Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 73
  2. Negative: 1 out of 73
Buy On
  1. Dec 19, 2010
    With so many modes and diverse rewards to uncover in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, it almost feels like 2.5 games in one package. Plus, the fact that the online component works so incredibly, and we still can't pick a favorite between playing as a cop or racer speaks volumes to the game's quality. Quite simply, there is no better, more accessible racing game out there.
  2. Dec 19, 2010
    Hot Pursuit, like the high-end vehicles it fetishises, has been crafted with genuine care, with great insight, with technical brilliance. Gran Turismo 5 will grab the headlines and the purist vote, but it surely won't live like this game does; it will be an austere cathedral to Criterion's joyous modernist structure.
  3. Dec 19, 2010
    Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit may have been a late entrant into the race, but it both grabs the checkered flag for this year and may set a land speed record for this entire class of racer.
  4. Dec 11, 2010
    It's the most enjoyable experience to be found in arcade racing this year, and it provides that feel through fantastic courses that allow for deep strategic moves, especially when your team works together.
  5. Jan 4, 2011
    Criterion produced the best racing game of the year coupling great gameplay, stunning visuals and innovatinve and very compelling social features. A must buy for every arcade racing lover.
  6. Dec 11, 2010
    It delivers a near-perfect competitive experience, in a way that few games -- racing or otherwise -- can. Hot Pursuit is not only a defining moment for the series, but for arcade-style racing, period.
  7. Dec 11, 2010
    Criterion Games' arcade racing expertise has certainly paid dividends here, combined with DICE's input, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is an absolute essential purchase on both the single-player and multiplayer front.
  8. Jan 1, 2011
    I had high hopes for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit when I saw it at E3, but I never dreamed it would be this amazing, and certainly not good enough to unseat my reigning favorite, Split/Second, but with gorgeous virtual-real-world graphics, license cars, and awesome competitive action, online and off, Hot Pursuit is in a league of its own and quite possibly the best racing game of 2010.
  9. Dec 11, 2010
    Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit is one of the generation's best racing games.
  10. Dec 19, 2010
    With the exception of some overly long load screens and a bit of snapback computer AI, there's not much about Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit that's hard to recommend.
  11. Dec 19, 2010
    And thanks to Autolog, you'll definitely be attempting events over and over. Autolog tracks your friend's achievements and lets you know what times they've set. They can even add pictures and text to your in-game wall, cajoling you into beating them by setting challenges.
  12. Dec 11, 2010
    If you loved the Burnout series, than Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is a must have title and best of all, it pays homage to the original Need for Speed game.
  13. Jan 7, 2011
    Criterion Games not only reinvented one of my favorite and unforgettable franchises but created the best "near perfect" arcade racer while setting the bar high for any upcoming arcade racer currently in the works.
  14. Dec 19, 2010
    The game looks great, handles fantastically, is fast as hell, and has a large amount of licensed cars.
  15. Dec 19, 2010
    An incredibly slick, enjoyable game and one that places the franchise right back at the peak of the genre. If you like arcade style racers you're going to love this.
  16. Dec 11, 2010
    When the online modes work, they really sing, allowing for hours to slip away into tons of entertaining crashes and near-misses. Unfortunately, they can also be extremely broken.
  17. Dec 11, 2010
    Approachable yet challenging: a perfect balance for a console-based racing game. Being able to play on both sides of the law adds to the fun, as does an easy-to-use online multiplayer mode.
  18. Jan 12, 2011
    The best arcade racer of the year and one of the best of all times: Criterion delivers what we want, an intensive and adrenalinic title that will run in your veins for a long time.
  19. Jan 11, 2011
    Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit bend together the best features of two epic arcade franchise like Burnout and Need For Speed in a game that has an accessible, funny and solid gameplay structure. And then there is Autolog, the best multiplayer system ever made for an arcade game that instantly puts the player in constant challenge with thousand of other racers.
  20. games(TM)
    Jan 11, 2011
    Visually stunning, mechanically incredible and impossible to put down, Hot Pursuit is, quite frankly, the game we've always wanted Need For Speed to be. [Christmas 2010, p.103]
  21. Jan 11, 2011
    Speed and spectacle are the words that define Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, a succesful entry which hits the spot and brings some freshness to EA series.
