The Need For Speed (NFS) series of car racing games from EA currently covers over nine titles. This version, titled Need For Speed, was released in 2016 and remains a highlight of arcade-style racing through city streets, mountain roads, and other scenic routes.
Some racing games (e.g., Forza) focus on the literal nuts and bolts of the cars and offer representations of real-world tracks, whereas NFS focuses on the thrill of racing. Other titles in the NFS series tweak the settings and features, but the core gameplay always remains the same - to drive as fast as possible.
This version of NFS is published by EA but developed by Ghost Games, who took the basic premise and boosted it. There are multiple racing modes to conquer, ‘rep’ (experience points) to earn, and an overarching narrative to enjoy.
NFS takes place in Ventura Bay, a fictional city based in LA. During the game, you get to race across the whole town, from wet urban streets to surrounding highways and mountain roads.
The game has a free roam angle split across five main event types, all of which involve speeding to different parts of Ventura Bay. These modes are Style, Crew, Speed, Outlaw, and Build. Each comes with a subplot, but all filter into the main story that you’re a rising star on the racing circuit.
Unlike NFS: Payback, you can’t play as a cop. NFS: Heat also featured cops as a near-constant threat, but in this NFS, their presence is mainly limited to the Outlaw mode.
NFS is always-online (even though it’s a single-player game). Up to seven additional players can appear in your version of Ventura Bay, and you can race or include them in your mission.
NFS also lets you fine-tune your car, plus buy more vehicles. However, the focus remains on arcade racing thrills, making it one of the series's better entries. The NFS games have never been known for their stories, but NFS adds live-action cutscenes that help you feel part of the narrative.
Should you download it?
Yes. There are free mobile versions of NFS, but this Windows version isn’t expensive and has a lot of arcade-style racing content.