YMMV / Need for Speed

The video game franchise:

Games in the series with YMMV pages:

Other games and series-wide:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: 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 Arbitrary Gun Power: 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 replay value. See also, Critical Dissonance.
    • 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.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper: 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.
  • 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 an awesome song to be "Hallin' 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. And you can drive INSIDE the airport! See this gameplay video to witness the utter awesomeness of this airport. And if you have this pack, get ready to feel like Frank Martin.
  • Broken Base: Need for Speed has probably the most fragmented fanbase in all of Racing Games. Basically, there are two main types of fandom:
    • The old school fans, which most of them grew up playing the first NFS titles in the PS1/Saturn/Windows 95/98 era. They praise the first titles for having good gameplay, climate changes (like rain and snow in High Stakes), gorgeous landscapes and super sport cars. In other hand, they despise the tuning era, often saying it was a blatant copy of The Fast and the Furious and the heavy focus in tuning ruined the franchise, with the tuning-free Hot Pursuit 2010 being a return to form.
    • The Underground/Tuning fans, which most of them grew up playing Underground to Carbon in the sixth-gen console era. They deny the existence of first titles, claiming Underground was the first NFS, ProStreet ruined the franchise, and the 2015 reboot was a step in the right direction. They despise the new entries of the franchise, like the Shift games, Hot Pursuit 2010 and Rivals, and while they criticize The Run and Most Wanted 2012, they think both games still hold "the true series' DNA" unlike the others.
    • The big one is over the Underground era, particularly with its (and by extension, World's) focus on aftermarket customization. Does modding the look of your car make it look like the most badass Pimped-Out Car there ever was, or does it make a finely-crafted machine look like an ugly-as-Hell Rice Burner?
    • For another example, see the comments 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  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 of Criterion's reboot of Most Wanted developed by them ranged from excitement that the developers of the Burnout series and Hot Pursuit 2010 were 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 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 base breaker in that series). Also, Fairhaven is seen by some fans of both past Need for Speed games and Burnout Paradise to be rather 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 all versions, which caused many headaches for PC fans (see Porting Disaster below). Car customization, although improved compared to the Criterion installments, was still somewhat limited in the eyes of tuner 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.
    • Now we have the 2015 reboot. Tuner fans are looking forward to this entry with cautious optimism based on what is revealed so far, but the classic fans are not, seeing EA as caving in to the tuner fans' apparent whining over the the previous installments' lack of "rice burners". It hasn't helped that the marketing language that EA is using has them basically saying that the "real" Need for Speed was what the tuner era games stood for, and current series creative director Marcus Nilsson has stated that the reboot will set the template for future entries in the series.note  All this means that classic-style Need for Speed won't be coming back for a long time.
      • There's also the revelation that the game will be always online. After the fiasco that went down with the last SimCity game (that was also always online, to the game's detriment), the idea that always-online DRM is being shoved into yet another classically single-player game has got people bringing out torches and pitchforks. At this point, there is even a change.org petition to get the feature removed. A good summation of the situation, and reactions to it, can be found here.
      • The announcement that the SpeedLists update will be the final free content update for the game, due to the remaining unfixed issues regarding car balance and handling physics.
  • Character Tiers: 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).
  • Critical Dissonance: Happened many times.
    • Undercover was disliked by critics but really liked by tuner fans, who thought it was a more story-driven Carbon.
    • The most controversial case was for Most Wanted 2012. Critics hailed it as the best racing game of 2012 hands down, but it got a backlash from the tuner fandom so massive that Criterion Games downsized to around fifteen employees, resulting in the later departure of its founders and a new developer (Ghost Games) taking the reins of the franchise.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Has its own page.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: The 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 "Apache (Jump On It)" by The Sugar Hill Gang.
  • Demonic Spiders: The opponents' AI in Shift will slow down just to block you off, making overtaking a bitch.
    • Previously in World, Rhino SUVs and road blocks, ever since an update to the game made it much harder to escape higher level pursuits. Players had to expect another of couple of each every ten seconds while escaping.
  • Dork Age: The series fell into one starting around Carbon (although classic fans will claim everything post-Underground as Canon Discontinuity), and left it with Shift and Hot Pursuit 2010. However, Criterion Games and later Ghost Games came under heavy fire from mainly tuner fans after Most Wanted 2012 and Rivals.
