Need for Speed: Underground PC

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 332 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 332
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  1. Feb 16, 2017
    6
    I loved this game when I was a kid, but when I went to play it now again, I see how it has SERIOUS flaws.

    The good parts: Control of the car is nice, the graphics were cool by the time being, and the car tuning is very varied and cool. There is a decent amount of cars to chose, and there was a sense of progression on the races, opponents keep getting better and better. The sounds are
    I loved this game when I was a kid, but when I went to play it now again, I see how it has SERIOUS flaws.

    The good parts: Control of the car is nice, the graphics were cool by the time being, and the car tuning is very varied and cool. There is a decent amount of cars to chose, and there was a sense of progression on the races, opponents keep getting better and better. The sounds are really good and it has totally a "fast and furious" vibe.

    The bad parts: The worst part are the car crashes. It's absurd. The minimal hit will make your car go flying around, and it would be ok if the same happened to the AI, but the AI really CHEATS when there is a car crash. I saw an AI hitting a car on the front, and just went under it and kept going at full speed. It's very unfair, and most of the time you won't win or lose races by skill, but by pure luck, because cars appear out of nowhere just to hit you. Also, the game has a lot of glitches for those who try to play with a joystick, it keeps changing the controls and the camera shifts if you press brake for too long.
    Also, although there is a sense of progression while racing, there is no progression on cars. The car you get at the beginning of the game is better than most cars you unlock as you win races. And the tracks are VERY repetitive, you'll be running 111 races on the same tracks over and over again.
    Another bad thing is that you can only have one car. Which sucks, because there are some cars that are outstanding for races but suck at drifting.

    Overall, the game is only "meh". I was looking for nostalgia and got anger instead.
    Expand
  2. Oct 30, 2016
    8
    Great game for its time and still is. Graphics are dated for sure and cars dont sound that great compared to Underground 2 but its still one of the greatest illegal street racing games ever made, If one thing holds it back its crazy rubber band AI that also is pretty agressive.
  3. Jun 1, 2016
    10
    My all time favorite game.
    I love cars thanks to nfs !
    10/10 without thinking
    No Need for Speed game will ever be better that Underground in any way.Even if the game has no free roam i still absolutely love it .
  4. Aug 30, 2015
    9
    People like the fast and furious series but yet dislike this game. They need to do their home work to find the origin of the movies first.
    Totally awesome game, and I hope EA reinvent themselves on another one like this for the future
  5. Dec 10, 2014
    9
    Actually, I posted this on the NFS: Underground 2 page. It was so dumb of me and I don't know how to delete it... well, at last, here is what I think of the game:

    One of the best NFS for me. Amazing cars, theme, environment, fun races, challenging campaign, memorable races and a nice soundtrack, much better than the ones in the later games. And the tuning was amazing... the whole
    Actually, I posted this on the NFS: Underground 2 page. It was so dumb of me and I don't know how to delete it... well, at last, here is what I think of the game:

    One of the best NFS for me. Amazing cars, theme, environment, fun races, challenging campaign, memorable races and a nice soundtrack, much better than the ones in the later games. And the tuning was amazing... the whole concept of street racing was kinda new. And there was little to none focus on the story, which is awesome, because racing games don't really need a plot. It might as well just get in the way, like what happened (to me, at last) with Carbon, Undercover and even Most Wanted. The only problem is that it is very repetitive, but I never found myself bored of it.
    Expand
  6. Sep 22, 2014
    10
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  7. 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 a bit. The game throws you in Olympic City, a town of Street Racing community. This will start the fun.
  8. Aug 23, 2014
    10
    Fun to play, it is the first time I played something after meeting the NFS series for the first time back in the 90's with older vehicles. This introduces a good assortment of popular vehicles and some good music tracks, it doesn't feel old even after a while. Customization is straight forward with changing from a car to another and keeping upgrades and visuals, you can only have one carFun to play, it is the first time I played something after meeting the NFS series for the first time back in the 90's with older vehicles. This introduces a good assortment of popular vehicles and some good music tracks, it doesn't feel old even after a while. Customization is straight forward with changing from a car to another and keeping upgrades and visuals, you can only have one car at a time. Drag, circuit, drift and sprint are some race modes. Traffic can be annoying so for that try reducing difficult levels on each race. Expand
  9. 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. 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
    Electronic 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
    Expand
  10. May 3, 2013
    9
    Need for Speed Underground is a great step forward in the never-ending Need for Speed Franchise, and a total reboot of the series, both in game play terms and value, but also in visual design.

