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Which "era" of Need For Speed games do you think is the best?

Which era is the best?

  • The Classic Era

    Votes: 76 41.1%
  • The Underground Era

    Votes: 97 52.4%
  • The Identity Crisis Era

    Votes: 9 4.9%
  • The Modern Era

    Votes: 3 1.6%

  • Total voters


4-Time GIF/Meme God
Underground for sure

They peaked the classic era with Hot Pursuit 2, but Underground was the right game at the right time. Movies, music, and even other games from other companies defined this sub-genre. It was a new level that nobody really got again

Also, the only game that really surpassed the first Underground is Midnight Club 3. It never really shined that much because it was kinda saturated already, but damn, they really nailed it
The only ones I played were Shift and Hot Pursuit. They might be the "identify crisis" era but for me that was the best. I can't remember if I bought Shift 2 but if i did that was the last one i bought.
Whatever era you consider Most Wanted. That was a GC,PS2,Xbox game but also released on the 360 if I remember correctly?

Honestly I’ll always love the first one only because I bought and played it at launch on the 3do as a brand new IP and those graphics at the time were unreal lol.

Scotty W

The first was amazing when it came out. To go from 2d racers to that in such a short period of time was incredible. I still love it to this day even though the frame rate is super low. 2 had only one great track but the rest of the classic era just got better.

I lost interest once Underground came around. Don’t get me wrong a lot of people like it, but it sucks that people who just want to race stopped being served. Can anyone do that?


Classic exotic 90's cars era.

But i can see the value in the Underground era (They surfed the Fast and Furious wave like no one...), and even in some late games like Shift1-2 (Project Cars "the origin") and Most Wanted 2012.
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Classic and Underground. From NFS 2 to Most Wanted (2005), I played most of them very often even finishing the single player mod several times.


Underground to Carbon era is the best.

However, I immensely enjoyed the direction EA had for Shift 2 Unleashed, never a racing game slapped players right in the face with that horror-like/high stake atmosphere of professional racing right from the splash screen with haunting music and staticky radio convos.

As a stranger to half-sim/sim racing back then, willing to drop the arcade, brake-to-drift play style and steadily learning how to do a clean, precise lap then start squeezing lap time with that R35 from the first race was a joy and a gateway to the world of realistic driving.
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Classic and Underground by far. Series went to shit when they turned it into Burnout breaking signposts and ramps/jumps and drifting all over the place.
Classic biggest advantage is the course variety, since its closed track design you can go racing all over the world, i think thats something that has been lost with every racer now being open world, you loose tons of variety and thats something that is missing in the Underground era, but you gain a lot in customization. I think if they could make a Classic style game with Underground era customization, racing across the world would be fucking awesome.

"Also, if you were to pick one, which is your absolute top Need For Speed game?" Uff, really hard to decide! The ones i have most memories of are NFS3HP NFSHP2 and NFSU2. Top 3 right there.
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The Underground Era, with Most Wanted at the top, i really enjoyed that game, in fact, i haven't played much of, or really liked any NFS after that, but played most of them before Most Wanted. it was a turning point for me in the series.
Haven't played much of the Classic era except for Porsche Unleashed and Hot Pursuit 2, which i really liked, but i was obsessed with Underground 1 and Most Wanted (2005). There are some real high lights from both eras. I can't really pick between Classic and Underground, so i'll just say they're by far .. BY FAR the best NFS eras and the series took a nosedive after that.
The only thing missing with the recent re-release of Hot Pursuit by Criterion is not having an in-car view like the original 1995 version had, and what you get in Forza...otherwise Criterion's effort was the standard between 2011 to this day I think...

I can't stand it when there's no cockpit view in a racing game!!!


I played so much Most Wanted. Somehow never played through but always started again from the beginning. All the old parts were great too, but after Mw the series lost its impact.


Gold Member
Most wanted 2012 is a great game by all accounts, it was just being compared to the last criterion entry before that point, hot pursuit, and that game is a borderline masterpiece
I liked it too but TBH I think that naming it "Most Wanted" was a mistake because original MW was wildly popular and likely many people expected an actual follow up, and not a game that had nothing to do with the original game. Plus it was just kinda bog standard.


Gold Member
All I know is that Rivals was fucking amazing and the best NFS game.

Edit: I actually meant Rivals, not 2012 Most Wanted.
Rivals came very close to being a perfect modern NFS game for me, because it had amazing new graphics, modern exotics, beautiful open world, and an incredible sense of speed and car handling. It focused on everything that made HP2010 and older classics so good. It was essentially a modern version of High Stakes.

But what ruined it for me is that fucking damage model. By the time I got my hands on Lambo Aventador it just became impossible to win more than 2-3 races without getting your shit absolutely pushed in by cops. It's as if your car was suddenly made of chocolate, it got destroyed so fast. I hate that crap.


I prefered the point to point racing through completely different locations rather than the same streets of the original, but that is probably because im old and loved test drive on the amiga.


I prefered the point to point racing through completely different locations rather than the same streets of the original, but that is probably because im old and loved test drive on the amiga.
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