User Score
3.8

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 243 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 243
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  1. Nov 8, 2017
    9
    Pros:
    Extremely Pretty Looking
    Larger World Offline Play Much Larger Customization A more serious storyline A larger car list Cars are more balanced Actually likable characters One of the best Soundtracks in the series (Most Wanted is still the best with the soundtrack) More activities to do Neons, Airbags, Tire Smoke, and Horns were added Physics are fixed Cons:
    Pros:
    Extremely Pretty Looking
    Larger World
    Offline Play
    Much Larger Customization
    A more serious storyline
    A larger car list
    Cars are more balanced
    Actually likable characters
    One of the best Soundtracks in the series (Most Wanted is still the best with the soundtrack)
    More activities to do
    Neons, Airbags, Tire Smoke, and Horns were added
    Physics are fixed

    Cons:
    Multiplayer is broken
    No Police in Freeroam
    No Online Freeroam
    IGN's and Gamespot's reviews
    Vanity Items exclusive to

    P.S. The microtransactions people, ONLY HAVE VISUAL CUSTOMIZATION!!! IT'S NOT PAY-TO-WIN!!!
    Expand
  2. Nov 7, 2017
    10
    I think the critics or reviewers need to stop giving this game negative reviews it looks fun to play and I grew up playing this series and the reboot of need for speed (2015) has horrible physics, cheesy cut scenes with the worst acting I've seen and the graphics are okay but not that great as Payback. Need For Speed Payback looks better and has a better story than the reboot of Need ForI think the critics or reviewers need to stop giving this game negative reviews it looks fun to play and I grew up playing this series and the reboot of need for speed (2015) has horrible physics, cheesy cut scenes with the worst acting I've seen and the graphics are okay but not that great as Payback. Need For Speed Payback looks better and has a better story than the reboot of Need For Speed and has better physics that that game. I think its going to be a surprise for people that grew up playing need for speed like me and appreciate that ghost at least did what the fans request and e.a. helping with the project. I think its worth the pre-order of this game and I think I'm in for a treat for Need for Speed Payback Expand
  3. Dec 1, 2017
    8
    This is one of the most fun arcade racers I have ever played, and I have been playing racing games since the early 90s. Ignore the poor reviews. Yes, microtransactions are present just like in every other game, but in no way do you need to rely on them......earning credits is no problem in this game. Yes, a gambling-like system is used throughout the game since the game's setting is basedThis is one of the most fun arcade racers I have ever played, and I have been playing racing games since the early 90s. Ignore the poor reviews. Yes, microtransactions are present just like in every other game, but in no way do you need to rely on them......earning credits is no problem in this game. Yes, a gambling-like system is used throughout the game since the game's setting is based on Las Vegas. While it is a bit annoying that you can't always choose your car upgrades, the "gambling" adds a tiny bit of adventure to upgrading your car.....you often get better parts than you expected. Beyond that, the game's open-world map is one of the best I have ever seen in any genre. The amount of elevation change is astounding, especially for a racing game, and there are so many off-road areas to explore that you will be surprised at just how open this map is. I am a huge fan of the Forza Horizon series, and this map makes the Forza Horizon maps seem boring in comparison. Now, the car handling is typical modern-day Need For Speed, but it is an improvement from NFS 2015. The handling is much more precise than NFS 2015 while still focusing on drift-to-win handling for most of the cars. To me, this is the primary downside to the NFS series, but it does give NFS it's Burnout-style gameplay that it inherited when Criterion/Ghost Games took over. In the end, I hope this game will cause a little more competition in the arcade-racing genre. I have completed the main story missions and still want to go back into the game and explore more of the map and buy more cars to customize and enjoy. I really don't understand the negative reviews since this game is a HUGE improvement over NFS 2015. It makes me wonder what Turn 10/Playground Games has up their sleeves for Forza Horizon 4. Expand
  4. Nov 12, 2017
    10
    DO NOT LISTEN TO THE HATERS!!! THEY ARE JEALOUS THAT THEY ARE DISABLED AND REAL NFS FANS ARE NOT!!! This game will bring you back to your nostalgia with less restricted customization and performance. Game added crews and a new story that will grab your attention. Basically if fast and furious was good again. Game deserves a cookie and i hope you rate it well to or your favorite series willDO NOT LISTEN TO THE HATERS!!! THEY ARE JEALOUS THAT THEY ARE DISABLED AND REAL NFS FANS ARE NOT!!! This game will bring you back to your nostalgia with less restricted customization and performance. Game added crews and a new story that will grab your attention. Basically if fast and furious was good again. Game deserves a cookie and i hope you rate it well to or your favorite series will suffer at the wrath of the satanic IGN and Gamespot. Expand
  5. Dec 31, 2017
    8
    I just wanted to preface this review with a few things. 1) I've been a big fan of the Need For Speed franchise since I was about 5. Most Wanted is possibly my favourite game of all time. 2) I'm absolutely aware that the EA management is scum, but I want to focus on the merits of each game separately rather than tarring everything with the same brush- and I think the widespread anger andI just wanted to preface this review with a few things. 1) I've been a big fan of the Need For Speed franchise since I was about 5. Most Wanted is possibly my favourite game of all time. 2) I'm absolutely aware that the EA management is scum, but I want to focus on the merits of each game separately rather than tarring everything with the same brush- and I think the widespread anger and scorn against Payback is more than a little unfair.

