Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 59
  2. Negative: 9 out of 59
Buy On
  1. Nov 16, 2017
    45
    The game’s title summarises the story; there’s some betrayal, and you’re looking to do some paying back. There’s technically good dialogue, in the same way a Fast and Furious movie technically has good dialogue. Occasionally you’ll chuckle. The rest of the time you really won’t care.
  2. Nov 27, 2017
    42
    All in all, I’d suggest passing on this, despite the fun racing framework that surrounds the game. The upgrade system is such a mess, and makes the entire game feel like a chore. And that even extends into the multiplayer, which requires you to upgrade your vehicle enough to stay competitive against other players too. It just makes for a really unfortunate experience, and ideally this is not something we’ll see repeated in future installments of this series.
  3. games(TM)
    Dec 31, 2017
    40
    An infuriating slog hurt by its own structure. [Issue#195, p.80]
  4. Nov 30, 2017
    40
    I really wanted this game to be good. The E3 trailer looked like the ridiculous Fast & Furious title people have wanted for a decade, and I specifically asked for this review opportunity. In my mind, I was totally down for what this game was promising and in the mood for a good Need For Speed, but this just isn’t it. There are certainly worse racing games out there, but few can match Payback’s blandness. It’s a listless, lifeless, soulless product that perfectly exemplifies the current state of Electronic Arts. Maybe next time.
  5. Nov 17, 2017
    40
    This is a grindy caRPG that sacrifices specificity of environment, story, and characterization so as to guarantee that the car reigns supreme.
  6. Nov 15, 2017
    40
    Need for Speed Payback turns the series in the wrong direction. The story here is too weak, but it's still a central element of the game.
  7. Nov 15, 2017
    30
    Need for Speed Payback is a real-world example of microtransactions gone wrong. As an open world racer, the game’s inoffensively average – but when paired with its bafflingly bad progression system, it’s frankly an embarrassment. It’s scary to think that publishers are quite literally sabotaging their own games in pursuit of a bonus buck or two these days.
  8. Nov 14, 2017
    30
    Need for Speed Payback is another result of EA meddling in the concept of “games as a service” and taking an otherwise mediocre entry in the series and completely butchering it in the process to achieve this goal. Here's hoping this trend of free-to-play business strategies in full priced games comes to an end sooner, rather than later.
  9. 30
    The worst Need For Speed game of the modern era, that leaves no stone unturned in its attempts to make itself as boring, repetitive, and exploitative as possible.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Nov 8, 2017
    Need for Speed returns in this, a grossly unremarkable open world racer that marks another step back for the series.
  2. Nov 16, 2017
    The glory days of Need for Speed seem a long way off. Need for Speed Payback is swamped with unnecessary guff when it should be stripped back and lean, the engine purring. There’s little to recommend in a game that feels unnecessary in so many areas, with so many blocks to actually having fun. There could be a decent game under here somewhere, but there’s no reason to hang around and find it.
User Score
4.2

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 1031 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 7, 2017
    1
    EA ruins another game with a loot box progression system.
    You are forced to either grind out old missions over and over again, or fork over
    EA ruins another game with a loot box progression system.
    You are forced to either grind out old missions over and over again, or fork over real cash in order to progress.
    This is bad game design. EA forces Developers to make progression boring on purpose, in hopes you will want to avoid the grind. You are expected to pay, in order to not play the game.
    Avoid games with such shady business practices.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 7, 2017
    0
    EA can f*** off. Every game from this moment forward will be filled with lootboxes and microtransaction. All of their game from here on outEA can f*** off. Every game from this moment forward will be filled with lootboxes and microtransaction. All of their game from here on out will be specially crafted and engineered to fool you into paying even more for their crappy games. No thanks, an EA game hasn't touched my PS4 and it never will. Full Review »
  3. Nov 7, 2017
    0
    No matter how much you like the game, dredging up a micro-transaction system from the bottom of the free-to-play mobile cesspool and puttingNo matter how much you like the game, dredging up a micro-transaction system from the bottom of the free-to-play mobile cesspool and putting it into a AAA priced game is going to land you a zero score. Full Review »