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. I’d really like to give the Vita version a go, I polished off the PS3 version recently though and enjoyed it, its great fun. Unfortunately it’s not Burnout Paradise 2, which is a shame, but I think its a great blend of Paradise and Hot Pursuit with the former’s presentation and progression but the latter’s handling and traffic. The traffic bit bothered me consistently, before your cars get tougher its very easy to clip traffic, which means plenty of frustration in the challenges, especially since the traffic seems to be randomly generated and can be irritatingly difficult to squeeze between. Even with the toughness mods applied, it happens occasionally and you’re sometimes left wondering what you did wrong.

    The racing is good but only ranges from easy to moderate in the single player, online against real people is harder but rear end collisions (leading to you being taken down) can be annoying, I never did work out how to properly defend first place but luckily your progression doesn’t hinge on always winning.

    My major gripe is that the game is too short. There aren’t many unique events but there are plenty of cars with the same race, this isn’t a deal breaker but when you’re familiar with the generously large play area you might be left wondering why there couldn’t be more races and challenges. I think a few of us in the forums have come to the conclusion that this is EA’s doing, I reckon they’re trying to limit the playability of the game so we’re left craving another Need For Speed, rather than providing us with seemingly endless amusing challenges and events like in Burnout Paradise.

    I would say Rent It, EA have graciously allowed Autolog access without the Online Pass, niggles aside the social competition in Most Wanted is brilliantly done and with the aid of a bit of forum banter it truly made the game for me! It’ll only take you a couple of weeks to polish off the game, which is why its a rent and not a buy, so if you liked Burnout Paradise or Hot Pursuit then it’s definitely worth a go :)

  2. As mention by all the above, this is as close as it gets to Burnout 2. And I for one really enjoyed this game. The graphics are amazing, the soundtrack (as always) is spot on and the last time I had so much fun with a racing game by myself was with the good ol’ Burnout.
    I do miss the voice over from the “Crash Radio” guy :)
    While Burnout allowed for more extravagant, made up cars, these real-life models are nothing to be ashamed of. And, once more, I think the best part of the game are not the races themselves, but the city itself. Exploring it, I found myself playing the game for 3 straight hours just smashing billboards, trying to beat my friends records, without doing a single race. At least not an “oficial” one, as running from the cops just for the sake of it is always fun :)

    Alas, the multiplayer wasn’t as appealing to me as the one in Burnout. I don’t even know why, but it wasn’t. Maybe I didn’t give it a chance…

    I rate this as a BUY IT, specially since the price is already below the 30€ (I don’t know how to type the pound symbol :p).

  3. Vita version again here.

    I’ve only had it a few days so far after it finally came back in stock in Cork (Smyths have it for €25 if anyone’s interested) after seemingly everyone who had a Vita here bought it over Christmas- the game is fantastic.

    This is the sort of game which just wasn’t possible on handhelds in years gone by- full open world, HD graphics, great racing with a fantastic sense of speed and all the little collectibles you’d expect in NfS or Burnout Paradise, the game it is closest to. Autolog is featured as well, and works perfectly over 3G. I’m finding it fun trying to catch up to other’s times, or progress in terms of gates smashed, or biggest jumps through billboards, etc.

    Anyway, this is the first Need for Speed I’ve truly loved, can’t recommend it higher, especially on Vita, BUY IT.

  4. I got the Vita version though from what I have seen there isn’t bags of difference between the two. Its decent and on the Vita certainly much more worthy of ones time when the PS3 is crowded with racers and what not. Its lovely- as is most EA games on any platform visually and it functions adequately like any racer.

    Standard controls with some emphasis on escaping police, takedowns and driving really fast through bilboards…sound familiar? Open world setting? Oh…its Burnout Paradise 1.5. Least its on the Vita though. It creates the problem when playing and certainly when I booted the game that there is the over familiarity that you have been there and done that long ago (4 years in fact).

    The big thing that works for this game is that it has a solid Vita port and that is worth noting. Sure its far too similar to Burnout yet seeing games like this on the Vita is a good sign of things to come surely? Playing an open world racing game in your palms suddenly became possible.

    However it is just far too similar to Burnout Paradise though and that’s a 6/5 yr old game now in which it still puts NFS to the shade. While this is definitely one of the better entries in the NFS series and made me finally purchase a NFS game I think that the series has become far too stoic even with this entry and most of us know that Burnout is far superior. Why they didn’t make a sequel or do a split team/game annual year thing like COD does is beyond me.

    As a Vita game though, it works and works well to be a good time sink or a distraction for the odd 20 minutes like Motorstorm RC for example. It has nice graphics and its good to see an open world racer on the Vita- it does the handheld justice. For around £15, on the Vita is worth buying and I would recommend people to buy the Vita version despite its similarity. However I would not recommend console versions because quite frankly Burnout Paradise is better, cheaper and even if you got the trophies still fresh to play.

  5. The time I spent with the PS3 version was enjoyable, but without an extensive list of Need For Speed owners on my friend’s list it neutered the Autolog features. Having played the previous NFS: Hot Pursuit with more competition I have discovered that Autolog is the most compelling feature of modern Need For Speed, at least for me.

    I think that as a single player experience Need For Speed is a somewhat soulless offering, and whilst comprehensively functional it simply lacks the spark which Criterion’s Burnout games exhibited.

    Bargain Bin it – if you have enough NFS owning friends to compete with.

  6. If you liked Burnout Paradise you’ll probably like this. I didn’t.
    (Vita version) The visuals and handling were fine but the actual game left me cold. I drove around aimlessly for 20 mins and found just starting an event was frustratingly cumbersome … and then there were the walls and obstacles which seemed to pop up out of nowhere… I traded it in for WRC Vita and i’m much happier now!

  7. Way too many pointless notifications on the screen, rubber banding that becomes infuriating, no direction or structure to the single player campaign, multiplayer that’s a jumbled mess, no option to tailor the hud, having to travel to a race. 5 minute waits between multiplayer events.

    DON’T BUY IT! (Xbox, or any other format)

  8. I bought Need for Speed Most Wanted because I wanted Burnout Paradise 2 and this seemed like the closest we will get for a while. I was not disappointed! I found the game extremely addictive; trying to find the ‘jack spots’ and playing races in order to upgrade my car. Indeed, for about two weeks after I bought it I could not put it down. Yet after completing the game, I found that I did not have the urge to play it again like I did with Burnout Paradise. Driving around Fairhaven is simply not as fun as Paradise City, being a more realistic game with a clearer racing focus. For that reason, I say: Bargain Bin it!

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