    The game is centered on the import and tuning culture. The action takes place in the fictional Olympic City, where the player must gain his respect and be the best by...well...winning races and
    Need for Speed Underground is a great step forward in the never-ending Need for Speed Franchise, and a total reboot of the series, both in game play terms and value, but also in visual design.

    The game is centered on the import and tuning culture.

    The action takes place in the fictional Olympic City, where the player must gain his respect and be the best by...well...winning races and be more notorious.

    The game features many game race mods, such as Knock-Out, Circuit, Sprint, Drag, and Drift.

    All race types have a different style of racing, especially Drag and Drift, which require the player to push his skills to his limits in certain events if he wants to win.

    The Career also features a top 10 ranking with the best racers in the town, magazines which can be unlocked by the player by his progress in career, but also for doing certain things.

    Career also features an option to choose your race difficulty, which everyone has it's own cash reward depending the difficulty you chose.

    Parts for both visual and performance, and even cars, are unlocked by completing regular events, while is also featured a tournament mod with more stages, in which the player unlocks performance upgrades.

    The gameplay is great and fun, but also can draw bit of criticism because of the car's handling, which after becoming tuned, the handling is a bit too responsive, and can make you easily crash.

    Also the city isn't really small so a Free Roam mode is more than welcome, and the gameplay is very linear and many races are repetitive.

    The visuals aren't bad at all, but certainly could've been better, most of the map props are looking good, while some don't, for instance the traffic cars, which have a terrible about of detail.

    So, final verdict.

