Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. An exceptional racing game, with stunningly awesome graphics and a solid gameplay, albeit somewhat lacking in the A.I. smarts.
  2. It's a shame that the multiplayer options don't include a cop pursuit mode, but that's a minor omission in a one-game-fits-all package. If you haven't found any of the recent NFS games to be juuuust right, Most Wanted is the one to own.
  3. It skips the commercial appeal of the Underground games and offers a game filled with intense races, great FMV cutscenes and number of cool cars.
  4. There are some suitably impressive graphics on offer and the career mode is probably one of the most impressive seen in the series to date.
  5. Great blend of the series' best bits: customizable cars, high-octane races, and cop chases. [Holiday 2005, p.86]
  6. The addition of the cops returns the series to its roots, while keeping the gameplay mechanics and large city of the Underground games will make it accessible to fans of those games.
  7. 90
    Making a name for youself by climbing the game's Black List, aka series of bad-ass mo-fos you must beat, is good fun.
  8. You will fall in love with the police-chases immediately, and you are still offered the great racing aspects that you already know and love.
  9. This is a better overall game than the "Underground" series, with more depth on the pavement and in the garage. The presentation factor has also gone up tenfold, along with a serious improvement in graphical quality.
  10. Wanted's story won't win any awards, and the game would still be tremendous fun without it, but it gives your racing added significance.
  11. It'll fulfill all your outlaw tuner desires, with the added bonus of not making you look like a complete fool when you take it for a spin.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jan 13, 2014
    Probably the top tuner game out there today. I have not found another game that has customization like this and has the fun level of this game. Sure NFS2 had a huge and better world map, but it had no cops, and this is where NFSMW2005 strikes the jack pot as the best need for speed game ever (imo). The cops are hard, they arent going to give you the right to drive over their city recklessly, so you'll need to be able to destroy the vehicles they target at you. Wreck them, ram them into walls, blow them up via gas tanks, and other fun destructive things. The control of the cars is rather tight, and you won't be able to turn 90 degrees without slowing down a little bit. This game actually has A STORY, and it's one of the better stories of this franchise, and I feel like the characters used are all pretty cool and fun to race. The car selection is a decent amount (at roughly 30 stocks), though it could be improved if it were to be remade in the current times. I feel like this game is the top of EA's work, and should be crowned as the king of tuner racing games and possibly a chance at one of the best racing games of all time. Finish the story? Well you have a bunch of secrets and challenges to play, so that helps greatly to extend the replayability.

    Gameplay: 10/10
    Story: 9/10
    Music: 9.5/10
    Presentation: 10/10
    Length: 9/10
    Overall: 10/10
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 28, 2013
    The best car racing game ever made for shore. The current need for speed most wanted in 2013 is a terrible version of the this original despite the many years that have past and how far other game series have come.The way the races are set up and the menus are quick and easy to go through. Driving in the open world is actually a real world simulation. Switching with the pad to the map to see where your going is easy and awesome to switch to find a hideout when cops are chasing. The sound track is large and good. The modification of cars that are actually affordable to the common man is awesome with bodykit shaping and real world mag wheels and tires with even extra customisation of the standard rims. I loved the very first pc game of need for speed by Electronic Arts with the Lotus Esprit and Ferrari F40. I liked playing Burnout on x box with my five year old nephews with the slow mo car crashes but even they got bored after watching the slow mo crash for the 50th time just like I did and just wanted to keep driving. This is one of the last great Electronic Arts need for speed games. Aiming for a gap in a roadblock and crashing through with slowed down gameplay not a cut scene is awesome then flicking to a map to find a cool down spot is best fun ive had in a game and when you modify the car it sounds and acts just like a real car would. I know because have a supra. Drifting takes alot of skill but when get good points build up on screen I'm very dissapointed with the 2013 Electronic Arts/ Burn out collabaration its a shocker compared to the xbox version I think I know why. Car companys now discourage modification with the loss off warranty for nissan gtrs and even the car manual has a picture of a gtr with a bodykit with a red cross over it and most other manuafacters today are the same these days it sad and pathetic The police in the 2013 version seem to be much more effective and its packed with alot more adds. The worst thing is everytime you crash its the burnout slow mo for 10 seconds and then your reset in another place its pathetic and almost the whole 2013 game made me angry.. This original xbox need for speed most wanted is nothing like that and thats why it is awesome. Full Review »
  3. PaulW.
    Oct 17, 2007
    Visuals it is more tastefully naturalistic than neon-lit street racer. It's set on the coast, in suburban neighbourhoods and surrounded by trees rather than being very urban. Chases are exciting, set pieces (eg crashing through a billboard, destroying a garage) are slowed down to great effect. The stylised FMV is very good (better than using in game graphics). The only flaw is that the tasks are repeated too many times. The first few hours I played this against my cousin and his friend was the most enjoyable multiplayer session I have ever had. Full Review »