budget does not extend to Bugatti and Porsche patrols. But that would not be as fun as using helicopters, roadblocks and tire spikes at three hundred miles per hour.
* [[Awesome/VideoGameLevels Awesome Video Game Levels]]: Most of the series has at least one of them. You be the judge!
** ''Need for Speed II'': Proving Grounds may just be an easy superspeedway, but it certainly lives up to the series' name. Also, it has [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic an awesome song]] to be [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RTO4qPEm64 "Haulin' Ass"]] to.
** ''III: Hot Pursuit'': Empire City was certainly a track worthy of being a prize for beating Knockout mode. Its {{cyberpunk}} influences, great techno theme, the tight and tricky layout, and even those alleyways near the start/finish line that could be used as shortcuts early on made it a fun track to race on.
** ''Most Wanted'' 2012: The crown goes to the Hughes International Airport in northeastern Fairhaven which appears as part of the ''Terminal Velocity'' DLC. Big jumps, futuristic architecture, a long drag strip derived from a plane runway, a construction site and winding roads. [[RuleOfCool And you can drive INSIDE the airport!]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsS4c_WAcpI See this gameplay video to witness the utter awesomeness of this airport.]] And if you have this pack, get ready to feel like [[Film/TheTransporter Frank Martin.]]
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The surreal Ambush event intros in ''Most Wanted'' 2012.
* BrokenBase: ''Need for Speed'' has probably the most fragmented fanbase in all of {{Racing Game}}s.
** Specifically, the pre-''Underground'' fans versus the ''Underground'' fans. The massive amounts of FanDumb over ''Shift'' is astounding. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxkqsHf3rGk Here's proof.]]
*** The focus on aftermarket customization in the second era (and by extension, ''World'') is especially notable. Does modding the look of your car make it look like the most badass PimpedOutCar there ever was or does it make a finely-crafted machine look like an ugly-as-Hell RiceBurner?
** For another example, see the comments [[http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=97VG1r9LLH8&fromurl=/watch%3Fv%3D97VG1r9LLH8 here]], some of which are rated at around +10. Maybe deservedly so.
** ''Underground'' fans did not like ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 for a lack of aftermarket customization, tuners, and a proper open world.[[note]]Although Seacrest County is one continuous environment, it does not have a proper free roam. The free roam is simply just screwing around in a car for as long as you like in single-player with no pursuits or other events on the map.[[/note]] Classic pre-''Underground'' fans on the other hand liked the game for those exact reasons. Both sides did have mixed feelings regarding the weapons (especially towards racers) and Autolog though.
** Immediate reactions after the confirmation that Criterion's next game in the series would be a reboot of ''Most Wanted'' developed by them ranged from excitement that the developers of the ''VideoGame/{{Burnout}}'' series and ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 is returning for another reboot of a fan-favorite ''Need for Speed'' title to disappointment that they're not returning to ''Burnout'' just yet with expressions being made that Criterion's first ''NFS'' title wasn't as good as they hoped it would be.
*** Several people took to Amazon just to bash the game after it was released. Even one Amazon reviewer who gave a more objective four-star review of the 2012 game got some flak just for giving a ''positive'' review of it; at least one commenter even accused him of being a shill for EA.
*** ''Most Wanted'' 2012 tends to get flack from both ''Underground'' and ''Burnout'' fans. ''Underground'' fans were once again unhappy about the lack of car customization beyond the performance mods and color (liveries for the cars in the ''Need for Speed Heroes'' DLC pack), as well as having taken so many cues from the ''Burnout'' series. ''Burnout'' fans meanwhile think that it was not ''Burnout'' enough, or it was too much like ''Paradise'' (itself a BaseBreaker in that series). Also, Fairhaven is seen by some fans of both past ''Need for Speed'' games and ''Burnout Paradise'' to be rather small and lacking in variety in its districts.
** ''Rivals'' also had issues that did not please various ''NFS'' fans. The frame rate was fixed to 30 frames per second on the PC version, which caused many headaches for PC fans (see PortingDisaster below). Car customization, although improved compared to the Criterion installments, was still somewhat limited to ''Underground''-era fans. Also, for a multiplayer-oriented game, six players maximum in a session is also rather limited. It did fix several problems that were in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 though, such as making its county an actual open world and maintaining ''Most Wanted'' 2012's improvements to Autolog.
* CharacterTiers: 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).
