Need for Speed: Most Wanted - A Criterion Game Image
Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 473 Ratings

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  • Summary: With a relentless police force gunning to apprehend you, you’ll need to make split-second decisions. Use the open world to your advantage to find hiding nooks, hit jumps and earn new vehicles to keep you ahead of the game. Your cohorts are at the heart of your experience. In an open worldWith a relentless police force gunning to apprehend you, you’ll need to make split-second decisions. Use the open world to your advantage to find hiding nooks, hit jumps and earn new vehicles to keep you ahead of the game. Your cohorts are at the heart of your experience. In an open world with no menus or lobbies, you’ll be able to instantly challenge your friends and prove your driving skill in a variety of multiplayer events. Your rivals will do everything they can to stop you from getting to the top. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Play UK
    Nov 30, 2012
    95
    Easily the best arcade racer of this generation. [Issue#225, p.76]
  2. Oct 30, 2012
    90
    With an innovative and engaging asynchronous and traditional multiplayer package baked into their top-notch open world framework, Criterion has created a modern standard for arcade style racers.
  3. Hyper Magazine
    Dec 17, 2012
    90
    Great multiplayer and a huge sandbox to play in make this a wild and crazy ride. [Jan 2013, p.64]
  4. 85
    Most Wanted begs you to play it, to explore Fairhaven, to take your skills online, and to become the best racer in this open-world setting. It's a perfect addition to the franchise and keeps you strictly focused on driving and competing.
  5. Nov 6, 2012
    80
    Need for Speed: Most Wanted deeply tries to be original, but its open structure ends up to be a little bit too repetitive. Luckily, there's a lot of fun to be had in multiplayer.
  6. It's achieved a vicious racing experience that thrills so much more than it frustrates, and it's pushed vehicular multiplayer forward significantly, setting the bar so high it's hard to imagine who can better it.
  7. Nov 7, 2012
    60
    Just an average kind of a racing game. Criterion has meddled the things that work to no avail. Has it been an order from EA or have they been trying to take the series apart to prepare a market for a true Burnout comeback? A conspiracy theory? Maybe, but nothing changes the fact that the Most Wanted game is dull as dishwater.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 141
  2. Negative: 67 out of 141
  1. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    Awesome awesome arcade-racer!!!! What is it with reviewers thinking this is supposed to be driving round a track for hour after hour, tweakingAwesome awesome arcade-racer!!!! What is it with reviewers thinking this is supposed to be driving round a track for hour after hour, tweaking the car little by little then going back round a track until you fall asleep at the controls???? Go get GT or some other soul-draining sim-racer. Game is awesome and HUGE FUN!!!!! Expand
  2. Apr 29, 2014
    10
    Absolute superb game. Beautiful graphics, immersive gameplay, awesome cars, huge open world and amazing multiplayer experience. Best racingAbsolute superb game. Beautiful graphics, immersive gameplay, awesome cars, huge open world and amazing multiplayer experience. Best racing game ever made on Earth. Expand
  3. Nov 9, 2012
    9
    It is very, very hard to rate this game. I'll admit that. Let's start with the bad things. There is no storyline in this game, just the basicIt is very, very hard to rate this game. I'll admit that. Let's start with the bad things. There is no storyline in this game, just the basic ladder of Most Wanted Cars to climb, defeat and claim. There is no visual customization whatsoever in single player, and Paint only in multiplayer. Also, and this is personal, I much prefer the regular style of collecting money and leveling up to unlock, buy and upgrade new cars.
    HOWEVER.
    The way you truly rate a game is based on how much fun you have playing it, and NFS:MW is an absolute blast. I bought it along with AC3, and this game has taken most of my time. It's a really solid title with a compelling race style. Now, I love Gran Turismo for its realism, but I'm also a fan of arcade racing. I mean, why are people knocking this game for not being realistic as far as physics? It's a CRITERION GAME. And it's no secret that this is more of a sequel to Burnout: Paradise than any Need for Speed title. It's a fun game, with a well-structured multiplayer. The only drawbacks in that department are a) idiots who don't show up to the meet-up and waste our time and b) too many challenges about parking on roofs and near-missing and not enough real racing. But as I said, I can't put this game down quite yet. A solid 9. Wish I could give it a 9.5, if Metacritic would let me.
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  4. Aug 16, 2013
    5
    This game was an OK experience. The graphics are good, the cars have great detail, and there is a lot of cars in this game, BUT the thing thatThis game was an OK experience. The graphics are good, the cars have great detail, and there is a lot of cars in this game, BUT the thing that made me give this game a relatively average score is that you have to "find" them instead of earning them, the only cars you can earn are the cars you win when you complete a most wanted race, witch there are 10 in total. In the PS2 games, you'd have to BUY the cars, earning money from races and challenges. I felt no reward what so ever when i found an supercar a random place in the city, (and btw, the city is not big at all) it's even marked on your map when you're close to the cars you find. Another problem are the cops, they ram into you, it feels like they want to kill you, not stop you. If you're on an edge of a cliff, they just ram into you, killing you and themselves. Crashes are SOO frustrating and BORING in this game, they last waay to long, and your car looks the same after you've crashed your car 200 KmH into a wall. What happened to the crashes from Burnout? It's the same studio that made that game, why isn't it here Criterion? Another let down is NO customization AT ALL, the only things you can do is put off-road tires and nitro-boost in your car. The online can be pretty fun, but you have to drive to these locations and do the races or challenges, then drive to a new one. Why isn't there MODES in this game? If you want to do free-roam only in a public game, too bad, there is none of that, only in-between the races or challenges. Some people might enjoy this, but why not include RACE-ONLY, JUMP-CHALLENGES ONLY or DRIFTING-CHALLENGES ONLY modes. I am disappointed Critirion. The game can be really fun at times, racing against other on the highway is pretty fun, free roam is also fun, but is ruined by lack off specific modes, you have to do all this things you might not be intrested in too. There is nothing that makes your car special, in multiplayer, none will notice your car.
    If this is the way you want to go, having no customization, finding cars around the city, even starting off with a supercar, i will not buy your next game, and a lot of other fans that want progression and customization.
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  5. Nov 5, 2012
    3
    I'll make it simple: this game is worse than the previous Criterion outing (NFS Hot Pursuit) and it is worse than the original NFS MostI'll make it simple: this game is worse than the previous Criterion outing (NFS Hot Pursuit) and it is worse than the original NFS Most Wanted. This is unacceptable. I know that this is a sequel to Burnout but if Burnout was that boring then I wonder why the sequel was even needed.