    Even today the game is still played and deserves it, by having a decent game play, great potential, and good replay value.
    Collapse
  11. Jul 11, 2012
    3
    This is the worst NFS I ever seen! Only it's musics are great, the others are nearly crap. Not bad (but not good) graphics, no physics, **** cars, bad controlling, almost always the same "tracks", no cops (why is it underground, hmm?), very irritating traffic, bad and cheating AI. This is the NFS:U.
  12. May 22, 2012
    8
    Everything about this game is great. I just wished that it is a little bit realistic in the result of colliding cars, crashed and destroyed cars. But, it's still great.
  13. Mar 17, 2012
    6
    The first Need For Speed game which has decent graphics and a good storyline. I think the progress system in this game is pretty slow you get to all Level 3 upgrades after playing more than 80% of the career mode which is kind of slow. Apart from that good gameplay but gets kind of repetitive and the overall size of the city is pretty small. It feels like racing on the same tracks over andThe first Need For Speed game which has decent graphics and a good storyline. I think the progress system in this game is pretty slow you get to all Level 3 upgrades after playing more than 80% of the career mode which is kind of slow. Apart from that good gameplay but gets kind of repetitive and the overall size of the city is pretty small. It feels like racing on the same tracks over and over again. Expand
  14. Nov 19, 2011
    3
    It's arcade alright, but don't expect anything fast. More fun than the second one but still nothing special. To enjoy this game you have to a chav.
  15. VladN.
    Nov 14, 2004
    10
    I expected the same graphics, but the gameplay is beyond what I expected.
  16. EnzoS.
    Sep 26, 2004
    10
    VERY VERY COOL.
  17. ChrisS.
    Aug 7, 2004
    6
    NFS: Underground offers sweet graphics, good music and ok gameplay. However if you only have 20 bucks to spend pick up Midnight Club 2 instead. NFS:Underground lacks that title's drive anywhere gameplay, huge urban environments, take no prisoners opponent AI, damage modeling and replays.
  18. Inked4life
    Jul 19, 2004
    9
    Only one problem with this game....your stuck with "stock" music. You can only listen to the same tune for so many hours!!!!
  19. DinkelasX.
    Jun 11, 2004
    10
    This is the best street racing game, I also race in real life, so this is closest pc game which imagine a real racing. Only difference between game and real racing on the streets is Adrenaline...
  20. TeknoMan
    Mar 3, 2004
    9
    A very very good game, 4 ever tuning!
  21. JoshS.
    Feb 23, 2004
    10
    Best need for speed game i have ever played.
  22. Adam
    Feb 18, 2004
    9
    I give it a 9 for it's graphic and feeling. But I would give it a 10 if the cars could crash..
  23. Nerijus
    Dec 20, 2003
    10
    Its very good game,but i havn`t got cheats for this game plz me :)
  24. MattP.
    Dec 19, 2003
    9
    This game is fast paced, enjoyable, challenging, graphically amazing and the best racer i've played in a while. The only thing stopping this game from receiving a ten is the lack of damage on the cars, for which there is a very good reason.
  25. BitBurn
    Dec 14, 2003
    8
    Very good game. Graphics are great, gameplay is pretty sweet. However, I do find the Online menu a bit retarded but overall this game is a winner!
  26. StephenH.
    Dec 14, 2003
    9
    Very enjoyable, more fun to play than I was expecting. Its great fun to customise the sh1t out of a car, really personalising it. Its just a pity that there's no LAN mode and that the music is so bad. Gorgeous graphics though.
  27. PatrickE.
    Dec 9, 2003
    7
    Having not played any of the previous NFS titles for longer than 5 minutes, I was skeptical about this one. WHile not wholly thrilled about the game, I'm not wholly disappointed either. Graphically, the game is the best I've seen since GT3. Being able to see your surrounding clearly whille moving at 130+ M.P.H. is a big plus for me. It's also not as jagged as some racing Having not played any of the previous NFS titles for longer than 5 minutes, I was skeptical about this one. WHile not wholly thrilled about the game, I'm not wholly disappointed either. Graphically, the game is the best I've seen since GT3. Being able to see your surrounding clearly whille moving at 130+ M.P.H. is a big plus for me. It's also not as jagged as some racing games are. Giving my ride a custom look was also a highlight of the game for me. On the other hand, giving my ride a custom look was a bit disappointing. I have plenty of cash to spend and can't buy the parts that I want. Whille having to win races to unlock tracks is something that I agree with, I don't like the idea of telling me I can't buy a certain exhaust tip because I haven't beaten enough races. This goes the same for performance upgrades. I was disappointed to find that all the cars are about the same, even though in reality they are much different. While I haven't gotten it yet, I know that there's an RX-7 in the game, and I'm looking forward to getting it, but knowing that a fully upgraded Civic couldn't hope to come close with a fully upgraded RX-7. Another thing I didn't like was the lack of performance tuning. Being able to set my suspension and gear ratios and downforce should all be something that can be modified in a racing game that allows customization. Expand
  28. Shadymilkman
    Dec 7, 2003
    10
    Best racing game ever. I was never a big fan of racing games, but this game changed me. Everything about this game is great, I just hope EA would make a patch that will allow you to play your own mp3.
  29. WiciuW.
    Dec 7, 2003
    10
    I think it's the best racing game lately. Graphics are outstanding including flashes, blur and mirror like effect. All of that combined with advanced tuning capabilities both visual and internal gives us this esoteric game which is an absolutely "must have' for all racing and tuning fans all around the world.
  30. AlfadorJ.
    Dec 6, 2003
    7
    Its a great game and very fun. I only have 2 complaints. The muliplayer part just sucks, and there is only one American car and it just SUCKS. Where is GM? GM is one of they biggest manufactors in the world, they deserve at least one car. I guess that would make the game to easy though. If you had the 454 chevell (as rapped about in one of the songs) there would be no car to be able to Its a great game and very fun. I only have 2 complaints. The muliplayer part just sucks, and there is only one American car and it just SUCKS. Where is GM? GM is one of they biggest manufactors in the world, they deserve at least one car. I guess that would make the game to easy though. If you had the 454 chevell (as rapped about in one of the songs) there would be no car to be able to keep up with you. heh. Expand
