After Rivals, Ghost Games took charge of development of the franchise.
Once again, Ghost Games takes it roots from all of the past and present Need for Speed games, taking every revolutionary aspects and features from previous games and applying it to their current games. Though despite improving from each installment over the years, Ghost Games has been relegated to an engineering support studio and renamed as EA Gothenburg, while Criterion Games takes over in future Need for Speed titles.
Even as Ghost Games were the main developers, almost all of the characters (including those in Rivals) are either unlikeable and cringeworthy or too generic to stand out, with the exception of Heat, which featured some characters worth remembering.
(NOTE: This article is a Work in Progress and needs expanding. Please feel free to edit, revise and add more content and tropes to this page.)
Need for Speed (2015)
Car: 1999 Lamborghini Diablo SVAffiliation: Yakuza
- "Congratulations. You drive like a pitbull."
A Real Life Lamborghini tuner from Kabukicho, Tokyo who also is a member of the notorious Yakuza.
Morihoshi-san in-game represents as an icon for Outlaw, which focuses on criminal activities such as property damage, reckless driving and police pursuits.
- Cool Car: Being a Lamborghini aficionado, his 1999 Lamborghini Diablo SV is a huge example.
- Drives Like Crazy: As a representative for Outlaw, getting attention of the cops is his best thing, which also applies in Real Life.
- Gratuitous Japanese: In an English-speaking game, Moroboshi speaks Japanese the whole time. But has one line in English:Morohoshi-san: (in Japanese) The other pitbulls here... (in English) ...we welcome you.
- Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters: Very polite and friendly, from one who have links with Yakuza.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Not him or his outfit. His car itself, painted in pink. Even the rims are pink too!
Car: Ford Mustang RTR Hoonicorn, Ford Fiesta ST (No Limits)Affiliation: Hoonigan Racing Division
- "...I got my team some cars in town. Would rather have a little fun than eat tacos."
A Real Life (former) professional rally driver who competed in several events such as the World Rally Championship, Global RallyCross Championship and Rally America.
Block has been extremely notable for his gymkhana races.
Block in-game represents as an icon for Style, which focuses on skillful maneuvres such as drifting, air time and donuts. He also appeared alongside Vaughn Gittin, Jr. (who previously appeared in Shift 2: Unleashed)
- Badass Driver: Being a gymkhana legend, Block indulges the most stylish and skilled trick, like drifting and donuts.
- Cool Car: His '65 Hoonicorn Stang is no slouch! His rallycross-spec Ford Fiesta in No Limits also counts.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before he became a Driving Icon in 2015, Block once appeared in No Limits in one of the special events. His iconic Hoonicorn Mustang (along with the Ford Fiesta) also made an appearance.
- Nice Guy: In-game, he's very affable to the whole crew.
Car: RWB Stella Artois (Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8)Affiliation: RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF
- "Car customization is self-expression."
Nakai-san is a Real Life Japanese tuner and is the founder and owner of RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF (RWB), an aftermarket tune shop that specializes in wide body kits and engine swaps for air-cooled Porsche 911 models and formerly Toyota AE86 models.
Nakai-san in-game represents as an icon for Build, which focuses on the car's performance capabilities, such as 0-60 acceleration, reaching maximum speeds and performing a long nitrous burst.
- Arc Words: "Self expression is what brings us together. But no two cars are the same. Each build is different."
- Badass Teacher: A Badass Driver who also acts as a mentor to Amy when it comes to inspiring car builds.
- Cool Car: His masterpiece RWB 911 that closely resembles Tatsuyas Blackbird. His company RWB (previously just Rauh-Welt at that time) also had sponsorships for the anime adaptation of Wangan Midnight.
- The Engineer: Mechanic to be exact. His RWB builds help serve an inspiration for Amy and the player.
- Gratuitous Japanese: Like Morohoshi-san, Nakai's lines consist of nothing but Japanese. Amy on the other hand appears to understand what he says which is justified that she's somewhat fluent to the language.
