WeView: Need for Speed: Most Wanted

I was a little surprised when Most Wanted came out on top of the WeView selection poll. It’s not that I’ve got anything against the Need for Speed series, I’d just never really seen a huge amount of love the games being spread around. Of course the recent arrival of Criterion as developers for at least some of the games does seem to have improved the standing of the franchise, with the respect that Criterion built up in the Burnout titles carrying directly over to EA’s premier racing titles.

We should of course be accurate here. We’re not talking about 2005’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted, a game which also appeared on this generation of consoles, we’re talking about 2012’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted – A Criterion Game, which seems to be the game’s full title and is, frankly, amazing. I’m really hoping we see Destiny’s full title revealed as Destiny – A Bungie Game, it would just make me so happy.

killzone ps4

Catch me if you can!

A bizarre love of naming conventions aside, Need for Speed: Most Wanted – A Criterion Game did very well for itself, earning a very respectable 84 on Metacritic for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, while the Vita version did slightly worse at 79 and the PC version dropped another point to 78. I should note that while the iOS version acquitted itself well with an 82, we’ll be focusing on the PC and console versions in this WeView.

With the full score breakdown covered, it’s time to look at what people really thought of it. Sadly we didn’t give the game a review here at TSA, but the rest of the games press has sorted things out for us.

PlayStation Universe really rather enjoyed the game, calling it “a game that begs you to play it from the minute you boot it up”, and were impressed by the game’s exploration mechanics and the way that Criterion have basically removed the need for a pause button with the Easy Drive system. They were, however, disappointed by the fact that there was no real reason to fall in love with an individual car, given that they’re only used for a handful of events, and found that police were rather easy to defeat.

Giant Bomb weren’t all that impressed by the police either, complaining that they feel “tossed in and largely out of place”. They also noted that the game’s single player “feels a little empty”, but this was fortunately offset by the game’s multiplayer. They were impressed by the variety of events on offer when you went online, and the dirty tactics that the game encourages at times. As for the game’s Origin connectivity, they felt it was “the first game I’ve seen that justifies the existence of EA’s Origin service, as it syncs your point total across all platforms”. Sound like a nice touch from Criterion.

That’s enough of scores and critics though, let’s move onto your views. No matter how much you loved or hated the game we want to hear your thoughts on it. If you feel like taking part then all you need to do is drop a comment below, sharing exactly how you felt about Criterion’s second entry into the Need for Speed franchise. All we ask is that you include a rating with your comment, using the Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It, Avoid It scale. As always you’ve got until Sunday afternoon to get your comments in.


  1. No, it’s not quite Burnout Paradise 2, but it’s as close as you’ll get.

    Unfortunately, I found some of the game still jarring with the “I WANT BURNOUT!” part of my brain which made me turn off Hot Pursuit so quickly. (It’s just a smidge to the left of the Hippo-Campus) The multiplayer had less of a party, cooperative atmosphere for me which I so desired, and I found it quite odd how most cars were just found lying around the map… And the endless driving from one side of the map to the other to get to a race…

    But at the same time it gets a lot right. It’s perfect for the ADHD generation, who are completely and utterly distracted by everything they see on screen, and this world is packed with shiny things that will drag you off course and find you completely lost and twice as far away from where you wanted to go!

    So on the whole good. If you like Burnout Paradise, this isn’t quite there, but it’s worth a look anyway…

    Rent it, maybe?

  2. Damn, only played it on the Vita.

    Might say my piece anyway. Very good game. Not perfect in any manner of thinking but really enjoyable, and definitely the best in the NFS series in a long time.The racing is tight. The graphics are great. The (non existent) story is welcome. It’s car racing. We don’t need a story.

    My problems with it however are, far too many collectibles. I love collecting things in games but there is such a huge amount, it seems ridiculous.

    Also, rubber banding. The mainstay of arcade racers. I hate it. I can’t understand the theory of putting this in. If I’m kicking a guys arse, I wan’t to win by a massive margin.

    And if I screw up on a corner and hit a wall at 200mph, I should be penalised. Not spawn at 150mph about 100 yards behind a racer who has inexplicably slowed down. Let me lose.

    Anyway, rant over. Still think it should be BUY IT.

