Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
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  1. One of those rare racing titles that make you feel like you're driving 180 m.p.h., yet still in control of your ride. You soar through the streets, trade paint with rivals and blast over the finish line.
  2. I am a proud owner of a sunlight silver RX-8 and the entire culture of street racing enthralls me so certain specifics of this game that really made me love playing may not strike the same cord with you but I promise you that if you give this game a chance it will prove to you that it is worth every penny.
  3. The cop AI is ingenious and will regularly outwit you without making you feel as if they are unfair.
  4. 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. The Xbox 360 version is definitely recommended.
  5. Everything from the fully licensed vehicles to the cracks in the road surface scream NEXT GENERATION!
  6. The solid story, the twists, the great graphics and excellent audio make this still a solid game and one that will remain in my 360 collection forever.
  7. The Xbox 360 makes NFS: MW an even better game and it should absolutely, positively be one of your first titles with the console.
  8. Play Magazine
    Driving through the alleyways and suburban sprawls...rain pouring down, thunder clapping, music up; this is (virtual) living. [Dec 2005, p.54]
  9. Game Informer
    I found myself endlessly creating bigger and bigger chases that went from one side of the city to the other and back again. [Jan 2006, p.146]
  10. Whether you just like to tinker with a nice assortment of exotic sports cars or have a general distaste for law enforcement, there is something here to appeal to everyone including a clichéd story with campy acting and hot racing babes that are more suited to be on the hood of your car rather than driving their own.
  11. Official Xbox Magazine
    This is exciting, well-designed racing - exactly what earned NFS its name in the first place. [Jan 2006, p.76]
  12. 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.
  13. I have found that NFSMW is highly addictive and the return to the roots of the series with the pursuit mode is a more than a welcome inclusion over the recent underground titles.
  14. While Need for Speed: Most Wanted lacks a few key features that take it over the top, it's still a solid game and winds up being the best installment in the NFS series in years.
  15. 90
    An eclectic mix of rock and hip-hop tunes resonate well, but it's the authentic (and sometimes funny) banter between the dispatcher and other cops that really shifts your driving experience into high gear.
  16. 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.
  17. The riotous cop chases and white-knuckle racing make for an enjoyable romp, even with the cheap catch-up system.
  18. The Xbox 360 version is where the biggest jump should have been, but fell a bit short. In fact, even in 720p/1080i High Definition, there only thing you gain over the Xbox and PS2 games is the clarity of the in-game textures. And clarity isn't strong enough a word! Borderline photo-realistic is probably a better word to use.
  19. Easily the most fun racing game currently available on Xbox 360.
  20. For those of you who are looking for a racing game that does not require Skip Barber's Driving School to understand, MW will prove to be a good fit.
  21. This street racing franchise still has lots of life, and Most Wanted is provides some invigorating racing for all levels of gamers.
  22. Need for Speed Most Wanted is definitely the best in the series yet. The only problem with it is you may get bored with the pattern of "races, outrun the cops, Blacklist rival, repeat."
  23. It really is surprising that so many divergent elements were all thrown together and still produced a solid, sound racing experience.
  24. The police chases add a great deal to the game, and it’s refreshing to be racing in the daylight for a change. If you’re looking for a fast, high adrenaline racer and you like the idea of running from the cops, Most Wanted might be the game for you.
  25. As a whole, however, Need for Speed: Most Wanted comes across as extremely polished and very fun.
  26. The graphics, sound effects, and controls are only a bonus to everything else that makes up a quality racing title. For a first attempt on new hardware I have to commend EA for a job well done.
  27. 85
    It's fast, good looking, boasts a great car list, and gives you plenty of game for the money. You get about 15 hours of gameplay from the main career mode, plus there are 68 additional challenges that will take you a fair few hours to get through, as well as online play.
  28. Do you want a near-perfect combination of both, and the game that takes on almost all the qualities of a successful launch title? Do you want this reviewer’s most enjoyed game on the Xbox 360? Get Need for Speed. Be the most wanted.
  29. Its high-speed races and police chases make for an extremely exciting game, which is further enhanced by the game's terrific graphics. This is one of those games that makes the previous generation of hardware look older than it actually is.
  30. There’s a challenging and lengthy career mode based around “street cred,” a decent online experience, and some good customizability on the game’s many speed machines.
