Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
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  1. Nov 15, 2013
    Need for Speed: Rivals takes some of the best features from prior franchise entries and combines them with a seamless single-multiplayer mode to create an absolutely terrific, utterly bonkers race-and-chase game that looks and sounds as good as it drives.
  2. 90
    Need For Speed: Rivals presents itself as one of the best games available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and an excellent racing game.
  3. 90
    Never mind the (rock solid) 30 FPS and the unbearably pretentious cut scenes: This is a wonderfully fresh and exciting racing game and the best Need for Speed in quite a while.
  4. Nov 26, 2013
    Need for Speed Rivals’ boisterous and brash open-world driving design gets enormous mileage thanks to some amazingly fluid online functionality. This is a stand-out launch game in every regard, and if you have any interest in this sort of action-heavy racing, here’s the best way to experience it this year.
  5. Nov 19, 2013
    Ghost Games has crafted an exceptional experience that captures the classic battle of racers and police in a new light for next-generation machines. The shared world concept is the driving force, making it easy for players to switch factions, team up, and continue making progress in their campaigns. I can’t stress enough just how great of a multiplayer experience this is for friends.
  6. Nov 18, 2013
    What they've conjured up in their debut effort is a remarkable achievement. Before downsizing, Criterion created some of the last generation's very best arcade racers in Hot Pursuit and Burnout Paradise. Ghost Games has carried on that torch and crafted a racer that any of its competitors would do well to match in the new generation.
  7. Nov 17, 2013
    Need for Speed Rivals proves how impressive a PS4 racing game can be by offering a fully realized product that blows past conceptions of what a launch title can offer.
  8. Nov 17, 2013
    Dozens of hours of gameplay, the only racing game on PS4 at launch, a fantastic showpiece for your next-gen hardware of choice, and a hyper-connected experience—Rivals is one of the best games to own on PlayStation 4.
  9. Nov 15, 2013
    Need for Speed: Rivals is like the love child of GTA and Grand Turismo. It avoids the repetitive closed-course race tracks in favor of a fun, free-spirited open world racing experience.
  10. Nov 15, 2013
    A unique, satisfying experience that's a sheer joy to play. It may not be able to scratch the itch that a more traditional racing fan may be looking for, but it sets the bar for what online-connected worlds should be about. As you try to dominate the map, take down racers, and unlock the fastest cars, you'll always be mindful while playing online: anything can happen, and that's pretty awesome.
  11. Nov 15, 2013
    EA manages to create a game that's always moving: chases, races, points, weapons... you can enjoy it offline, but it's much better when you play it with some friends.
  12. LaPS4
    Dec 17, 2013
    Quotation forthcoming.
  13. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Dec 2, 2013
    Rivals is a sequel that confidently overtakes 2012’s Most Wanted. No doors are blown off, but needs are very much fulfilled. . [Christmas 2013, p75]
  14. Nov 24, 2013
    It looks great, it plays great, and it’s one of those games that you can just pick up and play at a moment’s notice. That’s precisely what I ask for from this series, so I’d have to say I’m quite satisfied.
  15. Nov 18, 2013
    I've never felt that kind of tension in a racing game before, and it's invigorating.
  16. Nov 15, 2013
    Driving on both sides of the pursuit/chase coin are equally engrossing, but where the game transcends other racers is the opportunity to race friends and escape the police at the same time. It can be a lot to take in, but there is a near palpable rush in managing these objectives while trying to make it back to your garage in one piece.
  17. Nov 15, 2013
    That said, since AllDrive is so important to the overall experience, multiplayer gamers will likely get a lot more out of it than those who play alone. But, if you’re looking for a racing game that’s rewarding, fun, and visually impressive, then Need for Speed Rivals is the game for you.
  18. Nov 15, 2013
    One hell of a wild ride. The vehicular combat is refreshing, it looks a treat, and handles like a dream. Whether you’re a looking to leave your mark as a maverick speed demon with a legion of fans or skirting the thin blue line desperate to shut entitled street trash down, each campaign is a blast to work your way through, even if the plot surrounding them isn’t.
  19. 85
    Need for Speed Rivals is clearly ready for the next generation of gaming, and so are we.
