Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Essentially, Need for Speed: Carbon is Need for Speed: Most Wanted in the dark, but with a more expensive price tag.
  2. The Canyon Duel and the returning Drift Race, which has been absent in recent years, are both exciting and engaging additions to the already impressive list of race types carried over from "Most Wanted."
  3. 78
    The drifting is an acquired taste (but it's good), the canyon duals are decent changes (though not great), and the crews...well, they suck. Of the myriad new features, the addition of muscle cars and the online functionality are the best.
  4. It’s one thing for the current-gen versions of this game to be not as visually compelling (such as the sense of speed not being as good), but it’s unfortunate that you only race against three other cars during typical challenges.
  5. Even though the wingman mechanics and canyon races don't quite pan out, it's still a stylish and enjoyable street racer.
  6. 70
    If you're looking to get a few more hours of fun out of your aging black box, Need for Speed Carbon isn't a bad way to do it.
  7. I felt this game was a step backward in the series. Fans of the 2 year old Underground game will love this one, while fans of Most Wanted may want to sit this one out.
  8. In the end, this race is barely a race at all. The 360 is the winner by a mile, and for the price of those wheels, no doubt it should be. The Xbox comes in a distant second with fewer cars and none of the cool online modes. And trailing way behind that is the PS2, a run-down jalopy that probably shouldn’t even be on the road.
  9. It's a blast from start to finish, with arguably the prettiest cut-scenes ever to grace PS2. [Dec 2006, p.86]
  10. So what if Carbon isn't redefining the street racing genre - really, at this point, what could? It hits a sweet spot of intensity, danger, and style.
  11. Carbon is huge and involving, full of neat ideas like crew recruitment and custom bodypart sculpting, but that, yeah, it isn't all that great when it comes to getting behind the wheel. We still need speed from the series, and more importantly, thrills.
  12. Regardless of that feeling of déjà vu, Carbon is another solid racer from EA, and the Auto-Sculpt feature is absolutely fantastic, not to mention the impressive car roster and functional online component.
  13. Carbon, to its credit, has made some changes to the formula, but it cannot hope make up for blatant omissions such as an online mode. The next instalment should be very interesting.
  14. 85
    It's another NFS game which means you know exactly what to expect before peeling the cellophane off. That doesn't mean it's bad though. [Issue #147, p.84]
  15. The minor problems and lack of originality are far outweighed by the game's quality and improvement in gameplay. [Dec 2006, p.72]
  16. Need for Speed Carbon has fast and furious races. Tuning is fun, but it does not have much of an effect on racing. [Dec 2006, p.82]
  17. Need for Speed Carbon is another solid entry in the NFS franchise, not really a complete reinvention of the series, but rather an improvement with added features.
  18. Not as gimmicky as you might think but you've lived all these NFS moments before. [Christmas 2006, p.80]
  19. 78
    If you've not played a NFS game recently then this is worth a look and if you have and enjoyed it then this isn't going to offer any surprises, but just like a turkey dinner it will probably more than satisfy you.
  20. The new chatter-heavy crew needs some tuning up, though. [Jan. 2007, p.86]
  21. But still, it's a solid racer despite the problems. [Dec. 2006, p.116]
  22. 75
    It refines previous ideas but lacks that big "wow" factor we've seen in the past. It's thoroughly, thoroughly competent and shouldn't be overlooked, but it really is "Need for Speed Again."
  23. A really solid single player game with a great Story Mode, some of the best graphics on the PS2, and an ultra-hip look and feel. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’d be hard to find a better game for you.
  24. What the series needs is not useless gimmicks and badly rehashed game mechanics, but good, old-fashioned racing fun. We don’t need customisable bells and whistles; what gamers really want is a Need for Speed that uses its strengths, and doesn’t try to shoe-horn in its weaknesses for the sake of bullet points on a press release.
  25. A solid racing game. It might have a few rough edges and frustrating spots, but overall it’s a fun game.
  26. A great addition to the series for fans and probably a decent rental for most. While things have been upgraded and new elements added on, it’s still NFS and it still gets repetitive and boring after awhile. It’s like EA’s "Madden" of racing.
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. MrJ.
    Nov 19, 2006
    10
    The level of customization in Carbon is far superior to midnight clubs. You can't even compare. Where is canyon run and drift racing in The level of customization in Carbon is far superior to midnight clubs. You can't even compare. Where is canyon run and drift racing in midnight club? It's not there is it... fine drive in streets that look like LA and Tokyo etc.. but I don't think people really care about driving in LA or not. NFS is a racing game... their is a reason why they don't include SUV's like they did on Underground2 etc.. they are not good to race in.. plus there are not 20 cars there are more than 30 and the level of customization is limitless with autosculpt Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2014
    8
    This is one of the best Need For Speed games ever made. You can customize a car in many ways, and that's what i like the most about this game.This is one of the best Need For Speed games ever made. You can customize a car in many ways, and that's what i like the most about this game. The courses and challenges are fun, but it's not better than NFS Underground 2. Another thing that is really like are the realistic graphics on Need For Speed Carbon.

    This game and NFS Underground 2 are my two favourite street racing games.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 8, 2012
    9
    Carbon was the continuation of NFS: Most Wanted if i'm not mistaken, I loved Most Wanted, it was the best NFS game to date, I could describeCarbon was the continuation of NFS: Most Wanted if i'm not mistaken, I loved Most Wanted, it was the best NFS game to date, I could describe Carbon in the same way as I did Most Wanted, however, you could skip the police chases , and they weren't needed to progress further in the game, I preferred the Most Wanted system, but even so, this game was great, and is the second best in the series. Full Review »