  22. Jan 3, 2011
    This Need For Speed game is excellent. The Burnout developers have done a great job with filling the game with lots of content, and even strategic depth to the racing itself with various weapons. It's good looking during day-time races and it feels slick and easy to play both online and offline.
  23. Jan 2, 2011
    Fun, fast and attractive. One of the best NFS titles to come out in years.
  24. Jan 1, 2011
    At it's core Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is an arcade racer. It smacks all the right targets, my personal preferences regarding power-ups notwithstanding.
  25. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Dec 28, 2010
    The best Need for Speed in many years, and the best Burnout ever/never made. [Jan 2011, p.74]
  26. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Dec 24, 2010
    Hot Pursuit's campaign combines a variety of modes with gorgeous graphics and a sublime driving experience. [Issue#66 p.77]
  27. Dec 23, 2010
    Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit remains a fun, innovative game.
  28. Dec 19, 2010
    This is a game that fans will not be able to put down and though it may be a little sparse on game modes, it is an experience that racing fans absolutely cannot afford to miss.
  29. Dec 19, 2010
    This is how I remember the series when it was in its prime, and it feels good to get back to the core of enjoyment.
  30. Dec 19, 2010
    All about the thrill. Whether you're immersed in a tense, low-speed cat and mouse standoff, praying you don't nail a spike strip at 200 MPH, or simply drinking in the carnage you hath wrought, you'll find little else like it.
  31. Dec 15, 2010
    Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is a fantastic game.
  32. Dec 11, 2010
    Pure over-the-top driving entertainment. The cars and environments are gorgeous, the crashes are spectacular, and the new Autolog feature breathes new life into the time-honored tradition of video game competition among friends.
  33. 90
    It's not perfect, but Hot Pursuit is still the kind of collision between Criterion and Need For Speed you'd hope for. It pays respect to the classic NFS games, borrows the best bits from Burnout and is a technical masterpiece. The chase to reclaim NFS's once legendary chart topping form is well and truly on.
  34. 90
    A fast, fun, finished arcade racer that's only made better with friends.
  35. Dec 11, 2010
    It's a game built round a single mode, in effect, but with its hefty community presence, asymmetrical flex and raw kinesis, it offers more entertainment value than racers many times its size on paper.
  36. Dec 11, 2010
    If you loved the old school NFS, this is the next step for you.
  37. AceGamez
    Dec 11, 2010
    Just the simple chance to be able to get behind the wheel of a car that controls like a ballistic missile with cup holders and a stereo, and do all you can to contradict the stern message of TV shows like Police, Camera, Action that high speed police pursuits aren't the coolest thing in the world is worth the price of admission on its own. In fact, the only potential crime that could be committed here would be if you allowed Hot Pursuit to escape your attentions.
  38. Dec 11, 2010
    With impressive visuals, fantastic online and social functionality, and heart-pounding chases and races at excessive speeds, this is 2010's arcade racer to beat.
  39. Dec 11, 2010
    Need for Speed has finally returned to its glory days in the guise of Hot Pursuit. Every element of its design is simply stunning starting from the visual prowess right down to the gameplay mechanics. It's all brain bustingly brilliant, so if you pass on this title you may miss one of the best racing games of the year. Need for Speed is indeed back!
  40. Dec 11, 2010
    If you like your racing arcade than you really need to buy this. It's not NFS exactly, and it's not quite Burnout, but it takes the best things from both and melds them together into an intense racing experience.
  41. Dec 11, 2010
    Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is one of the best pure arcade racers I have played in a while. Refreshing and damn fast, 'Hot Pursuit' will fill anyone's need for speed.
  42. Dec 11, 2010
    That I still loved the majority of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit despite those notable qualms should speak highly of Criterion's vision for this reboot, and coupled with last year's very sharp Need for Speed: Shift, EA's once-fading franchise has returned to a position of power.
  43. Dec 11, 2010
    With its electrifying blend of raw speed, intense pursuits, wince worthy crashes and revolutionary Autolog system, Hot Pursuit is an adrenaline-fueled rush that's a sure contender for racing game of the year and the best Need for Speed in all too long.
