User Score
4.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 617 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Oct 30, 2012
    6
    I'm a big car racing fan and wanted to love this game after completing Dirt: Showdown too, too quickly. This game tries to straddle the line between Criterion's previous two release, but neither matches the single-minded determination of Hot Pursuit (2010), nor the variety Burnout Paradise. Specifically: (-) There are not enough race types (-) Finding cars instead of being gifted them was a dumb idea from the onset - where are the rewards!? (-) The car upgrade system is pointless as there are only five races per car, so by the time you've maxed it out you can't even go in a new race (-) All the cars feel more or less the same anyhow. (+) There are some positives as the graphics are pretty and Autolog is fantastic, but we are left with a big open world to explore with little reason to do so. This is a beautiful engine and a fantastic stat tracking app, but where has the game gone Criterion? *ugh* I just lost the game. Expand
  2. Jan 20, 2013
    7
    I am really enjoying this game. It is disappointing it doesn't have garages, money and customization like the original did, but as a modern racing game I find it stands out with its array of content, cars, and beautiful locations.
  3. Oct 31, 2012
    7
    I am a huge Burnout Paradise City fan. This game seems to straddle the line between that game and the more recent Need for Speed titles... to it's detriment. It's not as silly and fun as Paradise City, nor as hardcore as the Need for Speed games. The map feels small and the vehicles are dished out too readily, making the reward seems less valuable. It can be fun, but it is not the masterpiece that Paradise City was and is. Also, I was hoping for some more/better PC options. As it is, I'm using a 660ti and the high res texture pack seems to make it drop frames. Not great. Expand
  4. Oct 30, 2012
    5
    Need for Speed: NOT Wanted. Where can i start from the annoying camera that you have deal every time you pass a roadblock or the car handling that feels like driving a brick with wheels. And what is with the cops I am driving with over 300 km/h and still the cops always stick with me even if i am dealing with average police cars. How is it possible a average police car run with the same speed with a Super car that runs almost 300 km/h ?!!? (smells like cheating AI to me). As for the rest there is no Single player story or any real purpose just running around some city trying to be number 1 in some list and doing similar races every freaking time (very boring !!!). Only good thing about this game are the graphics which are pretty good as for the rest it is a disappointing game that gets boring really fast Expand
  5. Nov 8, 2012
    1
    this massage to all "critics"
    u don't understand what u doing. this is NOT an AAA game! this is usless trash. it's not even the game!
    - controls not responsive, - 2 stupid cameras, physics? there is no NOTHING in this trash to call it even simple arcade. games for ipad in our days have more deep gameplay and setting... than this.
    this is pathetic parody on NFS. critics give this trash
    8!!!! U encourage EA and Criterion make this trash NEXT YEAR? or u just sellouts? Expand
  6. Feb 5, 2013
    6
    Criterion, Go yourself, you're screwing all NFS games!!!
    When does the mercenary *EA* learns what we really want... Criterion, your only good game release was Burnout, and it stayed there.. Stop before u screw Need for speed
  7. Nov 26, 2012
    4
    What the hell Criterion? Burnout Paradise was what? 4 years ago? and it still has better graphics and is more realistic than this crap. EA too - Prostreet is more fun. Coulda been alot better if you took another year to work on it. Plus, you cannot unlock/purchase cars. You have to find them around the city... That's no fun. This series is turning into Call of Duty. No one should get it. Good for $10. Great for $5. Expand
  8. Oct 30, 2012
    5
    I weep for the Need For Speed series, and I weep because EA seem to force Criterion to make mediocre Burnout Paradise clones instead of decent Burnout games. If you want a good NFS game, get the new Hot Pursuit. Otherwise get Burnout Paradise. Plain and simple. ---- Now for the sake of the responsibility I carry as a reviewer I will go into detail a little more. The map is small and boring. The cars all seem to handle and perform almost the same, and earning them feels underwhelming because it's so easy. Also there's no visual customization and you can't even pick your paintjob freely. Then there's the annoying crash cam and less than appealing soundtrack. All in all a bittersweet experience, especially for people who know what Criterion are capable of if they're not handcuffed by EA. Expand
