Ever wondered how many Need For Speed games there are? Here is a full list of all the Need For Speed games.
The Need For Speed game franchise by Electronic Arts (EA Games) has grown into nothing less that a legendary game title, has influenced more than just the gaming community and even branched off into the automotive and Hollywood movie industry. When you were just a kid, the thought of getting behind the wheel of your very own first car was so far in the future it seemed completely out of reach. What the Need For Speed games did, was dive into the imagination of generations of kids worldwide and grew the automotive enthusiast community in the years to come.
Here is a list of all the Need For Speed games from 1994 to present:
1) Road and Track presents The Need For Speed – 1994
Road and Track presents The Need For Speed was a game originally developed to promote a magazine. It was more of a driving simulator that featured real data of the cars that were featured in the game, with each car having different handling and performance. Road and Track presents The Need For Speed was the start of a gaming franchise that would last well over two decades.
2) Need For Speed II – 1997
Need For Speed II was released in 1997, primarily due to the unexpected success of the Road and Track presents The Need For Speed game that was launched three years prior. Need For Speed II featured the fastest production cars in the world at the time, and also included the same approach as the first Need For Speed in that real data of the cars that were featured in Need For Speed II.
3) Need For Speed: V-Rally – 1997
Need For Speed V-Rally took a different approach to the previous two games that were launched. Out with the supercars and in with the world of Rally racing, bringing a new dimension to the franchise.
4) Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit – 1998
The following year, a new addition was added to the Need For Speed franchise with Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit. This chapter changed the gaming franchise completely with the addition of cop chases. Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit opened up the world to what a street racing game could be, and its legacy still exists today in the latest additions to the Need For Speed game franchise.
5) Need For Speed: High Stakes – 1999
The fifth addition to the Need For Speed franchise, titled Need For Speed: High Stakes, made its mark on history by offering more types of races in the game, such as head-to-head pink slip races, where the winner takes all and the loser hands over their car to the winner and goes home with nothing. Need For Speed: High Stakes also had a showcase mode that allowed the gamer to watch a video of the car they chose, with a narrator explaining the manufacturer specs and history on their particular vehicle.
6) Need For Speed: V-Rally 2 – 1999
Much like the odd one out, Need For Speed: V-Rally that was launched in 1997, Need For Speed V-Rally 2 was an updated version of the rally-racing orientated original, and featured more modern cars, better graphics and more features.
7) Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed – 2000
Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed (also known as Need For Speed: Porsche 2000), allowed the gamer to race and test out Porsche sports cars at a variety of European racetracks. Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed has more than one unique career mode and several other game modes that allow the gamer to race Porsches from around 1955 to 2000.
8) Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 – 2002
Two years after Need For Speed: Porsche Unleached was released, EA games came back with a boom and released their new addition to their Need For Speed game franchise, titled Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. The original Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, released four years prior in 1998, was a racing game-changer with the addition of exciting cop chases. Now Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 offered a much wider variety of exotic supercars, more racing locations and better graphics and gameplay.
9) Need For Speed: Underground – 2003
In 2003, Need For Speed: Underground took a complete turn-around and focussed the attention not on exotic supercars like Ferrari's and Lamborghini's, but on everyday cars like Honda Civics and Volkswagen Golf GTI's. After the release of The Fast And The Furious movie, tuner culture was at the forefront of the automotive enthusiast community. Kids wanted the ability to modify their cars visually with spoilers, bumpers, stickers, exhausts and wheels, and then race on the streets. EA games recognised this and built a game that would forever change the Need For Speed game franchise. In addition to this, they incorporated a banging music playlist with artists such as Rob Zombie, DMX, Static-X and Story Of The Year. Need For Speed: Underground would become the most icon release of the franchise ever.
10) Need For Speed: Underground 2 – 2004
Need For Speed's second addition of the underground street racing game, Need For Speed: Underground 2, was released a year after Need for Speed: Underground. Need For Speed: Underground 2 changed the Need For Speed games in a big way, by offering an open-world gameplay feature where gamers must drive to all corners of the virtual map to find races within the city. Need For Speed: Underground 2 pushed the modification boundaries to another level by offering many more modification possibilities, such as hydraulic suspension, custom sound layouts as well as dyno tuning and even more types of races, like the URL (Underground Racing League) and Street X races.
11: Need For Speed: Underground Rivals – 2005
Need For Speed: Underground Rivals was EA's first game to be available specifically for the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP), and was based on the Need For Speed: Underground games.
12) Need For Speed: Most Wanted – 2005
Need For Speed: Underground and Underground 2 were legends of their time, and it would have taken a lot to continue with the Underground title to better the two Underground games. EA took a completely new approach with Need For Speed: Most Wanted by changing the car handling physics as well as the type of cars available. It was a mix of tuner cars, muscle cars and even exotic cars, like the original Need For Speed games, a gamer could now purchase a Lamborghini once again. The biggest addition to Need For Speed: Most Wanted has to be the involvement of cop chases once again.
13) Need For Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0 – 2005
Released around the same time as Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Need For Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0 was the PSP version of the new Need For Speed game. It featured similar graphics and handling but a slightly downscaled version of the full game, however, it allowed the gamer to play the role of the cops as well.