  31. FreddyK.
    Dec 3, 2003
    9
    Very nice!.. Its like being in "The Fast and The Furious" :)
  32. NomisS.
    Nov 30, 2003
    9
    I don't like that you cant buy any car...but all other thing is realy good..the graphics, yea you know.
  33. Friendlyhobo
    Nov 30, 2003
    6
    The problem with NFS Underground, which may not be a problem for many, is a "shift" the developers have gone for. And; it's a major one folks. NFS has always been a series about racing. When NFS 1 came out, it literally changed the genra. The point A to B tracks (Alpine, Coastal, etc.) and the closed tracks were simply "simulastic" (That's my word for fantastic + simulation -- The problem with NFS Underground, which may not be a problem for many, is a "shift" the developers have gone for. And; it's a major one folks. NFS has always been a series about racing. When NFS 1 came out, it literally changed the genra. The point A to B tracks (Alpine, Coastal, etc.) and the closed tracks were simply "simulastic" (That's my word for fantastic + simulation -- nice huh?). NFS 5, Porsche Unleashed was the next good game as such in the series. NFS kept drifting (no pun intended) towards an arcadish feel, and the latest game by them has completed the transition. Now don't get me wrong, it's a nice game... but it's hardly about racing. Incredible graphics, a lot of user options to "create" a ninja street machine... and then race it against the stereotyped under-world. Coming to the "racing", it's one large area which is always wet (to compliment the reflections), always shown at night, and always feels the same. This game just disappointed me. Expand
  34. ToniP.
    Nov 27, 2003
    9
    Great, great, great! But where ist the LAN-Mode? But the online battles are very funny! I love this game! Tune it !
  35. CaioOrsolini
    Nov 27, 2003
    1
    I haven't got it yet, but from what I've read, it has a very poor career mode, and all tracks look the same. And... Where are the Ferraris, Porsches, McLaren? And it seems like its driving doesn't feel too real... Come on, EA, looks like each year your games are getting worse... I already hated Hot Pursuit II... Here's what we want: expensive cars, nice tracks, real I haven't got it yet, but from what I've read, it has a very poor career mode, and all tracks look the same. And... Where are the Ferraris, Porsches, McLaren? And it seems like its driving doesn't feel too real... Come on, EA, looks like each year your games are getting worse... I already hated Hot Pursuit II... Here's what we want: expensive cars, nice tracks, real driving and a good career mode! Expand
  36. UrosC.
    Nov 26, 2003
    9
    Excelent game.The only thing that I miss in the game is Drag racing in online mode...Great work EA!!!
  37. Blade
    Nov 25, 2003
    9
    Luke: NONE of your comments make any sense, this game rocks in every aspect, graphics to die for, killer gameplay, not cheap at all. Giving this game a zero ? Didn't you get confused with your IQ ?
  38. CharW.
    Nov 25, 2003
    9
    tThe game is great but they should make this type racing in the format of hot pursuit 2.
  39. NuckoN.
    Nov 25, 2003
    10
    Wow!!
  40. JakeL.
    Nov 24, 2003
    8
    Good graphics, easy to learn, lots of fun but could use better tracks.
  41. Flammie
    Nov 23, 2003
    9
    Seriously now. Has anyone of you played a more addictive car game? I just can't stop drifting!!! It's so much fun!
  42. JordyO.
    Nov 22, 2003
    10
    I have it now on the pc the full version not the demo and it's great ( i download it ) i am living in europa so it;s not out yet but i have it ! really joy !!
  43. IzZo
    Nov 22, 2003
    8
    U know if i had'nt played this game on two pcs i mite have even it a very terrible rating, this game needs a heck of a powerful g-card, my geforce 4 was'nt enough, it only looked good on geforce Ti, on my pc it looks crappy, but on Ti, man wat a sweet game, attention to detail is incredible, the cars are sweet + the gamee modes are awesome, i can't get enough of the drift U know if i had'nt played this game on two pcs i mite have even it a very terrible rating, this game needs a heck of a powerful g-card, my geforce 4 was'nt enough, it only looked good on geforce Ti, on my pc it looks crappy, but on Ti, man wat a sweet game, attention to detail is incredible, the cars are sweet + the gamee modes are awesome, i can't get enough of the drift racing! this is the best NFS yet, only minus point mite b that the game is'nt that difficult as previous NFS, as a result dissapointment because of finishin the challenges quickly may occur... overall a really good car game, i still think NFS is the best car series for pc at the moment, great work again EA... Expand
  44. AidanG.
    Nov 21, 2003
    3
    This could've been great, but there is no LAN mode. What were EA thinking of? Please release a LAN patch, EA.
  45. EricL.
    Nov 21, 2003
    10
    This is a great game!! Real like you're in a car!!
  46. FrankHo
    Nov 21, 2003
    8
    Not better than burnout2 on ps2, but much better than midnight club 2!
  47. MuhammadA.
    Nov 20, 2003
    7
    This good!!!!!!
  48. Lukesky
    Nov 20, 2003
    0
    What a poor game..midnight club 2 reigns supreme over this... with cheap graphics..poorly rendered cars it can go back into the christmas stocking i want my money back.. underground racing? cartoon racing more like.. being able to tinker with the car didnt make me feel any more interested as the game had the look of a cheap budget made game..and people spoke so highly of this.. save yourWhat a poor game..midnight club 2 reigns supreme over this... with cheap graphics..poorly rendered cars it can go back into the christmas stocking i want my money back.. underground racing? cartoon racing more like.. being able to tinker with the car didnt make me feel any more interested as the game had the look of a cheap budget made game..and people spoke so highly of this.. save your money as there are better games out there.. Expand
  49. CarlosW.
    Nov 19, 2003
    9
    Great sense of speed, somthing even more than midnightclub 2, great modes, drag circut, drift, etc. exellent graphics, a bit too shiny if u tell me. overall very good experience.
  50. 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 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 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. Expand
  51. DanP.
    Oct 8, 2003
    10
    Hot hot hot.
  52. May 3, 2013
    9
    Need for Speed Underground is a great step forward in the never-ending Need for Speed Franchise, and a total reboot of the series, both in game play terms and value, but also in visual design.

