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Need for Speed: Most Wanted Likely Best Title of All Releases

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
Need For Speed: Most Wanted gameplay screenshot
Need For Speed: Most Wanted | EA

Since the inception of the Need for Speed games in 1994, the iconic racing franchise has released 25 titles, each containing a unique mix of high-speed excitement.

From the early days of the PS1, 3DO, and Sega Saturn to the latest installment, "Need for Speed Unbound," which graced our screens in 2022, the series has left a mark on the gaming world.

The franchise has managed to captivate audiences for over thirty years, although some believe its heyday was a few console generations ago.

Lately, there have been intense arguments about which game is better. Although discussions are often dominated by popular titles like the Hot Pursuit and Underground series, supporters of "Most Wanted" also argue that it deserves recognition.

Rediscovering the Thrills of Most Wanted

If you have not played the  Need for Speed, “Most Wanted” is all about heart-pounding action, where players navigate an open-world environment that teems with opportunities for high-octane escapades.

From executing jaw-dropping jumps and uncovering hidden shortcuts to quickly switching between vehicles, the game is a playground for car lovers. 


Evading relentless law enforcement and outmaneuvering rival racers requires skill, advanced car tech, and ample nitrous boosts.

Also, “Most Wanted" celebrates player freedom with different customizable cars, inviting gamers to unleash their inner speed demons.

Also read: Asgard's Wrath 2: Full Review and VR Expectations

Exploring Most Wanted's Gameplay

However, beneath the surface of exciting pursuits lies a game that is not without its flaws.

Critics point to the game's extensive padding, particularly evident in its protracted introduction sequence and laborious progression requirements. 

Unlike its predecessor, "Need for Speed Underground 2," which granted players immediate access to a customizable vehicle and the freedom to explore the game world from the outset, "Most Wanted" imposes stringent conditions before unleashing its full potential.

The Challenges of Progression

Players must contend with numerous race events, milestones, and bounty targets, the latter of which prove particularly annoying as the game progresses.

Once a series highlight, vehicle customization feels disappointingly limited compared to prior games, leaving gamers longing for the extensive options found in "Underground 2."

Although "Most Wanted" boasts an expanded roster of vehicles, ranging from exotic supercars to high-performance imports, the absence of a tier system results in mismatches during races, hampering immersion.

The Highs and Lows of Police Chases

Undoubtedly, the highlight of Need for Speed: Most Wanted is the intense police chase action. Players find themselves engaged in high-stakes chases against formidable law enforcement.

These heart-pounding encounters, characterized by intense vehicular combat and strategic evasion tactics, represent the pinnacle of the game's experience.


Screenshot of police chase scene in Need For Speed Most Wanted
Police chase scene in Most Wanted gameplay | EA


However, the constant police presence within the game detracts from its free-roaming appeal, leaving players feeling constantly besieged and exploration less appealing.

Balancing Act: Pursuits vs. Racing

While high-speed chases are the game's main highlight, they also underscore its inherent imbalance by making traditional races less critical.

Since progression is mainly dependent on pursuit-related activities, players might end up spending much more time running from the police than actually racing.

Even with new event types such as Speedtrap and Tollbooth, the game's racing element doesn't receive the same level of attention as the intense pursuits.

A Visual and Auditory Experience

The visual aspect of "Most Wanted" by Need for Speed presents a combination of elements, with its gritty urban settings not measuring up to the vibrant beauty of its earlier versions. 

While the game's licensed soundtrack, which combines punk rock and electronic music, adds to its atmosphere, its graphical quality doesn't quite measure up to modern titles such as "Burnout3."

Nevertheless, the game's car models retain a level of detail and polish, ensuring a visually appealing driving experience.

Final Verdict

The game "Need for Speed: Most Wanted" pays homage to the long-standing legacy of the franchise by offering a mix of high-speed pursuits and thrilling races.

While its focus on police chases might not appeal to those looking for a more traditional racing experience, fans of arcade-style games will undoubtedly find plenty to enjoy.

With rumors circulating about a potential remake of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, fans eagerly anticipate the chance to revisit the streets of Rockport in all their remastered glory.

Until then, the original game remains a beloved classic within the racing community despite its flaws.