  20. Nov 20, 2013
    Rivals delivers the most solid racer to come from EA in a long time. The ability to play as both Cops and Racers is a welcome gameplay diversity that gives you the power to choose how to play the game. Back that up with a seamless multiplayer, a solid audio foundation, and killer visuals, and what you get is one of the best racing games to come out in recent years.
  21. Nov 18, 2013
    Hunting down your prey as the police or getting to your hideout in the nick of time is exhilarating, and constantly sharing a social sphere with other players feels like a natural step forward for a series intent on putting players on opposing side of the law.
  22. Play UK
    Dec 19, 2013
    An engaging and deeply rewarding racing game. [Issue#238, p.70]
  23. Pelit (Finland)
    Feb 13, 2014
    A fast and furious racing game, where cops constantly try to catch the racers. Multiplayer is seamless, but it feels like a single player mode, since you rarely bump (pun intended) into other players. [Jan 2014]
  24. Jan 13, 2014
    So a very good racing game, rather than a great one.
  25. Hyper Magazine
    Dec 27, 2013
    Accessible, addictive and oodles of fun. [Jan 2014, p.62]
  26. Dec 5, 2013
    Mixing an offline and online driving experience is the key for Need for Speed Rivals, a look into the next generation of gaming.
  27. 80
    Rivals offers thrilling arcade racing of the kind the kind that you can just pick up and play a few rounds of, and has enough graphical prowess for you to show off your new console for your friends. We could do with a little more innovation next time, though.
  28. Nov 27, 2013
    When it comes to realism, Rivals is no match for its competition, but when it comes to sheer fun it absolutely delivers. It's fun to build a racers career, even if the police corps is just a little too powerful. The unsure existence as a racer has its charms and can be more tense. Whatever you play as: play online! Actual players are always more interesting as competitors.
  29. Nov 27, 2013
    Need for Speed more or less returns to its roots with the cops in a leading role. Two careers - you play either a cop or a street racer - will keep you very busy and the AllDrive feature is highly enjoyable. Visually, Need for Speed: Rivals also delivers. It's a bit of a shame that the game doesn't have as many cars as one would expect from an NFS game. The title is perhaps also a bit too easy. Don't let that hold you back, though; Need for Speed: Rivals is an excellent racing game.
  30. 80
    Need for Speed: Rivals delivers a satisfying foray into a new generation for the racing genre with impressive, integrated multiplayer and sleek graphics.
  31. Nov 24, 2013
    With some bugs still on account, it seems like EA found Nintendo's secret recipe, the one that makes us love stuff we've seen for ages.
  32. Nov 22, 2013
    It’s a promising step toward those good intentions.
  33. Nov 22, 2013
    Need for Speed: Rivals is one of the most impressive launch games for PS4. It is very pretty visually, and it has enough content to keep players busy for quite some time. There are some drawbacks to its design, but nothing that will derail the fun.
  34. Nov 21, 2013
    Rivals isn't the most deep or balanced racing game around, but what it lacks in charm, it makes up for it by providing an intense and unforgettable experience.
  35. Nov 20, 2013
    It’s best to think of Need for Speed: Rivals as a thrill ride. Get on, scream, plead to go faster, and it will.
  36. Nov 18, 2013
    To be honest, we spent the majority of our time just cruising around the county, drooling over the views and picking off random racers that happened across our patrols.
  37. Nov 18, 2013
    Rivals serves as a refinement of ideas and principles established over the last three iterations of Need for Speed. This can lead to a feeling of sameness bleeding over Rival’s rough edges while also serving as a condensed interpretation of the series' better ideas.
  38. Nov 17, 2013
    Even with the balance issues and design missteps, Need for Speed: Rivals is a blast. Literally. Plowing into cops to watch them explode off the side of the road as you zip by is never not fun. So is blasting them with EMP to watch them flip in the air.
  39. Nov 15, 2013
    Need for Speed: Rivals is very much in the tradition of Hot Pursuit, but that great, familiar gameplay has been infused with enough new elements to make it as thrilling here as it's ever been. It sure is good to hit the open road again.