* CriticalDissonance: Happened many times. ''Undercover'' was disliked by critics but really liked by fans, who thought it was a more story-driven ''Carbon''. The most controversial case today is for ''Most Wanted'' 2012: critics hailed it as the best racing game of 2012 '''hands down''', but got a massive [[HateDumb fandom backlash]]. Evidently, the dissonance was so bad that Criterion Games have downsized to around fifteen employees, which resulted in the later departure of its founders, and a new developer (Ghost Games) is taking the reins of the franchise.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: [[AwesomeMusic/NeedForSpeed Has its own page.]]
* CrowningMomentOfFunny: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ca-lV3LRxEY live action ad]] for ''Most Wanted'' 2012. At first it looks like a western movie, but then that {{troll}} of a Ford Focus shows up. Laughs guaranteed. Also, the background song is none other than [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQObWW06VAM "Apache (Jump On It)"]] by The Sugar Hill Gang.
** The full FunnyMoments page is [[Funny/NeedForSpeed here]].
* {{Defictionalization}}: In March 2014 (coincidentally the same month as TheMovie of this series released), the Los Angeles Police Department began using a police-painted Lamborghini Gallardo for recruitment purposes.
* DemonicSpiders: The opponents' AI in ''Shift'' will '''slow down''' just to block you off, making overtaking a bitch.
* DorkAge: The series fell into one starting around ''Carbon'' (although some will claim everything post-''Underground'' as CanonDiscontinuity), and left it with ''Shift'' and ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. However as of recent, Criterion Games and Ghost Games came under heavy fire from certain groups of fans after ''Need for Speed Rivals''.
* EvenBetterSequel: ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' to ''Shift'' 1, specially after the 1.02 patch which corrected the jerky handling for controller users. Also, ''[[WideOpenSandbox Underground 2]]'' to the first one.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Look around this page; some Internet comments have included people wanting the franchise's focus to go back to that of an earlier era (with several wanting to go back to the ''Underground'' days) and will disregard more recent titles. Others wanted more recent franchise developers like (of all studios) Criterion Games to stop making ''Need for Speed'' games, which in the case of that developer actually did happen. (Although, many of Ghost Games' employees were from Criterion.)
* FandomRivalry: With ''VideoGame/TestDrive'' during TheNineties.
** With ''VideoGame/GranTurismo 5'' in 2010, even though it makes little sense as they take completely opposite approaches to the racing genre. ''VideoGame/GranTurismo 5'' and ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' would make more sense.
*** Though there is still a ''NFS'' vs. ''GT'' rivalry anyway for various reasons (game sales being one of them).
** In 2012, between Criterion's ''Most Wanted'' and Turn 10's ''VideoGame/ForzaMotorsport'', more specifically with Playground Games' ''Forza Horizon''.
** History repeats itself once more with ''Rivals'' going up against '''BOTH''' ''Gran Turismo 6'' and ''Forza Motorsport 5''.
* FridgeLogic: After a few Races in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 as the cop you'll probably get this. The game gives you some of the fastest cars in the world complete with [[RuleOfCool some]] ''[[RuleOfCool seriously]]'' [[RuleOfCool awesome looking police paint jobs]] and sirens (in fact you can even select what kinda sound you want your sirens to make) that would probably still be heard amidst the noise of the engine. However, the civilians on the roads ''don't seem to mind at all'', which can be particularly frustrating when you're driving say a Koenigsegg CCX down the freeway at max speed while truck drivers or cars are moving at a gentle pace down the same freeway.
** What's worse is hitting said vehicles nets a +3 penalty, and hitting the sides of the road is a +2 penalty, making some challenges nearly impossible.
** There is also a certain amount of FridgeLogic in the fact that the police apparently decide the best way to deal with illegal street racing is to buy a seemingly unlimited number of multi-million dollar supercars, equip them with experimental EMP technology and send them out to run said racers off the road.
* GameBreaker: In ''Most Wanted'' 2012, the Everyday car class contains the Audi A1 Clubsport quattro, a pocket rocket with 496bhp and a 0-100km/h time of 3.7s.
** The Koenigsegg One:1 systematically slaughters all of the other vehicles in ''Rivals''. It has the highest top end speed in the game, it has very strong acceleration and great handling, ''and'' it is rather bulky for being a hypercar. The best thing? '''''It's a FREE DLC car.''''' Yes, it might be unlocked at the end of the game, but at that time it's more than certain you can use this vehicle without screwing up.
*** Hell, the One:1 is also a game-breakingly good car in real life, too. What did you expect from ''the first ever production car to have a power-to-weight ratio of 1-to-1''?
