Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 48
  2. Negative: 3 out of 48
Buy On
  1. Nov 25, 2011
    It's not Forza but it doesn't set out to be; instead, it aims at being the very best arcade racing game available and it succeeds most assuredly at that goal. A balls-to-the-wall thrill-ride, beginning to end, and definitely worth a thrash - if you can handle it.
  2. Nov 14, 2011
    The setting is great, the story makes sense and the feeling is pretty much arcade just like the old days. The Run is more like an interactive movie than a plain stupid racer, and it deserves props for that achievement.
  3. Nov 14, 2011
    Need for Speed: 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.
  4. 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]
  5. Dec 16, 2011
    The Run is a real middle runner of the series, the handling is definitely somewhere around the middle of the pack, the graphics are up near the front and the sound sits about the same as the rest of the releases. Unfortunately, The Run's biggest let down is definitely the story; it takes itself far too seriously and is a slightly ridiculous premise to begin with.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Official PlayStation Magazine Benelux
    Jan 2, 2012
    A mere three hours after our departure from the Bay Area we already arrived at Empire City. Outrageous, especially because The Run is the main mode of the game and the story wants us to believe that we just travelled a whopping 4,000 km by car. [December 2011, p.80]
  9. 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]
  10. Nov 26, 2011
    Built around fast action and quick-changing objectives, the core experience might be over quickly, but it never fails to impress.
  11. Nov 29, 2011
    The new Need for Speed game is one hell of a ride, but a few annoyances keep it from gaining as much praise as its predecessors. A short singleplayer campaign, weak A.I., disappointing visuals and long loading times are the main setbacks.
  12. 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.
  13. Nov 14, 2011
    Need for Speed: The Run feels more like a tightly scripted action game than an adaptive racer. If you stop to look around you'll discover a game in service of building toward an experience rather than challenging the player beyond a few trial and error style obstacles.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Nov 16, 2011
    All this hype about a story-driven racing game was unwarranted; with a few small exceptions, this still feels very much like any other racer you've played. On top of which, when it never seems to matter what car you choose (more in terms of speed and less in regards to handling), and the AI just sticks to your side no matter what, you never feel as if you're accomplishing much.
  17. Apr 28, 2012
    In summary, The Run provides yet another aspect to the NFS series and with its Hollywood-like cut scenes and storyline, easy to pick-up-and-play driving; The Run is definitely one to run out for, however I wouldn't run a marathon for the game. If you're not a NFS freak, a simple rent will keep you occupied for more than enough time.
  18. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Jan 6, 2012
    Its overall experience never lives up to the implied grandeur of its cross-country speedfest premise. [Jan 2012, p.78]
  19. Nov 28, 2011
    The very short "campaign" mode of this NFS is balanced by the wealth of extras and the enjoyable gameplay.
  20. 70
    Need for Speed: The Run takes players on a cross country competition for the promise of rich rewards, but ultimately the function of delivering the narrative hinders an otherwise decent driving game.
  21. Nov 26, 2011
    The Run sits squarely in the middle of the franchise pantheon; its tentative steps into storytelling are often ham-fisted, but represent something of a unique avenue for the development of the racing genre, while the core racing model is just about good enough if one forgets that its Criterion-developed predecessor was released just one year prior.
  22. Nov 17, 2011
    It's bogged down by unnecessary quick-time events and annoying mob chases, a halfhearted attempt to tell a story, and frustrating interruptions to your racing. In spite of these burdens, the game frequently makes you feel like you're tearing across the varied terrain of this vast and majestic country.
  23. 70
    Adding in real world environments, with real world cities and landmarks, gives the game a real world feel.
  24. 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.
  25. CD-Action
    Nov 29, 2011
    A reasonable driving model and more attention to details would be enough to make this game significantly better. It seems that at some point the developers ran out of time and as a result the new Need for Speed is decent at best. [December 2011, p.70]
  26. 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.
  27. Nov 16, 2011
    Despite its best efforts, Need for Speed The Run fails to capitalize on the core strengths of the game. The new engine is great, and the speed sensation is awesome. But the campaign is far too short and the game mechanics are poorly implemented. Rental recommended.
  28. 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.
  29. Play UK
    Jan 9, 2012
    So long as you can get behind the odd handling and the deceptive setup, The Run offers some top-end racing thrills tucked in among some cheap, scripted and downright annoying moments. [Issue#213, p.84]
  30. Dec 12, 2011
    The Run has perpetual tunnel vision: too blind to see its restricting nature and too focused to care even if it could. The opening strokes of tearing velocity and lush American landscapes are inviting, but only carry so much weight.