  • Even Better Sequel: Shift 2: Unleashed to Shift 1, specially after the 1.02 patch which corrected the jerky handling for controller users. Also, Underground 2 to the first one.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Almost every entry in the franchise falls into the "discontinuity" for some fans. For old school ones, it's everything after Hot Pursuit 2 (although they accept the existence of Hot Pursuit 2010). For Underground fans, everything after Carbon, but they accept the existence of Undercover and believe that the 2015 reboot is what the franchise needed. They also 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.)
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With Test Drive during The '90s.
    • With Midnight Club during Turn of the Millennium.
    • With Gran Turismo 5 in 2010, even though it makes little sense as they take completely opposite approaches to the racing genre. Gran Turismo 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 Forza Motorsport, more specifically with Playground Games' Forza Horizon.
    • History repeated itself once more with Rivals having gone up against both Gran Turismo 6 and Forza Motorsport 5.
    • Finally, the reboot is going up against Gran Turismo Sport, Forza Motorsport 6, The Crew: Wild Run and Driveclub in a free-for-all for supremacy. However, the fans of the Underground era (which the reboot takes its overall gist from) tends to get along just fine with The Crew's fandom, although there are the more rabid fanboys which take the trope to its logical conclusion.
  • Fridge Logic: 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 some seriously 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 Fridge Logic 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.
  • Game Breaker:
    • 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 bonus car FZR 2000 of Need for Speed II is the fastest car to ever have appeared in the series. Its top speed has only started to be rivaled by some of the most powerful cars that have appeared in the most recent games (although, with the 'pioneer' cheat, it becomes significantly faster), but its acceleration is humongously powerful (it goes from 0 to 200 mph practically in a blink) and its handling puts that of the Ford Indigo and the Lotus cars' into shame - it says enough that its brakes only really have to be used when jumping would make it leave the track boundaries or crash into a wall due to how impossibly long they are with the FZR 2000.
    • The McLaren F1 can be considered a Game Breaker for the entire series. Given its then-unrivaled top speed, great acceleration and very good handling, it often took GT1, concept or bonus cars or tracks without long straights to have something realistically stand a chance against it, and even then, its possession of world records were often uncontested. Even in modern games, where significantly more powerful cars exist, it is still a top contender due to its amazing handling or great tuning potential on games that allow so, only struggling in very long straights.
    • 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?
    • In the 2015 reboot, everyone and their brother uses the Lamborghini Huracán and Aventador, the 2015 Ford Mustang GT, and the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 (including Magnus's "277" and Nakai-san's "Stella Artois"), as they have the overall best performance in the game when fully upgraded.
  • Genre Turning Point: For better or for worse, the Underground games and Most Wanted 2005 not only changed what people think Need for Speed is, but what arcade racers using licensed vehicles should be.
  • Goddamned Traffic: In the Black Box installments (mainly during drag races), the Criterion installments (although for them, it could be considered usual fare), some races in No Limits, and the Ghost Games installments (remember that several Ghost Games employees originally came from Criterion).
  • Good Bad Bugs: In Rivals, if you trigger Turbo and immediately start an event after that, the boost provided by Turbo will overcome the car's brakes, and you'll begin the event some distance beyond the start line and traveling at a small, but not insignificant, speed. It can help a lot for getting a few extra seconds on your opponents.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Fever for the Flava" contains the line "I got the green glow under my car", and it was featured in the last Need for Speed game pre-Underground.
  • I Knew It: In the 2015 reboot, the reveal that Travis is the one organizing the Outlaw events. Even the developers seem to agree, as the achievement for reaching that part of the game is called "Surprised? Me Neither".
  • In-Name-Only:
    • The series between Underground and Undercover is this to the previous games. Also, the V-Rally installments.
    • The Broken Base starts at Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit.
  • Internet Backdraft: We dare you to say you like the Criterion titles over the Black Box titles on a NFS or arcade racing game forum.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: What some say about Carbon.
    • 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 lack of 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.
  • My Real Daddy: The now-defunct EA Black Box.
  • Most Annoying Sound: 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.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Hot Pursuit 2010 gives us that F1-style roar during the turbo sequence. Just listen!
    • It came back for Rivals, too.
  • Narm: The narrators of Rivals' campaigns. Here's a taste. May overlap with Narm Charm, but YMMV.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Shift 2: Unleashed and its darker and edgier atmosphere. It's pretty much established with the intro that it would have a much different vibe than the original Shift. The cutscene contains a still scene of a nighttime GT1 race at Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps in the middle of a multi-car pileup, complete with flying cars and debris. In the style of stereotypical horror films, the camera slowly pans around the scene of the accident, and into closeups of the hapless victims of the crash gazing and screaming in horror at the inevitable impact. To seasoned circuit racing fanatics, this scene came off as rather hammy, but to those more familiar with the lighter side of the series, this scene was rather disturbing.