  9. Oct 30, 2012
    0
    this is half done game without any story and challenge, where every car is avaliable from the begining without any motivation to play and unlock anything. As criterion said for people which does not have time to play few hours to unlock something, with forced multiplayer against signgleplayer where is nothing to do... If they can imagine there are player which want to play singleplayer and I don't want to put my face to each banner in the game Expand
  10. Nov 1, 2012
    10
    This is awesome!!! the best arcade racing ever... i know it is not before Most Wanted, but it is best multiplayer race.... Thank's Criterion for this game.. P.S Good reviews would be more if the game is not called Most WAnted
  11. Nov 4, 2012
    5
    NFS Most Wanted features a very, very small map, packed with horrible frame rate issues. The framerate is so poorly optimized that makes the game unplayable at certain sections of the map. A total disrespect to the PC customer. When you get the game working on the more "clean" sections of the map (and by lowering the graphics almost to nothingness) you can expect decent graphics, mediocre presentation, and poor soundtrack. Aside from the crazy framerate drops, the main problem with NFS:MW is the lack of content. You will beat the most wanted list in about 6-10 hours, and you will be forced to race the same tracks/events again and again, only with different cars. This game is not worth full price, wait for a price drop. Expand
  12. Nov 18, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view.
  13. Nov 7, 2012
    4
    This game has no soul at all. Taking down the most wanted rivals is completely boring. There is no character associated with a vehicle, no story at all. It's simply unlock a most wanted challenge and then beat it, get car, rinse, repeat. Customization is gone completely as all mods are the same for each vehicle and you unlock them in the same generic races over and over again. The online is kind of hit or miss for me...they reward crashing WAY too much. Nobody races with any finesse they just fly around slamming into you all the time. And WTF is up with the speed trials and challenge events!?! This is supposed to be a racing game!! In some events you actually have to try and PARK your car longer than anyone else in a specific spot!! That's right...the object is to PARK your car?!?! What the heck is Criterion thinking!?!?! After the awesomeness that was NFS: The Run, I had high hopes for this game but if you ask me Criterion screwed up just about every single aspect of this game and sucked all the fun right out of the online game. This is definitely one to avoid for sure. Expand
  14. Oct 30, 2012
    4
    This game is poorly optimized for PC, a straight port, constant fps drops make the game unplayable. The car handling is too "heavy", the camera choices are horrible.
    All in all, wasted money.
  15. Jan 13, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You have already reviewed this product. You can submit a new review and rating now if you wish to make changes. Your review must be at least 150 characters long. Expand
  16. Nov 2, 2012
    0
    This is not Most Wanted, It's really like Need for Speed: Burnout. Really, feels like playing Burnout games with Need for Speed brand on it.

    And its poorly optimized for PC.
  17. Nov 10, 2012
    9
    With all these whingers and whiners on this board proclaiming this to be the worst NFS tile yet you have to ask yourself did they even bother giving the game a chance before hopping on the flaming bandwagon. To say this is worse than NFS Undercover is a HUGE joke. Seriously??? In this day and age where every one is a throw away critic how can you possibly take anyone seriously after reading through the 0's and 1's and the extreme 10's. People if you are going to do a review remember to judge a game on the sum of its parts, to be objective and to leave emotion by the door. Its getting slightly ridiculous of late with the Jabber-wokkies jumping up and down handing out 0's and 1's because they never got what they wanted and on the other side those nut-jobs who proclaim certain games to be the best thing "EVA" after spending the total sum of no more than a 1-2 hrs with the game. Three of the years biggest titles (Diablo 3, Mass Effect 3 and now Need for Speed: Most Wanted) all suffered the same fate and none of them were bad by any standard, all being highly polished affairs and standing out amongst their respective genre peers. However, I am sensing I am starting to bring my own emotions into this review, so let me stop right there before I become a caricature of what I am protesting against.

