Mixed or average reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 65
  2. Negative: 2 out of 65
Buy On
  1. Nov 30, 2011
    If you focus on the pure details of the cars and racing itself, Need for Speed: The Run stands head and shoulders above past installments as well as other racing simulations.
  2. Nov 14, 2011
    The Run takes the venerable franchise in a startling new direction while preserving all of the aspects that have made the series so successful. This one is definitely worth taking a look at.
  3. Jan 3, 2012
    A solid, polished product that's a bit rough around the edges on occasion, but not so much that it takes away from the core experience, which is boosted by a solid storyline and robust array of online options that makes it one of my favorite entries in the series to date. If you're looking for an arcade racer with a lot of flash and the speed to match, give The Run a spin. It's great ride.
  4. Dec 5, 2011
    NFS: The Run is a fast, frantic, and thoroughly enjoyable racer. The idea of a movie-encased racing game is an excellent one, and despite the fact that EA's first attempt lacks due tact or sophistication, the over-the-top plot does add extra context and excitement to the basic premise of driving at ridiculous speeds.
  5. Nov 14, 2011
    A lot of my driving fantasies were realized in this game. I found myself grinning the whole time, gripping the hell out of the controller, leaning into turns with my body, gritting my teeth as I mashed on the nitro button to boost past rivals. If you've ever found yourself daydreaming about whipping past slow cars on the highway, passing on the sidewalk, or bashing police cars off the road, you're going to love this game.
  6. Nov 14, 2011
    The Run falters with its high-profile but underdeveloped plot as well as some awkward design choices. However, it overcomes these potholes with courses that are a blast to drive and simple multiplayer that keeps you hooked in.
  7. Feb 12, 2012
    As I said, I've been a fan of the Need for Speed franchise for quite some time, but even I've been rubbed a bit raw by some of the franchise's evolution over the years. It's not like EA and Black Box were struggling to find an identity, but they seemed to always be looking to switch things up just for the sake of switching. With Need for Speed: The Run, it seems like EA finally found the right mix of action and challenge, and the sporadic out-of-the-car sequences give just enough of a break to keep you pushing forward.
  8. Nov 18, 2011
    I enjoyed the refreshing diversity of the 40+ track sections you get to experience as you cross our great country.
  9. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Dec 28, 2011
    The driving in this driving game is fast, sexy and frequently exciting. [Feb 2012, p.94]
  10. Pelit (Finland)
    Dec 9, 2011
    A very pretty and in some parts surprising arcade racer. It takes a step or two towards the original Need for Speed and that's a good thing. There's one annoying problem, though. The stupidly expensive police cars are just, well, really stupid. [Dec 2011]
  11. 81
    More like an FPS than a racer, The Run lacks the performance and depth of Gran Turismo and Forza, but delivers on insane speeds and nail-biting arcade thrills.
  12. Jan 18, 2012
    Although the single-player adventure runs out of fuel way too soon, the intensity of the racing while driving beautifully rendered "dream" autos makes up for the brevity, and a few replayable modes (Challenge and online) greatly increases Need for Speed: The Run's gameplay driving distance.
  13. Nov 18, 2011
    Need for Speed The Run is currently the best arcade racing title. It feels like a Hollywood experience. Unfortunately the campaign has a short length but you can spend many hours on the multiplayer and all of the challenges.
  14. 80
    Doesn't reach the heights of last year's Hot Pursuit, but at it's core, The Run is still a well-tuned arcade racer that gets a lot more things right than it gets wrong.
  15. Nov 16, 2011
    The ingredients used in Need for Speed: The Run do not differ from those used in previous games: fast cars and dangerous racing remain the main attractions. The story mode, even being short and simple, delivers high doses of adrenaline. And while we're driving, it's all that matters.
  16. Nov 14, 2011
    Does so many things right. It's an action game for people who like cars, or perhaps a racing game for people who like action. In fact, it's both of these things at the same time. Too often racing games get repetitive and lose their luster about halfway through. The Run takes a simple formula and amps it up to appeal to junkies of both genres.
