User Score
4.2

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 1031 Ratings

User score distribution:
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  1. Dec 22, 2017
    6
    Need for Speed: Payback
    Feels more like running errands than racing
    Need for Speed is an 18 hour long Arcade Racer where you play as 3 different characters in a story where theyre betrayed during a heist and youll never guess what these characters want… Did you guess yet? You were wrong.. they want payback Need for Speed Payback is probably the weakest need for speed game ive ever
    Need for Speed: Payback
    Feels more like running errands than racing
    Need for Speed is an 18 hour long Arcade Racer where you play as 3 different characters in a story where theyre betrayed during a heist and youll never guess what these characters want…
    Did you guess yet? You were wrong.. they want payback
    Need for Speed Payback is probably the weakest need for speed game ive ever played
    This game follows the formula of 2015s need for speed that tried to capture the magic of underground 2… which isn’t a bad thing…
    They actually listened to feedback from that game and improved its offerings by adding drag races and cars feel much more customizable…
    However this game is lesser in every other aspect
    The story mode here is completely throwaway, it tries desperately to go the fast and the furious route, but the characters and missions just aren’t interesting enough… besides one really cool heist mission…
    But that one mission is the only fun this 18hrs offers…
    This open world which ads off roading.. another improvement.. just isn’t fun to drive through… its bland and because of that every race is bland…
    Again there are 3 different characters but there are 5 different race modes
    Theres circuit racing and drag racing which is handled by tyler
    Drifting and offroad which is handled by mac
    and finally there are run missions handled by jess
    And you need 1 car for each mission type and as you clear missions new cars will unlock for later chapters
    I didn’t mind most of these missions.. they just feel like busy work.. you never feel like youre some awesome crew taking over the area.. you just feel like youre doing a job the whole time… and this feeling smacks you the hardest when you play as jess…
    The run missions are just awful..
    Youre either running to different spots on the map before a timer runs out or youre running from annoying cops trying to make it from checkpoint to checkpoint…
    racing itself though feels just okay…
    The soundtrack here is probably one of the worst licensed soundtracks to ever exist in a game…
    And this isn’t a genre problem, I love all genres of music, and there wasn’t one song here that was fun to listen or race to,
    But the games biggest flaw is that to me literally every single car in this game feels identical
    I understand this is arcade and not a simulation racer… but I should still be able to feel the difference between lambo and Camaro, but i couldn’t
    I drive bumper cam and a lot of the time I don’t even remember what im driving…
    you only get a sense of your car being underpowered when you try to do a race that’s too high of a level…
    That’s right theres a leveling system for both you and your car… and the leveling system for your car is tied to speed cards…
    My feeling on this is up and down.. on the positive.. youre rewarded a speed card at the end of every race… this is basically a random part to upgrade your car with which then upgrades its level.. you can also just flat out buy cards at shops that refresh every 10 minutes..
    And if you get a card you don’t like you can sell it or trade it in for a part token and then trade 3 part tokens for a spin at a new random card but you get to pick the part…
    There is also a loot box system with cash, part tokens and cosmetics…
    On the negative.. .everything is random.. you don’t get to choose what improves and what doesn’t.. you don’t have a true feel of your current cars potential..
    You don’t know if you have to buy a new car every chapter which is what I did.. or if you can go out into the world and grind to bring your starter car up to the level of a super car…
    And I feel this system is exactly why every car feels exactly the same…
    even when youre upgraded you don’t feel more powerful… your opponents just aren’t pulling ahead of you as much..
    and because of this the racing just feels empty and again like busy work..
    There are plenty of challenges like speed traps and drifting around this boring world and collectables, but This is just a very forgettable racing experience…
    Its not bad but its not good either.. its very much just okay
    I give Need for Speed Payback
    a 6/10
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  2. Nov 10, 2017
    6
    Now that I have completed the game, I will just point out simple facts of the game into pros and cons.
    PROS:-
    1. Car Collection is nice. 2. Customization. 3. Handling is great and adjustable (love live tuning, Learn Forza). 4. Street Leagues, nice touch and gives purpose to the game. 5. Unlocking system, which kept me grinding on. 6. Blockbuster missions were good, and I am glad I
    Now that I have completed the game, I will just point out simple facts of the game into pros and cons.
    PROS:-
    1. Car Collection is nice.
    2. Customization.
    3. Handling is great and adjustable (love live tuning, Learn Forza).
    4. Street Leagues, nice touch and gives purpose to the game.
    5. Unlocking system, which kept me grinding on.
    6. Blockbuster missions were good, and I am glad I was not given controls of Players (except driving obviously) in cutscenes otherwise those missions would have been a ripoff of GTA V (you know, 3 players).
    7. Wheelie by car is awesome.
    7. Pause game (AT LAST after 4 years).

