Need for Speed: Most Wanted - A Criterion Game Image
Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 523 Ratings

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  • Summary: With a relentless police force gunning to apprehend you, you’ll need to make split-second decisions. Use the open world to your advantage to find hiding nooks, hit jumps and earn new vehicles to keep you ahead of the game. Your cohorts are at the heart of your experience. In an open worldWith a relentless police force gunning to apprehend you, you’ll need to make split-second decisions. Use the open world to your advantage to find hiding nooks, hit jumps and earn new vehicles to keep you ahead of the game. Your cohorts are at the heart of your experience. In an open world with no menus or lobbies, you’ll be able to instantly challenge your friends and prove your driving skill in a variety of multiplayer events. Your rivals will do everything they can to stop you from getting to the top. Expand
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  • Developer: Criterion Games
  • Genre(s): Driving, Racing, Simulation, GT / Street, GT / Street, Automobile
  • # of players: Up to 8
  • Cheats: On GameFAQs
  • Rating: E10+
  • Special Controllers: Move Compatible
  • More Details and Credits »

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Need for Speed Most Wanted Gameplay Feature #1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Play UK
    Nov 30, 2012
    95
    Easily the best arcade racer of this generation. [Issue#225, p.76]
  2. Oct 30, 2012
    90
    With an innovative and engaging asynchronous and traditional multiplayer package baked into their top-notch open world framework, Criterion has created a modern standard for arcade style racers.
  3. Hyper Magazine
    Dec 17, 2012
    90
    Great multiplayer and a huge sandbox to play in make this a wild and crazy ride. [Jan 2013, p.64]
  4. 85
    Most Wanted begs you to play it, to explore Fairhaven, to take your skills online, and to become the best racer in this open-world setting. It's a perfect addition to the franchise and keeps you strictly focused on driving and competing.
  5. Nov 6, 2012
    80
    Need for Speed: Most Wanted deeply tries to be original, but its open structure ends up to be a little bit too repetitive. Luckily, there's a lot of fun to be had in multiplayer.
  6. It's achieved a vicious racing experience that thrills so much more than it frustrates, and it's pushed vehicular multiplayer forward significantly, setting the bar so high it's hard to imagine who can better it.
  7. Nov 7, 2012
    60
    Just an average kind of a racing game. Criterion has meddled the things that work to no avail. Has it been an order from EA or have they been trying to take the series apart to prepare a market for a true Burnout comeback? A conspiracy theory? Maybe, but nothing changes the fact that the Most Wanted game is dull as dishwater.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 149
  2. Negative: 70 out of 149
  1. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    Awesome awesome arcade-racer!!!! What is it with reviewers thinking this is supposed to be driving round a track for hour after hour, tweakingAwesome awesome arcade-racer!!!! What is it with reviewers thinking this is supposed to be driving round a track for hour after hour, tweaking the car little by little then going back round a track until you fall asleep at the controls???? Go get GT or some other soul-draining sim-racer. Game is awesome and HUGE FUN!!!!! Expand
  2. Jan 12, 2020
    10
    "Change,
    Everything you are
    And everything you were" "Best, You've got to be the best You've got to change the world And you use this
    "Change,
    Everything you are
    And everything you were"
    "Best,
    You've got to be the best
    You've got to change the world
    And you use this chance to be heard
    Your time is now"
    This game should've been named Burnout:Most Wanted
    Expand
  3. Nov 5, 2012
    8
    A good solid racing game that you don't need to spend 25 hours on just to unlock a half-decent car. Take it for what it is, aA good solid racing game that you don't need to spend 25 hours on just to unlock a half-decent car. Take it for what it is, a pick-up-and-play racer with little to no need for massive time investment. If you want to tune your car, or spend 40 hours unlocking a twin turbo hatchback, then buy GT5 or Forza. If you are married or have kids and just want to spin the wheels for half an hour, buy this game. Expand
  4. May 23, 2019