  17. Nov 14, 2011
    It's possible Need for Speed The Run won't provide as many hours of entertainment as previous NFS games, but then it packs in unique events and some incredibly exciting chase sequences, meaning it packs a lot of entertainment-per-hour. It's not very forgiving of mistakes, but then it provides greater rewards as a result.
  18. Jan 24, 2012
    Need for Speed The Run is a game that has just enough issues to make it an average game. It is filled with potential, and it eventually could have made a really great game. The cross-country race is a great story-telling mechanic and the cutscenes are well done. The progression of the Driver Level to gain more bonuses could have been given out more consistently and some of the cars could have handled better. If you don't mind driving for a while to unlock cars and abilities, then you should find a satisfying experience.
  19. Nov 22, 2011
    Need for Speed is back with a story, but lacks innovative elements and a motivating single-player experience. Hopefully EA will continue to improve the story and doesn't loose sight of the single-player game because of focusing on the Autolog.
  20. Nov 22, 2011
    Overall there is nothing bad about The Run. It promised and did not deliver a completely engrossing story.
  21. Nov 17, 2011
    Need for Speed: The Run did not match some of the players expectation, because of the poor narrative and below standard AI. Nevertheless, thanks to an intersting driving system the game results in fun arcade racing.
  22. Game Informer
    Nov 13, 2011
    Need for Speed: The Run is by no stretch a bad game; it just fails to capitalize on its chances. San Francisco to New York is a long haul, and it's even longer when not enough happens in between. [Dec 2011, p.112]
  23. Nov 26, 2011
    Built around fast action and quick-changing objectives, the core experience might be over quickly, but it never fails to impress.
  24. Nov 15, 2011
    With a driver level and an improved Autolog, The Run is a fun time regardless of the campaign's shortcomings. Challenges and multiplayer is what's going to keep The Run in your Xbox 360 during the holidays and I would suggest a purchase of the game if multiplayer is what you want to invest the majority of your time into, rather than the story.
  25. Nov 16, 2011
    Simplified gameplay and a not deep enough experiences in The Run fail to offer the feelings from the best iterations of the Need for Speed series.
  26. Dec 16, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  27. Nov 19, 2011
    Sure the game has some load time issues, a few frame rate hiccups, but honestly the game whips by you at such a high rate, all these issues are soon forgotten as soon as the timer starts and the race begins.
  28. Nov 18, 2011
    A more than decent entry in the series, although below the excellent Hot Pursuit of last year. It is a good idea to propose a coast-to-coast trip through the USA, and we'll see some iconic places, although the story is not that attractive.
  29. Nov 21, 2011
    Need For Speed The Run is a good racing game that I was hoping would be great, and instead wound up being greatly hurt by its difficulty and lack of content. It's disappointing to see a Need For Speed game that isn't worth full-price and really is better as a rental, but that's the case here. The Run mode can be beaten in a day, and there simply isn't enough other content here to warrant a full-priced purchase. It's a short-lived, but incredibly exciting thrill ride that I'd recommend paying $30 or so for if you must own it, but not $60.
  30. Nov 30, 2011
    Overall Need For Speed: The Run is a solid game, with a few tweaks and maybe a deeper racing map it could of been sublime.
  31. Nov 30, 2011
    If you are a Need for Speed fan, or a racing fan in general, I would recommend checking this title out. You might want to rent it first though to make sure you enjoy what the game has to offer before spending your hard earned cash.
  32. Nov 28, 2011
    The very short "campaign" mode of this NFS is balanced by the wealth of extras and the enjoyable gameplay.
  33. Nov 17, 2011
    The game is way too short and there isn't enough to its narrative to get even close to being interested in playing it again. While there are some cool moments, I generally found myself getting too bored or frustrated with the races and the game's conclusion only made the story even more pointless.
  34. Nov 17, 2011
    It comes to a halt too frequently, but when it's speeding along, Need for Speed: The Run makes cross-country racing a joy.
  35. Nov 23, 2011
    It's a rather enjoyable experience that I think racing fans will enjoy. Of course, the resets and other inconsistencies will rain on your parade to the point of becoming frustrating.