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: [[http://www.needforspeed.com/news/italys-most-wanted According to a recent research done by the staff of NFS]], the Italian players of ''Most Wanted'' (2012) play for the most of the time with the Lamborghini Aventador, Pagani Huayra and Alfa Romeo 4C Concept. They also drive the Aston Martin V12 Vantage more than any other player in the world.
** Apparently in 2014, [[http://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/movies/2014/08/13/arizona-law-abiding-illegal-downloads/14015391/ Arizona torrented]] ''Need for Speed: Most Wanted''[[note]]Year not clarified, but it's more likely that it was Criterion's 2012 game.[[/note]] more than any other state relative to the national average.
* GoddamnedBats: The traffic in the [[Creator/CriterionGames Criterion]] installments (although for them, [[VideoGame/{{Burnout}} it could be considered usual fare]]) and ''The Run''.
* GoodBadBugs: One very useful bug in ''Most Wanted'' 2012 is [[spoiler:to change mods after hitting the apex of a billboard jump to extend your distance and prevent your car from leaning too much forward]].
* HypeBacklash: Since the release of ''Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit'' 2010, the game drew some ire from various fans due to its drifting mechanics being similar to ''Burnout Paradise'''s and other reasons such as the [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks lack of]] [[BaseBreaker aftermarket customization]]. This carried over to ''Most Wanted'' 2012 in particular, as it was much closer to the open-world ''Burnout'' game than ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010.
* InNameOnly:
** The series between ''Underground'' and ''Undercover'' is this to the previous games. Also, the ''V-Rally'' installments.
** The BrokenBase starts at ''Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit''.
* InternetBackdraft: [[SchmuckBait We dare you to say you like the Criterion titles over the Black Box titles]] on a ''NFS'' or arcade racing game forum.
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks: What some say about ''Carbon''.
* MagnumOpus: There's no universal agreement on this.
** For the critics, the [[Creator/CriterionGames Criterion]] installments of ''Hot Pursuit''[[note]]Website/{{Metacritic}} scores: 89 for [=PS3=], 88 for Xbox 360, and 86 for PC[[/note]] and ''Most Wanted''.[[note]]Metacritic scores: 86 for ''Most Wanted [[WiiU U]]'', 84 for [=PS3=] and Xbox 360, 79 for the [[PlayStationVita PS Vita]], and 78 for PC[[/note]]
** For the Black Box-era fans (and apparently most of the current fanbase), the two ''Underground'' games and the first ''Most Wanted''.
** For those fans who joined in the classic era, ''III: Hot Pursuit''. Also during that era, critics gave the [=PS2=] version of ''Hot Pursuit 2'' good reviews.[[note]]Metacritic score: 89[[/note]]
** Also some fans, including the newer-bloods, make the argument with ''Rivals''.
* MemeticMutation: One of Razor's lines about betting "five grand -- FIVE GRAND!" against the player character in one of the opening cutscenes to ''Most Wanted'' 2005 is an inside joke at Website/GiantBomb that comes up whenever a ''NFS'' game is in the news.
* MyRealDaddy: The now-defunct EA Black Box.
* MostAnnoyingSound: Quite a lot of what Vaughn Gittin Jr. has to say at the start of a race in ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' qualifies. For example, "That's the green light! Push push push! Nail that first corner! Green light!" is what you'll be hearing when you have to restart a hard race often.
* {{Narm}}: The narrators of ''Rivals''' campaigns. [[http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z60oe3UZb84 Here's a taste.]] May overlap with NarmCharm, but YMMV.
* NostalgiaFilter: [[{{Pun}} All over the road]] with this franchise.
* OldGuardVersusNewBlood: Comparing the first two eras, the new blood overtook the old guard.
* PlayerPunch: In ''Most Wanted'' 2005 you were trying to get your BMW M3 GTR back, at the beginning of ''Carbon'' it gets trashed.
* PortingDisaster:
** While not exactly a port as such, the [=PlayStation=] 2 and Wii versions of ''Undercover'' are considered by reviewers as nothing more than just cash-ins for fans who don't have a more premium system, and therefore, the superior version. The visuals are worse than ''Carbon''[='=]s, despite being two years younger, the frame rate is (amazingly) worse than the 360/PS3 versions, and the game's landscapes aren't actually new; they're actually just various roads and highways from both ''Most Wanted'' 2005 and ''Carbon'' clobbered together. On top of that, it still suffers various problems that griped the superior versions (i.e. the glaring, shiny street effect).