    Ghost games worked so hard in rectifying previous game problems, that they created some more for future. I guess that gives them to make a new webpage before next game hahahaha.....

    CONS:-
    1. Character development is not good (except Mac and Marcus).
    2. Dialogues felt forced than acting.
    3. Point to point escape from cops was like Gauntlet from Hot Pursuit 2010.
    4. No cops in Freeroam (AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH..............).
    5. No freeroam with friends online. ( Another AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH..............).
    6. Finally, this game was made so that nostalgic NFS fans like me would be ripped off money in its name. They brought elements from previous games only and mixed them together.

    There was nothing new about how this game feels overall (I am not TALKING about graphics). Those games were awesome because they were new and felt different, not because they were NFS, duh.

    After playing this game, it made me think to play previous NFS games and reminds me how good they were because they were unique. Maybe EA has changed from making a game that is awesome and fun to the game that just gives them money.

    If you want to buy an arcade racing game, you have no other choice but to buy this, as there is no other good arcade racing game and I do feel sorry for you who has been waiting for a good NFS.
    Expand
  3. Jun 12, 2018
    7
    This game is so unfairly treated, critics don't show pros of the game focusing only on its cons. Yeah, the story is cringe, cutscenes try to be fast and furious like, microtransaction is a thing (that's EA, what could one expect) and to be honest it doesn't really affect the gameplay, and there are no free roam police chases. But come on handling has been much improved over 2015 NFS,This game is so unfairly treated, critics don't show pros of the game focusing only on its cons. Yeah, the story is cringe, cutscenes try to be fast and furious like, microtransaction is a thing (that's EA, what could one expect) and to be honest it doesn't really affect the gameplay, and there are no free roam police chases. But come on handling has been much improved over 2015 NFS, selection of cars, different activities like drift, offroad, drag, runner, race. The customisation is great. Great map with much awaited day and night cycle. The soundtrack is great, and police chase ost makes somewhat boring chases more interesting. It sure isn't the best, but it's the way to go. It is much better than all the other crap EA has been doing recently. If Ghost continues this way we might yet again see great NFS game. Expand
  4. Nov 7, 2017
    5
    Dude...WTF?!?!?!?!?
    The only reason to pick this game up is because you like giving money away.
    I played the last one and it wasnt bad but not great either. I was so hoping for big things with this one. But just like GT Sport...i have been forgotten by the powers that be in the sense that they both have taken everything good about a franchise and tried to do too much. Leaving the true
    Dude...WTF?!?!?!?!?
    The only reason to pick this game up is because you like giving money away.
    I played the last one and it wasnt bad but not great either.
    I was so hoping for big things with this one.
    But just like GT Sport...i have been forgotten by the powers that be in the sense that they both have taken everything good about a franchise and tried to do too much.
    Leaving the true fans of their property lost and confused.
    Expand
  5. Nov 13, 2017
    5
    In terms of physics, the game really got better compared to the last part, but it did not go that far. The graphics in the game not only became worse, but also began to demand more performance (on PS4 the game goes to 900r and 30fps, when NFS 2015 to 1080p and 30 fps). For example: the nights in the new part do not go to any comparison with the nights from the last part. On the part of theIn terms of physics, the game really got better compared to the last part, but it did not go that far. The graphics in the game not only became worse, but also began to demand more performance (on PS4 the game goes to 900r and 30fps, when NFS 2015 to 1080p and 30 fps). For example: the nights in the new part do not go to any comparison with the nights from the last part. On the part of the plot, I would say that this is The Run of a healthy person.
    The police became better and more aggressive, but to Most Wanted away.
    Oh, yes, without opening the lutebox the game is possible to pass, but get ready for a tough farm.
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  6. Jan 30, 2019
    7
    Что это было? Нафига было игру на столько казуалить для школьников долбоебов? Жаль что я сам тот еще идиот и не смог отключить голоса героев на подобии негра который орал постоянно "ЖРИ ПЫЛЬ". Так-же полностью засрали систему тюненха авто (которая внутренняя), а в сюжете всего 2 голливудских сцены, и то которые показали в трейлере, а между ними просто спам скучнейшей езды по пустыни. ВсеЧто это было? Нафига было игру на столько казуалить для школьников долбоебов? Жаль что я сам тот еще идиот и не смог отключить голоса героев на подобии негра который орал постоянно "ЖРИ ПЫЛЬ". Так-же полностью засрали систему тюненха авто (которая внутренняя), а в сюжете всего 2 голливудских сцены, и то которые показали в трейлере, а между ними просто спам скучнейшей езды по пустыни. Все остальное что не смогли забрать осталось на уровне НФС2015.

