Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 91
    One of the most entertaining racing experiences ever, as was expected. Racing underground has been done before, but this game does it right. If you liked other NFS games, you will definitely love this installment.
  2. Racing doesn't get much better...unless you're in a real car. [Mar 2004, p.75]
  3. That break-the-mold game that longtime players of the franchise have been waiting for. And if you're already a street-rag reader, you have permission and reason to drool - just keep it off the AirFlow controller, please.
  4. Combining the reckless, breakneck speed and high-impact collisions of Burnout with the neon-tipped street culture of "Fast and the Furious" (and, more specifically, "Midnight Club II"), Underground is the new definition of white-knuckle.
  5. 90
    But the real kicker here, and the focus of the whole experience, is customizing your ride. If you're not into that element, don't go out and try to buy this as a stand-alone racer. You really have to be dedicated to the car creation, and you have to have the patience for it.
  6. 90
    This is the best arcade racer on the market today. It's the best one in years.
  7. A great game that offers tons of options for customizing your ride, and a solid arcade racing experience. If you love cars, and long to build a custom car of your own, then this game is perfect for you.
  8. 88
    Not only does it have 20 of the hottest cars in the world, but customizing them is THE game. Need for Speed: Underground sets a new standard for racing games.
  9. Although the vehicle dynamics are still conspicuously slot-car like, the game itself is easily one of the finest EA has ever produced. [Jan 2004, p.118]
  10. A great mixture of arcade racing, with a twist of simulation - and a lot of modifying.
  11. The big difference between this and "Midnight Club 2" is that the second one stunned me while I expected more from such a fine producer like EA.
  12. 85
    It lacks some major features you'd expect, but this arcade racer still offers an immersive career mode, a beautiful presentation, and an insane sense of speed.
  13. A few moderately big shortcomings aside, Need for Speed: Underground is a solid racing game with an easy learning curve, arcade-like racing, online play, great graphics, and a distinct style.
  14. If EA paid as much attention to the career mode and track layout that they spent on graphics and sound, this game would have been the racing game to get.
  15. Surprisingly addictive, though incredibly frustrating at later stages in the game.
  16. While it might not be perfect, Need for Speed Underground is an impressive racing game, packed full of bonuses that will keep you playing for days.
  17. With just a bit more variety to its tracks and a slightly better career mode, it definitely could have been better, but it has great graphics, solid sound, and the sort of easy learning curve that makes it a driving game that anyone can excel at.
  18. Online drift mode is very popular, and if you happen to find someone in there with the name RedStarAcura behind an Impreza, he will not back down to any challenge!
  19. It sounds and looks beautiful - the cars and backgrounds are superb looking, and the THX certificate ensures that the audio experience is top-notch...On the other hand, the game lacks a more innovative and involving track design, which makes the actual racing and the map layout a tad too repetitive at times.
  20. An uneven mixture of gorgeous graphics, upgradeable street racing vehicles, variety of race modes, unique customization, lack of opposition, repetitive tracks, and no law enforcement presence... Involving and fun, although not quite as engrossing as "NFS:HP2."
  21. The drag racing sections truly capture the magic of the recent The Fast And The Furious flicks, and these one-on-one cock-fights make for a refreshing change after endless laps of spittle-covered urban wasteland.
  22. The sense of speed is superb, particularly with the visual assistance. [Feb 2004, p.73]
  23. Beautifully detailed with impressive lighting, accurately modelled protagonists and a terrific sense of speed. A refreshing and captivating direction for the series. [Christmas 2003, p.115]
  24. Boy racers will love Underground's edgy urban chic, otherwise you should stick with the less fashionable but ultimately more enjoyable "Burnout 2." [Christmas 2003, p.125]
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 249 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 49
  2. Negative: 5 out of 49
  1. JonB.
    Nov 15, 2003
    10
    Having played the demo for this, I was totally blown away. I decided to buy the full game right away. Tight control, gorgeous stages, sweet Having played the demo for this, I was totally blown away. I decided to buy the full game right away. Tight control, gorgeous stages, sweet rides, and most importantly: THE CAR'S ENGINES SOUND GOOD AGAIN. (like they used to back in NFS5!) Floor it and hear the now-turboed 350Z roar, let off the gas to hear the blow-off valve release it's pent-up air. Get a woofer and a wheel to really have fun with this title. Oh, and although the game is huge, install was a breeze. Two thumbs up. Full Review »
  2. Sep 22, 2014
    9
    It was the first game in the series. I played 10 years ago, I liked so much, but age did not let me finish it. At 8 years old I struggled aIt was the first game in the series. I played 10 years ago, I liked so much, but age did not let me finish it. At 8 years old I struggled a bit. The game throws you in Olympic City, a town of Street Racing community. This will start the fun. Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    Electronic Arts rules when it comes to making games like these. The music, the gameplay, the sound effects, and sometimes even the story. IfElectronic Arts rules when it comes to making games like these. The music, the gameplay, the sound effects, and sometimes even the story. If you're interested in going very fast, and moving up the ranks faster than ever, then give this game a try.

    You are somewhat of an inexperienced driver who joins the underground street scene. You meet up with the beautiful, yet tough Samantha, who helps you through your first few races. You must buy and build up your car, and make it look cool so that you, the driver, are as cool and good as everyone who races.

    I have to say, i was blown out of the water by the soundtrack. Lil' Jon's "Get low" is pretty much the main song for this game, however, it's not an exclusive, like mistikal's "get faster" or Petey Pablo's "Need for speed". there's also good rock alternative music like Story of the year's "And the hero will drown", Static-X's "The only", X-ecutioner's "Body Rock" and Hotwire's "Invisible".

    It's a perfect buy. 10/10
    Full Review »