Need For Speed Most Wanted...The Greatest Racing Game of All Time
16 years later and still going strong! What made NFSMW so successful and timeless? Well we have a few reasons why...
Now I believe the title of this article might be a bit of a stretch considering that other heavy hitter games exist like Gran Turismo or Forza which some might reckon are more deserving of the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) title. However, I am writing this article within the Zimbabwean context where it is safe to say that NFSMW (Need For Speed Most Wanted) is by far the most played and beloved PC or console game of all time.
1. Piracy isn't really enforced
Because we are in a less economically developed country, piracy is hardly enforced and this affects games too. Nobody really buys a game but instead reproduces a copy of their own from friends or relatives. My first experience with the NFSMW game included 5 discs in order to install it on my PC, which I got from one of my friends at the time in high school. After the installation, I couldn’t stop playing it.
2. Conveniently sized
Again due to our environment, buying a new and well ‘specced’ PC or gaming console is only left to a few of the people in the middle class and upwards. Those below these classes can only usually settle for used and often low spec laptops and desktops. NFSMW so happens to be friendly to low spec PC’s too (at only 3 gigabytes in size) which is a win win situation because it has meant pretty much anyone with any laptop can play it, myself included with my 10 year old DELL laptop with a Core i3 processor and an always dead battery.
3. An International success
The NFSMW game wasn’t just a success in Zimbabwe but the rest of the world too, even more than a decade after its initial 2005 release,. 16 million copies were sold worldwide making it the best selling title of the Need For Speed series. It is with good reason though. The game was and still is so good that there was no need for it to be remastered. Some even go further by stating that its success was one of the major reasons why NFSMW II of 2012 failed commercially and in the eyes of video game fans.
An exciting Gameplay
Part of the reason the game was praised by fans and critics alike was its gameplay. The game is generally about street racing, where the goal is to rise up the ranks by beating 15 Blacklist racers in order to become the Number 1 most wanted street racer in the fictional city of Rockport. Additionally to this, great graphics, sound, a great assortment of cars and endless customisation and tuning combinations of any car means one can easily make this game their own.
5. It never seems to get old
Because of how the gameplay is story oriented, you are truly invested in the game (in career mode). With this in mind you would think that if one were to restart a career mode again from the beginning due to one reason or the other they would never be interested in doing so. However the interesting thing with this game, is that many players have restarted career mode plenty of times and have never been bothered at all about it, again myself included. Not many games can boast about this, especially old games like this one. It has been ageing quite well.
You don’t have to strictly take my word for it though. Here are a few more reasons from some of our Z-CarCulture fans.
Sifiso: Absolutely amazing and thrilling racing game. You can play it again and again and never get bored. The story, gamepley, visuals and soundtrack all are great. It can easily run on potato PC’s which most of us Zimbos have. The title is a unique combination of everything that makes it an almost perfect game.
Regman: The game experience was just natural. They mastered the art of the exhaust notes of the cars. With a good sound system you’d get to enjoy the game. This is from a car enthusiast point of view. The game today is still one of the best.
Misheck: I think it was because of the insane customisation options available. I loved the music too plus I think some of the vibe came from the Fast and Furious movies. Now you could do what you saw in the movies.
Emmanuel: It’s timeless. Even when I was in high school back in 2013 the game was so popular it felt as though it was a brand new release. Personally if someone hasn’t played NFSMW, you cannot call yourself a true racing gamer.
Tanaka: Low processing requirements to play the game.
Well there you have it folks. Now you know why NFSMW is truly the best racing game of all time.
If you have any more reasons or memories to share about the game, feel free to share in the comment section and we will also post it on our Instagram Highlights.
Author: Tinotenda Nyakudzuka