    The game is centered on the import and tuning culture. The action takes place in the fictional Olympic City, where the player must gain his respect and be the best by...well...winning races and
    Need for Speed Underground is a great step forward in the never-ending Need for Speed Franchise, and a total reboot of the series, both in game play terms and value, but also in visual design.

    The game is centered on the import and tuning culture.

    The action takes place in the fictional Olympic City, where the player must gain his respect and be the best by...well...winning races and be more notorious.

    The game features many game race mods, such as Knock-Out, Circuit, Sprint, Drag, and Drift.

    All race types have a different style of racing, especially Drag and Drift, which require the player to push his skills to his limits in certain events if he wants to win.

    The Career also features a top 10 ranking with the best racers in the town, magazines which can be unlocked by the player by his progress in career, but also for doing certain things.

    Career also features an option to choose your race difficulty, which everyone has it's own cash reward depending the difficulty you chose.

    Parts for both visual and performance, and even cars, are unlocked by completing regular events, while is also featured a tournament mod with more stages, in which the player unlocks performance upgrades.

    The gameplay is great and fun, but also can draw bit of criticism because of the car's handling, which after becoming tuned, the handling is a bit too responsive, and can make you easily crash.

    Also the city isn't really small so a Free Roam mode is more than welcome, and the gameplay is very linear and many races are repetitive.

    The visuals aren't bad at all, but certainly could've been better, most of the map props are looking good, while some don't, for instance the traffic cars, which have a terrible about of detail.

    So, final verdict.

    Even today the game is still played and deserves it, by having a decent game play, great potential, and good replay value.
    Collapse
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. Computer Gaming World
    90
    Racing doesn't get much better...unless you're in a real car. [Mar 2004, p.75]
  2. 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.
  3. 90
    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.