    Positives: graphics are sumptuous even if slightly blurry at high speeds. Car selection is respectable and the handling is arcadey and easy, which is what everyone should have been expecting (all those comparing it to Forza really should not be reviewing anything).

    And here a long list of negatives:

    - Almost every car has to be found in the city, and no unlocks. This effectively removes any porgression system (that MW list is a joke) and honestly without racing, driving around the city is not fun, and therefore collecting cars from garages, sewers and under the bridge is boring. Let's face it: city is not something that's needed in any racing game. NFSU2 introduced a city and was criticised for it because the city makes everything much less streamlined and who wants to drive around a mesh of buildings? Open city is often a bland place where you can just drive around. Leave that stuff for GTA at least in that game you can run over people, steal all cars and do a gazillion of other things.

    The city in this game only works as an open environment during Police chases. But talking about those:

    - Police chases are too hard and at the same time unfulfilling. If you drive a Ford, you can't win. If you drive an Atom, the chase is over in 10 seconds. The city element doesn't matter. The Police are overly tenacious and the cooldown phase doesn't have hiding spots anymore. You get points for the chase as for racing, but you onlybuild up any consistent heat level that would make the police more alert or send more troops during the same chase. After the chase is over, everything is reset. Once again, the chance to make a consistent progression system has been abandoned. - No customization. How come I could choose the color of my car in Hot Pursuit but in MW it's all random? Compared to the original MW it's a disaster. - Just random weird stuff: police helicopter doesn't exist anymore apparently, you can't drive police cars or use any gadgets from Hot Pursuit. Each car can only participate in 4-5 races to get a fixed set of unlockable upgrades.

    Look, if you want a good arcadey NFS game. The Hot Pursuit released 2 years ago is much more fun and is now probably sold for 10-20$. If you want a good game with cop chases in the city, take the original Most Wanted for 0-5$ and despite the older graphics, it still rocks!! This game is a disaster and while I think that it didn't follow up on its predecessors' success as to not to compete with it, well... that made for one hell of a boring and derivative game.
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  6. Oct 30, 2012
    1
    A 1 on graphics, they're pretty good. Otherwise the game is just not worth buying. No change in auto or manual and the cars feel ultra clunky.A 1 on graphics, they're pretty good. Otherwise the game is just not worth buying. No change in auto or manual and the cars feel ultra clunky. I'm not sure why they even release this, the 1st NFS Most Wanted was way better. Expand
  7. Sep 28, 2013
    0
    This game is retarded. You can never handle the car. You will crash all the time. You can never win in one go. It's like driving in GTA. HowThis game is retarded. You can never handle the car. You will crash all the time. You can never win in one go. It's like driving in GTA. How can anybody like this crap? Expand

See all 141 User Reviews