    As for the game, I do agree the game is not optimized very well for the PC but it certainly does not make it unplayable and this is not the very worst port ever (sorry that goes to Dark Souls). In fact the developers have given PC gamers the stock standard options to mess about with when some don't even try and have provided a high definition texture pack. Is this what is considered bad now days? Man oh man how quick we seem to have forgotten the PC port of the excellent Resident Evil 4. With regards to the engine optimization, for those who bothered to fiddle around with the .ini file would have seen 30FPS=false line right at the top of their file and that by simply locking the game to 30FPS (I agree not ideal but hardly earth shattering in a game of this nature as the game still plays fast and furious) most of your stutters and FPS drops would have disappeared. Don't be afraid to experiment a bit after making a copy of the original as this has always been the joy of PC gaming and to see so many not even bother is saddening. Perhaps its because I am an old time gamer and in those good old days a lot of fidgeting and fiddling needed to take place inside those config files in order to get the desired result. Currently I run the game on a GT70 i7-3610QM with a GTX675M GPU and 16GB RAM with the frame rate lock and everything on HIGH and it plays fluidly and beautifully. Whilst I agree some of the more aging hardware out there may require you to fiddle around a bit more with the settings. Just off the bat the game is going to need some serious upper mid-level to high end tech if you are hoping to reach the 60FPS when the patch that address the engine optimizations is released (if its released at all).

    As for the handling, it took me some time to master and at first I simply hated it but a little time and patience was all I needed before I began to get the hang of it and the further you progress the more mods you unlock for your car which in turn makes the cars handle way much better than those first few frustrating hours. Personally I preferred The Runs handling but the game is certainly not unplayable as some have proclaimed. The graphics, for my humble eyes, are a scorcher and the game is simply stunning to look at on a high definition TV with the high definition pack enabled. Particle effects such as falling debris, smoke and the clash of metal on metal as sparks fly as is the reflections of the city on the bonnet and boot of your car as you whizz on by are also accurately portrayed and add to the height-end sense of Michael Bay reality that accompanies these arcade racers of the modern era. I have enjoyed this game on a graphical level immensely.

    Game-play is a lot like if Hot Pursuit and Burnout Paradise got together and had a bastard child. Initially I was not so sure how I was going to enjoy this but after having spent a good 30hrs with the game before commencing with this review in the end I feel the developers made the right choices. I did not mind the mechanics of having to search for new your wheels rather then getting them dished out to you as your skill level increased. I thought this was quite refreshing and a modern take giving everyone access to the more powerful vehicles off the bat instead of having to put in some serious time to earn them. But again this is hardly something that would warrant a 0 or a 1 for a score and is simply subjective. All in all NFS:MW 2012 is the most fun I have had with an arcade racer this generation, edging out Hot Pursuit and the original NFS:MW from 2005. I can see many hours should lost to this and the awesome muliplayer. Well done Criterion!
    Expand
  18. Nov 5, 2012
    3
    This should have remained "A Criterion Game" (no Electronic Arts involvement) and should have been called Burnout Paradise 2. Besides absolutely stunning graphics, the game lacks everything a true NFS fan got excited about when they saw that NFS Most Wanted was coming. It is downright misleading and dishonest. The NFS franchise has just got worse by the title. Most of my gripes have been mentioned in other reviews already. I'm so disappointed! Expand
  19. Oct 31, 2012
    5
    The Good - The graphic level, the tunnes, lights, cars and world in general are well made, the highways and streets are pretty well for a simulation of the city.

    The Bad - is a Burntout Paradise game with no challenges, run as crazy and free as you want, the filters to make look good this games are way to heavy and with no optimization at all, almost anything bigger than a LOW setting
    will drop your fps to 35 fps wich by the way is unplayable.

    Other than that, is not what expected from "MOST WANTED", just another arcade game.
    Expand
  20. Nov 2, 2012
    2
    New NFS! GREAT! Right? Typically when you see a massive number of negative user reviews, people are just complaining to complain right?

    So lets break this latest NFS down. It runs - check. You can drive different cars - check. There are cops, races, and other side mission like things to do - check. The graphics are decent (more on this later) and you have teh dubstep soundtrack!