    Че сказать, молодцы, опять после годной части начали скатываться в дерьмо
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  7. Dec 31, 2017
    7
    Payback pays homage to the fast-paced and ridiculous racing action present in the Fast and the Furious films, and pulls off most of its ideas very well. Graphics wise, it looks amazing, although I did encounter some pop-in while playing on my PS4 Pro. The sound is really well done, as most of the cars sound like their real-life counterparts. The gameplay consists of drag racing, circuitPayback pays homage to the fast-paced and ridiculous racing action present in the Fast and the Furious films, and pulls off most of its ideas very well. Graphics wise, it looks amazing, although I did encounter some pop-in while playing on my PS4 Pro. The sound is really well done, as most of the cars sound like their real-life counterparts. The gameplay consists of drag racing, circuit races and off-road races, mixed with various story missions spanning across the open world of Fortune Valley. The open world is empty, although it is huge. There is not much detail put into it, which makes it feel lifeless and boring to drive in. The variety of environments is interesting though. People are hating on this game because of the loot box system, but after 50+ hours playing this game, I can safely say that cars and parts can be earned by simply playing. I didn’t spend a dime on the shipments as I kept unlocking cars and parts as I progressed. The progression system will intimidate players at first, but as you play, you will find that you progress at a generous rate, compared to EA’s other outing, Battlefront 2. Story is nonsensical, cheesy stuff. The characters are shallow, and boring. The payoff is unsatisfying, but the missions are varied and provide for some great movie style moments that frankly no other racing game this year has provided. Payback is a great entry to the series, but does have its missteps. Calling it awful, or most shockingly “the next Battlefront 2” is just absurd. You knew what you were getting into, an arcade style racer which doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s tons of fun with friends too. Expand
  8. Mar 14, 2018
    7
    Graphics: 7.8 Sound: 7.2 Gameplay: 7 Fun/Story: 6.5

