Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
Well done arcade racer, but you can take cops out.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 29 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Sends mixed messages: allows the player to race illegally and evade or smash into the police; but you can also play as the police in this game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

This is a racing game in which you can play as a street racer or the police. If playing as a street racer, you can do illegal things including ramming into police cars and purposely ramming others. You are allowed to use any means possible to win including shooting weapons at others. You can be rewarded for taking out a police car.

Ease of Play

Gamers who've played past Need for Speed or Burnout games will find this title is fairly easy to pick up. You can play with assists off or drive the vehicles like an arcade racer, including a turbo button.


This racing game contains violence (or to be more specific, vehicular violence) as you must take down your opponents by any means necessary. This includies smashing into them, forcing them to crash or blasting them with weapons. Windshields shatter in slow-motion, cars crumble and flip in a dramatic way.



The game features real-world cars, such as Lamborghinis, Porsches and Aston Martins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is an illegal street racing game that encourages you to win races by any means necessary -- this includes smashing into cars, using weapons (like an EMP blast), or forcing others off the road to crash. The crash sequences are overly dramatic -- including slow-motion camera angles that sensationalize the smash -- and gamers will see words on the screen such as "Wrecked Cop" and receive a "bounty" (reward) based on their takedown.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBadMario13company December 7, 2014

fun racing

Amazing game Great for kids to adults

But the online is the bestimate part make sure to mute online players

Be the cop or racer

Racers have Jammer Turbio... Continue reading
Adult Written byDrake123432 July 3, 2011

It is appropriate for kids of 8

It does not teach your child anything about crime. Although it does have cop chases and crashing, you will not see anybody getting hurt or arrested. No guns are... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byX-Hype Gaming December 15, 2020

Ignorant Reviews

Most of these reviews are made by ignorant parents who didn't even try the game out, this is including CSM, for rating this 13+.

1. Do not blame EA for st... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byGamersnews32 May 2, 2019

Fun and engaging NFS instalment. Vehicle violence, but pretty violent

NFS Hot Pursuit is a reboot to the original NFS Hot Pursuit trilogy. Where vehicles now have over-the-top weapons such as EMP's, Spike strips and Jammers.... Continue reading

What's it about?

One of the most successful arcade racing game series is back for more with NEED FOR SPEED HOT PURSUIT, an intense cops vs. racers video game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Despite the fact it shares the same name as 1998's Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Electronic Arts' latest racer is packed with new features, high-definition graphics, and a huge, open-world in which to burn asphalt. Climb into real-world exotic cars (you likely can't afford in real life!) such as the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione or Porsche Cayman S and tackle friends online or the game's smart A.I. and race to the finish line -- while evading the police. Or you can play as the police, if you prefer. This game offers multiple solo and multiplayer modes, varied environments (coastline, forest, desert and mountain) and numerous weapons for both the cops and racers, be it decoys, EMP blasts, nitro boosts, and more.

Is it any good?

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is a blast for those who love combative, white-knuckle racing games. While the three online modes don't have all the weapons and cops found in the solo modes (they're more straight-forward racing games for up to eight players), Need For Speed Hot Pursuit is an exhilarating racer. New to the franchise is a comprehensive Career mode (play as both sides of the law) and an Autolog feature that tracks all your stats and lets you compare yours to friends. The handful of exotic cars look amazing and handle well, such as the Lamborghini Reventon or Pagani Zonda Cinque, plus using weapons and other tools to win the races add more excitement to the game. You will earn "bounty," an in-game currency, to buy goodies with the points collected for each successful move, which may include cutting off a police car so that it falls off a cliff. While not a game for good role modeling, it is a blast for teens old enough to enjoy a well done arcade racer.

Online interaction: The game lets you play online with other racers, including the option to chat via headset microphone if desired so that kids exercising that option might hear offensive speech and asked inappropriate questions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's ok or not to play games that reward you for smashing into police cars. At what age should kids be allowed to play this game? When are they older enough to understand this is just a game, but not one to be emulated.

  • Families can talk about the importance of abiding by traffic laws, how defensive driving keeps people safe in real life, and the need for seat belts.

  • Parents who have teens learning to drive may want to consider a study that suggests playing some racing games can lead to taking more driving risks in real life and share it with their children.

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love racing and online games

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