    If you've played NFS before EA turned into a completely soulless company, there were some fun moments. You could get past the small flaws and cheater AI that were part of the experience because the core game was fun. Now looking back at every NFS since PU, we have a complete and total failure to produce a game that is even worth playing. This latest entry is full of the same crap and somehow, people keep buying it. Do you want to dominate a race and then lose in the last tenth of a second because the AI magically caught back up? Do you want to drive cars that handle without a bit consistently? Do you think a sandbox racing game should just be a check list of races? After an hour of attempting not to be infuriated by this game, I lost, and decided that I would rather stab myself repeatedly rather than carry on. The PC version is an obvious port, and poorly optimized. You want particle effects? WE'LL GIVE YOU SO MANY EFFECTS THAT YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE THE RACE! You want to complete that billboard challenge? We'll make sure a the "randomly" generated traffic t-bones you. So what does this boil down to? EA Games beating a long dead series because for some reason, people keep buying these steaming piles of crap games. Save your money, or better yet, find a copy of the first NFS : Hot Pursuit and Porsche Unleashed. Expand
  21. Nov 6, 2012
    1
    Loved the original Most Wanted (not because of the plot, but because of gameplay), came in with high hopes, but left unsatisfied. I would agree on the comments about bad optimization and low frame rates. I have a high end PC, and games like Battlefield 3 work without any problems on max settings. NFS: Most Wanted however, doesn't. There is constant frame rate issues. Also I can't drive with manual gears, only automatic. The cool slow motion replays during jumps and roadblocks, which I loved in the original Most Wanted, are gone. No police helicopter anymore even on highest heat level, don't know why they left that out. As everyone knows by now, all of the cars are unlocked right away. This doesn't bother me, but the "Easydrive" system in which you can upgrade your car while driving isn't that functional. You can't really steer and navigate the menus in the same time, so you're gonna have to stop the car anyway. All in all, I'm pretty disappointed. Expand
  22. Nov 14, 2012
    7
    I'll begin by addressing the problems and common misconceptions about this game. The main problem with this is that it's not optimized for PC. You may want to go straight to your "Criterion Games" folder in My Documents and in the cfg file set LockAt30fps to true. This is not something you should have to do with any game, let alone one designed for casual gamers. 30 FPS does suit the game well though. A recent patch has fixed many problems with regards to controllers and framerates though. In terms of the brick-like heavy handling and the seeming "auto-correct" when steering; just remember that this game is made for non-racers. If, like me, you're used to super-sharp and technical driving you need to break out of the precision mindset and just throw the car about more generally, since in more hardcore racing games the smallest input at the wrong time can lead to a disaster. Here you need to be aggressive, so it can take some getting used to if you're serious about your racing games. As for more general downsides, this game lacks any real depth in terms of single player content. It wouldn't be as empty if the leaderboards were more focused globally rather than on friends. Indeed if you have no friends who play the game all the speedwalls are pointless as always. But this game is designed with mutliplayer first, as stated by Criterion. Hence, the single player is just a free-roam messabout arena rather than the main chunk. The title has caused much confusion. The 2005 game is my 15th favourite game ever (at time of writing). However, Criterion have stated (see Wikipedia article on this game) that their intention was NOT to make a sequel to the original masterpiece. And so it follows that the concept behind the title is being "Most Wanted" amongst your friends. Like in NFS Hot Pursuit, the handling is very arcade and there is no manual transmission. However the city of Fairhaven resembles that of Most Wanted 2005 so you get a good mix of urban twisty roads and inner city centre. The design philosophy for the single player is to keep it very simple and basic. So no budget to manage, no garage, no consequences for getting busted, no special cars or upgrades to unlock from levelling up or whatever. Just very simply: Whatever car you find, you can drive. The graphics are obviously state-of-the-art; and you'd expect them to be given the system requirements. Compared to Hot Pursuit 2010, there's no innovation, and handling is inferior to that in The Run. The lack of manual transmission doesn't help matters. But unlike The Run this game doesn't have any camera issues, and it's not linear; it's free-roam. I like the concept and the game does feel very modern, with an excellent choice of cars which do handle slightly differently (although once again, not comparable to The Run's handling). This game is not sophisticated, and this is with great delibration. Infact, the emphasis is on the pick-up-and-play, do what you want whenever you want without having to grind through a half-arsed story - kind of thing. If you're expecting a sequel, then you have