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Need For Speed: Most Wanted

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

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 37 reviews

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 bybbl player April 9, 2008
Adult Written byAllStarMom April 9, 2008

Negative, Violent, Sexual, Attrocious game!

I caught my 10 and 12 year old children playing this at their cousins house and I immediately told them to shut off the game or leave the room. The girls dresse... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byYashraj October 2, 2010

U guyz have gone mad!

Hey u guys, just think it over. How does sum consumerism affect u? The game is totally mind blowing. About educational value, do u really thing playing a violen... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

It's rated T??????????

This game is very fun!!! The only problem with this game is you have to do the same stuff over and over again to get more cars. But with the really fun car Chas... 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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