  31. Responsive, realistic and loads of fun to play. The variety of events and challenges will keep you busy for hours and the police pursuits give players more than enough reasons to check it out. Lack of more creative online modes chips away at a higher score.
  32. I’m loving Need For Speed: Most Wanted. It’s a great combination of "Underground" and "Hot Pursuit," and it’s just one hell of a lot of fun.
  33. The story started to grate on me after beating the first few Blacklist opponents.
  34. The lack of variety in the actual races and subsequently online doesn’t do much to justify the £50 price tag, but once you have a fast car and experience some of those intense police chases in glorious HD, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear.
  35. A great game. Sure, the AI can be annoying, the online may be a little lacking in modes, but overall, Most Wanted is still a very solid game.
  36. 80
    It's got more than enough fast-paced action to give gamers their adrenaline fix, and it does it with all sorts of visual style.
  37. Unlike a lot of arcade racing games we've played over the years, Most Wanted is one of the few games that's destined to provide a lasting challenge, despite the inherent repetition at its core.
  38. 80
    The game is a beefy excursion that pleases all your senses, and for that, it will be taking plenty of pink slips from other Xbox 360 launch games.
  39. If this would have been released sans the law enforcement and Pursuit inspired aspects of the game, it would have been titles Need for Speed: Underground 3, because really that is powering it.
  40. AceGamez
    Awesome ambient effects provide the glue for stunning visuals, sound effects almost drown out pumping beats and remarkably adept police chats, while the gameplay challenges are enough to keep you on the edge of your leather upholstered bucket seats.
  41. But if you don't see the awesome graphics and sound, you will definitely be a sorrier person for it whether you know it or not.
  42. EA has succeeded in taking the game back to its roots, but in other ways not as far as some may have liked.
  43. 80
    The sense of speed never reaches Burnout levels, but it's damn good in everything from a souped-up Volkswagon GTI to a stock RX-8. And while it should be a given, the Lamborghinis, Porsches and other high-end cars really rip. The 360 version is easily the best version of the bunch.
  44. The sheer variety of racing styles coupled with the thoroughly entertaining storyline, made this Need For Speed one of my Most Wanted. I'm sure no matter which system you play it on, you'll find NFSMW a real winner.
  45. 80
    Along with the AI issues, the handling between autos is a little suspect. Despite the fact that the game is loaded with exotic cars -- 36 to be exact -- they all seem to handle very much like one another. If there are differences, they're extremely subtle.
  46. The gameplay feels fine, the numerous modes are a blast, the graphics are mostly smoothed over, and pursuit is as good as it gets.
    The trouble is, with the likes of "Project Gotham Racing 3" and "Test Drive Unlimited" looking pretty awesome - that level of expectation is very high - and this latest Need For Speed adventure doesn't quite have the weight to match it.
  48. Aside from the high-shine gloss, though, a few extra pursuers in the cop chases are about all that differentiates this version from the current-gen game. My main beefs--the repetitive race events and not-very-challenging cop chases (especially earlier in the game)--are still here.
  49. The story mode does provide a challenge and will last most around the 15 hour mark, however once that’s past the game has very little to offer largely because of the fundamental online options.
  50. Half loose arcade racer, half tight tuner epic, Need For Speed Most Wanted gets caught in a rolling roadblock between "PGR3"'s graceful racing and "Burnout"'s burning intensity, neither of which it can begin to match. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  51. 70
    Still an incredibly addictive game but there are a lot of racing games out there for the launch and this is just a port.
  52. Because it’s not a terrible game, especially on a currently under-served platform, there are no really strong arguments I can give to avoid the game.
  53. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    At best it's supreme fun and at worst it's still worth a spin. [Issue #2]
  54. Need for Speed: Most Wanted takes Underground’s control scheme and slaps it into the Hot Pursuit series, which in the end, does not work.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 202
  1. Jul 8, 2013
    This is one of the best racing games out there,every thing about this is very Amazing you must try it.It deserves more then a 8.2...... OpenThis is one of the best racing games out there,every thing about this is very Amazing you must try it.It deserves more then a 8.2...... Open world racing game think how skyrim. Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2023
    I don't have time for thisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
  3. Dec 28, 2022