[Top 10] Best Need For Speed Games Of All Time

Best Need For Speed Games, Best NFS Games
Need For Speed is considered the best franchise in racing game history.

Need For Speed is one of the best gaming franchises in the racing car niche. Take a look at the Top Ten Games in this franchise.


10. Need For Speed Shift (Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS, PlayStation Portable, Java Platform, Micro Edition, Xbox 360)

Enter a worldwide racing competition in winning races and unlocking upgrades in this hardcore gamer-oriented installment of the NFS Franchise. 

Without a storyline, the game is simple and straight to the point, aimed at providing challenge. Graphics and design are enticingly real and of an unprecedented level in the franchise.

One of the best racing games out there with a competitive focus that is also available on mobile devices.


9. Need For Speed Heat (Windows PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Set in Palm City, a fictitious version of Miami, it’s no spring break when law enforcement has pledged zero tolerance on street racing. Win legitimate day races and progress through the NFS Heat main storyline. Customize and upgrade your vehicle with your winnings while earning rep as well, which is the game's other currency that can be earned every time you escape law enforcement and take part in illicit night races. Lose all your bank if you get arrested and lose rep if you don’t win races.

NFS Heat is the 24th installment in the NFS Franchise and dubbed the spiritual successor to NFS Underground by its creators. It is set in an open world environment that is huge and seemingly lifeless but the dead state is unrecognizable in night mode. 

Vehicle customization seems limitless with the limited availability of buying power, which compensates for the lack of a large variety of races to choose from. Races are extremely competitive for the most part though, and guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat till the end. The main plot is simple and easy to follow, while being sidetracked with other driving stories, which are connected to the races.

Law enforcement will not interfere in day time sanctioned races but can still chase you outside of races. They patrol the city at night and use all means necessary as compared to day to capture you . All things considered, it's a simple game that isn’t too great nor worse. It also has an online multiplayer tournament to compete against friends and other gamers.


8. Need For Speed Payback (Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Set in Fortune Valley, the city bears a striking resemblance to Las Vegas. The biggest sin you can commit here is going up against the cartel who basically run the entire city, which is the main story line behind the game. The house always wins, beat the odds.

Need For Speed Payback feels like a Fast And The Furious Movie and is in fact where the game is inspired from. The open world in NFS Payback is empty but the landscape makes up for the emptiness, in being diverse with terrain, deserts, forests and night lights.

The game caters to different types of racing, from road, to drifting to off road, speed traps, little objectives to collect tokens and upgrades, which gives you a lot to do. The driving is extremely arcade style which is simple but enough to give you a perfect drift, including cinematic scenes in hang time.

Law enforcement and hot pursuits are rare compared to other installments in the NFS series but still bring enough heat to the game in general. Notably, car customization is through earning, where you unlock upgrades by completing challenges, achieving driving milestone challenges or purchasing speed points, a premium online currency. All in all, a simple game based more on activities.


7. Need For Speed Rivals (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Set in Redview County, your typical California, you can play as either racer or law enforcement. NFS Rivals is based more on your career in each of the modes, with a storyline that is unnoticeable and cut behind the scenes.

NFS Rivals is one of the NFS installments without a storyline but makes up for this in thrill and excitement, where different sets of high impact races unlock different levels in your prospective career as either racer or   law enforcement. 

Visual graphics and sound effects are beyond average standard, which gives the screen a dynamic view, and stands out more than in other installments of the NFS Franchise. Car upgrades come through performance rewards but are notably less. Customization is minimal compared to other NFS installments with the ability to purchase different vehicles at certain levels which already have a basic build for you to add on to.

Run from the law or run the streets as the law, where pursuits can get messy really quick in heat levels rising during the two career modes, including races. This is the x factor in NFS Rivals, marking its difference in the NFS Franchise.


6. Need For Speed No Limits (Android, iOS)

Know no limits and play anywhere at any time, on your mobile device. Set in typical NFS style, Blackridge City is where you strive to make yourself king of the road against the storyline rival. Hip Hop artist Lil Wayne appears in an updated version of the game.

Everything in this game is set in typical NFS style from races to pursuits but  only on mobile devices, which is free to download. Gameplay is online and doesn’t have a multiplayer mode apart from playing with friends. The story line is notable and basically similar to other NFS installments but with a twist of its own which stands out in the whole series and is incorporated with winning races and car customization.

A solid racing game with a lot to do from car customization to various forms of races, for earning and car customization. Car control is a solid score, with graphics to back it up in quality. All in all, your typical racing game with a bigger budget for creativity which sets it above the list in racing games for mobile devices. 


5. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows, Wii)

Set in a fictional NFS City on the West Coast in the United States, race or chase by switching between law enforcement and racer modes. Choose between a range of beautiful cars perfectly suited and synced in with the world environment setting in guaranteed thrill and excitement of high speed and hot pursuits.

NFS Hot Pursuit as the name suggests is based on speed, one wrong turn or move and your car will be totaled in classic cinematic crash scenes. Emphasis is given on the range and ability to pick up and maintain high speeds in the open world setting.

With a minimal story line similar to NFS Rival, game play is centered around career modes and different racing challenges mostly based on time. Gameplay is far from realistic, but indulges you into a world of its own where you lose touch with reality and appreciate the graphics for what it is.

All in all, the perfect speed game to keep you in suspense and thrill, where winning means beating the clock and not necessarily coming first. Uniquely incorporated into this installment is the use of weapons such as spike strips that slow down speed and can be used to evade or uphold the law.


4. Need For Speed (Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Feel the West Coast vibe in Ventura Bay, a fictional representation from Los Angeles where the NFS Franchise tries to re-invent itself as a cult classic. Met with mixed reviews, the self-titled Need For Speed installment still deserves a spot on the top ten.

Most likely created to revamp the NFS Franchise, the game tries to capture every aspect of the best installments before it, as well as respond to all its critics. Graphics and presentation are dead set satisfaction level while challenges try to focus around the core of the franchise, with five versions of gameplay, from speed, style, crew and outlaw while five story lines are intertwined into one.

Evading the law is like in the movie Italian Job, with tight corners and hard turns. Rewards for longer chases are  a notable challenge in the game. Car customization is decent enough to make it feel as your own personal build, while all the custom cars are of a class worthy of praise, as amongst the best showcased by the franchise.

All in all, it is a game which was created as a response to critics, while trying to appeal to different generations of gamers and prove its relevance.


3. Need For Speed Carbon (GameCube, Mobile, Windows, Mac, OS X, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 36)

Encompassing a classic street racing setting, NFS Carbon is based on various cities known for underground street racing. Burn nitrous in the fictional city of Palmont, own the streets and proclaim yourself as king of the underground world of street racing.

The environment gives off the vibe of illicit street racing which is what the game content and storyline is about. It is a continuation of the NFS Most Wanted plot, one of the NFS Franchise best installment of all time, which adds value to the game. 

Graphics and design are perfect in delivering flow and pace of the game. General gameplay is based on taking over the city as underground king, while also running in crews as set challenges. Vehicle customization is a revamp in its own right, adding value to the term illicit when describing street racing.

Generally less complex and captivating, the game delivers its worth in showcasing underground racing in classic NFS fashion. Definitely one of the most enticing games in the whole franchise. 


2. Need For Speed Underground (Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Arcade)

Enjoy urban street racing mixed into the underground scene with illicit street racing in Olympic City, based on various urban cities in the US. This game has everything to keep you indulged in the world of cars, showcasing new and imported vehicles, which ultimately shaped the direction of the franchise.

The setting is simple for its time, not too flashy, not too dull and with night mode being the norm, it adds flavor to showcasing the urban setting, just plain simple catchy.

Circuit, Knock Out, Drift and Drag challenges give it a simple gameplay, centered on a twisted storyline which shapes the challenges into a presentation of the underground style of racing that NFS is renowned for. Car customization is simple, in building what suits your driving gameplay and is perfect for newbie gamers.

A simple yet diverse game, one of the installments that revamped the appeal of The NFS Franchise in maintaining relevance and dominance over its claim to being one of the best racing franchises in gaming history.


1. Need For Speed Most Wanted (Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Mobile, Nintendo DS, Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, Xbox 360)

Enter Rockport City, where you are a target to corrupt law enforcement upon arrival. Race at your own risk, while being Law Enforcements Most Wanted.

Diverse in setting, NFS has three suburbs for gameplay and delivers races incorporated into the main storyline of the game, where a black list of wanted vehicles on the police radar compete for dominance in street racing. The main competition is in day mode, which is different from usual NFS games but able to deliver the importance of not standing out at night. 

Unlock challenges and use your earnings to challenge the black list. Pursuits are frequent and car customization is handy in building cars to adapt to the game and its challenges. Customizing your car is relatively an easy fit for beginners in adapting to racing games.

Undoubtedly one of the best racing games in history, NFS Most Wanted has stood the test of time in proving its relevance. Revamped versions of NFS MW have been released since then.

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