Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. The Canyon Duel and the returning Drift Race, which has been absent in recent years, are both exciting and engaging additions to the already impressive list of race types carried over from "Most Wanted."
  2. While many may miss the always-around-the-next corner, full-force police chase excitement from Need for Speed Most Wanted, Need for Speed Carbon still provides an adrenaline speed-rush with the spectacularly exhilarating drift racing down the curvaceous canyon roadways.
  3. Need for Speed Carbon has fast and furious races. Tuning is fun, but it does not have much of an effect on racing. [Dec 2006, p.82]
  4. An extremely polished, utterly playable update.
  5. 78
    The drifting is an acquired taste (but it's good), the canyon duals are decent changes (though not great), and the crews...well, they suck. Of the myriad new features, the addition of muscle cars and the online functionality are the best.
  6. Even though the wingman mechanics and canyon races don't quite pan out, it's still a stylish and enjoyable street racer.
  7. It's one thing for the current-gen versions of this game to be not as visually compelling (such as the sense of speed not being as good), but it's unfortunate that you only race against three other cars during typical challenges.
  8. 75
    It refines previous ideas but lacks that big "wow" factor we've seen in the past. It's thoroughly, thoroughly competent and shouldn't be overlooked, but it really is "Need for Speed Again."
  9. I suggest skipping the Xbox and PS2 iterations of the title and head straight to the Xbox 360 version since the Xbox 360 is the only console right now with online capabilities.
  10. So what if Carbon isn't redefining the street racing genre - really, at this point, what could? It hits a sweet spot of intensity, danger, and style.
  11. 70
    Regardless of that feeling of déjà vu, Carbon is another solid racer from EA, and the Auto-Sculpt feature is absolutely fantastic, not to mention the impressive car roster and functional online component.
  12. This NFS definitely isn't in the same league as last year's superb Most Wanted. But despite its misfires, Carbon has a lot of great action and intriguing ideas that, with properly calibrated expectations, will be a blast for fans of the series' trademark arcade racing. [Holiday 2006, p.72]
  13. What the series needs is not useless gimmicks and badly rehashed game mechanics, but good, old-fashioned racing fun. We don't need customisable bells and whistles; what gamers really want is a Need for Speed that uses its strengths, and doesn't try to shoe-horn in its weaknesses for the sake of bullet points on a press release.
  14. A solid racing game. It might have a few rough edges and frustrating spots, but overall it's a fun game.
  15. A great addition to the series for fans and probably a decent rental for most. While things have been upgraded and new elements added on, it's still NFS and it still gets repetitive and boring after awhile. It's like EA's "Madden" of racing.
  16. 70
    If you're looking to get a few more hours of fun out of your aging black box, Need for Speed Carbon isn't a bad way to do it.
  17. A huge omission is the lack of online play at all, and releasing an Xbox racer without an online component is like building a car without wheels.
  18. A lazy effort. Xbox Live play is poorly implemented and those seeking online racing are better off trying the PC version.
  19. In the end, this race is barely a race at all. The 360 is the winner by a mile, and for the price of those wheels, no doubt it should be. The Xbox comes in a distant second with fewer cars and none of the cool online modes. And trailing way behind that is the PS2, a run-down jalopy that probably shouldn't even be on the road.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. BlueFalcon
    Dec 6, 2006
    This is the worst Need for Speed on Xbox. Even Hot Pursuit is more fun. But overall it's still a better than average game. It's just disappointing for the series that not much effort was put into it. I wouldn't recommend picking it up. Full Review »