Need for Speed Rivals

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Need for Speed Rivals Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
Race as or against the police in this arcade driving game.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 22 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Need For Speed Rivals wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

The game's message is mixed: On one hand you can play as the police to catch fast drivers breaking the law (good), but you also can be chased by the police and cause them to crash their cars (bad).

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game has you play either a police officer or a street racer, "to gain the upper hand by any means necessary," says Electronic Arts. As a result, the role models can be good or bad, depending on what you choose.

Ease of Play

The game is fairly easy to play using the console controller, plus there's a tutorial and some in-game aids you can activate.


Although no one gets hurt in the game, there are many car crashes you can initiate, plus there are weapons that can be used such as spike strips and electromagnetic pulses. Crashes are realistic in nature.


There is downloadable content in the game, available for real money, but the first car (a 2015 Mustang) is free.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Need For Speed Rivals is an arcade driving game that lets you play as a street-racing gang or the police in an attempt to outrace their rivals. There are realistic crashes, which you can initiate, along with weapons such as spikes and pulse blasts. Gamers who play online might hear inappropriate language. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Need for Speed Rivals.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byCharlesMcK February 3, 2016

Good but violent

This game is really a slightly convoluted version of cops and robbers. Although the gameplay is realistic but kid friendly some of the story isnt. In cutscenes... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old July 21, 2018

kinda like forza horizon 3 and midnight club la fused together.

nfs rivals is a game where you can play as the bad guys or the good guys. i think it should be ages 8 and up because there is no curse words or shooting but whe... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMCKAY03 April 18, 2017

Fine for kids who like cars

Not bad at all, graphics are good and there are no people-for myself a fellow player-to hit the only thing that is bad is the occasional bad word like crap or d... Continue reading

What's it about?

As with the many Need For Speed games before it, NEED FOR SPEED RIVALS is a multiplatform arcade racing game that lets you play either as the street racer trying to avoid the authorities or as the police determined to catch up to the reckless racers. In Rivals, playing as either side of the law comes with its own distinct career experiences, each with its own set of challenges, rewards, weapons, tech, and cars. Along with stunning environments, high-definition cars, and special effects (powered by the advanced Frostbite 3 engine), this game also boasts an all-new scoring system and multiple solo, cooperative ("co-op"), and head-to-head game modes.

Is it any good?

Played on a PlayStation 4, Need For Speed Rivals is an exhilarating racer with multiple cars and courses, fun ways to try to take down the enemy, incredible graphics (especially on next-gen platforms), and a blurring of the lines between solo and multiplayer games with a smart feature called AllDrive. This new addition to the series seamlessly fuses your accomplishments between on- and offline modes and connects you with your friend's games. Gamers who prefer a simulation might prefer to stick with the Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport franchises for Sony and Microsoft consoles, respectively, but for pure, unadulterated fun behind the wheel, Need For Speed Rivals delivers a huge thrill. Note: All versions of the game are the same.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Is Need For Speed Rivals appropriate? Although no one gets hurt, is it OK to simulate being chased by the police and causing them to crash? Is it OK, or even healthy, for games to take us away from reality for a while? Here's a handy video for parents on choosing the right games for your family.

Game details

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