Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Game review by
Chris Jozefowicz, Common Sense Media
Need For Speed: Most Wanted Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Exciting racer on wrong side of the law, teens up.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 40 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game celebrates illegal street racing. Races speed through city streets and over sidewalks. Players are rewarded for running from and smashing through police cars, and demolishing some structures.


Lots of cars crash into buildings and other cars, but very little damage is depicted. Some crashes involve innocent traffic, but the streets are free of pedestrians.


Some car-related sexual innuendo equating cars and women, like "She's mine now and I'm going to ride her like you never could."


The cars in the game are all branded. In-game advertising in the form of billboards and stores dots the landscape. Licensed songs on the soundtrack are announced with a pop-up on-screen display.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is about illegal street racing. This installment includes a new major game dynamic: smashing police pursuers and outrunning them. Other new feature: The game now has an online component, which Common Sense Media does not recommend for anyone under 12. In offline gameplay, players will encounter some light sexual innuendo as well as a fair amount of commercialism in the form of real-life cars and in-game ads.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRedburn February 28, 2012


So long and boring
Adult Written byAKJ September 30, 2011

Very Good

Very Good Game Probably The Best In The Series But It Has Some Terms Like "She's mine now and I'm going to ride her like you never could" BN... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byX-Hype Gaming January 29, 2021

Ignorant Reviews

Adults claim this game has characters has inappropriate clothing when this game has no characters. The game the adults are talking about is the 2005 one, except... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysUUs July 29, 2019

cool and fun

even though im 13, I still recommend this game, but I hear stuff like im gonna ride her like you never could (some of you are dirty minded for gods sake) but I... Continue reading

What's it about?

NEED FOR SPEED: MOST WANTED turns freeways and neighborhood streets into racetracks. The single-player game is dominated by a Career Mode, in which players challenge a collection of street racers known as the Blacklist 15. Players must complete a series of driving challenges before they can compete with each member of the Blacklist.

Players roam freely, selecting challenges as they encounter them, and they have the option to simply jump to a challenge from a safe-house garage. The challenges include an impressive variety of races, such as head-to-head contests against other drivers and beat-the-clock timed runs along highways. Tangling with the cops adds "heat" to a player's car, making future chases more difficult but also winning bounty points and improving the player's reputation.

Is it any good?

Need For Speed provides a nice variety of customizable cars that look and sound great. Many have noticeably different driving characteristics. The sense of speed ramps up accordingly, and the controls are generally responsive within the absurd allowances of arcade racing (due to very noticeable "rubber banding," challengers are usually never too far away, no matter how well players drive).

The Career Mode is quite lengthy and should provide at least 15 hours of gameplay. But if players tire of it, they can compete in Challenge Modes (things like creating the costliest damage possible) or take the racing online. Flying through back alleys and across sidewalks produces plenty of vicarious thrills in this excellent arcade racer, but the game does celebrate illegal and dangerous behavior. Parents may want to think carefully before giving this one the green light.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of street racing and irresponsible driving. When a high speed car crash left a Canadian man dead, a police officer made the game partially to blame. Do you agree? Does playing a game like this make illegal actions seem more attractive in real life? Should game makers stop glamorizing destructive and illegal activities?

Game details

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