  44. Jan 12, 2011
    Hot Pursuit addition of the cops, returns the Need for Speed series to its amazing roots. Great graphics, excellent audio and amazing value for an eclectic combination of gameplay elements that definitely resurrects the franchise.
  45. Jan 8, 2011
    What Criterion Games has done with Hot Pursuit is immediately visible when you start the new Need for Speed. There are several problems within the gameplay starting with few races modes and too much aliasing on screen. Other than these imperfections Hot Pursuit is a wonderful arcade racing game that everyone can really enjoy.
  46. Dec 19, 2010
    While Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit's AI issues and lacking soundtrack keep it from racing perfection; it's still well worth your time, thanks to a huge online component and plenty of fast-paced racing action.
  47. Dec 19, 2010
    The career mode is just deep enough, but the online mode feels like it could have been fleshed out a little.
  48. Game Informer
    Dec 11, 2010
    "Quotation Forthcoming"
  49. Jan 11, 2011
    A great return for the NFS saga. Driving is funny, weapons are balanced and Autolog keeps you always busy. It's a shame the the only original race mode is Hot Pursuit. Another couple in the mix could've made the fun last longer.
  50. 87
    After countless sacrilegious efforts in the Need For Speed franchise, Criterion has finally done the label some justice by bringing the heart back to the franchise. It looks like that Criterion did lose their way ever so slightly at times, losing what makes Hot Pursuit so much fun, but as a Need For Speed package, this is the best title in nearly a decade.
  51. Jan 9, 2011
    In my opinion, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit revitalizes the series with regards to old virtues. The arcade steering keeps you up with fast paced race action.
  52. Jan 16, 2011
    Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit reminds me of the first part of the assassin's creed-series. In general, the game is great, but it's missing variety and long-time motivation. Especially the number of time trials shouldn't have been this high. Races and pursuits are much more fun. The small amount of about 100 cars doesn't really matter, because all of them were done well, although some them have only 300 PS. Altogether, it's a great action-racing-game, but there is maybe more potential for Hot Pursuit 2.
  53. Jan 8, 2011
    Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a very good racing game that brings back the extreme arcade racing from the older games in the series. It's the Need for Speed we all used to know, covered in a brand new coating.
  54. 85
    If you are driving fast the AI is driving fast as well. If you are slow the AI is slow as well. The graphics of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit are nice. But the good old Burnout games were much more entertaining. Time trials and car chasing between the police and bad guys are somehow lame.
  55. Dec 19, 2010
    The decision to let Criterion tackle the Need for Speed franchise has paid off massively. They've produced one of the simplest, yet endlessly engrossing racers of the generation, which is all down to their superb ability to balance how each race plays out.
  56. Dec 19, 2010
    This fast-paced racer keeps you glued to the TV and on the edge of your seat regardless of which side of the law you're playing on.
  57. Dec 11, 2010
    Acclaimed for their Burnout work, under the Need for Speed banner, Criterion Games shows they can double-dip in a category and succeed with telltale execution.
  58. Dec 11, 2010
    On the face of things, Need for Speed: hot Pursuit seems like a fairly standard racing game. However, the break neck speed the game runs at combined with the prospect of being involved in Burnout style smash-ups and the pressure of the police presence really help make this one of the most engrossing arcade racers in a long time.
  59. Dec 19, 2010
    In a year already crowded with terrific racing sims-Blur and Split/Second-this hybrid of two franchises, this homage and evolution, distinguishes itself nicely.
  60. Jan 24, 2011
    While Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit is a terrific racer, it's also a poignant reminder that Criterion will probably never be able to match the standard they set with Burnout 3.
  61. Jan 12, 2011
    High speed chases is more fun than ever in Criterions take on speeding. The online multiplayer will keep you playing for hours and hours every day.
  62. Jan 5, 2011
    Hot Pursuit is back and you can't ignore it. And why would you? Criterion took the best parts of the Need for Speed-series and created one of the most enjoyable and progressive racing games of the year.
  63. Dec 19, 2010
    It took the best part of two decades to find room for innovation in so elegant a formula, but Hot Pursuit does it – bending it as far as it would go without breaking what made it great in the first place.
  64. Dec 19, 2010
    The core gameplay of Hot Pursuit is functional and entertaining, though the game fails to make its case until it pits cops and racers against each other in high-speed hunts, giving players on both sides the tools they need to see justice done - or evade its grasp.
