All Need For Speed Games On EA Play: Ranked
Updated: Feb 5
Electronic Arts is one of the largest video game publishers in the world, and Need for Speed is the most popular racing franchise on the market today. Players can access some of the best EA Games available for a monthly fee with the EA app on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Finding the right match can sometimes be challenging, with so many games to choose from. Check out this list of the best Need for Speed games available on EA Play and EA Play Pro to see how we ranked the best Need for Speed racing games.
EA Play Has A Solid Need For Speed Collection
If you are a subscriber or are considering subscribing to EA Play, Need For Speed is a street racing franchise worth checking out. Included with an EA Play membership are six Need for Speed games. Subscribers of EA Play Pro also get access to a seventh Need For Speed game: "Need For Speed Unbound." We ranked all 7 NFS Games on EA Play from worst to best. Judging from the list, you can see that EA had a rough patch and made some of their weakest racing games during the mid to late 2010s. If you want to know which Need for Speed games on EA Play are the best, you're in the right spot.
7. Need For Speed (2015)
Need for Speed launched in 2015 and is the worst of the bunch. It's not a terrible game, but it's forgettable compared to the other games on this list. The biggest issue with NFS (2015) is its lack of identity. It borrows too heavily from other racing games and doesn't do anything unique to set itself apart from a gameplay perspective. A Need For Speed movie had just been released when this game was released. The film was successful, so Need For Speed used real actors to play out the cinematic cut scenes. Not a bad idea, but it feels a bit weird, with more focus on the story than the actual racing. If you want to play an arcade racer, there are better options available on EA Play.
6. Need For Speed Rivals (2013)
Need For Speed Rivals launched in 2013 and tried to continue the success of Most Wanted. Unfortunately, they took too many fan-favorite elements and threw them aside like a flat tire. The open-world map is large but empty. There are no natural landmarks, and exploring is not as fun. On the plus side, the racing itself is still enjoyable. Like Most Wanted (2012), you can race against AI opponents or other players online in multiplayer mode. But with new arcade racers like Forza Horizon 3 released shortly after Rivals, there was no need for this game to exist.
5. Need For Speed Payback (2017)
After the critical flop of 2015's Need for Speed, EA Games decided to give the series a second chance in 2017 with Need For Speed Payback. This game borrows heavily from games like Burnout Paradise and The Crew. It's an open-world racing game set in the fictional city of Fortune Valley. You play as three characters with their racing specialties: street, off-road, and drag racing. The story is pretty forgettable, but exploring the map and finding all the collectibles is still fun. And unlike its predecessor, it didn't have an annoying always-online setup that would cause performance issues. Instead, it uses a new social feature called "AllDrive," which allows players to easily switch from single to multiplayer.
4. Need For Speed Heat (2019)
Need for Speed Heat was launched in 2019 and felt like a return to form for the franchise. It borrows the best elements from games like 2017's Payback and 2015's Need for Speed and mixes them with a new day/night cycle that adds an extra layer of strategy to racing. The game takes place in Palm City, which is basically Miami. You can race during the day to earn reputation points (used to unlock new events) or at night to gain street cred (used to buy performance upgrades). There's also a robust customization system that lets you make your car look however you want. Overall, it's an excellent racing game worth your time, but it lacks specific innovations found in early NFS games, which is why it's ranked fourth.
3. Need For Speed Unbound (2022)
Need For Speed Unbound launched in 2022 and is available to EA Play Pro subscribers. It's the latest game in the franchise and features a new open-world setting called "Lakeshore." The streets are your canvas, and your car is the paintbrush. You play as a driver who has to earn a reputation by winning races and completing objectives. The story is forgettable, but the gameplay is solid. Unfortunately, the game suffered from technical issues at launch, which prevented it from being ranked higher. Many fun features that make Unbound unique are simple eye candy and don't make Unbound feel new and refreshing. Still, the features are entertaining enough to offer a new perspective on Need For Speed games.
2. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered (2020)
Initially launched in 2010, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit received a 10-year remastered edition in 2020. The remastered edition features updated graphics, new cars, and all of the DLC from the original game. The original game was possibly the best Need For Speed game ever created. Although it lacked the customization found in Need For Speed underground, the gameplay was a unique blend of racing and action sequences. Using special tools to take down other drivers and police, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit was a blast to play. It's an excellent racing game and a must-play for franchise fans.
1. Need For Speed Most Wanted (2012)
Need For Speed Most Wanted launched in 2012. Not to be confused with the 2005 release with the same name. It may be over ten years old, but it still offers the best features in any racing game. The world map is massive, with a ton of events to do. Over 50 cars are available to drive, each with its unique feel. Most Wanted also features a fantastic soundtrack that perfectly complements the game's racing action. It was also one of the first Need For Speed games to offer online multiplayer racing. Despite its age, Need For Speed Most Wanted is still the best racing game in the franchise and a must-play for all fans of racing games.
Electronic Arts hit the right spot with the EA Play subscription service. EA Play is worth subscribing to on the most powerful consoles and platforms (Playstation, Xbox, and PC). Xbox Game Pass members can enjoy the benefits of EA Play at no extra cost. Many excellent Need For Speed games are available on the EA app, but the best is undoubtedly Need For Speed Most Wanted (2012) and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered (2020). These two games offer the best features and gameplay of any racing game. If you're a fan of racing games, you need to play both of these classics.