14) Need For Speed: Carbon – 2006
Need For Speed games followed a storyline since Need For Speed: Underground. Need For Speed: Most Wanted had a much more in-depth, movie-like storyline which continued over to the latest addition, Need For: Speed Carbon. Although Need For Speed: Carbon had cop chases similar to Need For Speed: Most Wanted, the storyline strayed away from the game being focused mainly around cop chases. Need For Speed: Carbon also brought back the drift races, which were first introduced with the two Underground games but not present in Need For Speed: Most Wanted.
15) Need For Speed: Carbon – Own The City – 2006
Based on Need For Speed: Carbon, Need For Speed: Carbon – Own The City was launched on the same day as the main Need For Speed: Carbon, but the former was only made for the PSP and Nintendo DS.
16) Need For Speed: Pro Street – 2007
The 2007 addition of the Need For Speed line-up changed everything we knew about Need For Speed games. This time, Need For Speed: Pro Street shifted away from the underground street racing scene and focusses on legally hosted racing events. It still offered the same races we were used to from previous Need For Speed's, but incorporated a basic storyline to follow.
17) Need For Speed: Undercover – 2008
The following year, in 2008, Need For Speed took us back to the streets, with Need For Speed: Undercover. It featured open-world cop-filled gameplay, much like Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Most Wanted 5-1-0, as well as Need For Speed: Carbon. But. Need For Speed: Undercover had a much more highly integrated storyline.
18) Need For Speed: Shift – 2009
Need For Speed: Shift was created to complete with racing simulators like Gran Tourismo and Forza, by focusing their gameplay towards realistic track-based racing simulation.
19) Need For Speed: Nitro – 2009
By the year 2009, game console manufactures expanded their product line up by adding gaming systems such as the Nintendo Wii into the mix. Need For Speed: Nitro was specifically made for these consoles to help expand the Need For Speed franchise.
20) Need For Speed: World – 2010
Need For Speed: World was EA's first attempt at creating a Need For Speed game based on online multiplayer gameplay. Gamers familiar with Need For Speed: Carbon and Need For Speed: Most Wanted were familiar with the streets within Need For Speed: World.
21) Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit – 2010
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit was, yet again, a street-racing orientated game with the addition of hypercars such as the Koenigsegg Agera R. The title was based off the first Need For Speed: Hot Persuit to incorporate cop chases, and the blockbuster movie "Need For Speed" was based on this game.
22) Need For Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed – 2011
With the new trend of Need For Speed games resurrecting their 90's titles, Need For Speed :Shift 2 Unleashed was no different. However, the game concept was completely different. Need For Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed was an updated version of the original Need For Speed: Shift, released in 2009, and focusses mainly on track-driving simulations.
23) Need For Speed: The Run – 2011
Need For Speed: The Run was a much more cinematic game, with an in-depth storyline that took the gamer to different coastal areas across the USA, with some intense racing along the way.
24) Need For Speed: Most Wanted – 2012
Much like the original Need For Speed: Most Wanted, the gamer needed to work his way up the rival chats to become the Most Wanted, all while evading the cops. This remake of the original Need For Speed was a disappointment to long time Need For Speed fans.
25) Need For Speed: Rivals – 2013
Need For Speed: Rivals was based on a similar storyline, graphics and gameplay to the 2012 Need For Speed: Most Wanted. However, it was created specifically for PSP and other handheld consoles, but they introduced it to other consoles a while later.
26) Need For Speed: No Limits – 2015
After two years without a Need For Speed game release, and three years since a Need For Speed for Playstation, Xbox and PC, EA released Need For Speed: No Limits game for mobile devices.
27) Need For Speed – 2015
With a long time between titles, EA blew the minds of Need For Speed fans with the addition to the game franchise of their new game, simply titled Need For Speed. This Need For Speed was very close to what most people would class as a 'new' version of the original Underground games. It was based on nighttime street racing, with basic performance cars and the addition of a fantastic storyline featuring well known automotive celebrities such as Ken Block.
28) Need For Speed: Payback – 2017
At the time, Need For Speed: Payback was the most involved Need For Speed game ever released, with an incredibly large map, similar to that of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, whereby gamers could explore different cities and terrains. The game was a fully open world with a great storyline, a large variety of cars and multiple characters to play. Need For Speed: Payback also offered online play and additional hidden missions to continue your game even after you had completed the storyline career.
29) Need For Speed: Heat – 2019
The latest addition the Need For Speed game franchise is Need For Speed: Heat, which is based on the street-racing scene in Miami. Street racers have to hustle for cash and earn their reputation while simultaneously evading the cops. Need For Speed: Heat has broken records with outstanding graphics, gameplay and in-game physics.
The Need For Speed games have come a long way over the past 20 years, and who knows what the future will hold for this legendary franchise. Rumour has it that the next Need For Speed game will be released towards the end of 2021. We're sure it'll be a cracker!
Take a look at the video below by YouTuber, Andrew Louis, on the gameplay and evolution of all the Need For Speed games, and how they have progressed over time.
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