Racing has been a popular gaming genre since old times. Need for Speed Franchise has been entertaining racing fans for almost 17 years now and a total of 17 games have been released under the same banner.
Today, we will have a look at various transitions Need For Speed games went through, and where does the modern day installments in the series stand.
Need for Speed (1994)
The first ever game in the long running franchise. Need for Speed was released for PC (DOS), Saturn and PlayStation. A lot of effort was put into the game to make it a racing simulator rather than an arcade game.
The game won a lot of admiration as it was quite a breakthrough at that time. The traditional police car chases which later became the tradition in many installments were introduced for the first time.
Need for Speed II (1997)
Need for Speed II was an arcade thriller featuring the most advanced vehicles of the time. Country themed tracks, the concept of choosing the shortest passage during the race and the new knockout mode were the prominent features of the game. NFS II to me is one of the best arcade racing games I have ever played.
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit (1998)
The Hot Pursuit mode was the unique feature in which players either needed to overtake racers being a cop or escape from the police being a racer. Audio commentary was introduced for the first time in the series with support for 3D acceleration on PC. It was also the first time that the downloadable content was made available from the official site.
Need for Speed: High Stakes/Need for Speed: Road Challenge (1999)
Also known as the Road Challenge, Need for Speed: High Stakes featured variety of modes like High Stakes, Getaway, Time Trap and the all new career mode. In career mode, damage modeling was introduced. So players needed to repair their cars first (spending the cash earned while racing) before entering the next race for the full performance.
Time trap was about beating the clock while the cops making it difficult to reach the finish line within the given time. Gateaway like the hot pursuit was all about surviving from the cops for a particular time.
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed/Need for Speed: Porsche 2000 (2000)
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed was named so because it only featured the Porsche vehicles. The game introduced the realistic vehicle handling for the first time in the franchise.
All the cars were detailed and the damage modeling scale was increased for a more challenging gameplay. The career mode and the Factory driver modes were about winning races in different condition to unlock cars from year 1950 to 2000. One of the best career modes I have played.