Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
Buy On
  1. Nov 26, 2017
    The perfect example of one step forward, two steps back. While the world is more beautiful than any of its predecessors, it feels empty in much the same way that the game does. All of the systems seem to be their own worst enemy.
  2. CD-Action
    Feb 8, 2018
    For me Need for Speed is dead and buried as a franchise. Yes, Payback offers a large and varied open world and 70 licensed cars, but the driving model is decent at best, microtransactions system resembles free-to-play games, randomized upgrades force you to grind and the story (along with the dialogues) is simply embarrassing. [01/2018, p.44]
  3. Official Xbox Magazine UK
    Jan 5, 2018
    Turns out that fighting the machine has rarely been this dull. [Jan 2018, p.78]
  4. Edge Magazine
    Dec 10, 2017
    Were it not for the driving model, which against all odds remains a pleasure, and desperately rare moments of imaginative mission design, this would be an abject failure. As it stands, it's simply a serious one. [Issue#314, p.114]
  5. Dec 8, 2017
    While it may not do anything groundbreaking, there’s a decent game buried somewhere in Need for Speed Payback. It’s hard to deny the fun that still comes from sliding through mountain switchbacks or launching through the air like a rocket. However, the promise of pulling off epic heists falls flat, and Payback is crippled by its progression system. A car’s performance shouldn’t be determined by a slot machine, and a racing game shouldn’t force you to wait out in the parking lot.
  6. Nov 7, 2017
    Need for Speed Payback might be a new low point for the franchise. A horrendous progression system compounded by uninteresting characters and terrible AI only illustrates how far behind this series has fallen compared to the other arcade racers out there. The multiplayer is solid, but that’s like saying at least the car wreck didn’t cause a fire, too.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 242 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 242
  1. Jan 2, 2018
    The Need for Speed series has been up and down over the last few years and this has definitely put a few people off. I’ve always liked theThe Need for Speed series has been up and down over the last few years and this has definitely put a few people off. I’ve always liked the Need for Speed series but there has been too many problems in the last few game’s, which in turn harmed the overall package. The problems are still evident in this instalment, but most of the core ideas have paid off and in the end Need for Speed Payback was pretty enjoyable. The racing in the game feels better than ever and I was very impressed by how fluid and responsive it remained throughout. I was also impressed with the story in the game, and whilst it may not be everybody’s cup a tea I found it to be quite engaging. There is a great deal of variety in Need for Speed Payback and that’s evident when it comes to the different driving styles and races. I must admit though that the game did frustrate me quite a few times and that was mainly down to the AI and the high difficulty curve the cheating AI brought with it. If you like customisation then this game has plenty for you to sink your teeth into. There is one problem with this though and that’s the micro-transactions that are present in the game, and unfortunately if you’re not prepared to pay for certain items then you will spend a lot of time grinding to get them. The presentation side of the game is pretty good, but I can’t help feeling that it could have been a little better. Visually the game can look stunning at times, but unfortunately the sound design is not as good and is lacking in certain areas. At the end of the day fans of the Need for Speed series will definitely enjoy what’s on offer here, but I don’t think this new addition will bring many new fans to the table. Don’t get me wrong it gets a lot of things right and it can be very fun at times, but the added micro-transactions and little niggling problems here and there will make some people stay away, which is a shame because the core ideas are well done and these ideas just do enough for me to recommend the game to you. Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2017
    Two years in the making!: yup, it's taken two years to develop the most boring NFS yet. Not only that, but where all other franchise keepTwo years in the making!: yup, it's taken two years to develop the most boring NFS yet. Not only that, but where all other franchise keep going forward, NFS is still stuck in reverse. It's like they learned nothing from the 2015 attempt except, there is far more daylight and a lot less rain [infact, I dont think i've seen rain yet]

    They replaced the duff-actors of the past with animated stereotypical characters with the most cringeworthy dialogue you ever heard in any form of entertainment and a storyline that's permanently stuck in first gear [I say that because when there is any sight of any excitement, the game takes over and you can only watch; you have no input]

    Gameplay is very routine and repetitive, almost boring; collectibles are there but pointed out to you so not hard to find those; we have the usual speed traps/zones, drift zones and jumps, nothing new there then. We do however have 'derelicts' cars to find parts for and build .. so there ya go something new .. to NFS .. but hardly new. Currency is hard to come by, you need to grind over races you already did to make the money for parts to upgrade your cars .. you do get awarded an upgrade card after a race win, it's a random card so again luck is involved; you can gamble some of your 'tokens' in a fruit-machine style app for more parts or you can simply buy them with real cash [not forgetting you already spent 60/80 or whatever of your local currency to buy the game in the first place.]

    I say now; it may get better but I have abandoned the game after about 12 hours play; so checkout other reviews.

    It's most annoying because again, the NFS developers have turned a potential masterpiece into an actual turkey by their game-play choices; they have again delivered 'average' and not 'awesome' and frankly 'average' doesn't cut-it these days.

    A few key words on the actual racing; messy .. erratic .. rubberbanded .. clunky .. random.

    In a nutshell, 2 years in the making for a second-rate attempt at including something for everyone … well almost, because horror of all horrors, you can't free-roam in multiplayer, you cant hang out with your mate, do car-shows, take nice group photos, form a drift train … bait a cop? .. nope, no cops in multiplayer.

    I will give a mark of 4 for the fact this time there is daylight.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 7, 2017
    Nuevamente quieren obligar al jugador a pagar para poder avanzar rápido y ganar el juego con micropagos. Este juego no lo recomiendo. No seNuevamente quieren obligar al jugador a pagar para poder avanzar rápido y ganar el juego con micropagos. Este juego no lo recomiendo. No se puede disfrutar mucho ya que se tiene que repetir lo mismo hasta el cansancio para acumular puntos para poder avanzar, aunque sea la desarrolladora hubiera puesto más carreras distintas para compensar, pero no, debes pagar. La EA busca que su mercado sea ya no el de vender juego, sino la de micropagos que posteriormente debes pagar después de comprar el juego. O sea que al final pagas mucho más en total de lo que esperabas.

    In English
    Again they want to force the player to pay to be able to advance fast and win the game with micropayments. This game I do not recommend. You can not enjoy much because you have to repeat the same thing until you get tired to accumulate points to move forward, even if the developer would have put more different races to compensate, but no, you must pay. The EA seeks that its market is no longer that of selling games, but that of micropayments that you must later pay after buying the game. So in the end you pay much more in total than you expected.
    Full Review »