Need for Speed™ Most Wanted Review

By , on November 5, 2012

Need for Speed™ Most Wanted
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Gorgeously detailed vehicles and stages; everything feels so sharply rendered that a single frame could cut you.
  • Rock solid controls; whether you use the default tilt or optional touch controls, you'll navigate tracks like a pro.


  • Utterly devoid of depth or meaningful content; new tracks feel much the same as the last ones, while the game modes offer little variety in gameplay.
  • Origin platform limits crossover for high-score chasing.


The beauty is only skin deep in Need for Speed Most Wanted - sharp graphics and solid controls make it entertaining in short bursts, but those looking for a challenging ride and variety in their vehicles will be disappointed.

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If Electronic Arts is demonstrating anything with Need for Speed Most Wanted for the iOS platform, it's an interest in stripping back their racers to the core experience.

For some this may be an absolute boon - mobile platforms are often used in short bursts, so things like a story and too many fiddly customizations are simply a distraction compared to the main feast of burning rubber down city and country roads alike. Unfortunately Most Wanted goes even further than that and instead of creating a lean experience, the game tips in the wrong direction towards monotony.

That word is harsh and I should caveat the statement - Most Wanted is a drop-dead gorgeous racer for the iOS platform and one that handles almost flawlessly thanks to its reliance on the absolute minimum of controls needed to set up the action; namely tilt to turn; swipe to boost; and tapping the right or left side respectively to drift or brake. If all you want is a racer that jumps straight in to the action and looks pretty at the same time, this is for you.

However if you expect a bit more meat in your gameplay, you're going to be somewhat disappointed. Most of the basic race types are covered, though special races like 'On The Clock' and 'Hot Ride' prove to be rare gems to be treasured as the need to ride hard, fast, and with absolute precision adds some much needed tension to the races. For other modes, be it against a single opponent or many, the game becomes fairly staid as you bump and nudge your way up the pack with no regard to the penalties (of which there are very few), boosting as needed and filling it up again with horrendously easy to pull-off mega drifts.

Gorgeous though it may be, Need for Speed Most Wanted packs fewer features in to this release compared to previous outings, including the removal of vehicle customization (unless a paint job and temporary boosts float your boat), and no multiplayer option at all (though you can compete against the best times of friends on the Origin service).

Most Wanted gets all of the basic concepts right, but fails to follow through on any of them, ultimately making for a hollow racing experience. Earning new (and lovingly detailed) cars isn't so much an incentive as it is the only thing keeping the game from falling apart entirely.


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