either been mislead by the title or deeply misinformed of the game's intentions. All in all it's a great game but the technical issues on the PC version on launch and the lack of emphasis on global leaderboards position if you don't have any friends is dissapointing; given that Autolog has been around for quite some time now. Nevertheless, it's definitely the game I would recommend to someone who has never tried a racing game. Everyone who thinks that this game is multiplayer only or is not worth getting if you're planning to mainly or only play single player is lying. When you consider how many cars there are in the game, and that there are 5 races for each, there are upgrades to unlock for each which have their distinct advantages and disadvantages and can be changed at any point even during a race, and the upgrades themselves have "Pro" versions (just as perks in Call of Duty have Pro versions); add in the 60-odd speed cameras and over a hundred billboards to smash and also trying to beat your best time on each race or get more points on each pursuit without having to worry about getting busted and paying a hefty fine - you get the idea. Basically, the amount of content in the single player is actually more than meets the eye if you want to do everything. Variety isn't great but is sufficient to keep it feeling satisfying. The city is tiny but it's used so well it feels bigger than it actually is. The cars sound great, have nice colour schemes, and SFX is generally high quality. When you consider that you get the best-looking racing game to date by a large margin with some of the finest cars around in a very casual drop-in/drop-out environment where there is still motive to unlock things but not the main part, it's very pleasing and relaxing. The difficulty of the races is pretty good if not a little too hard, especially for casuals. Overall, fantastic work Criterion. Expand
  23. Nov 1, 2012
    3
    This is more a Burnout game than a Need for Speed game. Bad vehicle handling. A terrible upgrade system. New cars are just given to you yet there's only 5 races per car...that you can only attempt with THAT car! The crash cam is annoying and ruins the intense chases that made the original Most Wanted so fun. Don't buy this game.
  24. Feb 20, 2013
    2
    I hadn't played a NFS game in years and had really missed it, so I got this with very minimal expectations. I just wanted the usual post-Underground NFS game, with silly storyline and enjoyable driving. Even with non existent expectations however, this game is bad. When I can run Far Cry 3 on high and I need to turn this down to low details, you know there's a problem. Also, the handling is so terrible that I couldn't stand it for more than an hour. You press the stick to turn and at first the car doesn't respond and then it immediately takes a 90 degree turn straight into the nearest wall. I can't believe Criterion made this game, wtf happened to them? I don't think I need to add anything else, when you've got a sluggish racing game that handles terribly, it's done, nothing else matters. Huge disappointment. Expand
  25. Nov 4, 2012
    3
    Another one of these 13 in a dozen racegames. Multiplayer is nothing more than a frenzy where everybody tries to hit eachother. No nice ladder system which could at least keep you occupied for some hours. If you buy this game, be prepared to be bored after one day of playing. Too bad most developers seem to be going for the easy console money and stop developing games which really bring something new (or even old and proven!) to tyhe table to make a game interesting. Expand
  26. RiZ
    Oct 30, 2012
    10
    Awesome! Well done Criterion! They know how to make a games! Dynamic gameplay, beautiful graphics on DX11, realistic sounds, realistic and intresting physical model. Many races, funny and playful multiplayer. I hope Criterion don't forget about DLC on PC.
  27. Nov 13, 2012
    6
    My problem with this game was where my expectations were before getting my hands on and some game time behind me. I love the NFS series and have hours of fun with friends racing and competing on Autolog. While these things still exist in Most Wanted i still feel like there is something missing from the experience. The handling took me a while getting used to and to be honest it rarely changes between car to car, providing no thrills from finding your next vehicle. The use of the easydrive system is good, if not a little difficult to use while racing, but once you are used to it can be very effective. For me the longevity in this game is lacking it has been less than a month out and i am feeling my will to play just slip away. Could have been much better. Expand
  28. Nov 4, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Long time ago, back to 1997., you were playing Need For Speed 2, with a crazy gameplay and fun, brutal machines on road, that were going like 400km/h at least, cool maps, multiplayer modes to have fun with friends... After that, they were another good NFS's, till the nicely century of graphicaly crazy games, and then it comes, NFS Underground which was OK, and then, then it comes 2005., Most Wanted, maybe the best NFS game from 2002. or for someone even from 1999. Most Wanted back in 2005. was an awesome game, you could drive many many cars, with crazy type of driving, no stupid tracking **** and other idiotic "helpful" stuff, like in upcoming Pro Street and Shift games, and even The Run...