  3. Essentially a more annoying version of Burnout Paradise. Traffic checking has been removed, car controls aren’t as solid and the inclusion of police is just frustrating in a lot of events. The frame rate is also pretty questionable at times.
    The online is pretty solid however so it might be worth BARGAIN BINning it so you get the online pass.

  4. (Vita version)….

    I actually really enjoyed it, and it’s one of the few games that I thought multiplayer was better than the single player, since the SP did feel a little lifeless. Even the MP game modes were more fun, like trying to stay on a platform for the longest time.

    What they have created was solid – good cars, good city, great visuals & sound, decent handling – but there just needed to be more of everything. Lack of damage; not enough car customisation (tuning and appearance – even the colour selection was a bit dull); the city could have lead to move intricate/rural/tighter sections for some precision driving, rather than just going for long roads aimed for high speeds. The air field was probably the most interesting area in the game, mainly because it didn’t look like every other section of the map. I also thought the police chases were a bit dull and the AI was easy and predicatable, unlike the more dramatic NFS Hot Pursuit. I did enjoy it though, and hope this is a platform for them to build a decent sequel, because I’d buy it.

    Buy It (for £20-£25, otherwise Rent It).

  5. I hate cars games, the only car game I ever enjoyed was burnout. I bought need for speed most wanted thinking its like ps2 most wanted, the thing that’s boring about the new gen NFS, you can’t customise your car.

    Anyway I loved NFSMW on the vita, it was a fun portable racing game, the only issue I had with it was when raving, it was hard to tell when in incoming or a car in front of you is also same with corners

    • Vita version too here. Buy it

    • Suggest not taking PS Vita in to nightclub and play at home instead, all the lasers and strobe lights do effect your ability to see oncoming traffic.

      • Lol I’m guessing you speaking from experience :p

  6. I’ve only played the Vita version but it did remind me of playing Burnout Paradise on my PS3. I’m not really a Need for Speed fan (normally play F1 or karting racers) but I found it quite enjoyable to play. Graphically the headlights (when on) look really poor but I’ve not found other issues.

    Quite a good pick up and play games as events normally take a maximum of 5 minutes. The open world element works well especially as you can quick start races too so you’re not stuck driving around for ages just to start a race.

    I’d say buy it.

  7. Blimey, the Vita version is popular innit? It’s the version I have adn I’ve played it pretty much non stop since getting it a few weeks ago.

    It’s a tad rough on the graphics front but it is shifting a shed load round at top speed. Multiplayer is awesome fun but I agree with kjkg that the rubber banding is awful and far, far too obvious. If the AI car crashes and you race past, when it begins to race again it has Superman levels of acceleration and is on your tail within seconds.

    Overall though, wonderful game and absoloutely essential on Vita. Buy It.

  8. It sure ain’t no Burnout Paradise II…more of a Need for Speed game in a Burnout Paradise world. As beautiful as the world is, it isn’t half as much fun as BP. I find the real world cars not as interesting as the fictitious ones in BP and without the ability to do daft barrel rolls and other stunts there is a distinct lack of enjoyment in just blasting round the city.

    If you like real cars and driving in races, buy it. If you are after BPII, rent it or bargain bin it.

    • Agreed, I did have high hopes for the game and it did deliver on some fronts but lacked the jewel in the crown that was/still is the superior online modes of Burnout Paradise.
      I’ve never understood why such a successful recipe that BP had has never been reintroduced into a racer, especially from the same team that originally produced the Burnout masterpiece which is yet to be equalled!
      To summarise though high expectations dashed although an enjoyable enough single player campaign but lacking in multiplayer enjoyment…..mainly due to high hopes of a BP sequel that never happened.

      I’d still say BUY IT at the bargain prices it can be picked up for!

  9. I got this as part of my vita bundle around the same time as black ops 2 came out,i ended up trading it in for blops2.
    What little i played of it though was pretty good,as others have said it’s not unlike burnout paradise which is a good thing.I don’t normally do car games unless they are free.Buy it.

  10. Whilst the multiplayer is some of the most fun I’ve had with a racer, the singleplayer had some great ideas, but didn’t feel structured enough. It ended up being less interesting than both Burnout Paradise and Criterions last Need, Hot Pursuit. The autolog has also become a bit too nagging for my part. The DLC is typical EA overpriced as well.

    Bargain bin it.

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