Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Posted October 11, 2013

Otherwise known as the best Need for Speed game ever made, and my favourite racing game. I’m writing this while gettin’ fired up to some sick 2005 beats. Let’s look back at what made it special.

Why it’s better than Burnout

Burnout is about crashes, it fetishizes crashes. There’s a historical reason. Damage models were novel and it became Criterion’s thing. Most racing games used real cars that you can’t beat up for licensing reasons. The problem with obsessing over crashes is that every tiny collision results in a ten minute long parade of non interactive car destruction porn, that completely kills the flow. You can argue that I suck, and I can argue that I do, and I won’t get better if I spend more time watching than driving.

Why it’s better than GT and Forza

It’s not. They serve vastly different markets. Someone who loves cars that much won’t have the fidelity, car selection, or tuning options they need, in a game like NFS. They have other priorities and we’ve seen what happens when EA takes NFS in a sim direction. We’ve also seen what happens when they go too arcade. As a series it’s place is to fill the middle. I’m a fan of the middle for racing and Most Wanted does this the best in the series. Also you would have a hard time sticking a plot in a sim, doable but not as fun.

That other Most Wanted game

Here’s the complaint I have about that game, they named it Most Wanted. Instead of making something awesome with a new name, they buried the best game in the series. Whenever you go looking for the 2005 game, you come across the 2012 one. It sucks. Criterion is awesome and now I have to hate them because of a dumb marketing move. That game doesn’t capture what was great about the 2005 game, not even close. So they saddled it with a bunch of expectation that wasn’t met. It’s still good but for different reasons.

My dream

If I had unlimited funds I’d remake Need for Speed Most Wanted. The problem is that the game we all want is way too expensive to KickStart. What we want is a solid arcade racing game with cop chases, simple customization abilities, an open world, easy to understand upgrade mechanics, and a ridiculous B movie plot. We want Tokyo Drift with a solid racing game underneath. If the cars go by like NEOOOWWWWWW, then even better.