    • Nighttime racing is more realistic than in the street racing incarnations. That being said, the only source of illumination is from your headlights, meaning that you have a VERY narrow amount of visibility. Once again, those familiar with sim racing were underwhelmed, but on the other hand, the casual gamer ended up with a Jump Scare or two. Don't think of it from a gameplay perspective; imagine real night driving in your car at 50 MPH along an unlit highway. If that's terrifying to you, imagine what real endurance racers deal with at nearly 170 MPH in that same kind of darkness.
    • The secret tracks in III: Hot Pursuit for the PSX; they are never unlocked normally and are only accessible through cheat codes. There are five in total; Autocross (a track that takes place in a small groove of a forest), Caverns (which takes place in dark caverns with overhanging rocks), Scorpio-7 (a track that takes place in an underwater city), Space Race (a space station) and The Room (where the player is shrunk down to miniature size and races on a slot car track). While these tracks are very cool and provide a lot of amusement there are several features about them that can unnerve imaginative players. Firstly there is no music playing whatsoever. From start to finish and even at the results screen you do not hear music at all. Secondly these tracks are only playable with no cops, opponents or traffic in single player. That means you are racing all alone on these deserted tracks which can give off a very post-apocalyptic feel. Bonus points for the alien mosaic that appears in the large square room in Space Race. It's all so very creepy but YMMV.
  • Nostalgia Filter: All over the road with this franchise.
  • Old Guard Versus New Blood: Comparing the first two eras, the new blood overtook the old guard.
  • Older Than They Think: Burnout-like physics (bar Nitro Boost) was not introduced in the series by Criterion Games, but already appeared in Need for Speed II SE's Wild (the way cars crashed, the extreme speeds and the long jumps) and Arcade handling modes (heavy drifting). Keep in mind this was before Burnout even existed...
  • Porting Disaster:
    • Downplayed with earlier games in the series, which was less of a poor port and more of the console not being good enough to keep up with a PC. For instance, the PlayStation version of Need for Speed II was very similar in both graphics and gameplay to the PC version, but as more games were released those ports could not catch up, up until Porsche Unleashed, which was basically unrecognizable.
    • 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 cartoonish 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 Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, and Windows versions of Hot Pursuit 2 all look worse than the PlayStation 2 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.
      • In this case, it's difficult to call this a "Porting Disaster" because Hot Pursuit 2 existed in two different realms: the PS2 and everything that wasn't the PS2. The Xbox, GameCube, and PC versions can't be considered the same game as the PS2 version at all.
    • 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. TotalBiscuit shares his thoughts on the PC port here.
      • Actually, according to PCGamingWiki, 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.
    • In response to the problems PC gamers had with Rivals, Ghost Games has delayed the Windows version of the 2015 reboot to 2016 so they can focus on making the game look better on PC with an unlocked frame rate. All downloadable content that will be released for PS4 and Xbox One before the PC version will be available for PC on day one of its release.
      • The 2015 game's PC version still falls into it in spite of Ghost Games's efforts, though not too much. The most clear issues is that the interface is very uncomfortable when using a keyboard (to the point it's not even the default controller option), with questionable choices like getting to the objectives menu by pressing Tab instead of Escape, or getting into events by pressing PgDn, and you only press the Enter key in the splash screen. It also makes no use whatsoever of the mouse for menu navigation (which while not new for the series, the interface could have taken advantage of it), and you cannot change the game settings once you start playing. And the Xbox One controller shows up during the first loading screen the game shows after loading. It's not to the extent of Rivals, but PC players get the worst experience of the game out of all platforms unless you own hardware that let you play it as if it were a console game (e.g. joysticks).
  • Sequel Displacement: 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 was a mediocre Allegedly Free Game that (although initially somewhat popular) didn't receive that much attention from the fanbase or video game journalists, it didn't really work and was shut down in July 2015. Ghost Games' 2015 series reboot will be taking cues mainly from the second era's games as a result.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer:
    • Car customization to the point that it, above all other aspects found in the series, is what groups of fans affiliate the franchise with.
    • Police pursuits were the original gold saucer for the franchise, as fans would just race with cops simply for the thrill of the chase.
