Need for Speed Most Wanted

With Project Gotham Racing 3 and Ridge Racer 6 released in the same launch window, some might not consider the high speed antics of EA's Need For Speed: Most Wanted. But to merely give it the cold shoulder would be a big-time mistake. This game is actually one of the better entries in the series, packing some colorful visuals, sharp gameplay, and some of the most intense police pursuit races ever implemented into a game. It's not without its speed bumps, but this is still one hot ride.

The Score

+ Packs the most insane police chases you'll find in any game. Just wait until you get chased by Corvettes and choppers.

+ Gameplay feels better than most other Need For Speed games, and, like always, you can modify your ride for fine tuning.

+ Full online support through a series of races.

+ Graphics look gorgeous, even with the mild hiccups that pop up from time to time.

+ Josie damn.

+/- The game's difficulty scale goes off its hinges later in the game, but by that time you should be more than prepared for it.

+/- Some of the FMV-fueled cut-scenes seem unintentionally funny, but Josie saves the day. I'll say it again, hot damn.

+/- The game once again falls victim to a lackluster selection of EA Trax. But there's always using your own.

Bottom Line

If you're going to do an underground racing game of some kind, it would probably help to have a point and not build your entire product around some kind of unreachable style. Fortunately, Need For Speed: Most Wanted does this and brings the series out of the doldrums that was Underground. The gameplay feels fine, the numerous modes are a blast, the graphics are mostly smoothed over, and pursuit is as good as it gets. On top of all this, you got Josie Maran helping you out. I could probably race with her all day if I had the time.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.