- I Call It "Vera": He dubs his 911 Carrera RSR as the "Stella Artois". Truth in Television, he named it that after a popular beer he usually drinks.
- Also in Real Life, he dubs other of his masterpieces such as the Rotana and Ramintra for the 993 models.
Car: Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 "277"Affiliation: Urban Outlaw
- "Welcome to the rest of your life. Rock on."
Nicknamed the "Urban Outlaw", Walker is a Real Life classic Porsche aficionado and custom car collector from the United Kingdom who later lived in the The American Dream.
Walker in-game represents as an icon for Speed, which focuses on fast and smooth maneuvers, such as high speed, slipstreaming behind opponents and clean driving.
- Badass Beard: His long goatee remains intact in the game.
- Cool Car: Being a classic Porsche collector, he drives an old Porsche 911. Unlike Nakai-san who uses riced RWB kits, Walkers on the other hand uses his trademark aero that strongly resembles the earlier 911 models.
- I Call It "Vera": He calls his "911" the "277" for some reason.
- Time Trial: Being on behalf of Spike, Walkers mission are all based on setting new records for certain tracks.
- Warding Gestures: Look at the picture. Hes really known to do that. Even in Real Life.
- Car: Subaru BRZ Premium (AJ and Fish), Nissan 180SX Type X (Cook), BMW M3 Evolution II (E30) (Stevie), Toyota Supra SZ-R (Tim)
A Real Life street racing team from Chicago formed in 2007.
The team consists of five drivers: AJ Gillett, Alex Cook, Richard "Fish" Fisher, Steve "Stevie" Ostojic and Tim Turaklov.
The entire team in-game represents as an icon for Crew, which focuses on teamwork-based maneuvers, such as drifting closely to another drifter in a form of a drift train and matching the speed to nearby opponents.
- Badass Crew/Five-Man Band: Natch.
- Cool Car: Each member sports a retro tuner ride.
- Color Motif: All the members (except Fish) of Risky Devil painted their cars red, while the members itself wear black shirts.
- The Leader: Fish is their representative on the game's cover art.
- Red Is Violent: Obviously, their red-cladded cars (again, except for Fish) take part in illegal street racing.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Unlike the previous four icons, none of their cars can be purchased from the garage.
Vaughn Gittin, Jr.
Car: Monster Energy/Falken Tire Ford Mustang GT (Shift 2: Unleashed), Ford Mustang RTR-X (Shift 2: Unleashed)Affiliation: RTR (Ready to Rock)
- "I think you got some real talent. Let's see how far you can take it."
A Real Life (former) Formula D driver who won the title in 2010.
Gittin is also the owner of RTR (Ready to Rock), a sub-brand for performance and aero parts for Ford Mustang models.
He appeared in 2015 as a Celebrity Cameo, introduced to the player alongside Ken Block. However he made his main appearance in Shift 2: Unleashed as both an opponent and a guide to the player.
- The Bus Came Back: Returned in 2015 after being in the main role in Shift 2: Unleashed.
- Celebrity Cameo: Appeared in 2015 who was quickly introduced, alongside Ken Block.
- Cool Car: His iconic custom RTR-X Mustang based on the vanilla Boss 302. Ken Block must have taken inspiration for his Hoonicorn Mustang.
- His Formula D spec Mustang is cool enough to be this trope.
- Exposition Fairy: Acts as a guide to the player in Shift 2: Unleashed.
- Mythology Gag: His iconic RTR-X made a few appearance in the later games after Shift 2: Unleashed.
- It appeared in World after the October 2011 update. However, it lacks the window decals though since unlike ProStreet, decals cannot be mounted on the windows until it's introduced in 2015.
- Then it later returned in The Run as an Signature Edition.
- The Mustang Boss 302 can be modified with the RTR-X body kit in 2015, Payback and Heat.