  31. There's a Hollywood sheen spread over The Run that occasionally makes it sparkle, from the Frostbite 2 engine's environmental effects to the action-movie score. But peer beneath the gleaming veneer and you repeatedly encounter a stomach-lurchingly shallow experience – not unlike any movie you can name by the aforementioned Mr Bay, ironically.
  32. Nov 24, 2011
    A game that had a lot of potential but seems to be cut in half. It lacks what excited us when it was first announced at E3, as if the developer wasn't brave enough to bet for what it made it different.
  33. Nov 22, 2011
    In Need for Speed: The Run the linearity is almost drawn to it's outer edge. It almost feels like everything you do is planned before you even start it and all you do is learn when certain events in the race will poop up and then act accodingly. The good parts - the Challenges, the varied enviroments and in some aspects the multiplayer - is drowned by poor design of basic game mechanics.
  34. Nov 19, 2011
    It's not nearly as strong as it could have been but there's enough here to provide a day or two's entertainment and – given the nature of what EA were trying to do – it at least succeeded on that level.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Nov 25, 2011
    I wanted to like The Run and early on, I genuinely did, but things quickly started to fall apart, culminating in some courses that were nothing but pure frustration. A few bright spots and interesting online aren't enough to escape mediocrity.
  40. games(TM)
    Jan 9, 2012
    Fleeting fun and a mild distraction it may be, but The Run finishes this particular race upside down in a ditch. On fire. [Issue#117, p.112]
  41. Nov 18, 2011
    This game goes backward in every way. Who got the idea to make a scripted racing video game with a B storyline running on an engine of a shooter game that looks like it was made three years ago? Don't tell me that this game was not taken out of Black Box's video game depository.
  42. Nov 17, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  43. Nov 17, 2011
    The bad car physics and the horrible A.I. destroy what could have been a great racing game.
  44. Nov 15, 2011
    The worst of the game's technical sins is performance, with appallingly low frame rates in our patched PS3 retail version when you brake suddenly or drift through many a corner.
  45. Nov 15, 2011
    Like a smoke filled wheel spin, it looks good but it gets you nowhere.
  46. Dec 15, 2011
    After you've experienced The Run you'll sadly come to the conclusion that it isn't any good. It's a great idea compromised by poor design and handling.
  47. 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.
  48. Dec 6, 2011
    The Run doesn't have the structure or production values to carry off its concept. Even if it did, its successes would be smothered by a procession of awful technical flaws. Lacking charm and polish, only the Need For Speed name will sell the game – which will no doubt mean that it fares well enough. But in a year that has seen gaming's biggest franchises one-upping each 
other and demanding players' attention like never before, The Run simply doesn't cut it.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 205 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 205
  2. Negative: 46 out of 205
  1. Nov 17, 2011
    Basic, and boring racer game, nothing new to the genre, car physics suck and the ranking system is useless, its just an arcade game not worthBasic, and boring racer game, nothing new to the genre, car physics suck and the ranking system is useless, its just an arcade game not worth the price. Full Review »
  2. Nov 18, 2011
    a horrible horrible game!!Like most nfs games the much hyped nfs:the run is a stupid game with a lacklustre story.Want to buy a racing game???a horrible horrible game!!Like most nfs games the much hyped nfs:the run is a stupid game with a lacklustre story.Want to buy a racing game??? go with forza if you have a xbox or gran turismo for ps3 both are better than the run!! Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2011
    From dazzling scenery to spectacular set pieces, this is a worthy entry in the need for speed franchise. The frostbite 2 engine makes theFrom dazzling scenery to spectacular set pieces, this is a worthy entry in the need for speed franchise. The frostbite 2 engine makes the whole world just stuningly beautiful and there is only so much that words can describe. Intense white knuckled racing is absolutely addicting. The autolog helps you compete with your friends and makes the game so much more competitive. Multiplayer is splendid and is even more enjoyable with friends as winning gives you much bragging rights. A huge variety of cars to choose, from vintage muscles to modern supercars. This game gives you that adrenaline feeling that few games on todays market offer. A must have for any racing fan, be it arcade or sim fan. This game is absolutely fun and I have no idea why IGN gave it such a crappy score. The only thing I agree with their review is that this game is slightly short but that may perhaps be that Im enjoying myself so much and finished the game too quickly which leaves me craving for me. This game is a masterpiece. Full Review »