Review: Need for Speed Most Wanted (PlayStation Vita)

Reviewed by Dominik Dudek, posted Apr 1, 2015, last updated Jun 21, 2015
Apr 1, 2015
  • Release Date (NA): October 30, 2012
  • Release Date (EU): November 1, 2012
  • Release Date (JP): November 15, 2012
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Developer: Criterion Games
  • Genres: Arcade Racing Game
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Seven years and older
  • Also For: Computer, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
Are you guys sure this isn't a Burnout game?
Dominik Dudek

Full disclosure, the last NFS game I played was Need For Speed: Undercover and Need For Speed: World. My opinion will be heavily influenced by these old standards and I'm going to make many comparisons with the old Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

Aah, the title Need For Speed Most Wanted brings some beautiful memories with itself. It was the third NFS game I ever played and for me at the time the pinnacle of the franchise. I'm referring to the old NFS:MW in case you are confused. It was simply such a great game. It even is responsible for my taste in music. I remember like it was yesterday getting my gaming magazine that included a CD with the old NFS:MW demo and a trailer for the game that was all about car customization. I wanted to feel a little nostalgic so I went to YouTube to search for the trailer and found it. It was a great ride. Then I went to the comment section and saw one of the top rated comments was "This is fanfiction in the new NFS:MW" which is unfortunately funny because it's true.

I spy with my little eyes a EA studio that has not been closed yet.​


The Gameplay is pretty good. It's your typical arcade racing games where physics are on vacation and cops ride in Lamborghini's. There are your standard game modes like driving in circles (I wish I knew the English name) and Sprint and playing catch with the Police. However I must say playing catch doesn't feel as funny as in the old Most Wanted since there are no objects that you could use to knock out a police car. Even NFS World has those but to be fair NFS World plays in the world of the old Most Wanted and Carbon.
Other than racing you will be traveling through the world trying to find some of the 123 cars. And here is something that I don't get. All obtainable cars just stand there out in the open. Many of them aren't even well hidden. You don't buy them using a currency that you would obtain from races like you used to do. That and the fact that you can't customize the appearance of your car kinda disconnects you from the car you are driving. There was just something personal in buying your car, changing it's appearance to fit your desire and then beat the living crap out of everybody in street racing. Gave you the cool Vin Diesel feeling.
Outside of searching cars and being depressed because your car looks like shiet you'll be collecting speed points that determine your ranking on the most wanted list. I'll come back to the most wanted list in a second.
One thing that I found annoying were the unnecessary Burnout elements. Your car can be easily crashed and the penalty for being crashed is way too punishing. You might as well hit the retry button. I get why you would do that in multiplayer but in singleplay it just feels frustrating and makes me feel like this game was supposed to be a burnout game but then EA came up with the brilliant idea of fusing these franchises together. I dunno. When I play NFS I want NFS not Burnout. Burnout has the right to have it's own game, no need in fusing.​

Hello Mr. police. I want to introduce you to Mrs. Wall. Mrs. Wall be nice and say hello.​


The Presentation is pretty gorgeous. The game looks very beautiful for a PS Vita game and runs pretty smoothly , but not as well as Wipeout 2048. The Cars are very detailed, as always, and even turning the engines on sound pretty satisfying.There were a few frame drops in the multiplayer, nothing game breaking, but I think it was due my poor internet connection.
Please bear in mind that these screenshots look much better on a OLED display (and sorry that the screenshots are in German).
The music is okay. I haven't found it too outstanding like in the old Most Wanted but also not bad enough to criticize it too much. They even threw in the "I love it" song from Icona Pop which is nice I guess but I can listen to that on the radio already. I don't need it in a video game. One of the things that made NFS so special for me was the fact that they used tons of not well known bands for their music. Which was cool because I found some awesome bands that way that I would otherwise never found. Objectively it is good decision to use popular songs but it gives the game less personality in my opinion.
Also one should not forget that the port of this game, similarly to the port on the Wii U, is actually pretty clever. The game makes use of Vita's multitasking function and when you are listening to your own music, via the Music app, the game pauses the music shortly before a event starts and continues it after the event started. I find this actually pretty cool.

2015-04-01-000549. 2015-03-31-233155.

Story Multiplayer Aspect

Plot twist! There is no f*cking Story. The game is based around you beating the sh*t out of the most wanted list which are 10 faceless drivers. There is no drama about it like in the old Most Wanted. There is no asshole who stole your car, no motivation to keep playing outside of having fun in playing an arcade racing game.
So let me speak about the Multiplayer aspect instead because while the most wanted list may be the weakest point of the single player, it is the best thing of the multiplayer. Thank god this game has some redeeming quality because the multiplayer is awesome!
The most wanted list not only features faceless non characters but also people from your friendlist who also happen to play this game. It even works if the person played it on the PS3 instead of Vita. This is really cool. Suddenly you are not competing with nobodies but rather with your friends. The game allows you to compare the progress of you and your friends but there is no Cross Play unfortunately because, if I researched correctly (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the console version had up to 12 car races while the Vita version only up to 8.
But anyway, the online multiplayer is well executed. Playing with strangers is pretty fun and with friends over Skype even more.​

Little did the police know but in reality I'm not a Hyperdimension Neptunia Character!

2015-03-31-235602. 2015-03-31-234815. 2015-03-31-234126. 2015-03-31-233507. 2015-03-31-233229.

Lasting Replay

I believe with many friends this might be a really cool experience for you after beating the most wanted list.
Unfortunately in my friend list only one person played the game so for me there is not much replay value but if you can get a bunch of friends to play the game you will have a better time than playing the goddamn MMO, NFS World.
+ Beautiful graphics
+ Great car detail
+ Great Multiplayer
+ Clever Vita port
- Bad singleplayer
- Unnecessary Burnout elements
- No car customization
- Cop rammed me and arrested me while I was afk
9 Presentation
Outside of the characterless music very good looking game.
8 Gameplay
Gameplay suffers from being a Burnout game with a NFS name.
7 Lasting Appeal
Depends on amount of firends who also play the game.
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
I believe the game would be a solid 9 if they simply remade the old Most Wanted and added the multiplayer, of the new Most Wanted, on top of it. Would be a solid 10 if I could turn off the burnout elements in the singleplayer. But yeah as a fusion between NFS and Burnout it's decent. I can recommend it to anyone who like arcade racing games just don't expect the game to be as good as the old Most wanted.

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