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Need for Speed (NFS) Games List

It's hard to imagine the world without the Need For Speed games. Electronic Arts' racing series has been the gaming landmark since the early 90s. It introduced many gameplay mechanics that are now considered absolute classics, copied with varied results into other titles in the genre. While we haven't hand news of any new Need For Speed Games for quite a while, it doesn't mean that we can't examine the series as a whole and present the list of the best NFS games that came from EA.

Need for Speed Games List

The history of Need For Speed

The NFS series dates back to 1991 when Electronic Arts purchased a Canadian game dev studio, Distinctive Software. The developers were responsible for such popular racing games as Stunts and Test Drive II. Rebranded as Electronic Arts Canada, the studio began working on a new game - the first Need For Speed. The Need For Speed was released on PC in 1995 to critical acclaim. The games' features, such as exotic sports cars, racing in the busy city streets, avoiding oncoming traffic, and escaping police, became the series's staples.

Each installment of NFS introduced something new to the franchise. NFS III: Hot Pursuit introduced the titular mode in which the players took the role of the cops, chasing illegal racers. NFS: Underground emphasized tuning the player's car. Need For Speed: Shift focused on realistic driving mechanics. Most of these features stayed with the series for good, while others were only a brief guest - such as NFS: Most Wanted's bullet time.

The latest installment of the series was 2019's Need For Speed: Heat, released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. So far, there is no information on whether or not the series will be continued.

The best games in the Need For Speed series

After reading the above summary of the series' history, you should have a better idea of what the NFS games have to offer. If you're still wavering on whether or not you should play EA's racing title below, you'll find the list of the best titles in the series, released by year.

  • The Need For Speed - the first installment of the series introduced the player to the mechanics that would become the series' trademarks.
  • Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit - the third game in the series introduces a mode in which the player takes control of the police pursuit vehicle
  • Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed - the only game in the series to focus on a single brand of car - the titular Porsche
  • Need For Speed Underground - in which open-world street races replaced racing tracks, and tuning your vehicle became the key gameplay mechanic.
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted and Carbon - a two-part sub-series focused on climbing up the wanted list by taking down the best drivers in the city
  • Need For Speed: Shift - the game introduces more realistic driving mechanics, shipping the focus from street racing back to the racing tracks
  • Need For Speed Payback - play a group of uniquely skilled drivers pulling off high-speed heists and seeking revenge on those who wronged them.
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