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I love the burnout style gameplay because the car is damaged with every shock, the graphics are very good, the music is decent, the selection of cars is fine and the cars are very well controlled and the map is very broad and well detailed. But the coup de grace and the reasons why I give it a five are the following; there is no history, there is no garage to store your cars and there are no stores to customize them and there is NO option to tune since you can only repair it, and in doing so change the color that is random and improve the power of the car. I expected something much better, and more knowing that Criterion came from creating Burnout Paradise and having collaborated with the development of the Hot Pursuit of 2010, but I left a gap that I could never fill. Just three words: WHAT, GREAT, DECEPTION. Expand
  5. Nov 2, 2012
    3
    If you want a driving game....this is not the game for you! This is more like Pinball on wheels! This game has great parts but they just doIf you want a driving game....this is not the game for you! This is more like Pinball on wheels! This game has great parts but they just do not mesh together to make a cohesive whole. The story/reason just isn't enough to make you believe in the world they are trying to create and finding cars randomly is how you you get better vehicles?....then you have to get the same upgrades for each damn car! PAINFUL! The original NFSMW does all of these things much better. There is no feeling of progression and therefore lacks the reward of leveling up and robs you of that sense of achievement! Deciding were to spend your hard earned rewards/resources and on which car is essential to identity within the game and this just doesn't happen here. The user reviews are superb on Metacritic and are nearly always right and no more so than in this case. Get Forza Horizons if you have the choice...a much better game were you actually feel like you are in control of how you progress/upgrade. Expand
  6. Oct 30, 2012
    1
    Nice graphics, but this is a super cheesy game. I played it for 30 minutes or so before I was so sick of playing it, I turned it off, put itNice graphics, but this is a super cheesy game. I played it for 30 minutes or so before I was so sick of playing it, I turned it off, put it back in the case, and promptly traded it in for Forza Horizon. There are numerous problems with this game, but it starts with the driving mechanics. Never have I driven a game where when you let off the stick in a turn, and the car keeps turning in that direction, even though you're not in a slide. It actually has some sort of mega-over steer. At the very least the car should let up in the turn, but it doesn't. Coming out of most turns you are required to counter-steer just to get the car to straighten out, which results in over-correction. I understand the idea of having to counter steer when the back end of the car is sliding out, but that's not what's happening in this case. It's completely unrealistic, and absolutely no fun. You can get used to it, but it's a terrible way to start out a game. The next thing that drove me NUTS is that every time you smashed into a wall or a car or anything else, the whole screen changes to a 3rd person view and says "CRASHED", all slow motion, but then just drops you back into the car right where you were. What's the point in that? Even if it's a minor enough crash that in most games you could just continue driving, in this game it must make a BIG deal that you crashed, even though you didn't really "crash". Stupid. Next, is how stupid police chases are. There's no reason to get away from the cops, as you don't lose anything by getting caught. There's zero incentive to get away. Next is the lack of manual shifting. This reminds me of Burnout where every car had 847364923 gears, and it just kept shifting and shifting and shifting. Stupid. You can't choose car colors, or make the car special, which is what was so great about the original NFS Most Wanted. The map is the size of a rural crap-hole town with 500 people living in it. I know millionaires with bigger garages than this city (maybe a bit of an embellishment, but you get my point) This is just a barely upgraded version of Burnout, which was another game I played for a few hours, got bored with, and traded in. I play a LOT of driving games, and I'm disappointed I wasted my time with this, and even more disappointed that I didn't just buy Forza Horizon instead. Good riddance, and NEVER again will I purchase a Criterion pile-o-crap driving game. Expand
  7. Sep 28, 2013
    0
    This game is retarded. You can never handle the car. You will crash all the time. You can never win in one go. It's like driving in GTA. HowThis game is retarded. You can never handle the car. You will crash all the time. You can never win in one go. It's like driving in GTA. How can anybody like this crap? Expand

See all 149 User Reviews