** Even worse with the Wii version of ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010. Bear in mind how the game was praised for dragging the series out of the stale tuner street racing theme and returning to its roots. The Wii version is effectively ''Nitro'', but without a cartoony style and several new courses and cars from the more mainstream versions. Everything else however? Nearly identical. You can still modify the look of your car, which, given the car selection, is tragically hilarious.
** The GameCube, {{Xbox}}, and PC versions of ''Hot Pursuit 2'' all look worse than the PlayStation2 version, despite all of them being more powerful. They also had less content and worse gameplay.
*** Note that the PS2 version was Black Box's first ''NFS'' title, while the other versions were EA Seattle's last.
** Oh god, the PC version of ''Rivals''. The cutscenes are unskippable and the frame rate is hardlocked at 30 FPS... on a platform that can easily handle such a game on 60 FPS or higher. What's worse, if someone tried to force the FPS caps off on the PC version, the game loses control of the physics of the car, ''effectively making the game unplayable.'' [[Creator/TheCynicalBrit TotalBiscuit]] shares his thoughts on the PC port [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDA37BmvNwM&list=UUy1Ms_5qBTawC-k7PVjHXKQ here.]]
*** Actually, according to [[http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Need_for_Speed:_Rivals PC Gaming Wiki]], it is possible to set the game to 60 FPS without this double speed issue with two command lines, but the caveat is that the game will run slow for the rest of the session if it dips below the user-defined threshold.
* PolishedPort: ''Most Wanted U'', the WiiU version of ''Most Wanted'' 2012, was ''[[InvokedTrope meant]]'' to be this, considering it looks much nicer than the earlier console versions. However, without any DLC releases to that version beyond the on-disc standard inclusion of the ''Ultimate Speed Pack'' [[MoneyDearBoy due to a lack of sales for the platform]], [[http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/ward-slams-nintendo-and-ea-over-wii-u-s-need-for-speed-most-wanted/0129308 former Criterion Games vice president Alex Ward blasted both EA and Nintendo saying that]] [[ScrewedByTheNetwork they screwed over the Wii U version.]]
** Before the Wii U version's release, the same game also had a version for PlayStationVita that was really the full console version with only a few graphical drawbacks, as well as an additional ten exclusive events added in. It goes to show how good Criterion is at working with various hardware.
* SacredCow: 2005's ''Most Wanted'' by Black Box was so sacred that it caused a massive HateDumb over Criterion's 2012 remake practically the moment it was announced simply because it didn't play anything like the 2005 game. By comparison, the older ''Hot Pursuit''-era fans were more open to Criterion's 2010 remake when it was announced since was a long time since the words "Hot Pursuit" were last used in a title and Criterion were still a highly-praised developer to consumers at the time.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Admit it; both the first and second era's games haven't aged particularly well gameplay-wise. The older games' steering are really stiff where you had to slam on the brakes to make good turns. That or repeatedly press the brake button as you approach a turn. (Mind you, drifting wasn't a thing back then.) On the other hand, handling in the Black Box games are very loose and can be too sensitive to your braking, which is probably why the ''Underground'' games' drifting events were so tricky. Maybe that's why Criterion's [[HateDumb "awful"]] entries [[CriticalDissonance did well with those stupid critics?]]
* SequelDisplacement: To put it bluntly, this is what tore up the fanbase. The ''Underground'' games and 2005's ''Most Wanted'' became so successful that it changed people's perceptions of what the franchise is and is not. Unfortunately, the problem was that there was already an existing devoted fanbase beforehand. When EA went back to the classic style in ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010, the older fans were mostly pleased, but the newer fans (which seems to be the majority of the current fanbase) were not. EA tried to rectify this with the ''World'' MMORG released the same year, but since it's a mediocre AllegedlyFreeGame that (although somewhat popular) didn't receive that much attention from the fanbase or video game journalists, it didn't really work. [[http://nfs.wikia.com/wiki/Need_for_Speed_Wiki As evidenced by a poll on the Need for Speed Wiki,]] the ''Underground''-era fans are still hoping for an ''Underground'' reboot to this day. They believe that Ghost Games' 2015 title, which is currently taking two years to develop, will be just that.
* SongAssociation: To be expected when you have an EA soundtrack in your game. Music/SnoopDogg? Spiderbait? The Buzzhorn? Bush? Hot Action Cop? Disturbed? [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Bitchin'.]]
* SoOkayItsAverage: Some say this about ''Most Wanted'' 2012. The professional critics however, hailed it as the best thing since sliced bread.
** ''Rivals'' got lower review scores than the above-mention title, but it is still considered a good arcade racer. PC gamers, however, [[PortingDisaster would not agree with this]].
