I've never played a game where cops chasing you was this much fun. Crashing into roadblocks or those moments where you dodged a nail tape by millimeters. It just felt good to play, the cops were an actual threat, it was very over the top.
Each subsequent NFS had worse cop chases. As a matter of fact, I've never played another driving game where the cops came even close.
It was a great game, got it on 360 right after launch and had a blast. The career mode is still one of the best in the series. It’s too bad EA didn’t remaster this rather than the criterion game as the 2005 game is much better and could do with some graphical updates.