Need for Speed Most Wanted Review (PC)

Over the last couple of years developers have been working hard and fast to produce high quality, realistic, and purposeful racing games. In today’s society and culture street racing, mudding has gained an intense and huge popularity. The Need for Speed series has never stuck with one specific motive of the pop culture and when they released Need for Speed Underground in 2003 they sold more game units worldwide than any other game. Now the Need for Speed Most Wanted continues the tradition of street car racing. Need for Speed Most Wanted is a challenging and well balanced racing game that is a necessity to any racing fan’s game collection. It goes old school to the days of cop chasing using good looking, fast street cars.

Need for Speed Most Wanted continues the tradition of street car racing
Mudding has gained an intense and huge popularity

Most Wanted is undoubtedly a racing game but the first thing noticed is the story line and its presentation. The environment and landscape of the racing is nothing but chrome and tone landscape with FMV characters. I know what you’re thinking, “FMV…..WHAT!?!” Honestly, it’s really better than you think. The FMV characters are highly colored and animated. Put this with stylish backgrounds and you have a very new and refreshing spin on street car racing. These creators have stepped out and took a chance with the FMV characters most creators wouldn’t even think about incorporating and have achieved a creative and, well, awesome presentation.

The story line is full of vengeance, revenge, and the ending of anarchy and chaos and the restoring of order. You’ve got the bad guys of course-the cop who swiped your car keys, but who really cares, you’re here to race. The story is pretty much meaningless and kind of a waste of time, but hey, at least you’ve got Josie Maran narrating it. Big blocks of background are dropped into place for a landscape before a race begins. The entire place, I mean everywhere you look, is graffiti and drawings, and…color. While EA has been criticized for trying to tap into the “underground street market,” I don’t really care, it looks awesome.

Need for Speed Most Wanted is available in PC, Xbox, PS2, Game Cube, and Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 is the best looking by far, and features several graphic and visual elements the others do not have. The streets always look wet, the cars look sharp, and everything is very realistic. The lighting is amazing: tree shadows look totally real and when light hits your car, everything will shine.

Whatever comes to your visual as you zoom in for a race is a little unsteady
Racers are able to race and win enough to be put on the Black List

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the actual frame rate in Most Wanted; however objects coming to the screen, such as bridges, buildings, and trees were kind of jumpy. Whatever comes to your visual as you zoom in for a race is a little unsteady. Not that this takes away from the game or affects your playing ability of style in any way, but it does take away from the realistic outlook. Just a little bit, anyway.

Most Wanted is actually similar to Need for Speed Underground 2. There are a few racing types that have returned, such as drag, spring, and circuit racing. However, there are a lot more straight speed events in Most Wanted. Racers are able to race and win enough to be put on the Black List. The Black List is comprised of 15 racers who are the only people who are between you and the bad guys. You earn money as you win races and it works to prevent cheaters from immediately upgrading and beating the game. Cash can be spent on different upgrade levels, like spoilers, hoods, trunks, rims, etc.

The range of cars in Most Wanted is astronomical. There are a few cars that are pretty worthless that no one would want to drive, but at least those ridiculous SUV’s are not present anymore. There are three different Audis, five Porsches, a Dodge Viper, RX-8, the new Mustang, and two Lamborghinis. Pretty impressive cars, huh? The newest addition and biggest change in the series is the new sense of weight and physics. You can especially feel it when you’re on a fast turn or firing up the car. They have a heavier feel to them here. This requires just a tad bit more skill in certain areas, like during power-slides and going quickly into reverse.

The range of cars in Most Wanted is astronomical
There are a few racing types that have returned, such as drag, spring, and circuit racing

Even though Most Wanted moves at an extremely fast pace (what did you expect from a racing game?) it is a long game. Every 15 racer on the Black List takes 7-10 prior races before you are even allowed to face them and they usually take up two races themselves. That doesn’t even include the other races you can pick up or be involved in.

Need for Speed Most Wanted has come together quite nicely. The presentation is very sleek and stylish, the graphics are very impressive, and the sound effects aren’t bad either. The cars are awesome and fast, there are tons of quality races to take up lots of your time, and you won’t have to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for Most Wanted to load.

Top game moment: Beating someone head on in a straight speed race, and getting to the top of the Black List, of course.

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By nobuargaoda (SI Core Veteran) on Dec 10, 2008
On of the best racing game on PC. NFS series are my favorite!
By devel (SI Elite) on Dec 10, 2008
Have you tried out Undercover? If is cool to roam around with the new cars, and i don't know why but i feel more free with this one that i felt with the others.
By nobuargaoda (SI Core Veteran) on Dec 11, 2008
Yeah, I've tried it! And the best part is the storyline.... a double-agent streetcar racer! Also the cars are greatly improved on the graphic, plus the new cars! Makes me want to play it more and more and more.... but i'm not forgetting my Homework!
By devel (SI Elite) on Dec 11, 2008
You better not forget it, or you face the Parent Hammer and end up without any games at all. I know I've had my share in early school days....
By Denixius (I just got here) on Nov 22, 2009
Good review. Thank You! I now playing this game.