Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 62
  2. Negative: 8 out of 62
Buy On
  1. Adventure or racing? Definitely racing! The cut scenes are not suspenseful enough for an adventure. But I like Tri-City with its varied missions and the intuitive controls. Unfortunately the game sometimes drops to a low frame rate.
  2. NFS Undercover is a return to form for this long running racer series, the inclusion of the cops really puts pressure on your racing and with the addition of the usual upgrade and tuning options it helps to make this a top arcade racer.
  3. Moving away from the track and back onto the roads may have returned Need for Speed to where it belongs, but things aren’t perfect yet.
  4. Need for Speed Undercover is the best NFS game since Most Wanted but there are still a few more areas which need to be improved before we call Undercover the Need for Speed champ.
  5. While Need for Speed Undercover delivers in the areas of cinematic production, audio, visuals and through its sweet vehicle roster, it falls a bit short in the realm of top-tier, arcade-quality handling models.
  6. The police chases are fantastic, but the plot's bad and the gameplay is confined to an area that's much smaller than it seems like it should be.
  7. If you like action racing games this is a worth while rental at the very least. There is much to do in the game and even though it feels like the game is just missing some key factor to make it one of the best arcade racers around it is still enjoyable.
  8. I had a lot of fun with the Career mode in Need for Speed: Undercover, and the easy-to-grasp controls really make this an accessible and fun title in the Need for Speed franchise. Don't expect a lot of innovation or new ideas, as a lot of the things that were implemented seem to be pulled from previous NFS releases, but I think race fans will be able to have some fun with this title.
  9. 75
    Undercover is a great way for the NFS series to get back on track.
  10. 75
    As a mashup of :Need for Speed: Carbon" and "Need for Speed: Most Wanted", Undercover is ultimately fairly successful. For many, though, in a post-"Burnout: Paradise" world, the question has to be raised: "What does this give me that Paradise doesn't?" The answer to that is "cops and robbers," a mechanic that has worked well in single-player since the days of Hot Pursuit, and works even better online when played in teams of 4-on-4 in Undercover.
  11. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    While the gameplay feels simple and easy to interact with, there’s plenty of options and a decent array of customisation for your vehicles. A combination of arcade fun gameplay and a massive playground of a city to do it in should have you entertained for weeks.
  12. Games Master UK
    Nearly a return to form, but the new 'grown up' attitude takes away more than it gives. [Christmas 2008, p.62]
  13. Official Xbox Magazine
    A good time can be had, but only if you're patient...and a really big fan of Most Wanted. [Holiday 2008, p.68]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 25
  2. Negative: 8 out of 25
  1. Apr 18, 2011
    Unlike alot of the other User reviewers on here,I'm NOT new to the Need for Speed games.I've play them since Need for Speed 1 on the 3DO,SegaUnlike alot of the other User reviewers on here,I'm NOT new to the Need for Speed games.I've play them since Need for Speed 1 on the 3DO,Sega Saturn & PS1.No 1 in my opinion,ws the best.Excellent pacing,handeling,& crash physics.You actually didnt want to crash,as you would have to wait for your car to stop rolling,before you could re join the race,so you were cautious not to crash.Made for great racing.So i know what can be done with the Need for Speed franchise,So Frankly expect more than the Abysimal Need for Speed-Undercover!.. Good examples of Need for Speed games,have been Nfs 1&2,Nfs Hot Pursuit 1&2(Not the one on the 360 & PS3),Nfs-Road Challenge,Underground 1&2,& Most Wanted.Possibly Shift 2,but havnt played that yet.But even as great as those are,none of them match the great gameplay of No1 all those years ago.Anyway,back to Undercover.Now where do i start?.. The Graphics are underdetailed,The handleing physics not very good,The game world is barren(it feels like some sort of Plague has killed off the worlds population,with the amount of other cats on the road,& no pedestrians).& yet,with the poor quality graphics & barren game world,theres that atrotious frame rate! What the Hell?! The frame rate renders the game practically unplayable! & i've heard its even worse on the PS3.. The races are far too easy,& these cust scenes seem to be put in to make the game seem more slick than it actually is,& they dont serve any purpose to the story at all.just a quick cutscene,& your in another race for some reason.. The other bad thing about this game is,they've created a free roaming world,but theres NO POINT WHAT-SO EVER to free roam.Great... Theres no random challenges to be had from it,& you dont even get to drive to get from race to race,as you have to choose it off the map,to 'Warp' there anyway.What the hell were Blackbox thinking?! No wonder they got took off the NFS games after this one.It was like they got the work experience guys to make the game,while they were on holiday(or maybe they actually did make THAT bad a game themselves).. But then,Criterion have since made the exact same mistake since,with Need for Speed-Hot Pursuit.A free roaming game,with literally no point to free roam! What a waste.. The only positive thing i can say about this game,is that the engine noise is good.But thats it.Whoopie.I'm normally fairly generous with my scores,& appreciate a good game,& the work thats gone into making it when i see it,but this is NOT good,& obviously no effort has gone into it. Full Review »
  2. BriabS
    Dec 18, 2008
    Where is the story? I didn't know I was at the boss level till I beat the boss! What's with the girl, are you suppose to fell cool, Where is the story? I didn't know I was at the boss level till I beat the boss! What's with the girl, are you suppose to fell cool, and thats good that she is pre-med? Big surprise the women you are working for is working for the bad guy!!!! Why the @#$% can't you sell those shitty cars you inherit from other racers!!! And one more thing on art, can we change the color pallette, don't fool us by just by changing the time of day to 7:55pm or 6:45 am. Plus a golden hour doesn't work when your caution walls are the same color as your lighting pallette!!!! Full Review »
  3. May 20, 2015
    This game isn't good. It's not a good NFS game, it's not a good racing game, it's not even a good cinematic game.
    It's not abhorrently bad
    This game isn't good. It's not a good NFS game, it's not a good racing game, it's not even a good cinematic game.
    It's not abhorrently bad either though. The graphics aren't actually half-bad, but not gorgeous. The Tri-City Bay Area doesn't look too bleak although it can lack life, making it more of a ghost city where only the racers and the cops that enforce the traffic laws there inhabit it.
    The cars look quite good and there's a decent amount to choose from, from import tuners to full-on supercars, all of which are customisable.
    The gameplay however, is awful, simply rehashing Most Wanted and Carbon's general gameplay (that's not to say these two games play badly in retrospect) but with much worse handling. Oh lord the handling... every car steers way too quickly at WAY TOO HIGH SPEEDS! I get that this is NFS but the handling takes the literacy of it one step too far.
    The AI are terrible as well, being too easy when you're behind them and unfair once you're ahead of them, always riding along your tail to simply overtake you.
    As for the story... well it's boring, it's half-assed, and it doesn't justify the game at all, which is sad considering that the game was attempting to move itself in that direction anyway.
    Overall, I cannot recommend this, it's hard to like this game, especially considering that the game came in 2008, the same year as Burnout Paradise and Midnight Club: Los Angeles, which I consider to be two fantastic racing games in their own right. If you're really curious, I'd say rent it first, and keep it that way, this is not a game you'll want to keep coming back to. If you want racing games you'll consistently kep coming back to, get the other two games I mentioned in this review. You'll probably find both for the same, if not cheaper prices anyway.
    Full Review »