  • Silent Majority: Possibly for the Criterion installments. Mention Hot Pursuit 2010 or Most Wanted 2012 on a forum or in the comments of a news posting or a YouTube video about NFS and you'll get some heated reactions from the tuner side of the fanbase. However, both those games still sold well (Most Wanted 2012 even outsold 2011's The Run, Black Box's last game in the series), they both made Watch Mojo's list of the Top 10 Need for Speed Games,note  and during the 2014 Steam Holiday Sale, Hot Pursuit 2010note  was put up against Slender: The Arrival and Halo: Spartan Assault as a Community Choice vote for a bonus discount and won.
  • Skill Gate Characters: The Ford Indigo in Need for Speed II and the Lotus cars in most of the modern games in the series (except in Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2005, where it was closer to Game Breaker than anything else) thanks to their outstanding handling and good acceleration, but terrible top speed.
  • Song Association: To be expected when you have an EA soundtrack in your game. Snoop Dogg? Spiderbait? The Buzzhorn? Bush? Hot Action Cop? Disturbed? Bitchin'.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • 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, would not agree with this.
      • The writer of this article shares this sentiment. It wasn't that Most Wanted 2012 and Rivals were bad (they were perfectly competent games themselves), it's just that—despite Most Wanted 2012's surreal cutscenes—they lacked personality, which the Fast & Furious-inspired Underground games had in spades.
    • The 2015 reboot appears to be this, with both professional critics and fans agreeing that the game is nowhere as good as promised.
  • Special Effects Failure: The cutscenes in the 2015 game use a combination of Full Motion Video for the characters and background, and actual in-game renders for your car. The final result is something that looks really strange at low quality, and there's also the matter that the cars lack a reflection of the characters when they should have.
  • Television Is Trying to Kill Us: 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.
  • That One Boss:
    • Earl in Most Wanted 2005 served as this for a lot of people, usually due to the aforementioned Rubber Band AI, 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.
    • 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 don'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, etc.) that's very competitive.
  • That One Level:
    • The Miami circuits in Shift 2: Unleashed are really 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 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 Rubber Band AI got more annoying by each installment.
    • Mystic Peaks in Need for Speed II is one of the most difficult circuits in the series, with a lot of hard turns (some of them being blind turns), jumps in which you actually have to slow down in order not to leave the track or collide hard with a wall (more obvious in Wild mode) and very tight space that does not leave much opportunities to overtake. Excellent driving skills are needed here, especially in Simulation mode, and even then you may have to resort to excellent-handling cars like the Ford Indigo and the FZR2000 to not do an Epic Fail.
    • Any late-game Interceptor event in Hot Pursuit 2010 can become this, thanks to the computer's cheating bastardry. The racers have infinite ammo for their weapons and are slowed down much less by your own weapons than they are in Hot Pursuits; for instance, spike strips do damage but barely slow them down, while they can plow through road blocks with minimal loss of speed. The nitrous system for police means it's hard for you to earn nitrous to catch up with them, while one of your primary means of getting nitrous (slipstreaming behind racers) is inexplicably disabled. To make matters worse, you're stuck with what weapons the event gives you, so you might have a loadout that's incredibly poor for chasing a single car; good luck stopping a Bugatti with nothing but road blocks and spikes. They're much better in Rivals due to several small tweaks in gameplay, including the ability to restock weapons at repair shops and a lack of weapon restrictions.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Throughout its history, NFS games have been known for being among the best-looking racing games for their time. The 2015 reboot in particular looks damn close to a live-action film, with seamless transitions from live-action footage to in-game engine visuals.
    • Hell, even some of the games' menus can look good. Case in point, Need for Speed II.
    • Sometimes, it's the little details that make them stand out. Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed II: Special Edition with Glide support not only had convincing looking road reflections while it was raining, but the headlights of other cars were even stretched like you've seen many times driving behind someone in the rain.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The 2015 reboot of the series appears to be Ghost Games' attempt to do this for the whole fanbase, not just tuner-era fans in particular, especially after the nostalgia-pleasing Legends update.

The 2014 film based on the games:

  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The reason the movie turned a profit at all. It bombed in the States, yet was far more successful elsewhere.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: 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 moments before he's horribly killed.
  • Tear Jerker: Tobey wins the De Leon and finally links Dino to Pete's death by using the same red Köenigsegg Agera that Dino drove on that fateful day. But he's nonetheless cornered by the 5-0 for illegal street racing and breaking parole. At least before the ending scene, aphaving been released. Such scene was even more of this trope, as it happened to the tune of "Roads Untraveled".
  • Video-Game Movies Suck/Critical Dissonance: Has only a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though it has been much better received by fans of the games.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/NeedForSpeed