  65. Dec 19, 2010
    While Criterion appears to rest on its laurels throughout much of the 'Racer' side of Hot Pursuit's gameplay, effectively producing a quite bland recreation of Burnout in the process, ultimately it's the 'Cop' side of the action that saves the day. From that perspective, Hot Pursuit proves itself worthy of the name with some of the best cop chase gaming of recent times.
  66. Dec 19, 2010
    The core driving is never anything but exhilarating, visually it's almost flawless and the Autolog features are genre leading. There's still something missing, though. While the high-speed pursuits are up there with the best gaming experiences of the year, the game needs more than that: car tuning, a resemblance of a story - complete with cheesy acting - and a reason to explore the open world.
  67. Dec 19, 2010
    Though I occasionally felt like I was fighting the front-end UI to get it to tell me which events I should be trying next, the gameplay offers just enough variety to work well in short bursts and the online modes are terrific fun that could keep you coming back for a while as you strive to gain levels and get a better, longer spike strip.
  68. Dec 11, 2010
    Thanks to a "back to the roots" formula, Criterion succeeded in restoring the right path for the Need for Speed series : the chase HQ style pursuits between the police and the crazed drivers. It manages to do this with an inspired approach, borrowing from the original game or more recent ones, like with the finesse and fun inducing in-game equipment. The Autolog feature is a true revolution community-wise, and the online play guaranties hours of added fun. Can we ask for more ? Yes ; a less "heavy" handling of the cars, for an even more dynamic urban rodeo. The best NFS game since the third installment.
  69. Dec 11, 2010
    While Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a lot of fun to play it gave me something that isn't as easy to measure and is far more subjective; it gave me hope, hope that the Need for Speed Franchise will continue and may even thrive.
  70. Dec 19, 2010
    Although it ultimately comes down to personal taste, not only did I not enjoy the police campaign whatsoever, it actually greatly detracted from my overall experience with Hot Pursuit.
  71. Jan 18, 2011
    A fast, fun, pretty and globally mastered game, even if we could regret a rather short content, and a solo career a bit too classic and repetitive.
  72. Official Xbox Magazine
    Dec 11, 2010
    "Quotation Forthcoming"
  73. Dec 11, 2010
    It's enough to make a fellow pine for the innocent days of yore, when Activision's Blur may have been a vehicle for Facebook nags, but at least it had the courtesy to include an actual game.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 216 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 216
  1. Nov 18, 2010
    Well first off,the game DOESN'T beat Gran Turismo or Forza 3 but does give a comeback in years.. Hot Pursuit thumps and wrecks Shift in evryWell first off,the game DOESN'T beat Gran Turismo or Forza 3 but does give a comeback in years.. Hot Pursuit thumps and wrecks Shift in evry possible way.. The game has brought back the originality of the Need for Speed series and it really deserves recognition in every way necessary.. EA has crashed and burnt with this series but now they are croosing on the high way well done EA!!! It's an adrenaline rush from when you crash into an incoming car or use you speed boost to go to first!!!! If EA stuck with this who knows where they could of been right NOW!!!! Full Review »
  2. Nov 21, 2010
    I'm not sure if this is mention anywhere but in europe, you need to enter a code to play online. If someone has already entered that code theyI'm not sure if this is mention anywhere but in europe, you need to enter a code to play online. If someone has already entered that code they you can not. So for example you can not do so if you buy second hand, or you cant share a copy with your brother or if your partner has their own account. This should be taken into account when buying the game. It holds no value. Full Review »
  3. Nov 21, 2010
    OK metacritic, you just proved how critics will push a game. I should have read USER reviews before I purchased this game. I bought this game,OK metacritic, you just proved how critics will push a game. I should have read USER reviews before I purchased this game. I bought this game, played it (about 5-6hrs) until i realized how empty it is. I was basically doing the same thing over and over with a different car. I mean it was ok at first but seriously a Porsche cayman and a gt 500 cant possibly handle exactly the same right (drift and everything)? The fun factor was gone way too fast, so i sold it the next day and wont miss it. Too bad the next person who buys it, cause as you've heard, they wont have the online pass i used. And online cant make up for a nice looking lame game. Full Review »