  40. Dec 9, 2013
    A great game, but one held back by some disappointing, avoidable flaws. The multiplayer mode is well intentioned, but poorly implemented, and I should never have my right to pause during singleplayer stripped from me. Then there’s the story, if you can call it that; a juvenile, “f*** the police” mess that is a good reminder that not every game needs a narrative.
  41. Dec 6, 2013
    Rivals is a bit more stunning on the next-gen console, but that’s literally it. It still has the same faults as the current-gen version and can’t seem to deliver a great game.
  42. It’s hard to hate Need For Speed Rivals. But it’s also hard to love it. The game brings a solid, core competency in every aspect of its arcade racing base, while introducing interesting new online features. Unfortunately, these features never quite gel to their full potential.
  43. Jan 13, 2014
    Need for Speed: Rivals is nothing if not ridiculously dumb fun, but that just makes its multiplayer failings all the more disappointing.
  44. Jan 2, 2014
    Rivals keeps going in the same direction as Criterion's Most Wanted and Hot Pursuit. Meaning it’s an arcade racer in an open-world setting. Unfortunately the setting isn’t as fun and the police chases are more tedious than exciting. Aside from that Ghosts shows promise for the future of the series.
  45. Dec 9, 2013
    This is agonisingly close to being at the front of the pack, and the best arcade racer on the PS4 by default, but its missteps mean that it’s a millisecond away from a podium place.
  46. Dec 2, 2013
    If you have already played Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted, Rivals will look really too much similar. It is actually like a mix of those two games. But if you don't, it will be as always a nice game to play.
  47. Expect an open world Hot Pursuit and you’ll be enthralled in the maniac violence of weapon-fuelled cop chases and beautifully rendered exotics. View it as an ambassador for next-gen racing, and it falls a little flat.
  48. Nov 27, 2013
    Rivals’ systems show potential, but it is considerably less than the game it might have been.
  49. Nov 15, 2013
    Need for Speed: Rivals is a wholly enjoyable open-world racer. The driving is solid, its streets are a joy to explore, and its racing assignments--though a bit repetitive at times--are incentive enough to keep you coming back for more.
  50. Nov 15, 2013
    While the driving is superb and the visuals are stunning, the inherent limitations of Rivals‘ AllDrive concept begin to hamper the experience near the end. The result is a game that’s three-quarters great fun, one-quarter miserable, frustrating slog.
  51. Dec 16, 2013
    While there is a lot of fun racing game shenanigans to be had, there isn't a lot of variety between the various events you can take part in. This extends to the multiplayer aspect of the game, which ends up feeling hollow and empty.
  52. Nov 24, 2013
    The truly criminal part about Rivals' inability to bring people together is that it's actually a great game.
  53. Nov 28, 2013
    The rivalry aspect never gets a chance to bloom as the huge open world only lets in six players at a time. The sound is astonishing and the concept of a huge world just waiting to be explored is an interesting one, but in the end Rivals never climbs beyond mediocrity.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 622 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 100
  2. Negative: 27 out of 100
  1. Nov 15, 2013
    Best auto game ever! Works like a charm on PS4. I'm really impressed with the gameplay and the graphics. The multyplayer is very entertaining.Best auto game ever! Works like a charm on PS4. I'm really impressed with the gameplay and the graphics. The multyplayer is very entertaining. A small downside, but nothing to make me not to rate this at 10, are the fps lock at 30. EA execceded my expectations with this new NFS. Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2013
    Awesome game and i'm not from EA. The MP of this game is the best. The only thing that i miss is the music of HP when you were on a pursuitAwesome game and i'm not from EA. The MP of this game is the best. The only thing that i miss is the music of HP when you were on a pursuit (it was a very good dramatic music). But this is not HP so it's ok. If you liked HP 2010 and MW 2005 you really should try this game. Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2013
    Since rivals is the only racing game on ps4, it may take your free time. Open world is large and beautiful, and you can see most turnsSince rivals is the only racing game on ps4, it may take your free time. Open world is large and beautiful, and you can see most turns clearly, unlike in mw2012. Cars are nice, so is their customization. All drive feature is fun, and since the events are randomly generated, you can drive as long as you like without completing the same event again and again. I wish I had Driveclub, but unfortunately it's been delayed, so nfs is a good temporary replacement and 4 day exclusive to ps4)) Full Review »