    Pros:
    - The driving experience.
    You get an exhilarating feeling of speed that no other major racing game releasing in the last few years really fulfils. As you progress through the story and the cars get faster and faster, the feeling only grows.
    - The art and sound design is sensational.
    The world isn't huge, but it's varied and beautiful. From hilly, swirling offroad mountain tracks to stretching desert roads to the bright night lights of the city, it's a joy to drive through. It reminds me of The Witcher 3 in how the game is a joy to traverse, taking in the sights, not just to sprint through until the credits roll.
    - Brilliant sound design.
    The roar of the engines, the stretched 'slurp' of the nitrous and the squeal of the drift sound excellent, no more so than when they reaches a cacophony combined with police sirens chasing you at 190 mph through oncoming traffic. The soundtrack doesn't mean much for a racing game, but it's got something for everyone- a healthy smattering of grime, rap and rock, featuring Queens of the Stone Age, Vince Staples and Skepta. There are a few stinkers, but the good outweighs the bad.
    - The driving experience feels genuinely fresh.
    It's a refreshing break from the racing sims that the market is moving closer towards. Sims are great in their own regard, but often fail to capture the joy of speed, destruction and carelessness a good arcade racer revels in.
    - It copies the successes of its predecessors:
    - Cops are a challenge and fun to battle and escape for the first time in years thanks to smart
    teamwork (due to well-made AI).
    - The customisation (the only real pro in NFS 2015) is taken in Payback with bodykits galore
    (especially on the derelicts you can restore) and a wide set of decals, along with a good
    community tab where you can download popular 'wraps'.
    - A full day and night cycle lets you have both the night gameplay people liked in Underground 1, 2
    and NFS 2015, as well as the sun-baked desert and sunset.
    - This is a controversial opinion, but the story mode is actually alright
    There are issues, but the story is, in parts, wonderfully camp, daft and fun once you get over the hurdle of its exasperating stupidity. It's quite hefty and long too, keeping me busy for at least a good 20+ hours. David Ajala does a brilliant job as Mac, the drifter and offroader of your 'crew', with a carefree joy and lovely British accent and so does Jessica Madsen as Jess- for a few lines, at least.

    Cons:
    - No cops in freeroam.
    Why design them so well and criminally underuse them?
    - Camera issues.
    No cockpit camera. Particularly in Drag-type cars, the camera under nitrous boost zooms back to emphasise the speed, which is a nice effect until you notice it's difficult to see over your car at the oncoming traffic.
    - Cars can only be used in the racing discipline for which you buy them (Drift cars are only usable in Drift events, for example.)
    I could want to use by Race-type NSX for a drag race, but I'd have to spit out the 100,000 credits to buy a Drag-type one then spend around 20 minutes of farming to get it to the right level. Surely there should be a 'remodding' or transformation mechanic to switch the type of previously bought vehicles in the garage?
    - Minor issues with the driving experience.
    Cars drive almost comically different depending on their role. Race-types have steering tuned too 'tight', and this is taken further with Drag-types. In races, the reset after crash mechanic is inconsistent and buggy, once resetting me facing a wall.
    - When the writing fails, it fails hard
    The acting is generally weak. Tyler, Lina, the racing league bosses, and, often, Jess are acted horribly, though it might be more accurate to blame the script. In particularly, the sketch to introduce Mac in the prologue criticises a 'cringy' drifting streamer called "HashTiger" physically hurt to play.
    - Farming
    Upgrading under-levelled vehicles is a chore, waiting for upgrade shops to restock and farming old events for 'Speed Cards', but the game is very liberal with resources, never pushing you to pay a penny for a microtransaction (considering they only buy you boxes containing money, vanity items and cards to 'roll' for more Speed Cards). I'll be the first person to crusade against microtransactions but this is light years away from how egregious Battlefront II or Shadow of War are.

    I'm just so thankful EA have, after all this time, released a game that genuinely lives up to the Need for Speed name, even if it's not a masterpiece.
    Expand
  6. Jun 26, 2019
    9
    Normal game. I recommend to play in version for Xbox One. Localization is normal;)
Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. CD-Action
    Feb 8, 2018
    40
    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]
  2. Official Xbox Magazine UK
    Jan 5, 2018
    40
    Turns out that fighting the machine has rarely been this dull. [Jan 2018, p.78]
  3. Dec 16, 2017
    83
    The gameplay is tight, responsive and surprisingly accessible whilst remaining challenging throughout. The story may well indeed be basic in its delivery, but the plot does prove to be energetic and exhilarating nevertheless, however it is sadly held back slightly by a poorly voiced cast of forgettable characters.