Racing games have been around for a long time, at this point, it would be a lot more difficult to trace back the origins of racing games, but let’s just say admit the fact that we all have played racing games in our childhood and there is no way to deny that.
Racing games have come a long way, and if you have to name one game that is responsible for making the racing game genre so popular, it is certainly the Need for Speed.
Need for Speed, for the longest time, has been one most revered franchises as far as the racing games are concerned.
Despite the series going down a bit, the game is still revered by everyone in the racing community.
Still, there are a lot of hardcore Need for Speed fans that love the game to death, and in this article, we are going to be looking at all the best Need for Speed games that is available on the market. You can buy these games on Steam, or Origin as well.
Possibly the best Need for Speed: Most Wanted game that is available on PC along with the consoles like PS2 is the Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
This game has been around for a long time now, and is considered the best possible game in the Need for Speed franchise.
I will be honest, Most Wanted is a lot more advanced than some might think, and while the graphics are on the older side, the good thing is that once you get a hang of the game, you should not have any issue.
For a great story, and even better game play, the Need for Speed: Most Wanted provides a lot of fun to everyone.
If you ask me, I honestly can’t think of any Need for Speed game that comes a bit close to the masterpiece that Need for Speed: Underground 2 is, or was.
The game offered the level of customization that no other Need for Speed or any other racing game for that matter has offered to the fans.
Why? Well, you can add neon lights, different paint styles, all sorts of decals, rims, and pretty much everything about the car.
If you are a fan of underground racing, then Need for Speed: Underground 2 is the game that will make you truly feel like you are in an underground racing world.
Alright, let’s be honest – when EA decided that they are going to reboot the NFS series by releasing a reboot of the Hot Pursuit, a lot of people were on the fence about it.
I was too, because Hot Pursuit was one of the best Need for Speed games of all time, and I honestly did not know how the reboot would do justice to the original.
However, when Criterion Games developed it on PC, and the consoles, I was surprised, and fell in love with the series all over again.
Honestly, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit from 2010 remains one of the best Need for Speed games out in the market.
Sure, it introduced a bit too linear game play as compared to some of the others in the franchise, but it is addicting.
Whether you are playing as a racer, or as law enforcement. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is definitely one of the best Need for Speed games in the franchise.
The list would not be complete without mentioning the Need for Speed: Underground.
Now I know it was the sequel that got all the attention, but the fact that it solely exists because of the original one is something that we cannot deny.
Need for Speed: Underground took the series to a different direction; the game automatically feels a lot more arcade-ish, and more importantly, underground.
Sure, it is an old one, but it does not matter when the game you are playing is such an amazing one.
There is something very amazing about playing this game, and actually enjoying it as well. It is a lot more fun than you might believe in the first place.
When the first Need for Speed Shift game out, a lot of fans had issues with how the series turned out to be.
Simply put, EA had decided to take a break from street racing, and moved a bit towards pro racing, and while the original was meant with mixed reviews, it’s Need for Speed: Shift 2 – Unleashed that kicked things up a notch for the company.
Quickly becoming one of the best pro racing games on the market. There was a dash of professionalism in the entire game, and I will be honest, the game felt a lot better than some of the older Need for Speed games as well.
To this day, the Need For Speed: Shift 2 – Unleashed remains one of the fan favourites despite having a fresh coat of paint, and a completely reworked racing system.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is another amazing game in the franchise that has earned itself some crazy fan following.
The answer is simple, it is actually one of the first Need for Speed games to have a very deep progression system. It is almost as if you are playing an RPG game.
I remember spending hours playing this game, and it was so much fun, that I can’t even explain.
The best thing in this game is that you can play as cops, or racers, and not only that, there are some amazing locales in this game that will make you wow at the game.
Sure, the game is old, and even if you remove the nostalgia factor, it still remains one of the best games there are in the market.
Okay, here is the thing. Many might think that this Need for Speed is the one that was release for the first time. In fact, it is not.
This is a reboot of the entire franchise that was released back in 2015.
Now I will be honest, this reboot was met with a lot of criticism as well as praise.
The praise because it was the first Need for Speed in a long time that felt truly next generation, and actually played like the great Need for Speed games that we remember.
The downside, however, was that the game required an always online connection, and there were some bugs in the start that needed sorting out as well.
The bugs were sorted out soon after the release, but the always online was an issue that remained there.
Still, it would be unfair to say that the reboot was a fail, because it was not. As a matter of fact, it was a much needed nudge in the right direction that the series needed.
Another great game in the entry is Need for Speed: Undercover. It was released back in 2008, but quickly rose to fame because of the direction the series took.
In this game, you were no longer the racer who’s running away from the law enforcement, but instead, you are the law enforcement who has access to some of the fastest, most wicked cars in the game.
I know it all sounds too good to be true, and the good news is that it actually is true. Playing this game will give you a great control over how you handle everything, and despite being a member of the law enforcement, the rules don’t apply to you. So, that is certainly a great thing.
9. Need For Speed: Most Wanted (Reboot)
This was a shocker for a lot of people. When Criterion games announced that they are developing the rebooted version of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, a lot of people were angry, but considering how the reboot of Hot Pursuit worked out so well, many thought that this would work too.
While it did work for the most part, it wasn’t entirely there. Need for Speed: Most Wanted’s reboot was good, however, it was nothing like the original.
There was no team of bad guys you had to race to get to the final one, no pink sheets, or nothing like that.
It felt like a different game, and while that is not a bad thing because it still was a good racing game, I just wish the game followed in the same footsteps as the original Most Wanted did, because combined with that amazing engine, and gameplay, it would have been a treat for all Need for Speed fans around the world.
If someone asks me about my favourite Need for Speed game, it would definitely be Need for Speed: Carbon and for all the right reasons.
I am not sure if it was the night setting, or the amazing characters in the game, or the gameplay itself, but there was something so intoxicating about the game that made me fall in love with the game.
The best thing about the game was the boss battle that you had to go through after you would rank up.
Drifting across those cliffs was one of the scariest, most thrilling experiences that I have had in a Need for Speed game, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The list above will help you find the 10 best Need for Speed games that you can. Do note that most of them cannot be founded on Steam, so you will have to download them from Origin, but the complete list of the best Need for Speed games is this one.