  36. Nov 16, 2011
    You'll find moments of driving glory nestled among a lot of filler or arbitrary 'story', and it's these nuggets that make you wish for the series to return to its successful past. Or, if you're like me, you'll just look at the game as another entry in a respected series that perhaps takes too much unnecessary precedence over EA's better arcade racing franchise, Burnout.
  37. Dec 20, 2011
    The Need for Speed franchise has taken a hit to the jaw with The Run. It is not the most perfect game in a technical sense, and although the plot does give it a bit of a twist, it's certainly not enough to hold the attention of regular fans of the franchise.
  38. Nov 30, 2011
    What's here is entertaining enough, but you can't shake the feeling that the end product could have been so much more fulfilling with just a little more conviction and/or development time. Whatever their reasons though, I'll be crossing my fingers for a sequel; the concept is brilliant.
  39. Nov 23, 2011
    The premise for Need for Speed: The Run is good, but it is plagued by so many issues that it is hard to appreciate the things that it does well.
  40. Nov 17, 2011
    The problem here is that The Run fails to really come together to form a solid package.
  41. Nov 14, 2011
    All this awesome racing action gets somewhat lost amid the nonexistent story, the dumb/scripted AI, the lack of options, and the overall shortness of the game. The Run is not a marathon racing game, it's a quick and dirty drag race.
  42. Jan 9, 2012
    Need for Speed: The Run was designed to raise the bar for the racing genre, but while setting up the supports, the game must have slipped and wound up with the bar clonking it on the head. While there's great fun to be had in online competition, everything that was supposed to be different and special about The Run is flat-out garbage.
  43. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Dec 8, 2011
    Feels haphazardly designed and inferior to Hot Pursuit in every way. [Issue#79, p.80]
  44. Nov 27, 2011
    Need for Speed: The Run is a case of a good premise not quite realized.
  45. Nov 25, 2011
    There's nothing terribly wrong with The Run - it just doesn't feel entirely put together. Still, it's light years ahead of Undercover, and I'm anxious to see where Black Box can take the series next.
  46. Nov 18, 2011
    The Need for Speed series made quite a name for itself in the arcade driving genre with Hot Pursuit, the previous game. Developped by another studio, The Run isn't as rich as was its predecessor, and also suffers from some issues with its AI, playability, and extremely short solo play. All this combined makes it a little disappointing, but its far from being a complete failure. The Autolog and multiplayer save the day.
  47. Nov 16, 2011
    You can throw all the technology you like at a game, but that will never be enough to gloss over fundamental design flaws.
  48. Nov 16, 2011
    The Run's attempt to use a cross-country road race to break free of conventions comes packaged with a few crippling flaws, the biggest of which is simply that even with its tense moments and high-powered supercars, it's just not as exciting as it should be.
  49. Nov 15, 2011
    Racing across the USA for a cash prize is a great concept, and perhaps there's a Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay collaboration in there somewhere. Or possibly there's a sequel that can inject some variety and fun into proceedings, rather than a succession of thankless, exhausting rubber-band races against faceless opponents and stereotypical rivals. Need for Speed: The Run does generate some memorable highlights, but they're simply too few and far between.
  50. Nov 15, 2011
    The Run certainly isn't terrible, and a big improvement on Black Box's previous effort, Undercover, but it needed more moments like the avalanche and less monotonous freeways. With the campaign over in an afternoon and the rest of the package failing to offer anything to keep you playing, The Run is some decent throwaway fun that will be forgotten as soon as you move on to something else.
  51. Nov 14, 2011
    The journey across America is beautifully rendered, capturing the varied landscapes spectacularly as you travel over the Sierra, across the Great Plains, and head towards the East Coast. The quality of the movies is very good too, and the characters' faces are nicely rendered to convey emotion. But the story and the gameplay just don't hold up their side of the bargain, and the game ends up falling short of its considerable potential.
  52. Nov 14, 2011
    Need for Speed: The Run's biggest problem is how much it has in common with a real drive from one end of the US to the other. There are a few bright spots here and there, but it's mostly full of unexpected stops, lots of flat tires, and too many assholes on the road. This isn't the worst Need for Speed, but it can't place against other, better racers from the last year.