    Another year, another NFS game. Despite some minor improvements there's nothing really new. Campaign is repetitive and a little boring.
  9. Dec 12, 2018
    6
    I played the game, purchased it for 25€. It exceeded my expectations. While I was afraid that the gameplay would be scripted and annoying it ends up being probably the best NFS in terms of gameplay. The most fun one. I think that the whole idea of open world racing game isn't that big to give the game more than 7/10 so I'm rating it 6/10 but it's really deserved 6 points and I'm enjoyingI played the game, purchased it for 25€. It exceeded my expectations. While I was afraid that the gameplay would be scripted and annoying it ends up being probably the best NFS in terms of gameplay. The most fun one. I think that the whole idea of open world racing game isn't that big to give the game more than 7/10 so I'm rating it 6/10 but it's really deserved 6 points and I'm enjoying every second of it so far. Progression system is different and seems at certain times like an automat in casino but you can't spend real money in that automat only the in-game currency and the microtransaction filled shipment packs don't contain anything too great just a few thousand of dollars you can grind within one event and bunch of bad looking or bad sounding customization effects. I don't feel like this game should be rated 4/10 for microtransactions because there's just such a minor portion of them you wouldn't believe how this amount of useless packs can piss all the people off. Most of these people just spotted option to spend money and immediately jumped on wave of hate while when I finished the campaign I had 2,5 Milion in-game dollars and immediately maxed out 2 car classes, bought best cars for race and drift class + maxed them out to performance level 399 and still have 1 Million to spend so I don't see how this is anyhow unfair or anything bad. Everyone here is complaining about some kind of a grind but I don't see any grind so far. Earning money real fast without even trying. Expand
  10. May 1, 2018
    7
    What lets it down is the lack of police chases while free-roaming, the handling of cars around corners is a little twitchy (it’s either perfect drift or doughnuts when you go off-road) and the pretty heavy storyline that cuts up your rhythm mid-game. Get past that though and you could beat the house.
  11. Dec 23, 2017
    5
    I have been a fan of the NFS series since Hot pursuit 2 but recently, when i bought and played NFS payback, i am fairly disappointed with this game because it did not meet up to my standards. I have noticed that some of the events are not as fun as it used to be such as the pursuits. The pursuits are more difficult to end because there are no pursuit breakers which could have made theI have been a fan of the NFS series since Hot pursuit 2 but recently, when i bought and played NFS payback, i am fairly disappointed with this game because it did not meet up to my standards. I have noticed that some of the events are not as fun as it used to be such as the pursuits. The pursuits are more difficult to end because there are no pursuit breakers which could have made the player's job easier since he or she has to get to the appointed destination on time. More over, there are"kill switchers" who stop you completely after you get close to them. Another thing i didn't like about the gamer is the way the black guy (Mac) was portrayed. Mac was portrayed as someone who is a "specimen" for everybody to exploit and ridicule. EA needs to do a better job in making their games better. Expand
  12. Mar 13, 2018
    5
    Despite all the "grind" complaints about Payback, I actually breezed through it in only about 2 weeks of very casual play, never really having to worry about upgrades and such. The downfall of this game is that it's just not very engaging or entertaining most of the time. And the Speed Cards, even though I didn't grind to get them, really, are a TERRIBLE addition. Nothing more than aDespite all the "grind" complaints about Payback, I actually breezed through it in only about 2 weeks of very casual play, never really having to worry about upgrades and such. The downfall of this game is that it's just not very engaging or entertaining most of the time. And the Speed Cards, even though I didn't grind to get them, really, are a TERRIBLE addition. Nothing more than a lottery, and all the cards, no matter the designation, basically give you the same results. Picking one (like Turbo) thinking it'll have one effect (like actually making the car faster), can just as easily do NOTHING for speed, like you'd THINK, but just help your jumping and airtime capabilities, or even just upgrade breaking. Completely nonsensical. Basically, it's okay for a single play through, but there's no replay value here. I know I'll never go back to it. Expand
  13. Oct 21, 2018
    6
    Traffic. A lot of traffic. Too much traffic. He is incredibly infuriating. How was it possible to think of leaving it during the challenges?
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
  1. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Feb 6, 2018
    70
    Ticks all the boxes and delivers a decent, playable experience, but it's hugely derivative and feels far too familiar, especially if you've played The Crew. [Jan 2017, p.92]
  2. games(TM)
    Dec 31, 2017
    40
    An infuriating slog hurt by its own structure. [Issue#195, p.80]
  3. Dec 15, 2017
    60
    If you stick with it you'll find a decent racer here but getting past the inane narrative, broken progression systems and longing for racers past takes some doing.