    After 7 years, there it comes, Most Wanted again!
    I was pretty suprissed when they announced, because I had most fun in Most Wanted NFS, cuz of many many jumping tracks, fast driving and other crazy things I liked in it...
    So yes, I bought the Most Wanted, and starting it for the first time, still not really knowing what cars are in it. Starting with the main car, and suddenly founding another, Marussia, another one Porsche, another one, Aston Martin V12, and driving through some missions, I got the feeling from the old Most Wanted game, fast paced, crazy cars, awesome driving abilities and such.
    But, things I missed were, BUYING cars, making them the way I really wanted, do you remember Underground 1 and 2 from 2003.? Yes, making the car as you like, fast, awesome handling, nitro long or short as you like, that's what I missed for years and years, and I don't know why but EA/Criterion isn't making it again... So yes CUSTOMIZING CARS from tires to motor.
    OK, you got some minimal customization on fly, made for ridicilous consoles like Xbox - "Xbox, Xbox, change my tires to DIRT tires--- suddenly crashing on road going like 300km/h" :)

    CARS - yes, you got cool cars, but only 43 of them, and all are almost crazy as hell, yes you got oldies, but who cares about them if you can't tune em how you really like...
    I'd like to sit in Nissan 240sx and make it totally for drifting, brutally, with short nitro, feeling it the way I like it, not sitting in Audi R8 and feeling like a airplane driver, and winning almost every round cuz of stupid AI... :)
    I want old cars, or normal every day cars, like Mazda 3, Clio, Opel Astra, or even Smart, goddamit :D
    Making this cars brutal makes me play games like this more and more and more, trying adding another customization to it, making them more faster or more handable ... ;)

    Still, I'll give score 8 to this Most Wanted, because it's still the best NFS after whole this ****ty NFS's that were coming out after Carbon ;)
    Expand
  29. Nov 3, 2012
    8
    Need for Speed: Most Wanted is by no means a bad game, but it doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table in terms of racing games. The gameplay is much less repetitive than any other racing game I've played to date, and the gameplay is much tougher than most racing games (due to the inability to hit civilian cars). It's purely fun, with good customization and fun racing. People **** this game are honestly just being ridiculous, it's a perfectly GOOD* game. It's not an amazing game, but it's definitely notable. Worth checking out. Expand
  30. Nov 1, 2012
    8
    I liked the old Most Wanted, i loved Burnout Paradise and I'm already impressed with 2012's Most Wanted....Criterion knows how to deliver racing games...i understand most of the players hate towards this game as they were hoping it to be like the original...but its Criterion...you have to judge it by its own merits or demerits...speaking of the game, it has more of the Burnout Paradise feel than any of the NFS games except for the cops...you're going to love to it or hate it..graphics are top-notch and the soundtrack is awesome too..my problem so far only has been the controls that needs to be fixed... Expand
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 60
    Just pick one of the beautiful cars, hop in and drive. But do not want anything else. NFS: Most Wanted is average fun for all car lovers. [Dec 2012]
  2. Nov 29, 2012
    70
    Most Wanted works best when you treat it like mobile games – switch it on for 15 minutes, do a random race with a random car and then turn it off. It's a good arcade racing title closely resembling Burnout: Paradise but it's not exceptional. [CD-Action 13/2012, p.52]
  3. Nov 25, 2012
    92
    Most Wanted's biggest strength is that it feels like a cohesive whole, rather than some amalgamation of a reboot tacked on to another game's engine. The gameplay emphasizes as little downtime as possible, which is a good thing as it's an absolute blast whether or not cops are involved. It's not a reboot as much as it is a reimagining of the original game, taking the bits that worked and wrapping them in a completely new package. Surprisingly enough, it does so in a way that works, and the new Most Wanted ranks up there with the original.