* StopHelpingMe: ''Rivals'' is saddled by an unskippable intro cutscene, unskippable tutorial videos that interrupt you in the middle of a race, and not allowing you to navigate main menus when a (mostly for tutorials) voice over is happening.
* TelevisionIsTryingToKillUs: Several ''NFS'' games give you nitrous boosts for sliding (which besides slowing you down will lower control and can lead to a collision), as well as ''narrowly'' avoiding accidents, which means that dangerously darting around cars at the last second is rewarded over the actual racing technique of looking ahead to anticipate and give a safe distance when overtaking or avoiding cars.
* ThatOneBoss:
** Earl in ''Most Wanted'' served as this for a lot of people, usually due to the aforementioned RubberBandAI, because at that stage of the game the cars available are not as maneuverable as they should be for his final course, so although the player will usually outpace Earl for the vast majority of it, when the player gets to the last 15% or so of the course the rubber-banding would kick in and Earl would accelerate enormously, and if the player made even the tiniest mistake in turning the ridiculously sharp corners--which would almost always happen--Earl would be going so fast that the player would find it impossible to catch up in time.
*** Even when using a fully tuned Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, using every shortcut, using nitro whenever possible, and using [[BulletTime Speedbreaker]] when appropriate, ''and'' even when Earl totals his ride, he still wins. [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Of course, it doesn't help that he completely recovers from said prang and reaches top speed in less than a second.]]
** Darius from Carbon. His car is an Audi Le Mans Quattro (Audi R8 Concept Car) which has all of the advantages that most of the other cars doesn't and requires the player to use almost perfect skills with a tier 3 car (likely a Porsche Carrera GT, a Dodge Viper SRT-10, a highly tuned Nissan Skyline or a highly tuned Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) that's very competitive.
* ThatOneLevel:
** The Miami circuits in ''Shift 2: Unleashed'' are bloody awful. The kerbs on gentle curves can spin your car out with ease and even with the skill to avoid spinning you'll be fishtailing for quite a while. Even with Traction Control, Best Line and ABS, you'll still get rammed into the frapping wall from other racers bumping into you from the side.
** In the first ''Shift'', the tight Tokyo tracks are problematic since the other AI racers will relentlessly push you over and almost ruin your winning chances. Not to mention '''The Green Hell''' tracks are bitches to complete with the AI racers driving aggressively. Made worse by the that that ever since ''Underground'' 1, the RubberBandAI got more annoying by each installment.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: Poor ''Most Wanted'' 2012. One must wonder WhatCouldHaveBeen the fan reception for that game if it didn't have the 2005 game's title.
* TheyJustDidntCare:
** Seems to be the case for the cop cars in ''Hot Pursuit 2'', where they ''already'' had cars in the game of at least the same models as real police vehicles (e.g., a Porsche 911 and BMW 5 series), but instead they, for whatever reason, used the American cars whenever possible; including a Corvette and fourth generation Mustang, despite neither of them ever seeing more service than the occasional DARE cars and publicity cars, and even in those cases then they were typically just a confiscated car that was repainted.
** The PC port of ''Rivals'' absolutely '''reeks''' of this trope. See PortingDisaster for details.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: ''The Run''. A lot of mystery goes into who set the race up, but it's never revealed, leaving all the teasing for nothing. Meanwhile, the idea of a cross-country race could set up all sorts of storylines, such as why someone would do it and offer such a massive prize in the first place, but that never goes anywhere, and none of the other racers are developed at all.
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny: The series does this ''[[RuleOfCool for supercars]]''.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Throughout its history, ''NFS'' games have been known for being among the best-looking racing games for their time.
** Hell, even some of the games' ''menus'' can look good. Case in point, ''[[http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/167574-need-for-speed-ii-se-windows-screenshot-main-menus.png Need for Speed II]]''.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: ''Most Wanted'' 2012 has some seriously trippy cutscenes. May also double as VisualEffectsOfAwesome.

!![[Film/NeedForSpeed The 2014 film]] based on the games:
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The reason the movie turned a profit at all. It bombed in the States, yet was far more successful elsewhere.
* JustHereForGodzilla: The races and chases. Even critics of the movie generally concede that these scenes are very well-done.
* {{Narm}}: The constant cutting to Pete's baby-faced grinning [[spoiler:moments before he's horribly killed.]]
* VideoGameMoviesSuck[=/=]CriticalDissonance: Has only a 24% rating on Website/RottenTomatoes, though it has been much better received by fans of the games.

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