  53. Nov 15, 2011
    The Run takes an awkwardly serious approach to its story, eschewing the over-the-top fun and wackiness of its clear inspirations -- movies like the Cannonball Run series and classic arcade games like Cruis'n USA --to deliver a cross-country campaign that's sometimes exhilarating, but often frustrating and surprisingly banal.
  54. Games Master UK
    Dec 13, 2011
    What should be an epic race with huge scale and freedom is short-lived, disjointed and linear. [Jan 2012, p.64]
  55. Nov 22, 2011
    Need for Speed: The Run fails where it was supposed to be stronger: its story mode is embarrassingly short, with gameplay problems like the automatic resets each time you even slightly go off-course, and with a dull and badly developed plot. What's left is a frantic and spectacular arcade racer with a solid online multiplayer, but lacking enough variety and content.
  56. 55
    In the heat of battle, Need for Speed: The Run generally serves up a solid and speedy arcade racing experience, with expectedly steady controls and physics. But it's consistently undone by painful rewinds and a dull campaign marked by predictable events, not to mention technical issues.
  57. Dec 22, 2011
    Plain and simple this game isn't very good. In fact, it is very close to bad, which is such a shame because of what an awesome idea the core of this game is, and the bar set by last years stellar NFS Hot Pursuit.
  58. Dec 5, 2011
    Need for Speed: The Run is a true black sheep trying desperately to fit in with its siblings, but simultaneously getting so much so very wrong.
  59. Nov 27, 2011
    Playing The Run is akin to hanging around the worst sort of braggart: It makes promise after promise it knows it can never keep.
  60. Nov 17, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  61. Nov 17, 2011
    The bad car physics and the horrible A.I. destroy what could have been a great racing game.
  62. Nov 16, 2011
    Need For Speed is back to being a bland, middle-of-the-road racer - one so uninteresting it's hard to get too upset at th e shamefully short running time.
  63. 50
    As it stands, we've rarely been so bored when travelling at 150 miles per hour, less inspired by a police chase or less interested in the plot of a videogame. In the end, the game's only held together by staples of the series, namely a huge complement of cars and no-nonsense grippy physics. That's just enough to elevate it to the status of competent racer, but definitely not enough to earn a recommendation.
  64. Nov 16, 2011
    It squanders its terrific concept by saddling it with poor handling, insanely inconsistent off-road and crash behaviors, and straightforward, race-only multiplayer that isn't good enough to keep you coming back. If you want to play this type of light, arcade-like driving game, stick to last year's Hot Pursuit.
  65. Nov 16, 2011
    The game might look decent enough, but the overly scripted racing and under scripted plot fail to engage the player or give the feeling of a white knuckle battle to reach the finishing line. You end up barely caring about Jack's plight and when it comes to the gameplay... Lets just say if you're a fan of the franchise stick to Hot Pursuit, it's where Need For Speed shines - The Run on the other hand just crashes and burns. Repeatedly.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 163 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 163
  2. Negative: 53 out of 163
  1. Nov 16, 2011
    What a great game, the graphics are amazing and besides the story line there are many auto challenges. The cars are great and the handling isWhat a great game, the graphics are amazing and besides the story line there are many auto challenges. The cars are great and the handling is very realistic. Best Need For Speed yet. The story had me on my seat and felt more realistic than any other racing game I have played. The intense action scenes make the story incredible. I will be playing this game till the next NFS comes out. Love it. Full Review »
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    "Need for Speed: The Run" isn't the best NFS game created, but highly entertaining. First of all, the visuals are just straight gorgeous. The"Need for Speed: The Run" isn't the best NFS game created, but highly entertaining. First of all, the visuals are just straight gorgeous. The frostbite 2 engine makes **** real. Every detail and aspect of the game looks realistic. The gameplay is quite different from Hot Pursuit; It's kinda more heavier in a way. The story is also a great aspect to look forward to. I won't say anything about it, but it's really a michael bay style campaign. Overall a great game that excelled my low expectations. Have fun driven! Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2011
    Amazing GOTY, the graphics are amazing, this is a must buy. This is the best nfs I have played, you have to buy this if you like the series.Amazing GOTY, the graphics are amazing, this is a must buy. This is the best nfs I have played, you have to buy this if you like the series. Amazing story. Full Review »